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Thread: How important is it to have photoshop or similar for a beginner?

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    How important is it to have photoshop or similar for a beginner?

    Hi Guys,

    It seems that everywhere i read everyone has photoshop or something similar and just as expensive!

    Is it almost unheard of to not post process photos everytime? I do want to get it one day but not just yet as i don't have a spare zillion dollars just hanging around.

    What are your thoughts?

    Andrea

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    No real need to straight away. Best off sticking to the software that came with your camera. LAter on if you find it limiting or want to do different adjustments to your photos that it can't do then it maybe time look around at upgrading it.

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    Thanks for the reply, that would be an option if i still had the software the camera came with

    I've been using picassa which is ok but obviously it's quite limited.

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    Aside from your camera gear, good image editing software is the next best investment you can make, without it you will possibly struggle to bring out the best of your work. You can pick up a copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements for maybe less that $200, which is more that adequate for editing your work. Elements is a lower cost version of Photoshop. Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Harves; 14-10-2011 at 9:28am.

    An honest C+C please!


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    Thanks Harves (i love that name, it's almost my sons name)

    I have heard of elements and did consider but after doing some research it seems that the other version is necessary if you want to purchase actions.
    There is a photographer that runs workshops and sells her actions but it is only usable if you have photoshop cs-cs5.

    That's what got me thinking about this as i do want to get the best out of my pics.
    I guess i'll start saving!

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    Not sure about the compatability of actions, I don't see why they couldn't be used with Elements as it's the same product, just doesn't have all the finer adjustments as CS5. I got by OK for years with Elements, I only stepped up to CS4 because I bought a copy on ebay quite cheap, otherwise I would still be on elements.

    PS. just hit the post button once, don't go back a page to edit your post, that's why you have a double post,
    you can edit it by clicking on the edit button. Cheers
    Last edited by Harves; 14-10-2011 at 9:48am.

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    I started out with Picasa and have been using Elements for about 1 year now. It was really easy to learn and I have been very happy with it. I am going to try Lightroom 3 soon just to see what everyone keeps raving about. You can download a trial version of any of them which lasts 30 days to give yourself some time to play and see which one you want.
    Tania
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein


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    Thanks Tania i will download elements this weekend and see how i go.

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    GIMP is also free and does virtually everything PS will. There's a wealth of plug-ins and tutorials available for it too, and I think even PS-plugin compatibility available.

    Don't feel like you need to have great PP skills or software to begin with though

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    So does this mean that you would not recommend that i shoot in RAW until i have elements PS or similar?

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    Neither a definite yes or no here

    There are a few software tools that convert RAW to other formats or allow direct editing of the RAW file.

    A RAW file uses quite a bit more memory on the card in your camera, but should never be the sole location for your images for long. There's no harm in switching RAW+JPEG on for a session then trying a free RAW converter/editor.

    IrfanView is another free application that allows RAW conversions and editing.
    Then there's RawTherapee, UFRaw, Able RAWer and others for conversion, all free. All RAW processing does take a bit of practise to get the settings right.

    If there's no cost, you have the time and can download, why not give one of them a try?

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    I have been using Elements 5 for nearly 5 years now and find it does everything that I want, Elements is just a cutdown version of the full Photoshop program with more than enough features to keep you learning for quite a few years and at a fraction of the price. I have just downloaded a trial of Elements 10 and for basic editing there is not much difference but I have yet to go exploring some of the newer bits since version 5.
    Starting with elements makes sense as the layout is very similar to the full version making the transition to the full version easier if you decide to go that way in the future.
    Keith.

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    Post Processing is part of the photographic process.

    Film: 1. Take Photo... 2. Develop... 3. Print process in Darkroom
    Digital: 1. Take Photo... 2. Convert from raw, Post Process... 3. Web publish or Print

    In digital step 2 can be done in the Camera (in a limited form) or you can take creative control.
    For film step 2 can also be done by your photo processor company or yourself.

