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What Photo Editing software to use??

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  • What Photo Editing software to use??

    This is my first post outside of the "hello everyone" post in the Salon and I hope it is an ok question to ask. Currently the only software I have is Aperture, which doesn't have much in the way of editing capabilities. Now that I have found this forum and am getting more and more excited about the possiblities of what can be done I am trying to figure out what software would give me the most bang for my buck. I am a complete newbie when it comes to any type of retouching, but am not affraid to take some classes or just experiment on my own. It seems that tons of you use either PS or lightroom, are these the most often used programs? Will I still be able to use Aperture at all or would upgrading to one of these more powerful tools take away my need for Aperture? I do like the orginazational abilities within Aperture. Should I look at Capture NX2 since I shoot a Nikon? Any insight or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! I know this is kind of a vauge questions with about a million possibilites for answers but I am hoping to find the right tool for my needs. I mostly do landscape pics with some candids of people and pets thrown in there but am thinking about buying some lights and trying some portraiture, this site has inspired me! I currently shoot a Nikon D70(hoping to upgrade soon to either a D300 or D700) I work in a 27 imac and have a Epson R2880. Thank you all for any feedback!
    Last edited by derfy1212; 12-16-2010, 12:19 PM.

  • #2
    Re: What Photo Editing software to use??

    Hi Fred, welcome.
    Well, without Photoshop I'd only be playing with half a deck. I've loved everything about Photoshop ever since I began playing with pixels. Started with Elements, then CS, then CS2 and now CS4, tho I fall back into CS2 too often I think.

    I didn't care for Lightroom, and couldn't give you a rational reason why not. One of my cameras is a Nikon and since NX2 came with it, tried it, like it. I like it's organizational format.

    You're so right, Retouch Pro is an inspiring site, but don't lose out like I did. After registering it took me several years before I gathered up the courage to begin participating. I discovered nobody bites.

    Below is a photo montage in PS fashion and the second, our lake using additional texture and blending modes
    Attached Files


    • #3
      Re: What Photo Editing software to use??

      Veronica, thank you for replying to my post, was starting to wonder if anyone would! I think the reason I haven't tried PS yet is it seems so complex and a bit overwhelming. The pictures look great thank you for sharing them!


      • #4
        Re: What Photo Editing software to use??

        Hi think you should try maybe a simpler version of Photoshop which is Photoshop elements, it's a pretty good version to begin with and whenever you will go further you'll already ahve the basic and reflexes of the Photoshop users. But there's also Paint shop pro, which is a very good software, I don't get use to it but just because I had the habit of Photoshop. Photoshop and surely the later version are obviously a well in the budget and you might consider buying either PS elements or an older version first. I won't give any advice on the Gimp because personnaly I hate this program, The guy who invented the interface might go to the lunatics' at some point. . Buy some books, it's easier at the beginning than the videos, and it's a reference for further reads (like any "classroom in a book" for example). As for Aperture, I really don't know, I've never use it...


        • #5
          Re: What Photo Editing software to use??

          Hi derfy, welcome to RP. There are various nice programs and plug-ins around. In music and Photograph, we always have the same dilema, which one should I use? I guess it all depends on what kind of sound or style you'd like to achieve. Here are some; people are mainly using these days: Portraiture, Photomatix, HDR efex pro, Topaz, Silver effect, Gimp, Noise ninja, and of course Adobe Ps. just to name a few, there are some others, IMO Ps is the most complete one, because you can imitate many of the effects that the other programs do as stand-alone tools.



          • #6
            Re: What Photo Editing software to use??

            photoshop is definitely the premier graphic editor used here and the most used. however, the learning curve is a bit steep for a new user. it's not real bad, but i always recommend corel's paint shop pro for those just getting into graphics programs. this is probably the second most used among users here. the interface is simpler and easier to follow, in my opinion and has plenty of tutorials and helps both within the program and on the web.

            i've had a couple versions of photoshop elements and i just never liked the selection of things they included but mostly what they left out. paint shop pro, where it isnt as complex and comprehensive as photoshop, will do 99% of the things that we do here on retouch pro. i have both programs and always start in psp and rarely have to go to ps.

            psp is a ton cheaper than ps, but it's about comparable with elements, if i recall correctly.

            bottom line, start easy and cheap and work up. psp is my choice.


            • #7
              Re: What Photo Editing software to use??

              Thank you all for the input!

              Craig, I went out to the Corel webpage and it doesn't look like Paint Shop Pro is compatible with MAC?
              Last edited by derfy1212; 12-23-2010, 06:27 AM.


              • #8
                Re: What Photo Editing software to use??

                Every tool has it's strengths and corresponding weaknesses. PS isn't cheap either (but hope to get the upgrade after Christmas (expecting something special in my stocking this Christmas; lol). My main editor is GIMP (free by the way). Been using it for nearly a decade now. I use PS to process my RAW Leica files since I've not really run across anything better then ACR and I have CS2 right now (look forward to trying some of the cool new features since CS2 when I get my upgrade). The more you retouch, the more you will realize that no one tool can do everything (or at least not efficiently). As Craig already mentioned, PS is the king of the crop, but I use GIMP since it's my crutch (most experience with) and it does pretty much everything you need it to do with an 8 bit X 3 plus Alpha Channel image (PS can work with 16/32 bit; that's one reason why it is better). Both these editors require a learning curve to do properly, but I call myself a gonzo editor (non-conventional; lol) and can figure out the basics for most editors (and abuse them as needed). The biggest thing is to find your crutch and master it. That takes time, but all good adventures do. -


                • #9
                  Re: What Photo Editing software to use??

                  Fred, assuming you have a Mac made in the last 5 years, you can run Windows if need be and access software such as Paintshop Pro, which is a decent alternative to PS for PC users. Otherwise, there is a ton of Mac-native software (free, shareware and commercial) to choose from.

                  Don't forget you can download free 30-day trials of Adobe's offerings, as well as those from third-party developers, so you can get your workflow in order before committing yourself financially.


                  • #10
                    Re: What Photo Editing software to use??

                    ya know, i'd never even looked to see if psp was compatible with mac. i was quite surprised to see that it's not. but, like plugs say, you can run windows in a mac environment and get it that way.


                    • #11
                      Re: What Photo Editing software to use??

                      Maybe a little off topic for this thread, but I did finally take the plunge and installed CS5 upgrade just a few minutes ago. Install went flawlessly, though, registry with Adobe Live was a little bit of a snafu since IE9 Flash support isn't quite there yet. Went ahead and opened my XP VM and did the registration then. Really look forward to seeing how Pixel Bender integrates with CS5 (was using the free stand-a-lone program) as well as all the other cool new features since CS2 including GPU acceleration and Content Aware fill.


                      • #12
                        Re: What Photo Editing software to use??

                        Mixer brush! try it you'll like it. its under the brush.


                        • #13
                          Re: What Photo Editing software to use??

                          Not really a painter. A filter guy I am. Not only am I having issues with Pixel Bender (plugin; stand-a-lone version 2.5 works fine), but also had issues with Imageskil's free Displacement map filter (not even bothering to install any other PS filters. Found out that CS2 still works, so if I need to use PS filters in PS, I'll just launch CS2). Works fine in GIMP but not in CS5 32-bit. Not sure what the issue is. Maybe the PS gods know I'm a GIMP guy and are punishing me for it. lol

                          Looks like I'll just stick with processing my RAW files with CS5/ACR and wait til CS8 for them to fix their issues.

                          Maybe if you have CS5, you can see why this plugin does or doesn't work.



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