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Thread: what program should i use for post processing

  1. #1
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    what program should i use for post processing

    its probably been asked a thousand times before, but in new to this and the forum game, so here goes
    looking out there i find the quantity of programs available mind bogaling
    so what do i want to do

    well i'm not rich so i dont really want to spend hundreds of pounds on somthing i can really use (besides i'm married and i'd have my head to play with) but equally i don't want to spend money on a program that doesen't do what i need it to
    i realise there are free programs out there but again what if any should i be looking at?

    i'm a beginner of sorts (in my head i'm a pro) but in reality been taking photos all my life and a few are quite good (freinds and family compliment) but i want to be great or at least better im trying to get out more
    but i also think a little post pro tinkering (wb, saturation, cropping etc) will aid in my eventual climb to fame and fortune...
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 30th September 2011 at 07:19 PM.

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    Re: what program should i use for post processing

    It would probably help if you posted what camera you have, what computer you use, whether you shoot raw or JPEG, the kind of thing you are hoping to accomplish in PP, etc. if you hope to get a helpful answer.

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    Re: what program should i use for post processing

    Hi Scott, here is a link to a thread that will help get you started. At least it may sharpen the questions you would like to ask about the various post processing products that are out there. Advice sought...

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    Re: what program should i use for post processing

    Or this previous question Older Photoshop Elements Versions

    And there are quite a few others which give similar information.

    Unfortunately, there isn't one simple answer.

    The best of the free software is good; but there are also a few basic programmes which don't do much other than ask you to click which of the two auto adjustments look best!

    And for less than 100 there is a bewildering choice of excellent software which will prove sufficient for most people. If you want the very best you can easily spend over 500 but a lot of these programmes offer editing options which are beyond the requirements of the average photographer.

    However, if you want the best and can afford it, Photoshop CS5 is absolutely excellent if you are really going to fully use it.
    Last edited by Geoff F; 30th September 2011 at 06:09 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Re: what program should i use for post processing

    Quote Originally Posted by tclune View Post
    It would probably help if you posted what camera you have, what computer you use, whether you shoot raw or JPEG, the kind of thing you are hoping to accomplish in PP, etc. if you hope to get a helpful answer.

    i use a sony a350 (sony 18-70 f3.5/ sigma 28-200 f3.5 sigma 150-500 f5)
    acer aspire5742
    i used to shoot jpeg but in reading forums im now going to try raw
    just refining photos realy (most intrested in wildlife or landscape photography)correcting wb saturation and the usual blips in landscapes ie powerlines

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    Re: what program should i use for post processing

    Hi Scott

    Welcome to the site.

    From what I can tell, you're serious about improving and learning but only sort of making the steps into digital?

    We've all been there and thanks to this site, most of us have stuck with it and done well.

    I'd like to recommend Gimp. But I can't. For me it's only virtue is that it's free. And as far as I ever got on with it, you can only edit one image at a time and it has no raw file support (that might have changed) so I got rid.

    Lots of people love Lightroom. Again I've tried it and binned it. Why? I have CS5. Of all the adobe programs I see Lightroom (for me) as pointless.

    For you I would recommend PS Elements. Firstly it won't break the bank. So the mrs won't kill you. Secondly, the improvements to the ACR will show you a decent and easy to follow workflow right from the start. Thirdly, and for me the most important of all, it will start you off on the right steps to using the industry standard software. And from there you can make a more informed choice. Just download a trial and give it a go mate.

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    Re: what program should i use for post processing

    thanks the blue boy i like what you have put ill let you know

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    Re: what program should i use for post processing

    Spidersilk,
    I started developing a photography hobby just over a year ago. I want a Photoshop program but want to wait until I can afford Lightroom or CS5. Therefore, I don't want to put $100 (US) into Photoshop Elements. Therefore, I use free Picassa from Google and have purchased upgraded Picnik for $25. These 2 programs do everything I need until I can afford the more expensive Photoshop programs. Good luck with your search! Linda

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    Re: what program should i use for post processing

    Hi Scott,

    The usual chestnut of the cost of Adobe products crops up, and as you develop you will almost certainly find you get sucked in as it is the industry standard.

    To alleviate the confusion of the software, consider that some are primarily cataloging or photo library programmes with enhancements, whilst others are total image manipulation programmes. However, quite a lot do some elements of both!

    What do we have out there?

    The following are ones I have experience of:

    Adobe Creative Suite (CS) 5: all the bells and whistles for every adjustment you can imagine and a number of ways of achieving the same effect too. The industry standard. Comes in Windows and Mac versions. Very pricey. Educational discounts available if you look around and meet the conditions. Lots of additional support and plug ins available on the web.

    Adobe Elements (current version 10) A bare bones version of CS5 but the processes are slightly different. A good starting point and obviously cheaper.

    Adobe Lightroom (currently at version LR3) A photographers version of CS that will do most simple adjustments and is very intuitive to use. Has good cataloging abilities and is about half the price of CS5

    Apple Aperture. Adobe and Apple have not always seen eye to eye, so Apple created their own advanced image manipulation programme. Good but only for Mac users. Price wise very reasonable. Manipulates and catalogues.

    The Gimp. Unusually good free downloadable software for image manipulation. Some folk dont get on with it, but its a helluva lot easier to get your head around than CS5. And for free with lots of techie geek support, its a bit like Linux for the photographer but easier.

