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Thread: Is GIMP a viable PP program for photography?

  1. #21

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    Re: Is GIMP a viable PP program for photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by chauncey View Post
    this whole exercise of photography
    I had never thought of photography as exercise. Now I can tell my wife to stop mentioning that I don't get enough exercise.

  2. #22

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    Re: Is GIMP a viable PP program for photography?

    I had never thought of photography as exercise
    That picture of your wife on the crag, your getting there represents more exercise than I get in a year.

  3. #23
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    Re: Is GIMP a viable PP program for photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Think about it folks - 33 cents a day for gawd sake. If people can't see the value in that then something is seriously wrong somewhere.
    Maybe Colin but I've heard the same argument for subscribing to all sorts of stuff from music to operating sytems through software, 'support' services, donating to charities, mortgages etc etc - rather than blindly accept such statements I feel that anyone should assess exactly how much commitment (in terms of tie-in, exposure, effort, energy etc) will be expected of them and whether or not, in the case of p/shop, Elements, which is now more powerful than p/shop was only a few years ago, is actually a better use of their, perhaps limited, resources.

    Blindly accepting 'it's only' arguments is to me a far more wrong and if one focusses on SOOC surely the argument for the most powerful s/ware is weakened.

    steve

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    Re: Is GIMP a viable PP program for photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by dabhand View Post
    Maybe Colin but I've heard the same argument for subscribing to all sorts of stuff from music to operating sytems through software, 'support' services, donating to charities, mortgages etc etc - rather than blindly accept such statements I feel that anyone should assess exactly how much commitment (in terms of tie-in, exposure, effort, energy etc) will be expected of them and whether or not, in the case of p/shop, Elements, which is now more powerful than p/shop was only a few years ago, is actually a better use of their, perhaps limited, resources.

    Blindly accepting 'it's only' arguments is to me a far more wrong and if one focusses on SOOC surely the argument for the most powerful s/ware is weakened.

    steve
    Steve - while I understand your argument (and frankly agree with it), the issue that a lot of people have with "renting" softare is a bit of a moot point. Anti-virus programs charge annual fees to keep the virus definitions up to date, tax preparation software has to be updated every year for the newest tax year, etc. So we really have been doing this type of "stuff" for a long time.

    I do think that Photoshop is not for everyone and that an incremental approach is warranted. Frankly, I make the same recommendation for someone wanted to get into photography; the top of the line cameras and glass are likely not the best way to, and building to your equipment inventory incremetenatally, when you determine you own needs is a wise way of spending your money as well. Having a lens or filter that you hardly ever use is not a wise investment. Neither is "renting" Photoshop, when a piece of free software or a lower cost product is all that you need (now).

  5. #25

    Re: Is GIMP a viable PP program for photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Not at all - you can save your edited file in any format you want including JPEG and TIFF - both non-Adobe formats that can be read by just about any package on the planet.
    Of course you can - you're effectively then producing a digital print for a "permanent" record. But then you have lost your editing history, and no longer have the software to go over it again, except with new software and your original raw image. Sadly, I'm in the group that keeps going over old images to try to improve my PP skills.

    Shawn, there is some excellent advice here, none of it wrong, but you have to work out if it is for you - not just your skill and financial position (we can all crunch the numbers), but also the type of photography you do. In documentary, journalistic and nature photography, excessive PP is frowned on (there have been enough examples of photographers getting into trouble in both journalism and nature/environmental photography in the last couple of years). If it is visual art, certain types of formal portraiture, fashion, quite a lot of landscape, product photography, stock etc then you will need the tools that PS gives you.

  6. #26
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    Re: Is GIMP a viable PP program for photography?

    There is always a buy buy buy Adobe when this crops up largely because the people who post are not aware of what is available or what it can do really or even how to go about doing it. At least now it's more often rent, rant, rent.

    The 1st question to ask yourself is do you want quick solutions? Click and fix style in other words. If so probably best to buy Adobe but bear in mind Lightroom for instance a cataloguing program for more advanced stuff that can also do a number of adjustments. This also comes with Adobe raw which is a pretty good and capable raw converter. At some point layers raises it's head and Elements provides that. PS goes on from that. PS does have a certain quick fix aspect about it in places as well. It can take some time to learn to make full effective use of layers - PS or GIMP

    The GIMP is similar to PS but retains more of it's graphic artists heritage. That can cause people who get hold of it for photography some confusion as many menu items aren't really appropriate. Meet The Gimp is a good source of how to do this and that. They are rather long video's. They are mentioned here and I added a source of some rather good and useful tutorials here

    P/P advice

    There are loads of tutorials on YouTube as well and I do mean lots.

    The GIMP largely means using layers from day one really. Or plugins. Plugins for certain "looks" will tend to do what some one else wanted but even that can be modified by using it on a layer and blending with the original image etc. Some layer techniques use manual modifications anyway so in this respect there is very very little difference between it an PS.

    The GIMP is evolving so some aspects are currently not ideal from a convenience point of view. For instance most people install G'MIC to gain several powerful features - also more graphic artist facilities. This will all probably clear up when version 3 arrives. We all wonder when that will happen and have been doing so for a few years now.

