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Thread: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

  1. #21
    wtlwdwgn's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Maria, if you want help with Lightroom you need to visit the Lightroom Queen. Victoria has great stuff on LR.

  2. #22
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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Hello again, I thought I'd wander back in.

    First, if you want to exercise the kind of creativity that Terry shows, then full Photoshop is the way to go. Just don't expect to be doing it on day 1. I don't know how long it took Terry to learn to produce that kind of pp, but I'm pretty sure it would have been many, many hours spread over years. Personally, I don't have the vision to even attempt it, and nor do I really want to.

    Back to Lightroom. I agree it looks overwhelming and greyly forbidding at first. However, I very much like the way it is divided into modules so that you only see the functions that you need, and the fact that all the modules have a common look and feel. Yes, PSE does have ACR embedded, but then you have two interfaces to learn. I don't think that anyone has commented on the fact that the Lightroom interface looks exactly the same, and is completely non-destructive, whether you are processing RAW, Jpeg, TIFF or any other format it handles.

    Moving on to learning. One of the things that most attracted me when I moved to Lightroom about two years ago was how quickly I got up and running. Start in the Library module and "import" a few images. "Import" is a Lightroom concept that you will have to get your head around, but to start with don't worry about it, because NOTHING YOU DO IN LIGHTROOM EVER MODIFIES THE UNDERLYING IMAGE. Sorry to shout, but it's really important to know that you can play all you like in complete safety. Then, over to Develop, start pulling sliders around and watch the magic happen in real time.

    I agree that Julieanne Kost's videos are an excellent and free place to start, and she is always right (unlike some other YouTube videos I have seen). When you are ready, there are very many other videos, books and other resources; you can get lots of suggestions here. For me that is one of the big pluses of any of the Adobe products

    I'll get off my fanboy soap box now

    Dave

  3. #23
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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Elements is a very powerful tool in its own right. Okay, it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the full blown Photoshop. But for, probably, 90+% of amateur photographers, it is more than powerful enough.

    Free-to-use is, for example, The GIMP. That's what I started with when I got back into photography and am a great fan of it. For many people the support is not as accessible as it is for the Adobe products and this puts folk off. But if people are willing to take on the task of learning that is required, I think The GIMP is a great tool.
    The GIMP can do all sorts of things via layers and has the usual basic touch up brushes. In some ways it can pay to use it as a 2ndry package mostly for these local touch up facilities especially when some one is doing this sort of thing for the first time. Many people use Ufraw in place of Adobe Raw as that will directly export to the GIMP but other applications can be used. There are 2 main candidates. One is Darktable and in some ways is the most suitable but isn't currently available for Windows. I believe it is available for Mac. The other is Rawtherapee, sometimes described as a slow and ponderous work flow. What that really means is rather a lot of adjustment sliders. People get into a mess by playing with them before they understand what they do or what they are trying to do themselves. It best to stick to ones that have every day recognisable names to start off with.

    Both of these applications can be set up to export to the GIMP via a click of a button. Many people will find that they increasingly do less and less in them before exporting to the GIMP but it still makes sense to use them as raw converters as many adjustments can be made very quickly with them. GIMP's main power is the ability to do layer work plus a wide range of specific plugins.

    There is one other package as well. Photivo. It might prove too much for many but is also worth a look. It contains many adjustments that even Adobe have probably never heard of.

    I run Linux so only use these types of applications. It can make work flow a little different. I look at the camera jpg and then decide which package I am going to use to edit it or develop it's raw file with. When I have done with that package I might save the file and open it in another one. For raw to the GIMP I generally use Ufraw but aren't too happy with it any more so am trying GtkRawStudio. I might also go to the GIMP via Rawtherapee or by the look of it now DarkTable. There are others too such as LightZone, Photivo, Hugin, DeLabatory and Fotoxx which I use a lot but seldom for raw development.. However Fotoxx has now made direct control of Ufraw available. All of these packages evolve continuously.

    John
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  4. #24
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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Elements is a very powerful tool in its own right. Okay, it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the full blown Photoshop. But for, probably, 90+% of amateur photographers, it is more than powerful enough.