    Capture One, Phase One. Designed by Scandinavian high end camera company for their Hassleblad competing 20-30k plus cameras, so it has to be good, as its users are going to be very critical. Despite their astronomical camera costs, the software isnt, and when paired with their cataloging software Media Pro (which was initially iview Media which was highly regarded then bought by MS for a few years and lost a lot of its friends, before being taken over/sold to Phase One who have and continue to integrate it with Capture One. Have to say the quality is good, and my system of choice outside of Adobe.

    Nikon Capture NX2. For Nikon ( and other) camera users this is a very goid and straightforward image correcting programme. Most of the features are so good that they are also sold as plug ins for Adobe Photoshop and Apple Aperture under the Nik / branding: Viveza, Color Efex, Etc. Great sharpening and B&W conversion software, although if you have the whole suite it can cost not far short of CS5. Of course some folk use both if having it as a plug in! The way you can make adjustments to different parts of an image using just a spot in your chosen
    position is easy and intuitive and simpler than using masks as in CS5.

    Of the above, bear in mind that some require a RAW converter, Capture One, NX2 and Aperture include it, Gimp; its another free download, as is ACR for CS5.

    What have I forgotten? Must be loads more but it is late and if anyone can add tobthe list please do so.

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    Re: what program should i use for post processing

    Quote Originally Posted by shutterbugGran View Post
    I want a Photoshop program but want to wait until I can afford Lightroom or CS5. Therefore, I don't want to put $100 (US) into Photoshop Elements.
    Hi Linda,

    In the UK (I'm not sure about Europe, USA, Canada or the rest of the world), for several years now, money spent on Elements is not wasted, quite the opposite in fact

    Each time I have bought a retail version of Elements (6 and 8) and registered it online, after a few weeks or months, I have received e-mails from Adobe offering CS5 at 50% off. Maybe Adobe are just trying to 'grow their UK marketshare', or maybe the practice is more widespread. I have had confirmation of this from other UK members, but no-one from outside UK has said anything. Perhaps they think the e-mails are spam (I was suspicious at first), well, mine didn't seem to be - a boxed version of CS5 arrived in the post and I get all the updates from Adobe automatically.

    Linda, I would suggest you wait until we have heard from some US members who have bought Elements 8 or 9 and registered it whether this deal is offered to US citizens before taking my word for it as it may well be a 'geographic' deal.

    As Ian has said, if you have used Elements, it does help when you get CS5, as you're used to the dialogs and way things work, but the menu system is completely different, so things are 'not in the same place', which is a tad annoying - especially as it wouldn't take much to provide an alternate menu for previous Elements users as one of the system preferences.

    Cheers,

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    Re: what program should i use for post processing

    so it seems that nomater what way i look at it adobe is the way
    but in the mean time any of the cheeper software posabilities out there will do (dependant on requirements)
    another quick question then i have seen second hand software available how does this work / can it work or should i go for an outdated version thats still available and will cover my needs!??!! ahh confused again!!!

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    Re: what program should i use for post processing

    Hello Scott. Sorry I missed the fact that there was an Aberdonian on here to whom I had not said hello.

    I acknowledge what everyone else has said and, you are right, 99.9999% of the world goes down the Adobe products route. But, again, acknowledging the above comments, and if you are up for having to put a bit more effort into learning just because the same quantity of learning aids are not available, then the GIMP is a powerful tool.

    I've used it ever since I started nearly 3 years ago. People on here are kind enough to say I seem to be able to produce a reasonable quality of image .... and I've never used an Adobe photo product in my life.

    I can point you towards the resource that provided me with all my learning, if you want.

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    Re: what program should i use for post processing

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Hello Scott. Sorry I missed the fact that there was an Aberdonian on here to whom I had not said hello.

    I acknowledge what everyone else has said and, you are right, 99.9999% of the world goes down the Adobe products route. But, again, acknowledging the above comments, and if you are up for having to put a bit more effort into learning just because the same quantity of learning aids are not available, then the GIMP is a powerful tool.

    I've used it ever since I started nearly 3 years ago. People on here are kind enough to say I seem to be able to produce a reasonable quality of image .... and I've never used an Adobe photo product in my life.

    I can point you towards the resource that provided me with all my learning, if you want.
    help in any form is always apreciated so yes ill hapily look at whatever, the more info you can look at the more you can learn
    i will give gimp a go (its free so no loss on my part)
    and hi also
    thanks, scott

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    Re: what program should i use for post processing

    Scott

    The best resource that I found for learning the GIMP is meetthegimp.org. Go to Table of Contents and you get access to the 160+ video tutorials.

    Don't try and take them in chronological order. Read through the contents and get a feel for what's there. The choose tutorials on the basis of the topics that you want to explore. Take it one step/subject at a time.

    Episodes 3, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 10 will give you a good start.
    Last edited by Donald; 3rd October 2011 at 09:18 PM.

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    Re: what program should i use for post processing

    thanks

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    Re: what program should i use for post processing

    Ask yourself the question "Would I buy a jumbo-jet so that I could go to the corner shop and buy a newspaper"? Then decide if you want to lay out as much money for CS5 as would buy a half decent lens. It's all a matter of priorities.

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