    RAW for the GIMP currently needs an application called Ufraw. This is different and less convenient than PS because once the image is converted this aspect is fixed. On the other hand PS needs special steps to go back and change raw settings. Ufraw encourages the use of raw conversion curves. Most people who use Adobe products just use Adobe Standard. Some standard curves are available for Ufraw as well but it's often better to play yourself if it's an image that stretched a cameras capability. It's also best to sort out a camera profile for Ufraw but it will convert without one. These will come with Adobe products.

    In some respects the GIMP has go back a step workflow if an early modification needs to be changed. PS does have some advantages in this respect but when working mostly in layers this isn't really significant. The problem layer can still be modified or even destroyed and recreated. My feeling in this area is that the GIMP has never really been finished. As a for instance there really isn't any reason why any number of controls couldn't be hung on a single layer and recalled with a click.

    Colour balancing in the GIMP can be a bit of a nightmare so best get that at least nearly right from raw. The controls other than plugins are really for people with an excellent eye for colour adjustments.

    Lens distortion and correction isn't really a problem. All open source uses a package called LensFun. If you happen to be using a lens where you can't find a correction file for it not a problem. Take a photo as instructed and use an application called Hugin to generate the parameters. Hugin is also a very capable panorama generator and can also be used to correct perspective. There are plenty of tutorials on how to do this and that on Hugin's web site.

    There are other OS packages about as well. For instance Rawtherapee, Darktable and Photivo. These all include raw conversion. Rawtherapee is probably the most well supported. Even it's manual gives a fair view of what it's miriads of adjustments can do. It also has it's own forum. Darktable is popular as well but either Linux or Mac. Photivo specialises in offering the latest ideas on filters of one sort or another and not much in the lines of help is available. All of these packages assume work will be exported to the GIMP at some point as they have rather limited local retouching facilities.

    Taking rawtherapee as a for instance some would say it has a long and torturous work flow. In other words it's largely DIY. On the other hand the defaults are often suitable. One aspect I don't like is because it's a piped system A file is built up that records all of the modifications as they are made. When the results are saved the pipe is run and the file saved. It's a pretty standard approach actually. The aspect I don't like is sharpening after a shot is reduced in size as the reduction never actually happens before the save. I just load it up again and do that or export to the GIMP and do it there.. Some PS products apply auto sharpening but I would rather do it myself. The GIMP does things as they are applied what ever it is and retains a single click history for back stepping if needed. Both ways have their advantages and disadvantages but don't let the none destructive editing crowd suck you in. Only a fool over writes an original file. The GIMP will let you do this if you want. Most OS packages wont. They usually auto add a suffix.

    Where I feel the GIMP falls down the most at the moment is raw conversion via Ufraw. It takes a while to catch up with new cameras and unlike Rawtherapee for instance doesn't offer a clear method of obtaining them. It also only offers minimal adjustments. Most aspects are taken care of with curves. People seem to take a while to get to grips with these. So personally I use either Ufraw or Rawtherapee for that according to need. I also process camera jpg's. If what I want to do with them is possible why not? Adobe even allows their raw converter to modify jpg's. It's not as uncommon as some think.

    As I lacked a decent camera profile for one of Manfred's shots I tried another raw converter out this morning. Coral After Shot Pro. It's fairly basic in some ways and very capable in others. It couldn't fix up Manfred's shot but did give me a flat awful dim but apart from that correct image to work on fairly quickly. It's on 30 day trial. I might even buy it. I run Linux by the way which is why I have some idea what these packages can do. The only application I can buy is from Corel.

    You might have gathered that I'm suggesting you look at Rawtherapee along with the GIMP and Ufraw. It's a very powerful package in it's own right. Colin downloaded it and said hopeless as it only has one rather odd gradient tool. The GIMP has as many as needed. True is does have only one but it also has a number of other things that other packages lack. More than enough for a beginner to take on. Too many really. A curve pack from here is useful for Ufraw. They are used in the pre curve before the luminance curve is adjusted and can be used in the luminance as well.

    http://fotogenetic.dearingfilm.com/downloads.html

    I haven't tried it but it may be possible to load these into Rawtherapee. It has 2 curve sections that many would leave as straight lines due to messing things up. The curve pack can help solve that problem. Tiny adjustments can make a surprising amount of difference.

    You might also like to try the Corel application but eventually the GIMP is still likely to be of use. Some things are best done with traditional layers.

    John
    -

  7. #27

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    Re: Is GIMP a viable PP program for photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by dabhand View Post
    Maybe Colin but I've heard the same argument for subscribing to all sorts of stuff from music to operating sytems through software, 'support' services, donating to charities, mortgages etc etc - rather than blindly accept such statements I feel that anyone should assess exactly how much commitment (in terms of tie-in, exposure, effort, energy etc) will be expected of them and whether or not, in the case of p/shop, Elements, which is now more powerful than p/shop was only a few years ago, is actually a better use of their, perhaps limited, resources.