    Free-to-use is, for example, The GIMP. That's what I started with when I got back into photography and am a great fan of it. For many people the support is not as accessible as it is for the Adobe products and this puts folk off. But if people are willing to take on the task of learning that is required, I think The GIMP is a great tool.
    The GIMP can do all sorts of things via layers and has the usual basic touch up brushes. In some ways it can pay to use it as a 2ndry package mostly for these local touch up facilities especially when some one is doing this sort of thing for the first time. Many people use Ufraw in place of Adobe Raw as that will directly export to the GIMP but other applications can be used. There are 2 main candidates. One is Darktable and in some ways is the most suitable but isn't currently available for Windows. I believe it is available for Mac. The other is Rawtherapee, sometimes described as a slow and ponderous work flow. What that really means is rather a lot of adjustment sliders. People get into a mess by playing with them before they understand what they do or what they are trying to do themselves. It best to stick to ones that have every day recognisable names to start off with.

    Both of these applications can be set up to export to the GIMP via a click of a button. Many people will find that they increasingly do less and less in them before exporting to the GIMP but it still makes sense to use them as raw converters as many adjustments can be made very quickly with them. GIMP's main power is the ability to do layer work plus a wide range of specific plugins.

    There is one other package as well. Photivo. It might prove too much for many but is also worth a look. It contains many adjustments that even Adobe have probably never heard of.

    I run Linux so only use these types of applications. It can make work flow a little different. I look at the camera jpg and then decide which package I am going to use to edit it or develop it's raw file with. When I have done with that package I might save the file and open it in another one. For raw to the GIMP I generally use Ufraw but aren't too happy with it any more so am trying GtkRawStudio. I might also go to the GIMP via Rawtherapee or by the look of it now DarkTable. There are others too such as LightZone, Photivo, Hugin, DeLabatory and Fotoxx which I use a lot but seldom for raw development.. However Fotoxx has now made direct control of Ufraw available. All of these packages evolve continuously.

    John
    -

  5. #25
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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Maria - as you are just getting into this aspect of photography, I would strongly recommend that you stay away from full-blown Photoshop and Gimp. Both have significant learning curves and would really be over your head. Just as an aside, I am a full-blown Photoshop user and long term, if you are into serious photography, it is the "gold standard" for photo editing, and is extremely well supported out there in terms of learning materials.

    There are "free" applications (check what came with your camera); and I still occasionally use View NX2 that came with my camera for RAW conversions. That might be more than enough to keep you in basic editing, and as your needs evolve, you can go into some other direction. Yes, there are many choices out there for photo editing, but they all have the same issue. limited training support and community size.

    That brings me to the two Adobe products you should consider; Photoshop Elements and Lightroom. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Elements is really Photoshop Lite and is much more talented than Lightroom when it comes to pure photo editing. It has sophisticated functionality like layers (something I simply cannot live without) and if you ever find that you need to convert to full-blown Photoshop, you will at least be familiar with many of the concepts.

    Lightroom, on the other hand is a bit of an oddball; it started life as a catalogue management tool (I've used Lightroom since Version 1) and does have some rudimentary editing capabilities that are virtually identical to the ones found in Adobe Camera RAW (which is part of Photoshop). Many people find the editing capabilities good enough for their needs, but frankly one is limited by the underlying design; it is a parametric editor (like Camera RAW), which means all editing capability is limited by that approach. The main downside (for me) is lack of layeras approach which does not allow you to combine more than one image. An example is that in Elements and Photoshop, you can put clouds into a rather boring sky (i.e. combining more than one image), whereas Lightroom cannot do this kind of work.


    Simply, it is not a case of one being better than the other; both tools have their strengths and weaknesses. It really does depend on where your intersts lie. My personal direction would be to go the Elements route, as it is less expensive than Lightroom and is a better base to do "serious" editing from.

  6. #26
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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    FWIW - post processing is a minefield of terms, techniques and approaches, there's always at least 3 or more different ways of achieving an end result.

    In any activity in life one should always learn to ride a bike before attempting the Tour de France and one should always bear in mind the budget !

    FWIW I would suggest you begin with one of the easier and cheaper packages (Elements or Corel) before commiting a substantial amount of money to purchasing / renting the full photoshop. Most everything you learn (Dave + others have pointed out there are tons of instructional stuff on the web) will not be wasted whatever your final decision and you'll certainly be in a better position before potentially investing a load of cash.

    steve

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Free trials! Definitely buy only after being wowed with a free trial. I tried Aperture and Capture NX2 before trying Elements 9. I found Elements so easy to get started. I bought it halfway through my free trial. Since then, I have continued doing free trials. Lightroom, PhotoNinja, and DXO Optics have also passed through my computer. I upgraded to Elements 12 instead. I am happy to be in the bottom 90%! I tried several plug-ins. Nik, Topaz, and Perfect Effects 8. Be careful doing that since I bought the Topaz and Nik suites (got Perfect Effects for free).

