Newbie digital editing questions

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Ant, Jun 2, 2004.

  1. Ant

    Ant TPF Noob!

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    Hello Everyone. Newbie here.

    I've never really been into photography at all but after using a Fuji Finepix A204 for over a year for basic auto point and shoot holiday snap type pics (which it did mostly quite well) I recently decided to get myself something a little more serious in order to try and widen my range a bit and get a few more interesting shots; so a few days ago I got myself an Olympus C-750uz...not exactly a top of the range SLR I know, but it will more than suit my modest purposes for the next year or so while I try to figure out what I'm doing and what the heck all these manual settings are for; and it's not as if I'm planning on ever turning pro or anything :) .

    Anyway, a few questions if anybody would be kind enough to help out.

    From browsing this forum over a couple of days I get the impression that most digital photographers seem to regard post editing of their photos on the PC as pretty much mandatory. Is this the case, and, if so, what process do you consider to be fairly essential when editing a photo? In other words what basics should I start getting to grips with in editing software? The sum total of my previous experience being nothing more than red eye removal :(.

    My camera can shoot in black and white. Is there any advantage in using this or will it make no difference if I just desaturate a colour photo when editing it?

    It seems that Adobe Photoshop is the editing program of choice but I've got Arcsoft Photostudio (came bundled with my scanner) does anyone know if it's worth buying photoshop or will I be OK sticking to photostudio?

    Any feedback appreciated.
     
  2. manda

    manda instigator of pottymouthedness

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    Yes, I think if you want to get serious with digital you need to use a photoshop style program.
    You're better off for BW, desaturating and working with the curves, contrast/brightness tools than using the BW filter on your camera. Its still ok to use but I dont use it anymore.
    I mainly use it for changing the contrast to how I want it, I will saturate some depending on what look Im going for with a shot. Although lately I tend to use the curves tool in photoshop to achieve that more than saturating.
    I will sometimes use it to crop also but I prefer to compose in camera.

    Arcsoft..I used that many years ago and honestly dont remember what it was like lol
    Id play around with photostudio and see what you can do with it until youve gone as far as you can go.

    A lil hint...a lot of people dont actually purchase photoshop..

    Welcome to the forums! :)
     
  3. Ant

    Ant TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the swift reply and the tips

    You can tell how much of a newbie I am at this....I had to read your post three times before I could figure all of it out :lol:

    Yeah, where I come from a lot of people don't actually purchase any software....or not from a conventional retailer anyway :wink:

    I'm pretty much anti-piracy myself though so I'll be buying if I need it :)
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Adobe also has Photoshop Elements, it's like a lite version of Photoshop that will do most of the same things. It's a lot cheaper.

    You may even get lucky and find someone who has an extra PSE disk (thanks again Photogoddess)
     
  5. Canon Fan

    Canon Fan TPF Noob!

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    IMO the biggest most important thing to learn how to use correctly is SHARPENING. Digital images are inherently soft/blurry by nature. Sharpening is a process that enhances the crispness of a photo by better defining the contrast along hard edges and lines of two different colors. The biggest mistake newcomers make is to oversharpen pictures too much (a big no no!) Find as much info as you can on this and be mindful that more is not always better!

    I would higly recommend Adobe Elements. It is overall a decent program. It's basically just a stripped down version of Photoshop and alot less expensive. For somone who is just starting out I would think it to be a good fit.

    Also, I have never used ArcSoft but if it was bundled I can't image that it would give you much control over any aspects of real importance other than brigtness, contrast, and cropping.

    Just my $.02
     
  6. Ant

    Ant TPF Noob!

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    Well, it's the full photostudio 5 product and actually has a lot of stuff. Sharpening is definitely something it does, as well as quite a lot of other effects. But never having used photoshop I don't know if I was missing out on anything.

    I'll definitely check out Adobe elements though.
     
  7. Harpper

    Harpper TPF Noob!

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    That's what I would recommend too. The full Photoshop version was originally indented for graphic designers so there are going to be a lot features and functions that most photographers aren't going to use. This means that you'll be paying a lot more just to have those functions but never use them.

    Elements is also nice for beginners because it's easier to use, but that doesn't mean that you'll necessarily out grow it. It has enough of the functions most photographers would need to fix their photos. Elements is geared more for photographers whereas the full version of Photoshop is really 3 programs in one. It's geared for digital artists, web designers, and digital photographers.

    Adobe tried to save themselves money by making an all in one program.

    edited: Photoshop also isn't mandatory. If you don't use it, it just means that you have to spend more time getting your shots correct from the camera. You should be doing that anyway, but Photoshop is great for fixing problems that are bound to come up or to enhance your photos.

    Although I'm usually happier with the results when I only do minor corrections in Photoshop because it can screw up my pictures if I do too much.
     
  8. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    Wouldn't a name like photoshop indicate it was originally designed to be used to edit photos and the like? Most graphic designers use Illustrator and Quark for the bulk of their work.
     
  9. Ant

    Ant TPF Noob!

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    Just checked out the Adobe site and they've got a free download of elements to try out. Looks like I'll be able to compare it to photostudio without having to buy it.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  10. Harpper

    Harpper TPF Noob!

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    Sorry, voodo I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say. I am a graphic designer or at least studying to be one. I never said it wasn't designed to be used to edit photos. All I said was that it has more features than an average photographer would need. A lot of those functions came about because before digital cameras became popular most people who bought Photoshop were graphic designers who did a lot manipulations with photos and other digital graphic work. You don't even need a photo to create digital artwork in Photoshop. Anyway, if you don't need those extra features then getting the full version would be a waste of money.

    If Photoshop was only designed for photography there wouldn't be so many manipulation functions built into the full version of Photoshop. Elements strips away those features and leaves the most used photography features, which is why I said it's geared more for photographers. Of course, some photographers need the full version of Photoshop which they can get if they want. I have no problems with that. I'm just trying to save people money if they mainly use Photoshop for common photo corrections.

    I also use Illustrator and Quark as a graphic designer. Illustrator is a great vector program but nothing beats Photoshop for non-vector photo manipulations and general non-vector digital artwork at least from my experience. If I had enough time I can create pictures from scratch but it's a lot easier to use existing photos and manipulating them for digital graphic work. Those features aren't exactly needed by photographers but are an asset to graphic designers. You can't do that in Illustrator unless you want it to look like a cartoonish vector drawing. Quark is more of a page layout pre-press program used by a lot of desktop publisher and print industry. It has vector drawing abilities but like Illustrator it doesn't beat Photoshop for non-vector digital artwork.

    I'm sorry if you misunderstood me. Hopefully, I made myself clearer this time.
     
  11. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    I understand what you're saying. I was just questioning the intended demographic for Photoshop in the beginning. Whether it was designed with photo's in mind or if it was used more by graphic designers. Of course graphic design does include photos so....

    Now that I think of you're probably right.... not many photographers were using photoshop in the early days before scanning and digital took off.
     

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