    Blindly accepting 'it's only' arguments is to me a far more wrong and if one focusses on SOOC surely the argument for the most powerful s/ware is weakened.

    steve
    Steve,

    I see the point you're trying to make, but there comes a point where something is just so small it becomes insignificant, and I'm sure that ANYBODY could easily make a small change in their lifestyle to compensate for 33 cents a day. In comparison, I spend $17.50 a day just on lunch - so "gawd darn it", I'll lead the way here and take a sandwich for lunch once every 6 weeks ...

    People should keep in mind too that since time is money then they could easily use the more advanced features of the product to buy them time to be used in other areas.

    And like it or not, subscription-based is what the world is slowly working towards.

  8. #28

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    Re: Is GIMP a viable PP program for photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by LocalHero1953 View Post
    Of course you can - you're effectively then producing a digital print for a "permanent" record. But then you have lost your editing history, and no longer have the software to go over it again, except with new software and your original raw image. Sadly, I'm in the group that keeps going over old images to try to improve my PP skills.
    Again, not at all -- simply save your images in a non-lossy TIFF format before you retire your subscription (which I may add you can re-activate again any time you like), and carry on. Yes, there are POTENTIALLY minor inconveniences, but they're by-and-large only theoretical. In reality it's just not a problem. What you're saying is a lot like arguing against paying a subscription to join a gym because if they ever raise their prices above what I can afford then I'll lose my "Mr Universe" body.

    Edit: Ironically, in my town anyway, a typical gym subscription is around 6 times the cost of an Adobe Photoshop subscription (and still people sign up for the gym even though a Photographer would spend more time on Photoshop!)

    Edit edit: Major new revision of Photoshop just released ... and thanks to my subscription, I'm downloading and installing it now - all for no additional payment
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 20th June 2014 at 11:31 PM.

  9. #29

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    Re: Is GIMP a viable PP program for photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by ajohnw View Post
    There is always a buy buy buy Adobe when this crops up largely because the people who post are not aware of what is available or what it can do really or even how to go about doing it. At least now it's more often rent, rant, rent.

    The 1st question to ask yourself is do you want quick solutions? Click and fix style in other words. If so probably best to buy Adobe but bear in mind Lightroom for instance a cataloguing program for more advanced stuff that can also do a number of adjustments. This also comes with Adobe raw which is a pretty good and capable raw converter. At some point layers raises it's head and Elements provides that. PS goes on from that. PS does have a certain quick fix aspect about it in places as well. It can take some time to learn to make full effective use of layers - PS or GIMP

    The GIMP is similar to PS but retains more of it's graphic artists heritage. That can cause people who get hold of it for photography some confusion as many menu items aren't really appropriate. Meet The Gimp is a good source of how to do this and that. They are rather long video's. They are mentioned here and I added a source of some rather good and useful tutorials here

    P/P advice

    There are loads of tutorials on YouTube as well and I do mean lots.

    The GIMP largely means using layers from day one really. Or plugins. Plugins for certain "looks" will tend to do what some one else wanted but even that can be modified by using it on a layer and blending with the original image etc. Some layer techniques use manual modifications anyway so in this respect there is very very little difference between it an PS.

    The GIMP is evolving so some aspects are currently not ideal from a convenience point of view. For instance most people install G'MIC to gain several powerful features - also more graphic artist facilities. This will all probably clear up when version 3 arrives. We all wonder when that will happen and have been doing so for a few years now.

    RAW for the GIMP currently needs an application called Ufraw. This is different and less convenient than PS because once the image is converted this aspect is fixed. On the other hand PS needs special steps to go back and change raw settings. Ufraw encourages the use of raw conversion curves. Most people who use Adobe products just use Adobe Standard. Some standard curves are available for Ufraw as well but it's often better to play yourself if it's an image that stretched a cameras capability. It's also best to sort out a camera profile for Ufraw but it will convert without one. These will come with Adobe products.

    In some respects the GIMP has go back a step workflow if an early modification needs to be changed. PS does have some advantages in this respect but when working mostly in layers this isn't really significant. The problem layer can still be modified or even destroyed and recreated. My feeling in this area is that the GIMP has never really been finished. As a for instance there really isn't any reason why any number of controls couldn't be hung on a single layer and recalled with a click.

    Colour balancing in the GIMP can be a bit of a nightmare so best get that at least nearly right from raw. The controls other than plugins are really for people with an excellent eye for colour adjustments.

    Lens distortion and correction isn't really a problem. All open source uses a package called LensFun. If you happen to be using a lens where you can't find a correction file for it not a problem. Take a photo as instructed and use an application called Hugin to generate the parameters. Hugin is also a very capable panorama generator and can also be used to correct perspective. There are plenty of tutorials on how to do this and that on Hugin's web site.

    There are other OS packages about as well. For instance Rawtherapee, Darktable and Photivo. These all include raw conversion. Rawtherapee is probably the most well supported. Even it's manual gives a fair view of what it's miriads of adjustments can do. It also has it's own forum. Darktable is popular as well but either Linux or Mac. Photivo specialises in offering the latest ideas on filters of one sort or another and not much in the lines of help is available. All of these packages assume work will be exported to the GIMP at some point as they have rather limited local retouching facilities.