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    My two pennies:

    I know a very good photographer who gets by wonderfully with Lightroom. For me it's Photoshop, still CS6 (never looked into elements), mainly because of layers and masks.
    Having sad this, I want to emphasize that for all I can see PS needs, if one wants to take real advantage of it, a considerable investment in time in order to master what it has to offer and what is important for the own photography.
    GIMP is fine, compatible to Photoshop in its complexity, but it is an 8-bit-application which, I understand, principally limits the pushing of image files, and there are nowhere near as many tutorials and other pieces of information available for it. Others may be more gifted, motivated, whatever, but for me it would be a very frustrating waste of time to try to make something work without having access to proper, clear instructions which I can find when I need to find them, and which I can make sense of without being in command of some professional jargon.

    Lukas

  9. #29

    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    I believe Elements XXL is Win only right now. One of the advantages of Elements is cheaper to stay current with ACR version. ACDSee Pro 3 for Mac is easy to use, although I have to convert to DNG for my camera. Bibble became After Shot Pro or something like that and is inexpensive. PaintShop Pro X6 is nice on Win.

  10. #30
    MariaMaria's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim35010 View Post
    Now you can go to Youtube and get several great videos on using Lightroom. Terry White has some as well as Julianne Kost... Both are good instructors...
    Thanks Jim, I will check out these videos!

  11. #31
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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by Loose Canon View Post
    With all due respect and hopefully avoiding any snobbery, this was done right in-camera IMO. Several times in fact! But you can’t do this in Lightroom and it would be very difficult in Elements if at all.
    Beautiful images! I am definitely not at the level of PP abilities! I feel like right now, PS would be too large a learning curve and way more than what I need (IMO) to get started; however, I would be willing to try it IF it were not CC. I really do not like the idea of "renting" of paying a monthly service fee to use the software. So as of now, no PS for me.

  12. #32
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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by Stagecoach View Post
    Maria,

    I really can not add anything other than as a user of Elements I am still on version 7 and have not yet come across a limitation for me in its use. For it's price I would suggest that it's worth considering purchasing if new into PP simply because you may find that it will be perfectly adequate for a few years.
    Is layering in Elements difficult or similar to that in PS? It's a stand-alone product too so that's great!

  13. #33
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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by wtlwdwgn View Post
    Maria, if you want help with Lightroom you need to visit the Lightroom Queen. Victoria has great stuff on LR.
    Will do!!

  14. #34
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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by tclune View Post

    I've used PaintShop Pro for many years. I currently use version X6, which is the latest version. It is PC-only, which may be a show-stopper for you….

    I would not use Lightroom only -- AIUI, there are no layers with Lightroom...
    I am a MAC user so PaintShop won't work for me . From what I've read and looked into so far, seems like Elements and Lightroom may be a good fit, or just Elements but I haven't downloaded a trial of that one yet..

  15. #35
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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by davidedric View Post
    ...Back to Lightroom. I agree it looks overwhelming and greyly forbidding at first. However, I very much like the way it is divided into modules so that you only see the functions that you need, and the fact that all the modules have a common look and feel….

    Moving on to learning. One of the things that most attracted me when I moved to Lightroom about two years ago was how quickly I got up and running….
    I agree, so far, it has been relatively easy to get going and there are a lot of helpful videos out there!

  16. #36

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Maria,

    Now that you have decided that you want to avoid a long, steep learning curve, I recommend starting out with Lightroom. There are a few things that you won't be able to do with it but at this point in your learning curve that limitation will be very slight and probably rare. Even when you do eventually come upon a situation that requires a capability it doesn't have such as using layers, you can then license Elements relatively inexpensively. In other words, you would hand the image off to Elements after having done everything that can be done using Lightroom.

    The primary advantages of using Lightroom all of the time and Elements only occasionally when it comes to your decision about the learning curve are:
    • Lightroom is a RAW converter; if you were to start out with Elements, which is not a converter, you would also have to learn how to use ACR (not so with Lightroom)
    • Using the workflow described above, you will only need to learn how to use the specific capability in Elements that is needed, not the entire program.

