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Thread: Stuff for newbies

  1. #1
    shreds's Avatar
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    Stuff for newbies

    I have a course coming up that I have been asked to lead, which is for 'non photographers' to give them an introduction to photography at a very basic level. (all my previous courses and tuition have been for experienced amateurs and above).

    They are likely to want to do some basic manipulation of images (nothing fancy mind).

    Adobe is going to be too advanced and costly at this stage as they are likely to want the software to be free and for Windows computers.

    Obviously MS Paint is there, but far too limiting in my opinion, GIMP will be too complex, just wondered if anyone used anything else like Google Picasa?

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Re: Stuff for newbies

    My wife uses Picasa on her laptop, for her own photos. She loves it for organizing, and sorting - making folders and such. It is quite limited, but for a beginner I think it's a great start. Basic manipulations, you can add a water mark, etc. I think that's a good way to go, especially since it's going to be accessible to everyone. There's my 2 cents.

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    Re: Stuff for newbies

    Previously, I used Serif Photo Plus which has both basic or advanced options and I found it to be quite 'user friendly'.

    One of the earlier, and simpler, versions like #10 upto #X2 or maybe X3 should be available now for around 20 or less if you consult one of the online companies which stock software.

    Even the advanced controls seemed quite 'sensible to understand' to me. However, I suspect their later versions like X4 or the newly released X5, which are rather similar to Photoshop now, will be both expensive and too complicated.

    In fact, when I got CS5, I tried to give away my X4 version to a friend who tried it for a couple of days then returned to his earlier, and more comfortable, X2.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Stuff for newbies

    Most people with PCs have Microsoft Office these days, you could try Microsoft Office Tools > Microsoft Office Picture Manager, so it might be considered 'free' as bundled within.

    Personally I don't like the interface, but it does 'one thing at a time' so may not overwhelm people.

    Picasa is better, I used that originally.

  5. #5
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: Stuff for newbies

    Thanks Andrew, Geoff and Dave,

    It sort of confirms the direction I was going in. Had considered Serif, personally I dislike MS office picture manager and provided the organisation allows us to connect to the web (i will check), I think Picasa is the way we will go.

    Cheers guys.

  6. #6
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Stuff for newbies

    Hi Ian,

    Is this an instructor demo only class, or are attendees bringing laptops and working live on their own pics?

    I expect (hope) it is demo only, but if not, you don't want to get delayed by people setting up google accounts in class.

    A simple cull, crop and rotate would help 90% of SOOC jpgs you see on Picasa and other online download album websites.
    So don't forget to teach them how to delete pictures!

    Cheers,

  7. #7
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    Re: Stuff for newbies

    Ian, if you haven't done so already, have a look at, and play around with, Irfanview (and Irfanview Thumbnails). It is free, compact (only 11 MB), and has a simple interface for all the editing and control that a beginner might need. Download and install both the program and the plug-ins - start here:

    http://www.irfanview.com/

    Philip

  8. #8
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: Stuff for newbies

    Philip,

    Thanks for reminding me. I used it myself some years ago but had forgotten about it since changing computers several times and using other software. I had better take a look as the version will no doubt be different these days!

  9. #9
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    Re: Stuff for newbies

    IMHO for newbies I would recommend Picasa - it does the cataloging/organising bit and has some fairly sophisticated non-destructive manipulation tools that are not too difficult to master (my OH uses it every day) and best of all will handle RAW images (original images are saved in a hidden folder within the image folder and can be recovered either with Picasa or conventionally) . . and it's FREE.

    I have also used Irfanview but I think that it;s a little complicated for newbies to master. My own preference (and what I use pretty well every day) is LR3 + PS.

  10. #10
    Squidgy's Avatar
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    Re: Stuff for newbies

    As per George, my wife gets on realy well with Picasa and prints and even emails pictures to here friends and family. It's so easy to use and as said before... It's free!

  11. #11
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    Re: Stuff for newbies

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    I expect (hope) it is demo only, but if not, you don't want to get delayed by people setting up google accounts in class.
    Cheers,
    You can install and use the picasa software without the need of a google account. Of course you cannot upload the pictures then, but everything else in the software like basic image manipulation does work.

    bye
    Robert

  12. #12
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    Re: Stuff for newbies

    I would also agree that Picasa would be a good package. In addition to all the items listed so far, it also show histograms and has a nice zoom tool. This would be starting to get a bit sophisticated for a beginner in digital photography, but you could use them to lead into some of the more advanced ideas like ETTR image density for printing. As others have mentioned - it's free!

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