    Taking rawtherapee as a for instance some would say it has a long and torturous work flow. In other words it's largely DIY. On the other hand the defaults are often suitable. One aspect I don't like is because it's a piped system A file is built up that records all of the modifications as they are made. When the results are saved the pipe is run and the file saved. It's a pretty standard approach actually. The aspect I don't like is sharpening after a shot is reduced in size as the reduction never actually happens before the save. I just load it up again and do that or export to the GIMP and do it there.. Some PS products apply auto sharpening but I would rather do it myself. The GIMP does things as they are applied what ever it is and retains a single click history for back stepping if needed. Both ways have their advantages and disadvantages but don't let the none destructive editing crowd suck you in. Only a fool over writes an original file. The GIMP will let you do this if you want. Most OS packages wont. They usually auto add a suffix.

    Where I feel the GIMP falls down the most at the moment is raw conversion via Ufraw. It takes a while to catch up with new cameras and unlike Rawtherapee for instance doesn't offer a clear method of obtaining them. It also only offers minimal adjustments. Most aspects are taken care of with curves. People seem to take a while to get to grips with these. So personally I use either Ufraw or Rawtherapee for that according to need. I also process camera jpg's. If what I want to do with them is possible why not? Adobe even allows their raw converter to modify jpg's. It's not as uncommon as some think.

    As I lacked a decent camera profile for one of Manfred's shots I tried another raw converter out this morning. Coral After Shot Pro. It's fairly basic in some ways and very capable in others. It couldn't fix up Manfred's shot but did give me a flat awful dim but apart from that correct image to work on fairly quickly. It's on 30 day trial. I might even buy it. I run Linux by the way which is why I have some idea what these packages can do. The only application I can buy is from Corel.

    You might have gathered that I'm suggesting you look at Rawtherapee along with the GIMP and Ufraw. It's a very powerful package in it's own right. Colin downloaded it and said hopeless as it only has one rather odd gradient tool. The GIMP has as many as needed. True is does have only one but it also has a number of other things that other packages lack. More than enough for a beginner to take on. Too many really. A curve pack from here is useful for Ufraw. They are used in the pre curve before the luminance curve is adjusted and can be used in the luminance as well.

    http://fotogenetic.dearingfilm.com/downloads.html

    I haven't tried it but it may be possible to load these into Rawtherapee. It has 2 curve sections that many would leave as straight lines due to messing things up. The curve pack can help solve that problem. Tiny adjustments can make a surprising amount of difference.

    You might also like to try the Corel application but eventually the GIMP is still likely to be of use. Some things are best done with traditional layers.

    John
    -
    John,

    You're 18 months too late with that post. Like it or hate it, Photoshop is the GOLD standard - the standard by which ALL other packages are judged; the package with the most tools in the toolbox - the package with the most help resource available. Traditionally, all of that came at great cost - in USD, around $1000 to buy (off memory) and $200 to $250 a year to keep up with the current version - and in "those days" your arguments were valid, but then Adobe introduced the subscription model (which MILLIONS of people have now adopted) and everything changed. For all intents and purposes, the most powerful image editing package on the planet is now available for peanuts (or somewhat ironically, if one were to buy a bag of peanuts and eat them over the course of a few days they'd probably cost MORE per day than Photoshop).

  10. #30

    Re: Is GIMP a viable PP program for photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Again, not at all -- simply save your images in a non-lossy TIFF format before you retire your subscription (which I may add you can re-activate again any time you like), and carry on. Yes, there are POTENTIALLY minor inconveniences, but they're by-and-large only theoretical. In reality it's just not a problem. What you're saying is a lot like arguing against paying a subscription to join a gym because if they ever raise their prices above what I can afford then I'll lose my "Mr Universe" body.
    Well, I guess one could use a TIFF file - as long as some software is around that can interpret Adobe's layers accurately

    I've never felt the need for a gym subscription. I can get my exercise without it. Same as PP software, really!

  11. #31
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    Re: Is GIMP a viable PP program for photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    John,

    You're 18 months too late with that post. Like it or hate it, Photoshop is the GOLD standard - the standard by which ALL other packages are judged; the package with the most tools in the toolbox - the package with the most help resource available. Traditionally, all of that came at great cost - in USD, around $1000 to buy (off memory) and $200 to $250 a year to keep up with the current version - and in "those days" your arguments were valid, but then Adobe introduced the subscription model (which MILLIONS of people have now adopted) and everything changed. For all intents and purposes, the most powerful image editing package on the planet is now available for peanuts (or somewhat ironically, if one were to buy a bag of peanuts and eat them over the course of a few days they'd probably cost MORE per day than Photoshop).
    I don't care one way or the other Colin. You do and can't see any other alternatives. That's fine my me.

    At one time when they actually made them Rolls Royce were a gold standard but a Bently again when they made them were much more fun to drive. On the other hand it's perfectly possible to have great fun driving a Citreon CV8 especially if you have some skill in that direction.

