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What software?

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by Barend, Dec 22, 2004.

  1. Barend

    Barend
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    Hi all,
    I am reviving my old photo hobby, and since I threw out my dark room gear I bought a Nikon D70 etc.
    Now I am flabbergasted seeing Photoshop, my jaw fell when I saw how difficult it is...
    Can anyone advise on a software product that gives me the creative possibilities from the ole days, and still be not-too-difficult to use?
    Used to do a lot of b&w and slide printing (RC14 and Cibachrome printing if anyone remembers).
    Thanks for your thoughts!
    Barend
     
  2. Brian110507

    Brian110507
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  3. electrolyte

    electrolyte
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    I have Photoshop Elements 3.0. Is really easy to use and not as complex as the full Photoshop. Only costs £65 as well rather than the £500 of the full program! :thumbsup: Elements has a simple mode for altering levels, brightness, red-eye removal etc and a more in-depth mode for doing more complicated things.
     
  4. Sandman

    Sandman
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    no no no no no, stick with photoshop, yes it will take a while to master but you dont need to master it to do the simple editing tasks you are talking about. To change your photo to black and white simply go to image-mode and click on greyscale. To change the brighness/contrast/saturation simply go to image-adjust-levels and move the sliders up and down as required.
    The editing tasks that are easy with elements and other editing suites are easy with photoshop too but photoshop will let you do a whole lot more as your skills improve. Stick with it, it will be worth it in the long run.
    Get digital camera magazines, most of them come with cover disks with video tutorials on how to use the more complicated tools.
    Trust me, if you have this software stick with it and you will thank me later. may the force be with you.
     
  5. melliott1963

    melliott1963
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    I'll go along with Beejaycee, in that I also use Photoplus 9. It is very easy to use, and to date, there's been nothing that I've needed to do that it couldn't!

    I have looked at Photoshop and whilst I'm sure it's a superb package (for the price it should be!), you do have to spend time learning how to use it - time that I just haven't got!


    By the way, Photoplus will accept Photoshop plugins, which is a big plus.
     
  6. Peakoverload

    Peakoverload
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    I would agree with Sandman but I would strongly suggest that you dont use the method on converting to B&W as described as this will no doubt cause you to be hugely dissapointed in the results when compared to what you could achieve in the dark room (no offence meant Sandman). The best way to create a B&W image from a colour one is by using the Channel Mixer. I have written a tutorial on my website (www.peakoverload.com) that details this using Photoshop if anyone is interested.

    The biggest problem with Photoshop is that it does look daunting if you have never used it before and a lot of people think that they have to master it all before they can use it. This simply isnt true. I have been using Photoshop since version 3 and am now running Photoshop CS (version 8) and there is still tons I dont know how to do in Photoshop.

    In order to do basic editing in Photoshop all you need to learn are:
    Levels
    Curves
    Unsharp Mask
    Channel Mixer (if you want to do B&W)
    Clone/Patch (optional)

    For slightly more advanced stuff:
    Using Adjustment Layers
    Dodge
    Burn
    Masks

    For more advanced stuff:
    Pen tool
    Advanced selections
    Blend Modes


    From there on you just learn stuff as you need to.

    The other big problem with Photoshop is the price! It is expensive but if you are serious about image editing it is by far the best program out there. That said Paint Shop Pro does give it a run for its money but personally I just really dont like the user intereface and find it far more confusing than Photoshop but then thats probably got more to do with the fact that I've used Photoshop for years.

    If Photoshop is not in your budget than Photoshop Elements does offer a lot but, again probably because I've used the full version for so long, there are a number of key tools that are not avaliable which I find make it really frustrating to use. That said once you have learnt Photoshop Elements learning Photoshop is a cinch.

    Another one to consider is GIMP which is a free editor that is very powerful, some say as powerful as Photoshop. Again I must admit that I dont like it but I know lots of people who love it, I just find it a bit too confusing.

    The problem with some of the 'budget' applications is that they are very limiting. For example they may have a red eye removal tool but you cant specify the colour of the eye or feather the selection around the eye to make it look more natural. Other times they effectively have just a warm up or cool down my photo option which just works of presets rather than actually let you specify exactly how you want it to look. The advantage is that they are very easy to use, the disadavantage is that they dont do it very well and take away some of the control.
     
  7. HotblackDesiato

    HotblackDesiato
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    I too would recommend plugging away with Photoshop probably Elements to start with and only upgrade to CS if you find yourself hitting a brickwall or want to take the hobby further. I found the Scott Kelby books great for getting over the steeper bits of the learning curve.
     
  8. minimad

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    Gotta agree with the others about PS. It's so much better than any other package I've used. Indeed, it's the "Industry Standard" for PC and MAC. If it's no good, they wouldn't use it. Yeah, there's a hell of a lot to it, get used to the basics and then start "playing" once you're comfortable with the application. The only downside to PS is the cost (as already mentioned).

    As far as books go, Adobe Photoshop CS for Photographers by Martin Evening is my bible.

    My favourite mag has to be "Digital Photo", mainly for the basic (and advanced). tutorials.

    By the way - Peak Overload, love your website!

    Collin
     
  9. Sandman

    Sandman
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    Peakoverload I really like your website and yes you method of converting to b&w will yeild better results, I was merely trying to deomonstrate that there are a lot of simple things you can do with photoshop without spending hours/days/weeks/months learning it. Digital photo magazine this months explains a good way to convert to b&w by creating an ajustment layer and adjusting the channel mixer on this layer. you can then "paint over" areas of the photo to bring out the colour in certain parts of the photo. It is a good tutorial and shows just how easy it can be to get good results using photoshop.
     
  10. Barend

    Barend
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    Let me thank you all for your very helpful and generous comments on the subject!
    Got a nice home holiday week to get aquainted with my new Nikon camera, and since I don't like half measures and the dollar is low compared to the euro bought it with the short and long Nikkor zooms, the bounce flash, the 55mm Nikkor macro and the 90mm Tamron di macro.
    And some filters and of course the Nikon angle viewer (so I don't have to crawl in the mud), plus the Nikon bellows.
    So in fact my gear is now as it was 20 years ago (Olympus OM2 etc.).
    Can't wait!
    Barend
     

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