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Software Photoshop, Lightroom, Paintshop Pro, Painter, etc., and all their various plugins. Of course, you can also discuss all other programs, as well.

New to this site with many questions

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Old 07-11-2007, 05:36 PM
Crazy Cockatoo Crazy Cockatoo is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: McKinney, Texas (Near Dallas)
Posts: 11
New to this site with many questions

Hi...My name is Craig and this is my first posting. I came across this interesting site while researching the possibility of starting up a pet photo business in preparation of my soon-to-be retirement. I have spent some time reading many of the posts in the different areas of the site and have come to the conclusion that this is really something that I want to do.

A little about myself...I was an American Orchid Socierty Judge for many years during which part of that time I was the official photographer for our Judging Region. I took pictures of each of the AOS awarded plants which were then published in our national magazine. This was all before the advent of digital cameras. After leaving the judging program I became involved in the other love of my life and that was breeding and showing dogs, specifically Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs. Taking pictures of these beautiful animals became a major part of the hobby. It quickly became evident that digital photography was the only cost effective way to record these beautiful dogs.

In order to make my photos better (?) I found what I refer to as the "Poor Man's Photoshop"...PhotoImpact. For me this was a good way to get started in the digital photo world. I took it upon myself to learn how to use as much of the software as possible. After a while I became reasonably good at correcting photos and makeing my pictures look a bit more professional.

Well now that I am seriously thinking about doing this after my retirement I figure that I need to join the rest of the serious photography world and update my equipment, computer software and skills.

I have looked around and as I read the many posts I see that Adobe's Photoshop seems to be the standard software for the industry. I have seen references to Photoshop Elements 5.0 as well as CS2 and CS3. I have learned that CS2 is for Microsoft XP and I assume that the newer CS3 is now Vista compatable (I am using Vista Ultimate).

I figure that my first step in getting started in a pet photo business is to become as well versed in the software as possible. I guess my first of many questions is.... Is Adobe Photoshope CS3 the best software I can get so I am working and learning with the best tools possible? Is there some other software that I need to be aware of to get started? I know that there are other plugins etc that can be added at a later point, but I just want to be sure I start off on the right foot.

After I feel comfortable with the software and after shooting and working with photos of all of my 16 dogs (they already say..."Oh he comes with the camera again !") I hope to take it to the second step in the process and that is to upgrade my other equipment such as cameras and printers etc. At which point I feel I can go "live" and start to advertise myself locally.

Rest assured I will be posting many more questions here and reading the questions and answers of others.

I am looking forward to hearing from any of you who may have been through this learning process. I am open to all sorts of ideas and suggestions.

Thanks in advance.....

Crazy Cockatoo
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Old 07-12-2007, 11:40 AM
LonK's Avatar
LonK LonK is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: austin.tx.usa
Posts: 580
Re: New to this site with many questions

Howdy, partner. Nice to meet a fellow Texan AND a fellow PhotoImpact user (a rarity in these parts).

If the expense is not an issue, you feel that the "tool" is going to improve your work significantly and you have the time to learn PS ways, then sure, go with CS3. Personally, I think PI is very capable in capable hands. Frankly, for what I can see as your need, I'd be inclined to stay with PI at least until you get the rest of the business firmly established. Surely you'll have much better uses for your time than toying with the complexities of a new photo editor.

Good luck whatever you decide. Looking forward to seeing some of your work.

...and welcome to RP.
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Old 07-12-2007, 12:46 PM
DannyRaphael's Avatar
DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Near Seattle, Washington, USA
Posts: 6,300
Re: New to this site with many questions

Hey, Craig... Welcome to RP.

Lonnie provides sage advice. Photo Impact is a very capable program and you're used to using it. For the time being and for your particular needs, PI should serve you well.

Switching to another program would be like moving into a new house with a completely furnished/stocked kitchen you've never used before and given the task of whipping up dinner while blind folded -- or at least one eye covered and one hand tied behind your back. Sure you would eventually be able to serve steak, potatoes, salad & desert, but in doing so would be faced with many occurances of, "Where's the darn [whatever]" and "How do I do [whatever]." You'd be able to deliver the same result faster from your own kitchen with little or no loss in quality/tastiness.

As one with considerable photography background you know the main task is to get the photo right. Doing that = little post processing work: A little sharpening, tweak saturation and/or contrat a bit. Crop and print. It's more "the photographer" (knowledge, experience) than the camera used that is instrumental in getting a great pic, esp. of challenging [moving] subjects like dogs.

If you haven't yet... Google something like: pet photography get some ideas on how others have approached this business.

Also check out:
Isabel has done quite a bit of pet photography.

Good luck as you move forward with your endeavor. Keep us posted as you make progress.

Sure, Photoshop CS3 is now the big dog on the block, but do you need an SUV when a minivan will do?
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