    Personally I don't care about cost even if I could run it which of course I can't. You seem to have great difficulty in this area. There will be other people who just don't want to run PS for their own reasons.

    I don't run windows basically because it stinks. A fair few who do think exactly the same thing.

    John
    -

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    Re: Is GIMP a viable PP program for photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by LocalHero1953 View Post
    Well, I guess one could use a TIFF file - as long as some software is around that can interpret Adobe's layers accurately
    If you wanted layers and if you no longer has a PS subscription and if it was an old image then you could buy a copy of Photoshop Elements (lot of "if's"!)

    But aside from that, I'd just save a flattened file as a TIFF if that was a concern, and start creating new "layers" (or whatever the equivalent was with the new package you were using) or start again from the DNG.

    What you're saying has been mentioned before by others too, but for 99.99% of people I just don't believe it's a real-world issue. To be honest, most of the time it just comes across as an "excuse" by people who just don't like the subscription model. In reality I think the possibility of a forced upgrade of a perpetual licence product to maintain compatibility with more modern cameras is probably more likely.

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    Re: Is GIMP a viable PP program for photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by ajohnw View Post
    I don't care one way or the other Colin. You do and can't see any other alternatives. That's fine my me.

    At one time when they actually made them Rolls Royce were a gold standard but a Bently again when they made them were much more fun to drive. On the other hand it's perfectly possible to have great fun driving a Citreon CV8 especially if you have some skill in that direction.

    Personally I don't care about cost even if I could run it which of course I can't. You seem to have great difficulty in this area. There will be other people who just don't want to run PS for their own reasons.

    I don't run windows basically because it stinks. A fair few who do think exactly the same thing.

    John
    -
    All I can say John is that if I had the choice of a Bently for 33c a day or a Citreon CV8 for free, I'd take the Bently in a heartbeat.

    It's "funny" that you think Windows "stinks"; I use it personally on multiple machines and install it for hundreds of others on the machines I sell and support - and it's absolutely fine. Fast. Stable. Efficient. So perhaps the problem is more with the user than the product.

  14. #34
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    Re: Is GIMP a viable PP program for photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by Southpaw View Post
    Some good food for thought here in this thread.

    Is it safe to say that Post Processing with photoshop/aperture/GIMP/Lightroom et al is the digital equivalent of film photography lab processing?

    Is running a raw file through software similar to the process of developing a negative, and then printing on photo paper?

    I read (really skimmed) Ansel Adams' books "The Camera", "The Negative", & "The Print", and it was becoming apparent that the way he got his photos to look the way they did, was he had complete control over the whole process, from the choices he made in camera gear & settings, to the way he developed the negative, and then the way he printed the photo, on down to the mounting.

    It's starting to feel like my original view is akin to me taking all the creative care with regard to camera settings, lighting, subject; and then handing my film off to the Fotomat guy and saying "have at it, let me know when I can pick it up", if I leave everything to in camera .jpg processing, and forgoing the Post Processing, um, process.

    Here is a quick aside to all this- Would a slightly older version of Photoshop be acceptable? Like one from the last few years, circa 2011 or so? I believe it's installed already on a computer I can have access to and use freely if I want. That might be a way for me to get started with it. How about that?

    Thanks for all the replies. Just for fun, are there some threads/posts/examples of some before & after processing photos some of you out there in CiC land have done? I'd love to see not just the photos to get feel of how much difference there is, but some discussion of the thought process involved when you apply post processing to a photo. Like, what was your intention? What did you think about before, during, and after you took the photo- did you look at a scene/subject/whatever and think "Ok, I'll shoot this now, and then do such & such to it later". And, possibly different variations you did of the same photo, and what some of the possibilities are, etc.

    Once you start going down this rabbit hole, the more you learn, the more things start opening up further than you thought you'd have to go! This goes along with my "Allegory of the flashlight". It's amazing how there are similar principles at the root of seemingly dissimilar things. (sorry, getting sleepy & too philosophical)

    Thanks again! Good stuff here.
    I've used "photoshop" since it was Photoshop Pro....I will say that the old version will work just fine, just fewer confusing shortcuts

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    Re: Is GIMP a viable PP program for photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Steve,

    I see the point you're trying to make, but there comes a point where something is just so small it becomes insignificant, and I'm sure that ANYBODY could easily make a small change in their lifestyle to compensate for 33 cents a day. In comparison, I spend $17.50 a day just on lunch - so "gawd darn it", I'll lead the way here and take a sandwich for lunch once every 6 weeks ...

    People should keep in mind too that since time is money then they could easily use the more advanced features of the product to buy them time to be used in other areas.

    And like it or not, subscription-based is what the world is slowly working towards.
    Colin - subscription based may be the industries model going forward and MILLIONS of people may be adopting it, but does that make it the right model for everyone, even Adobe CFO Mark Garrett acknowledged that a number of Adobe customers hurried to add seats of CS6 during the last period in which they were widely available.