    In the short term use the free software that came with your camera, or other free software.
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea1 View Post
    So does this mean that you would not recommend that i shoot in RAW until i have elements PS or similar?
    You will need either the software that came with your camera, elements, lightroom, photoshop etc (at least one good editing package) if you wish to shoot RAW. RAW files cannot be simply viewed and edited like JPG can. RAW needs an extra couple of steps.

    http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ssing-Tutorial

    As a beginner I would recommend Elements or Lightroom, as a starting point, as they are no where near the cost of Photoshop, and these days have most of the functionality. There are also good tutorials available on youtube for all three.
    "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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    Elements $100, Lightroom3 $300 (although I am sure you can get deals somewhere)

    If your budget can go to it, get Lightroom. From what I read many pros are using it and reviews are very good. remember that $300 is spread over x number of years or y number of images......works out pretty cheap when you think of it in those terms and as has been said above, you will need something to make the best of your captures. It is not cheating, it is an alternative way of processing your images, as stated by Kym. In the 'old' days this was done in a darkroom, now it is done in software. Let me give you an example. I have only ever won one competition. It was on here with the following picture. I am posting up the before and after. Total processing in photoshop was 5 minutes (and I am a complete novice)...just shows what lurks within your images IMO, go buy processing software, it is easily as valuable as a new lens.

    Before



    Processed....remember this is 5 mins of processing. Crop, Sharpen, Clip blacks. that is it.



    This shows the power of processing.

    ps you will never look back once you start

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    Wow! Fess that's fabulous what you did with that photo, thanks for sharing.

    Thanks to everyone else too, i'm about to download something now.
    I might try both lightroom and elements, not at the same time though as i will overwhelm myself.

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    Good grief! I'm down loading elements now and it says it's going to take 7 hours!
    Must be some amazing program!

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    When i first got into photography i also came across this dilemma too. The main reason why i held off getting photoshop (apart from the $$'s) was because of what one of the other guys on the forum had mentioned. Which was basically that it's best to learn to get your perfect shot within the camera first as oppose to relying on PS and pp.

    As i was/am a beginner, this was advice that helped a lot. But, of course there are plenty of alternatives to PS, as mentioned above, you could play around with before shelling out the big bucks for PS.
    Lucky

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky23 View Post
    When i first got into photography i also came across this dilemma too. The main reason why i held off getting photoshop (apart from the $$'s) was because of what one of the other guys on the forum had mentioned. Which was basically that it's best to learn to get your perfect shot within the camera first as oppose to relying on PS and PP.
    This is a good reply.

    Do not rely on editing to make your photos good. A well taken ( in focus, well composed, sharp photo that has used the right shutter speed, ISO and aperture) will always be a better starting point than trying to use editing to fix a blurry, grainy, over exposed, badly composed photo anyway. So yes, come to grips with PP (post processing) but also learn your skills as a photographer. After all you bought a camera to be a photographer, not sit in front of a computer doing digital art.

    Take great photos and learn how to enhance them with PP, not take mediocre photos and spend hours trying to fix them in PP.

    Learn slowly. Some basics that should give you good processing, and as a photographer, will give you most of what you need to learn:

    * how to open, close, save in different file formats and what the benefits/disadvantages of each format is ( jpg, tiff, psd, bmp, gif etc).
    * how to crop.
    * how to do a levels adjustment
    * how to increase/decrease saturation.
    * how to make selections and work within them.
    * how to straighten ( good for when your photo wasn't taken level, and the horizon or buildings are leaning).
    * how to sharpen.

    Learning the above, you will be able to improve your already well taken photos. Do not try and learn everything elements or lightroom has to offer. I have been using photoshop for over 10 years, and the above is about all I use on most of my photos. There are many menu items I have never even tried. So don't try and learn it all, cause you don't need to.

    And if you get stuck, check out the tutorials forum here on AP, use You Tube, or just create a thread and ask..how do I...there is no better pleasure than helping a fellow AP member, and seeing them learn, and come back and say WOW, thank you! And then show us what they achieved from what the learnt right here on the site.
    Last edited by ricktas; 15-10-2011 at 9:45am. Reason: finxed a heap of typos (from typing the post on my iPad)

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    One more thing came to mind, sorry!

    To shoot in RAW do i need to have the software that came with my camera (canon350D)? Hope the answer is no as i don't have it!

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