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Thread: Post processing for begginer

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    Member missaj's Avatar
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    Post processing for begginer

    I am a beginner and want to start playing around with post processing of images. I would appreciate any advice or recommendations on some good programs for beginners. I am not ready to spend a lot of money at this stage, so I'm more interested in any free or cheaper options. Thanks

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    Member pcbermagui's Avatar
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    You Cannot go past Picasa from Google, thats free but still packs a huge feature set and its simple once you work your way around. Adobe Photoshop elements will do just about everything a photographer wants V9 is the latest and thats something like $150. Have a look at Lightroom 3 or ACDsee Pro 3 LR's a bit pricey but many claim that almost removes the need for full blown Photoshop for most. Then there's Photoshop CS5 the latest in the series, but unless you've got a very good reason the asking price is horrendous. Elements would be my pick if I were starting over.
    pcbermagui
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    missaj's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice - I am having a play around with Picasa now and will also look at elements for a starting point - much appreciated!

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Also consider 'the gimp", google it. It is free and offers you a good range of features that when you decide you want to upgrade to Elements etc, then the learning will already have been done, and the menu system, processes are a bit familiar.

    One of the best places to learn post processing from (other than friends or formal courses) is youtube. You will be quietly impressed by the number of video tutorials you can find on there.
    "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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    Member burgo's Avatar
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    Hi I also had the same question as missaj so thanks for the info. I have used picasa for basic stuff and its pretty good for that.
    Just another question I have Elements v5 which I really haven't played with to be honest but is there
    a huge difference between v5 and v9 to warrant an upgrade? Or could I get away with v5 to do enough to get by?
    thanks

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by burgo View Post
    Hi I also had the same question as missaj so thanks for the info. I have used picasa for basic stuff and its pretty good for that.
    Just another question I have Elements v5 which I really haven't played with to be honest but is there
    a huge difference between v5 and v9 to warrant an upgrade? Or could I get away with v5 to do enough to get by?
    thanks
    yes, V5 is quite a few years old now, and V9 offers almost all the features available in photoshop. BUT... all the good basic editing functions are available in V5 and you can still start there and learn how to process photos well. So I would say use V5, get the hang of it, then upgrade, cause the newer versions offer so much more, but you cannot learn it all at once.

    Editing wise, I would start with:

    Opening, closing, saving (in different formats)
    How to Crop
    How to straighten (horizons etc)
    How to do a Levels Adjustment
    How to sharpen
    How to convert to mono

    With these skills you have the basics of editing a photo to improve it, but not over-cook it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Also consider 'the gimp".
    is that what we're calling darkroom assistants these days?

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    Member 8perpetual's Avatar
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    gimp is good and similar to photoshop, great for a start and its free.
    for workflow management, lightroom 3 is really good and it will speed up your editing process, especially if you have many photos to edit. there are even new things like "grain" and "lens distortion correction" which makes LR3 pretty good, as these were only found on photoshop in the past.

    good luck with your decision

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    Member Noisysprite's Avatar
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    rats - have spent $120 on Paint Shop Pro - cos I was reluctant to outlay too much money at such an early stage of my hobby. Doesn't even rate a mention on here.
    I bought it because my son has had some success using it for some of his graphics projects.

    Any thoughts on its suitability for PP? or have I wasted my money?

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noisysprite View Post
    rats - have spent $120 on Paint Shop Pro - cos I was reluctant to outlay too much money at such an early stage of my hobby. Doesn't even rate a mention on here.
    I bought it because my son has had some success using it for some of his graphics projects.

    Any thoughts on its suitability for PP? or have I wasted my money?
    Not at all, PSP is good! Though most of the replies relate to free software - Picassa/Gimp etc, which is a good place to start if you do not want to spend money. PSP offers fairly much everything that photoshop does, so you can be assured you have chosen well.

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    I'd recommend ps elements for one simple reason...it's 99% certain that eventually you will get photoshop and if you elements it's going to be a much simpler step up as fundamentally it's so similar
    Darren
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