    Complex software has a steep learning curve and most people learn better (thus saving time and money) in 'bite sized' chunks. As I said before, Elements is now more powerful than p/shop was only a few years ago, but is still simpler than the full blown CC - it is essentially a $100 training course - learn it over a year that's about 33 cents a day (allowing time off ;-) ) - at the end of that, anyone will have a better understanding of terminology, methods and their abilities - then they may then make a value decision on what to invest in.

    I wasn't TRYING to make a point - blindly accepting the argument that 'it's only XX cents per day' is a trick practiced by many salespeople and organisations I just believe if one is going to offer advice on what to choose, then it should be comprehensive, straightforward, unbiased and directly related to the question asked.

    BTW - do enjoy your sandwich, not only will you directly save money, you'll also indirectly save money by reducing the time taking lunch - the only advice I'll give you on that subject is - be careful of the calories.

  16. #36

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    Re: Is GIMP a viable PP program for photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by dabhand View Post
    Colin - subscription based may be the industries model going forward and MILLIONS of people may be adopting it, but does that make it the right model for everyone, even Adobe CFO Mark Garrett acknowledged that a number of Adobe customers hurried to add seats of CS6 during the last period in which they were widely available.

    Complex software has a steep learning curve and most people learn better (thus saving time and money) in 'bite sized' chunks. As I said before, Elements is now more powerful than p/shop was only a few years ago, but is still simpler than the full blown CC - it is essentially a $100 training course - learn it over a year that's about 33 cents a day (allowing time off ;-) ) - at the end of that, anyone will have a better understanding of terminology, methods and their abilities - then they may then make a value decision on what to invest in.

    I wasn't TRYING to make a point - blindly accepting the argument that 'it's only XX cents per day' is a trick practiced by many salespeople and organisations I just believe if one is going to offer advice on what to choose, then it should be comprehensive, straightforward, unbiased and directly related to the question asked.

    BTW - do enjoy your sandwich, not only will you directly save money, you'll also indirectly save money by reducing the time taking lunch - the only advice I'll give you on that subject is - be careful of the calories.
    Steve,

    I'm afraid that I can't agree with much of what you've written;

    - At 33 cents per day, it really doesn't get much better than that. Frankly, I find the "arguments" against it very weak -- and to be honest, I'm starting to find these types of conversations almost surreal. Yes - I know that many did snap up remaining copies of CS6, but that was more of a knee-jerk reaction to the internet hysteria generated by the vocal minority (so what else is new). The same group would be the ones complaining that the water was too cold if their rear ends were on fire and I put it out with the garden hose. I call them the "5%ers" - and they're everywhere; I fly my high-energy RC helicopters - 95% stop their cars and watch - kids call out "holy shiiiiiiii ....." - and the 5%ers moan about the noise. Then there's the 5% who moan about "evil Microsoft" and "evil Adobe" and cut off their noses to spite their faces trying to avoid products from those companies like the plague. The subscription model was no different - they just feel obligated to moan on principle. Frankly I couldn't care less if it weren't for the fact that others get sucked into believing their dribble.

    - Saying "complex software has a steep learning curve" is misleading. It's just a toolbox and the investment in time is proportional to the number of tools that one wants to learn. It doesn't take any longer to learn to use the clone stamp in Photoshop than it does to learn to use the same tool in Photoshop Elements. Anyone investing in Photoshop will be well on their way to doing what they want to after investing an hour or two each night for a few days, with the help of a good book or video tutorial; it's not rocket science that takes a year on another package as a pre-requisite. The difference with Photoshop is that there's more tools available when people want to do more.

    - Sorry, but I'm not going to be drawn into implications of using "sales and organisation tricks" - spin it any way you like, but the reality is that 33c a day is - and will remain - a trivial amount of money. Everybody I know "wastes" ten times that amount every day. Heck, most probably waste more than that each day having their car engines still running whilst waiting at the traffic lights for a green. Things in life cost - some more than others. When I add up all the things my money goes on each month, Photoshop expenditure doesn't even generate a return on the RADAR - it's background noise - insignificant.

  17. #37
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    Re: Is GIMP a viable PP program for photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Steve,

    I'm afraid that I can't agree with much of what you've written;
    That's alright - I didn't expect you to, but we are both entitled to our points of view.

    steve

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    Re: Is GIMP a viable PP program for photography?

    Colin - you're doing your reputation for calm rationality no favours by your passionate advocacy of PS on this and many other CiC threads - and I for one value and appreciate that calm rationality.

    Those who choose not to adopt PS and the CC rental model have many reasons for that choice:
    - Too complex.
    - Too expensive.
    - It's Adobe.
    - I want to try something different.
    - I don't need much PP for my photography.
    - I'm comfortable with what I've got already.
    - I use Linux.

    The list goes on. They may be wrong (most people are at some stage in their lives); they may be right for themselves, even though it's wrong for you. But it's their choice and it's no skin off your nose that they have made their choice. Stick to facts, and pointing out the errors in facts offered by others (Edit: well, maybe opinions as well; but respectful opinions!). And don't denigrate those who disagree with you by associating them, even indirectly, with "dribble", "moaning on principle", "cutting off their noses to spite their face".

