30th October 2011, 06:02 PM
I am looking at purchasing my first copy of Photoshop. I am currently using a trial copy of elements 10.
Being quite new to DSLR I am not particularly interested in going down the "arty route". I would just like to tidy my photographs and make them presentable. I prefer to be outside taking photographs rather than inside tinkering with them.
Most of my images will be wildlife/birds/scenery.
Which is likely to be the best package for me.
30th October 2011, 06:08 PM
Im using Light room 3 it does everything i need for simple editing and no mucking about with layers! though if your going to get serious in pp there will be no avoiding cs5, fortunately, a learning curve wayyyyy down my list.
30th October 2011, 06:12 PM
My photography is much as you describe yours. I recently upgraded from Photoshop Elements 8 to Photoshop Elements 10, mostly because of layer masks and content aware healing. It will do all of the post processing that I require, mainly sharpening raw images, adjusting exposure and white balance, cropping and straightening. Never having used the full Photoshop software I cannot comment on what that might provide that you may need.
30th October 2011, 06:21 PM
sorry should have been a bit more descriptive about what light room does, you can sharpen, crop, alter wb, exposure, contrast, saturation , hue , convert to bw, sort noise, use spot healing and tons more but whats really good is that your original always remains there and all edits are reversible as they are only permanently applied on export.
Originally Posted by Mark von Kanel
it converts images from raw to tiff , jpeg in various qualities and is a powerful cataloging tool. scott kelby loves it and so do i!
30th October 2011, 07:17 PM
Well, from your description, I'd say stick with Elements. It uses the same raw converter as PS and I think this will be all that you require.
I use CS5 and love every bit of it. However it's not for everyone, or everyone's budget!
I've given Lightroom a go and didn't really like it that much. But having said that I've been a long time PS user and when it came accompanied with Bridge I was hooked. I find Lightroom's interface a bit cluttered.
30th October 2011, 07:28 PM
Does it have to be Photoshop, Peter?
There are a number of cheaper alternatives like the free Gimp. Or, until recently, I used Serif Photo Plus which has older software like versions X2 or X3 which should be suitable for you and only costs around £20 to £30. And there are other good sensibly priced alternatives.
But if you shoot Raw you may need to also get a separate Raw converter, although there are a number of free converters like Raw Therapee for example.
However, if you like using Elements 10 then it should be sufficient.
CS5 is certainly an excellent programme although expensive. But it has everything you are likely to need plus quite a bit more, which you might need one day. And it comes complete with it's own very capable Raw Converter.
I also tend to regard myself as something of a basic image manipulator but I want to do my general editing to a good standard. And for me, this entails using Adjustment Layers, plus other Layers and Masks, on a regular basis.
Photo Plus is certainly capable of doing all this. But, in all honesty, I found that CS5 did it slightly better; although whether it is over £400 better is somewhat debatable.
30th October 2011, 07:35 PM
Photoshop has a very high learning curve and is, as you know, expensive. GIMP is free, but also not very intuitive. Elements is the “poorman’s” Photoshop.
Many photographers, both professional and amateurs, me included, believe that Adobe Lightroom is a much better program for general, very quick, intuitive adjustments and of course sorting. LR is integrated with Photoshop. No need for a RAW converter in LR. Apple’s Aperture is similar, but LR has surpassed it at the moment.
The only time that I use PS is when I am doing something special, like giving someone a “facelift.”
30th October 2011, 07:52 PM
As had already been suggested there are free photo editors.
I find that most of what I want to do to my photos I can do with the free Photoscape. It is not very powerful, but does nearly everything I want and is VERY easy to use.
If I want to do more complicated work, I use GIMP. More demanding of the user, but so, I guess, are other similarly high spec editors.
IMO these two are definitely work a try - there is nothing to lose.
31st October 2011, 10:01 AM
Lightroom is my preferred tool for day to day stuff. If I need to be more creative then Photoshop does the work.
31st October 2011, 07:39 PM
This has given me some good ideas. I think I may try one of the freebies and then take it from there
2nd November 2011, 01:17 AM
If I were you I would download the trial for lightroom and see if you like it and most plugins will work with lightroom you may not need photoshop yet.Check out adobe photoshop lightroom killer tips. you may like what you see.
9th November 2011, 02:54 PM
I agree with the guys that recommend LightRoom, for the following reasons, which most people have missed:
You have a camera, you take lots of pictures, you have a computer to store them on, the FIRST thing you need is a tool to get you organised. An integrated tool designed for photographers (Photoshop is definately not that tool), to aid with uploading, cataloging, sorting, organising, did I mention organising, no? well, organising too. You can make slideshows, it has a great print module and even export to the web module.
As another said, you can do a heap of corrections to your images in the develop module, usually all you will need, even dodging and burning selective parts of the image. It does integrate fully with Photoshop which you will need for the more arty works which you say you don't particularly need right now.
If you shoot RAW, then LightRoom will do non-destructive edits to your files, you can easily make virtual copies of an image and apply different post-processing techniques to each. You can make collections of your images (such as flowers, doors, parties, best of 2011, whatever), you can add meta-data and keywords which will help find photos.
In summary, it's THE tool for photographers, I don't have experience with Apple's Aperture, I think it's quite similar. Photoshop is an image editing tool for ANYone working with images, graphic designers, not just photoraphers. It's very comprehensive and expensive, and as others have said, a huge learning curve. If you're like me, you learn a new technique, then not use it for a year and completely forget it.