    Perhaps my best recommendation: I have the impression from following the threads that almost everyone who becomes relatively serious about their post-processing eventually ends up changing their mind about which software app or combination of software apps to use. That's not due to lack of forethought. So, make the best decision you can make now and don't be disappointed a few years from now if you come upon a different approach that seems to be a better fit for you.
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 10th May 2014 at 04:29 PM.

  17. #37

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Garrett View Post
    If you shoot raw, then I reckon Lightroom comes into its own. It favours a slightly different style of working in view of its non-destructive editing.
    People often mention this "LR editing is non-destructive" thing, but in my opinion, it's misleading because ACR / Photoshop is no different -- ACR uses exactly the same engine as Lightroom, storing parametric edits in exactly the same way. Photoshop edits can't be stored in the same way but (a) Photoshop still won't change any edit's on the original RAW file (same as LR) and (b) the rule for best practice is "anything you CAN do in ACR you SHOULD do in ACR" (because you're working in linear gamma with a 1-shot tailored conversion which is less degrading to an image) - therefore if you follow this (good) rule then it becomes moot because anything you're doing in Photoshop you couldn't have done in ACR/LR anyway.

  18. #38
    MariaMaria's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    Maria,
    The primary advantages of using Lightroom all of the time and Elements only occasionally when it comes to your decision about the learning curve are:
    • Lightroom is a RAW converter; if you were to start out with Elements, which is not a converter, you would also have to learn how to use ACR (not so with Lightroom)
    • Using the workflow described above, you will only need to learn how to use the specific capability in Elements that is needed, not the entire program.
    This combination seems like the best fit for me so far because I shoot a majority of my images in RAW format and LR seems much easier to navigate then some of the other PP software products I've checked-out recently. I also like that I don't have to learn all of elements to get started but just a few "elements" (hah no pun intended) like layering which I don't think I'll be using very often (at least not for awhile).

  19. #39
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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    ….and (b) the rule for best practice is "anything you CAN do in ACR you SHOULD do in ACR" (because you're working in linear gamma with a 1-shot tailored conversion which is less degrading to an image)
    I don't understand what this means

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    ...therefore if you follow this (good) rule then it becomes moot because anything you're doing in Photoshop you couldn't have done in ACR/LR anyway.
    Are you're saying that anything done in Photoshop cannot be accomplished in LR? I'm not following...

  20. #40

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by MariaMaria View Post
    Beautiful images! I am definitely not at the level of PP abilities! I feel like right now, PS would be too large a learning curve and way more than what I need (IMO) to get started; however, I would be willing to try it IF it were not CC. I really do not like the idea of "renting" of paying a monthly service fee to use the software. So as of now, no PS for me.
    Hi Maria,

    Your comment about "not liking the idea of renting software" is a common one, but (a) it's the way many things are going in the world (we pay for anti-virus subscriptions, magazine subscriptions, phone service subscriptions, insurance "subscriptions") - and this isn't any different. Do the math:

    Here in New Zealand Photoshop & Lightroom were close to $1500 to buy- and now rather that cough up $1500 I can "rent them" for $20 a month (or 9.99 for the first year) (or some 66c per day). At those prices it would take around 6 years before I'd payed more over buying outright - but - after 6 years - if I'd bought and wanted to stay current - then I'd have also paid for several upgrades (at around $400 a pop) that come as part and parcel of the subscription. Add to that the fact that if I put the $1500 that I didn't have to spend into a bank account then it would also be gaining interest. So although the subscription model takes a little getting used to, in reality, it offers some very powerful potential financial advantages. I was one of the first to hop on the subscription bandwagon - and I don't miss the $400 version upgrades one little bit - it's been a wonderful experience.

    I also like to encourage people to put the "66c a day" into context of what else they spent money on - I know many who will spent $4.50 a day buying a cup of coffee. Which offers more value?

    Mike suggested running with LR - just keep in mind that (a) Adobe have the LR and Photoshop CC bundle for the low cost, and (b) Photoshop isn't "more complicated to use than LR" because with Photoshop comes ACR (Adobe Camera RAW) which has the same image editing abilities as LR - so if you're only wanting basic image corrections then ACR will do it JUST the same as LR will; Yes - Photoshop can and does get more involved, but that's because it's doing far more powerful functions that LR just can't do.

    My suggestion is to just go for the LR + Photoshop bundle for $9.99 for a year and see how you like it - at the end of the year if you decide not to continue then all of your photos don't suddenly just "disappear". It's really not the evil ogre that a few are trying to make it sound like -- which is why MILLIONS of people have subscribed to it.

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