    Take a deep breath, pay tribute to the variety of human nature, and move on.

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    Re: Is GIMP a viable PP program for photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by LocalHero1953 View Post
    Colin - you're doing your reputation for calm rationality no favours by your passionate advocacy of PS on this and many other CiC threads - and I for one value and appreciate that calm rationality.

    Those who choose not to adopt PS and the CC rental model have many reasons for that choice:
    - Too complex.
    - Too expensive.
    - It's Adobe.
    - I want to try something different.
    - I don't need much PP for my photography.
    - I'm comfortable with what I've got already.
    - I use Linux.

    The list goes on. They may be wrong (most people are at some stage in their lives); they may be right for themselves, even though it's wrong for you. But it's their choice and it's no skin off your nose that they have made their choice. Stick to facts, and pointing out the errors in facts offered by others (Edit: well, maybe opinions as well; but respectful opinions!). And don't denigrate those who disagree with you by associating them, even indirectly, with "dribble", "moaning on principle", "cutting off their noses to spite their face".

    Take a deep breath, pay tribute to the variety of human nature, and move on.
    At the end of the day, I really don't care what people run with, but I'll be darned if I'm just going to sit back and watch the rot go unchallenged when people are coming up with rubbish that's - frankly - rubbish.

    If they want to argue against it on some rational grounds then that's fine, but arguments like "too complex" - "too expensive" - "tied to Adobe's PSD format" are about as valid as my daughter's excuses for not tidying her room - they're just a cop-out. It's not too complex - it's not too expensive - it doesn't tie people in to Adobe's PSD format. For the most part it appears to be more a case of "I don't like change and these are the best-sounding excuses I could come up with to justify my irrational position".

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    Re: Is GIMP a viable PP program for photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    All I can say John is that if I had the choice of a Bently for 33c a day or a Citreon CV8 for free, I'd take the Bently in a heartbeat.

    It's "funny" that you think Windows "stinks"; I use it personally on multiple machines and install it for hundreds of others on the machines I sell and support - and it's absolutely fine. Fast. Stable. Efficient. So perhaps the problem is more with the user than the product.
    I have no idea why others think it stinks Colin. Just know that of late there seems to be a growth in that area. Mac's for instance. There has also been a dramatic growth in the use of one of the Linux distributions.

    In terms of packages such as Rawtherapee what you personally seem to have difficulties appreciating is that if some one want to do PP via wanging sliders about it has what they need. In fact it has several that Adobe products lack. It also has subtle defaults in areas such as tone mapping and the sliders to adjust that aspect are immediately visible. Where it's weak from a beginners point of view is the shear number of adjustments. For instance just taking brightness and contrast. The are alternatives including LAB. Which to use becomes a problem for some. It also has vibrance and saturation controls. These adjustments can also be applied to specific colours via LAB. Micro contrast etc again there is more than on method. One of these is intended to get round the shot only being reduced when it's saved. It will also throw up as many 100% sectional views as needed. It's more recent noise reduction facility is pretty powerful. There are 2 options on clipping indication. Oh dear it only has one gradient. Plenty really for many situations where they are usually needed. No doubt some facilities could be better and there wont be any eye candy when things are clicked a la PS.

    Using your own words when some one wanted to brighten up small areas of an image - no that way is too complicated for a beginner. Use the fill light. Adobe's video on Adobe raw mentions the same aspect - they include it because it's simple to use and can do rather a lot as it turns out. Had to laugh. They mention none destructive over and over again. Working this way enables people to learn how to get a raw file as it's needs to be for subsequent processing which personally I think is a good idea Rawtherapee offers too many adjustments to encourage that approach. Adobe raw probably does too really. Rawtherapee puts the basics in the right place but it's easy to start wanging other bits and bobs about often just causing problems later on.

    Corel After Shot only has a few basic raw adjustment sliders and a instant fix it all button. Those few sliders are sufficient really but just how do you leave the shot after this section before going on? The instant fix is a bells and whistles auto levels type adjustment that does many other things as well. It may or may not suit the shot. May as well mention Rawtherapee has one too. They call it auto levels. One difference. It shows all of the sliders that are used so they can be changed. At least that gives people a clue what sliders should be used initially but the same problem crops up - what impact will subsequent changes have?

    In a nut shell it doesn't matter if some one rents, buys or even writes their own, there is no way of getting round the learning curve. The Adobe stable is some what problematic in this area - the whole industry is aimed at people buying their way into PP and many people finish up not even really knowing what the software they have can do before they buy some more. Eventually many of them may get back to basics but many others will just buy more. Fine by me but it's an approach I don't have any interest in. I'd rather understand things. Actually I could run certain versions of full blown PS on Linux but so far don't see the need. Probably at some point I would be able to run the current one. Might even be after the next version comes out. Now it's rent rather than buy it might turn out to be impossible.