9th November 2011, 03:52 PM
I have Elements 8 and CS5. The user interface on CS5 is to my mind more intuitive. Elements 8 did pretty well most of what I wanted but perhaps not so conveniently as CS5 but hey what a price difference. I don't know if Elements 10 is capable of opening a file in Adobe RGB and then allowing you to go directly to "Save for Web" and convert the image to SRGB, this as far as I am concerned was a big limiting factor on Elements 8. Content Aware is very useful and I understand that is now on Elements 10. I suppose Adobe cannot make Elements too convenient otherwise sales on CS 5,6 7 etc would fall.
If you do a lot of web images you may find it easier to open the file in sRGB to begin (it was for version 8 but 10 - don't know) with but if you are making prints this is perhaps not such a good idea as the gamut is smaller in sRGB.
9th November 2011, 04:34 PM
I have CS4 myself and love every bit of it. I use it still for my web design work, you know the detailed stuff. Now for my images, I use Lightroom 3 and just had this software for a month now and my workflow just improved(and images too)
Photoshop CS is good to have but it's overwhelming(for photography). Now LR3 is designed for photographers, that this is why I would suggest it. Of course its much cheaper. I got mine for $99 using a coupon and if you are studying or know somebody studying you get a student discount for 80%(applies to all adobe products.)
Also in my own opinion, I can control my image better compared to Adobe Raw.
That's the 2 cents!
9th November 2011, 08:49 PM
A few months ago I bought a book on portrait retouching (Kelby). Virtually everything done I can also do in Elements 7 (which has layer masks, so it's not new by a long way).
When it comes to photography, about the only things that CS# has that Elements doesn't (AFAIK) are the Lab, Channels and Warp functions. And these functions either have a work around (for some circumstances), a poor mans version or are infrequently used/small effect. So, assess the difference these functions would make and if it's worthwhile to you, then the choice is obvious, if not, then the choice is obvious.
Anyone else know a function that is valuable to them in CS not in PSE?
9th November 2011, 08:58 PM
I think that when a lot of people compare Photoshop to Lightroom, they forget that Photoshop also comes with Bridge, which takes care of many of the "bulk handling" part that Lightroom is famous for (inc sorting / stacking / manipulating metadata / exporting). Through Bridge one can also open up to 250 images at once in ACR - and apply changes to images simultaniously. And - just like Lightroom, Photoshop / Bridge is also non-destructive.
Originally Posted by Zone XI
I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with Lightroom, but having looked at it, I find Photoshop/Bridge combo both more powerful and more efficient. I think the "trick" though is knowing how to get the most out of Bridge (some of these things aren't necessarily obvious).
9th November 2011, 09:04 PM
Could I suggest that you subscribe to Digital Camera (UK magazine) In each copy there is a CD and articles with techniques for image manipulation for both Elements as well as PS. This really helps how to use the programs, as it shows methods that help you achieve the end use that you may want to get. Usually there is 6-8 videos ranging from portraits to landscapes etc.
Until you have the need, don't buy a program that has options that you are unlikley to use in the near future, as programs are constantly being updated. I use Elements 9, having started with Elements 6.0
9th November 2011, 09:07 PM
Content aware Fill? More control over selections - Layer Masks - Compositing - Batching - Actions - Smart objects - Pen Tool/Paths ...
Originally Posted by GrahamH
9th November 2011, 11:17 PM
Quick Mask Mode? Last time I checked it wasn't in Elements. I rarely create a selection without refining it with Quick Mask as it make it so much easier and faster to accurately control the selection and mask.
Originally Posted by Colin Southern
10th November 2011, 04:37 AM
I have got to admit I like working with Photoshop CS5 better than working with Photoshop Elements 8 which I also own. I feel that CS-5 allows me more control over my specific post production chores while Elements wants to automate too many evolutions and I seem like I have to fight it to retain control.
Originally Posted by beechdale basher
I don't know if I would feel that way if I had learned PP on Elements rather than Photoshop. I do like the interface in CS-5 better than I like Elements but, again, is this because I am used to working in it.
However, Elements, especially PSE-10 is a very powerful program that will let "most" photographers PP "most" of their images. I would recomment PSE-10 for a person who wants to "tidy my photographs and make them more presentable"; if for no other reason than the comparable price. Presently, COSTCO, a national U.S. discount warehouse seller is offering Photoshop Elements-10 at (all prices in U.S. Dollars) $79.95 and is offering a $30 rebate at the sales counter with no mail in required. This reduces the bottom line cost of PSE-10 to $49.95 while the least expensive cost for Photoshop CS-5 in $625 on Amazon.com.
I would like to make an analogy to Canon cameras. Most users would agree that a Canon 1D (series) DSLR is a better camera and can do more things than a Rebel (series) camera. However, the 1D costs many times the price of the Rebel and does the average photographer, shooting to put his or her images on email or on smugmug absolutely need the capabilities of a 1D? I think not!
However, at a $50 (USA) pricetag, I would recommend that a new photographer use PSE-10 rather than freebie editing programs. If for no other reason than PSE-10 corresponds to CS-5 in many ways and Photoshop is the standard of the industry. Although the menu setup of PSE-10 is confusing and somewhat frustrating to me, the key strokes are virtually the same. If for some reason a person wanted to switch over to CS-5 (or a later full fledged Photoshop issue) the learning curve would not be as steep if that person was experienced in PSE-10. Much of the vocabulary is the same...
Last edited by Colin Southern; 10th November 2011 at 04:46 AM.