I'm a computer dummy

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by tom beard, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. tom beard

    tom beard TPF Noob!

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    In the old days of film, it was always said that what you did with the camera was only half the work and where it really happens is in the dark room. I loved the camera and working with it, but was miserable in the darkroom. I just didn't get it. I've decided on what good mid level dslr to buy and what you can do right in the camera to correct or enhance a wide range of things. Perfect for me. Then, the more I read, it seems that so many people are saying where it really happens is in photo shop. Am I back in the same old dilemma? I don't want to spend a lot of money and invest all that time learning photoshop. I've decided on Nikon and they have the NX2 program if I feel I need more processing than I can do in the camera. It seems user friendly and is inexpensive. I can't predict what my sophistication level will be in the future, but as it stands now, I just want to keep it simple. Any advice?

    Thanks, Tom Beard
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009
  2. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Google has a free application called 'Picasa', it is actually pretty decent and does most of what you might need for basic correction/cropping. I don't think it can get easier than Picasa. It will even email/upload photos for you.

    Other than that there's always Adobe Lightroom :D
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    +1 on Picasa if you want to keep it simple.

    People are always discovering new ways to use Adobe's Photoshop that it's designers never intended.

    Lightroom is an image database manager that also has a nice RAW editor.
     
  4. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    All the photoshoping in the world won't fix a bad photo. Great photos start with great captures, imo.
     
  5. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Yes...

    NX2 would be a good choice for a Nikon user. It, like Lightroom, are weak at true image editing, but are excellent for the more general equivalents of conventional darkroom work, adjusting color, brightness, and contrast. They can also do modest localized manipulation in the class of tradition dodging and burning in, though they can do color and contrast adjustments in addition to brightness.

    You only need real image editors (e.g. Photoshop, et. al.) when you need to do fine retouching, specialized image manipulation, object removal, and image compositing (multiple exposure-like effects and various image stacking or assembling processes such as HDR and Panorama).

    The more you "get it right" in camera the less you need a powerful editor. If your camera work is good then NX2 or Lightroom may be all you need.
     
  6. tom beard

    tom beard TPF Noob!

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    Thank you all for your usual great advice. Especially Dwig. I'm not a professional and won't be trying to sell stuff. With what you've said, I'll be able grow and save the big bucks for glass!

    Tom B
     
  7. Barking Mad

    Barking Mad TPF Noob!

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    I couldn't have said it any better myself.

    I'm an "accidental photographer" and am doing this all backwards. Whilst I've been shooting for 6 years now, I really don't know anything, hence why I joined the forum. I seriously want to learn. I think that's the biggest thing...get to know your DSLR and the aspects of composition, exposure, etc. It's just been dumb luck that I've been able to hock some of my shots to tourists from away...But then it seems like people who visit coastal Maine, where I live, just want souvenir shots anyhow and that's what mine are good for. :lol:

    Anyhow, I have the same dilema as you. I've avoided PhotoShop for years because I think I'd be tempted to "cheat" if that makes sense. I want what comes out of my camera to be genuine and not embellished or over the top. Not that most pros do that. Just sayin'! And again, if it's not a good shot to begin with, there isn't much that PS or any other software is going to do to cover that up.

    However, I have recently caved and bought Elements and have ordered Lightroom. But until I get them loaded on my new computer, I'm OK using Picassa and Picnik.

    Picassa is really easy to use and converts/reads RAW files, which is nice because I will either shoot in both RAW/JPEG or just RAW. However, now that I've discovered Picnik, I'm a little more enamored of it, than I am Picassa. I don't know if it reads/coverts RAW files or not though. One thing I have noticed about Piccassa is that the "sharpening function" isn't that great. It's like the shot either ends up too sharp or not sharp enough...there seems to be no inbetween. But it's free and you know the old adage about getting what you pay for!

    Someone might mention GIMP. It's a lot like PhotoShop but doesn't quite have all the bells and whistles. And it's free or can be downloaded for a small contribution. I do know that it converts RAW files. But like PhotoShop, it intimidates the hell out of me and whilst I have played with both GIMP and PS, GIMP is nowhere near as user-friendly as PS. But you might want to download it just to see if you can work your way through it. It might help you decide if you actually want to invest in PS.

    Sorry for the novel. I hadn't realized I had so much to say. Hope at least some of it helps!

    Auds
     

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