    GIMP and layers. Using one of your own comments again. I want to sharpen a bird and leave the rest alone - simple 2 layers sharpen one and paint out the areas that don't need sharpening etc. Well the GIMP is perfectly capable of doing this. I'd duplicate and use the sharpening brush on a small area and simply delete it if for some reason it didn't do what I wanted. Some people feel a package must have the ability to brush a curve on some area. True. The GIMP approach is a little different - brush on a quick mask and then apply the curve is one method. Basically the tools are different. Orton cropped up recently. Do it manually as per PS demo's or use the GIMP plug in which will also add a sharpening layer. Don't want it, delete it. Don't want either in some areas - create layer masks. What people will find different about the GIMP is that some facilities don't exist and have to be done another way that may be more long winded than PS, more clicks. The other thing I find odd about it is the inability to do certain things - the channel to selection aspects spring to mind.

    The GIMP does have one problem that I feel isn't one really. Load up a 16bit TIFF and it will warn that it's going to be converted to 8bit. This has not been a problem for users for rather a long time. Now it works 32 bit FP internally and accepts 16 bit png without comment.. Others will follow. Of late Photivo can be used from it as well so maybe there is a high bit depth in and out available. There will be soon.

    The GIMP has another "problem". Fairly common. For instance take portrait retouching. A search might bring up a video of some one with a smile on their face saying unlike PS GIMP has no healing brush so use the blue channel as the marks etc will be more prominent in that. Joke really and disappointing. The correct GIMP way is to decompose the image in respect to detail level into a number of layers and do what ever with the detail including go plastic look if that's wanted. The same facility can be used for other things. Generating a range of luminosity masks from a shot can be a bit of a pain subtracting this channel from that etc but there is a plugin that does it all automatically. Tutorials can be old and completely wrong. Google will often come up with several methods of doing what ever. Often as tutorials are being done by PS people the phrase no adjustment layers crops up. No comment on that. GIMP is different.

    For me money doesn't come into it other than such things as why do people have to pay for say an Enfuse plugin for Lightroom. Enfuse is maintained free of charge by enthusiasts. PS has also adopted GIMP features from time to time. There are probably some that it could adopt now. No idea myself. Fact people - Open Source often leads the way and also in some areas can fall behind or even get crazily ahead. That even applies to Windows and even all browsers as well as it happens. They often follow.

    To be fair Colin there is another aspect to all of this. Would you take the time to learn how to use either Rawtherapee or even the GIMP. The answer to that is no. No reason why you would. From odd comments on here though your answer does have one problem. Get Lightroom, don't realise that one of the reasons raw is there to give people an easy start. Get Elements, still not happy so get PS. Still not happy start buying this and that plugin. Still not happy as images still don't match those from very proficient people. In some cases this might even be down to not learning how best to use the camera in the first place. At some point I suspect proficient people have gone back to understanding basics as far as PP is concerned or maybe they went on a course that showed them a few tricks and stiil may find they need to go back to basics. Go rawtherapee plus gimp and the initial conclusion may be this is too difficult. Well PP in some ways is. That might cause people to quit and go the Adobe way and as I have just outlined add more and more software that they don't know how to use. Rent buy, the whole area is a money go round as are many of the books. Even web clicks make money for some one. Being honest I find certain aspects of this distasteful. However I will take a look at Corel's product. It has specific colour lab adjustments. Not as specific as Rawtherapee colour wise. There will be other things buried some where as well. Not that I am dissatisfied with what I currently use other than where mentioned. Curiosity. If I like it I might even buy it.

    I did see a hint where the GIMP may be going some time ago. As presented a whole host of PP steps were shown in a sort of tree and could activated and de activated and by the look of it have settings changed via a click. Some one has also done a better worse comparison between PS and GIMP. It's about on the meet the gimp site some where.

    Adobe renting rather than selling? It's sold a lot of software that was often hacked. One answer to that is to never have the software on a persons machine in a way where this can be done. The other aspect of course is that the market going on dslr sales is shrinking. That in itself probably needs some sort response to remain in business. I'd guess we will see a McDonald's type approach - get 'em young and they are hooked for life. In the UK photography costs 8.78 per month committed for a year at the moment or 104.86 as a one off per year. That's for CC and Lightroom. No cloud. Top new features

    Perspective Warp
    Blur Gallery motion effects
    Focus Mask
    Enhanced Content-Aware technology
    All-new Smart Sharpen
    Camera Shake Reduction
    Advanced mobile image editing with Photoshop Mix integration

    Well all of those are available in OS software. All in the same package - no. Enhanced etc - depends what it is. Probably an automated operation. A convenience - I did mention that aspect in the other post.

    I was talking to a PS seller a few weeks ago. They are concerned that Adobe are collecting usage info. Pass. I have no idea. Beware people big brother is watching everything you do. Shudder shake etc. The seller by the way was fascinated that I have been running Linux for at least 15 years now without ever really bothering to get into the nitty gritty underneath is all. If I ever did change it would be to Apple even though they would like people to live in Apple houses, wear Apple clothes, use an iPhone and iPad and even drive an Apple car. I don't like their close to chest attitude or the fact that they glibly make use of OS software but they do offer a much better product for most people.

    John
    -

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