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Thread: Beginner Editing Software

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    Beginner Editing Software

    Hi All,
    As a beginner, I am building up my skills in the basics and foundations of photography but should I be thinking about editing software at the moment, and could anyone recommend a good, easy to use, beginner friendly program?

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    I would say that none of them are easy to use, as such. They all need you to go through a learning curve. I would recommend Adobe Photoshop Lightroom as a good place to start. There are some great books on it (Scott Kelby's Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for Photographers) and heaps of tutorials on youtube etc as well. It is also widely used by Ausphotography members so if you get stuck you can ask here on AP.

    But no matter which software you choose, there is a nice learning curve ahead of you. Enjoy the experience.

    For more info, the Scott Kelby books are designed to start at the beginning and you learn the basics and as you go through the book you get new skills, but you can also just skip straight to the section on sharpening etc if you want, but I would recommend you use it like a school text book and start at page one and go through the book in order.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Well, as soon as I saw the title of your thread....
    ...something like what Rick said. Nothing is [good for beginners].

    You pick one - if finance is a problem, then a free one like GIMP - and LEARN THE IDEAS behind the art of PP.

    Those ideas can be transferred to any editing software. BTW, what camera do you have? A Canon, with Lightroom on CD?
    There's a starting program.

    Am.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Ausphotography Regular Dug's Avatar
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    +1 for Lightroom.
    I would call it beginner friendly, with powerful features you can progress into as you get comfortable with it.
    In it's "Develop" section where you do the edit, the controls are divided into groups. This is good for beginners and later for workflow.

    The top group of controls are called "Basic" and they will get an edit (beginner or advanced) probably 95% of the way there, so they are basic in usage but not in results.

    For starters this will be what you need, plus some of the functions above it like crop and spot removal then down lower in the "Detail" section you have sharpening and noise reduction (as and if needed).

    As suggested already there are many sources of tuition for this software.
    It is also quite intuitive to learn the more advanced feature I have found, but it is better to find out exactly what a feature does and all the little tricks for efficient usage.

    I suggest if you do go with this one that you at the very least begin by watching a Utube tutorial that covers the basics of this software and that includes an explanation of the importing of an image and how the software is best used to find your images as the number of images grows.

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    Another +1 for Lightroom, or an alternative is Photoshop Elements. Both are a reasonable price and as Dug and Rick say there are lots of tutorials and books around to help.
    Carole

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    I agree on Lightroom, but only because Aperture is on the way out. If Lightroom can't get the best out of your shot, then maybe the shot is the problem.
    “The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible” – Oscar Wilde

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    Another Lightroom recommendation from me, it's what I started with too, but still edit 90-95% of all my images in it, so not a tool that won't grow as your skill does.

    The one thing that separates Lightroom from most other image editing software is that it speaks in "photography" speak. For example, a "level/curves" adjustment in photoshop is called an Exposure adjustment in Lightroom, and it takes it one step further and you actually make the adjustments in stops. This makes it similar to what you can do in camera, so in a way a great learning tool too. Another example, you are out on a shoot, and come home and find that all your images are a little dark, simple change the exposure in Lightroom for this shoot but next time you go out you know to shoot at maybe 1 stop higher to brighten the images and therefore you won't need to do as much in post processing. This is a very simplistic answer, but hope you understand.

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    Hi Jon...

    I see you're using a Panasonic DMC-FZ70. I'm not too familiar with the model but without looking it up, a guess it has a big zoom function.. Perhaps it shoots RAW files as well..

    If you're a starter to photography with unlimited funds, then I would say Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop together would be all you would ever need if your computer is a Windows version.

    I use them both occasionally but since the 1990's have used an editing program called Paintshop Pro that I'm very familiar with. It's current version is called X6 (soon to be x7). It's a very powerful and capable photo editing and drawing program and at a far lower retail cost than the high end programs. A downloadable trial is available for 30 days to test it out as well at no cost.

    Currently, I have a subscription to Photoshop and Lightroom that costs me $9.99 a month to have access to the latest versions for 12 months.. I don't know if this special low price introductory offer is still available, but the subscription deal seems ok to me so far..

    There is a local Photography club at your location. I'm a member there and meeting with other local photographers just to have a chat can be very rewarding and a great source of information too.
    Canon EOS 7D Mk II, Canon 70D, Canon G12, Canon EF-S 15-85mm, EF 70-200 L f4 IS, 580EX II


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    Another vote for PaintShop Pro. I always liked PaintShop Pro for its simplicity - it is windows specific though and on the long run there will be a time you'll want to replace it with something more photography oriented. Personally, I chose Capture One over Lightroom, but YMMV. Lightroom IMHO is more a combined editor / digital asset management system than just an editor. I always keep fighting with these DAM's. So, before you splurge down the money for Lightroom, make sure you download the trial and try to get to terms with the DAM aspect of Lightroom.

    Capture One is more oriented towards RAW processing, but the latest version also features some DAM functionality.

    Price-wise however you can't beat GIMP (it's free, available for Windows, OSX and Linux). GIMP is pretty powerfull and the basics translate well to Photoshop and friends.

    Another option (just to stir the mud a bit ): PhotoShop Elements. It's cheap and is a pretty good starting point. Looks and feels more like PhotoShop if that's what you're after. And you may fine there's a little more support for Elements than GiMP, some things can be "borrowed" from PhotoShop which is not as obvious with GIMP.

    Finally, there are small free things like picasa. My advice would be to stear clear from these, they may seem attractive at first but you'll soon find out they're pretty restrictive and hard to get out of your workflow once you've used them for a while.
    Ciao, Joost

    All feedback is highly appreciated!

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