Photo Editing Software: Is this necessary?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Clikon, Mar 23, 2008.

  1. Clikon

    Clikon TPF Noob!

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    Perhaps this has been covered...however...I want to ask.

    Forget about semantics, etc...I know the title says "necessary", but what I think I really want to know is, can I get by without using it? I understand many many good photographers shoot in RAW, and obviously use software. But I'm thinking that as far as the "digital vs. film" debate goes, the advantage would have to go to the film side, if photo editing software is a must for quality digital photography.

    Remember I'm still claiming the "noob clause" at this point. So if you're reading this and wanting to pull out your hair at my noobness, I apologize.

    My guess is that the more knowledgeable one is about digital photography, the less likely s/he would be forced into editing. Ok, I'm ready to get reamed for that last statement, let me have it.
     
  2. joyride

    joyride TPF Noob!

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    I personally find that it is a must, I have never once gotten ashot tha couldnt ue a little level or cuve help to make it better. A lot of times, the photos lack contrast when coming straight out on the camera.

    Most people think that they have to have and expensive program like photoshop, however, freeware like Picassa can do those basic needs.
     
  3. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes, photo editing software is necessary for digital photography, simply because while you can strive to get it "right" in camera, there are many situations that arise that even perfect technique with the camera won't solve.

    I personally don't do much post processing at all, but that is my choice... I shoot with my camera set the way I want the pictures to look.

    Having said that, there are a lot of folks who are complete wizards with PP who can make good shots into astounding shots, and great shots even better than that.

    For many photographers, post processing is an essential part of getting their pictures to look the way the photographers want them to look.

    It is a skill that I think every digital photographer should learn... but how much you use it depends on what you are trying to get out of your pictures, what you are skilled enough to capture in your camera, what equipment you own and a bunch of other factors as well.

    A lot of newbies don't PP their images because they don't know how... or are too lazy to do it. That isn't what I mean by "trying to limit it as much as possible" which is what I try to do. My goal is to get it perfect, in camera, every time.

    While that is a great goal, I rarely get a shot that I am happy with... but I still try every time to improve.
     
  4. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

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    I think it all depends on what your intentions are with your photography and how knowledgeable you are about photography.

    I've gotten a lot of shots that I think are perfectly acceptable without any digital editing whatsoever.

    On the flip side, there will be times when you absolutely wish you had some digital editing software.

    I pretty much only use Photoshop. Even if you don't use it for touchup, the resizing capabilities of Photoshop alone are pretty significant. By using Actions, you can save yourself tremendous amounts of time resizing numerous photos for web and emailing.
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    RAW processer = YES (ex: raw converters, aperture, lightroom, capture one, RAW software delivered with camera)

    Photo Editor = NOT REALLY (ex: photoshop, GIMP, etc..)

    The nice thing is that most DSLR cameras come with software to do some sort of RAW processing and conversion to a final less proprietary format. The focus is final tweaking of saturation, sharpness, contrast, white balance, etc... decisions that are difficult to make without input from the photographer. In my mind, the decisions being made in RAW are similar to the decision every film photographer had to make in the past; film selection.

    Keep in mind... some photo editors can process RAW and some RAW processors have limited photo editing capabilities like clone, dodge, burn etc...


    Personally, I do most of the work in Capture one (a raw processor) and final tweak in photoshop. I could see myself doing everything in Capture One... but I'm used to photoshop.
     
  6. patrickt

    patrickt TPF Noob!

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    It is no more necessary than was darkroom work with film. I know a lot of people who use a point-and-shoot and do zero editing.

    Of course, the picture might be a little better is it was cropped or the horizon was leveled. Or, perhaps just a tad better if the contrast was increased a bit. Or, that shot is great except for the power line running diagonally in the upper-left corner.

    Of course, you can use your camera without editing just as was done for years with film.
     
  7. THORHAMMER

    THORHAMMER TPF Noob!

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    A lot of people dont understand that its a little different nowadays, we have to take into account psuedo or real printing options when we finish our processing now, so it can be displayed properly on the web. in the past a lot of contrast and saturation can be controlled by both film choice and printing options , paper choices, timing etc.... Lots of famous pictures had color tones changed on enlargers before printing, then scanned and then you see them on the web, or in galleries. They did not just magically pop out of the darkrooms, they had just about as many variables as we did today, theirs was just more analog. ours is a faster response.
     
  8. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    Is it necessary? No. But you'll definitely get the most out of your equipment if you do invest in some photo editing software. There's not right or wrong answer and it all depends on how much time you have to spend on images, and how much stomach you have for it. I like to get things as good as possible straight off the camera since post-processing work bores the heck out of me and I'd rather keep shooting more. Some people are the exact opposite and shoot very little. The fun for them is all from what they can create from the fewer number of images that they do take.
     
  9. kidchill

    kidchill TPF Noob!

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    I used to think it wasn't needed, but now I know better. I don't care how good of a shot you get, it can always be improved!! This may just be an opinion, but that's how I see it.
     
  10. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There are 2 sides to this. First, is editing software used as a crutch by a lot of the newer generation? Most definately. Learn to get it right in-camera the best possible and your results will improve.

    If maximum image quality possible is your goal, that means shooting RAW. if shooting RAW, automatically that means editing software, and for 2 main reasons:

    - First, very few (if any), labs can print a picture you send them in a RAW format file.

    - Second, the RAW file in most cameras doesn't contain any formatting applied to the image. There are exceptions like CaptureNX that can apply (or not), the camera settings such as sharpness, saturation, colour space, etc... to your picture... but most do NOT. Therefore... you NEED an editing program to bring out the best from each picture that you can.

    Bottom line, like everyone here has stated so far... you NEED editing software in today's world of photography.

    Not only to bring out the best in each picture, but to more easily accomplish things that were difficult to do in the past... like selective colour, double exposures, and ALL the effects that filters use to be able to do for us in the past... that we can now use with much greater freedom than ever before.

    That's my 2 cents. :)
     
  11. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    I didn't state that. :greenpbl:

    If you get it right in the camera the first time, you won't truly "need" editing software. Of course that's going to be difficult for newbies, but as time goes on....
     
  12. noob873

    noob873 TPF Noob!

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    Of course theres always times where the pictures are good right out of the camera, but I feel that its definitely necessary. Of course, most of the aspects of the picture should come from you actually using the camera, but photoshop really helps make the final product. Recently I've been doing a lot of pictures at zoos, and photoshop really helps make it look they werent taken at zoos, like if the background is bad or whatever.
    For example heres a before/after
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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