Photo editing software

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by rickp, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. rickp

    rickp TPF Noob!

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    im on the prowl for some photo editing software ... i know about photoshop, but i would like to get an idea of how to use one before i put up the big bucks.

    so is there any decent free editing software out there that a n00b like me can learn the basics on?
     
  2. Andrew Sun

    Andrew Sun TPF Noob!

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  3. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    GIMP

    Photoscape

    If you think you'll eventually get Photoshop CS4, take a look at Photoshop Elements 7 (about $90) as it's very similar to CS4 as far as basic editing goes, but it lacks a lot of the bells and whistles of CS4.
     
  4. rickp

    rickp TPF Noob!

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    thanks guys, i guess ill download gIMp as it was both of your 1st reccomendations.

    also i should take the immages in RAW to be able to edit them am i correct?
     
  5. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Yes. Shoot RAW. Raw rules. You might have to get the hang of understanding just how RAW works, but the benefits are so tremendous that you'll never (or only under very select conditions) go back to shooting JPEG.

    I mean, technically you can shoot JPEG and you'll be able to edit them; frankly I have no idea how good GIMPs RAW support is—I know Picasa now supports RAW though. The point is that with RAW, you'll be maximizing your control in post-processing.
     
  6. Bakko

    Bakko TPF Noob!

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    adobe lightroom is also pretty nice and also beginner friendly =]
     
  7. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    Just so you know, GIMP isn't the easiest program to learn and use. It'll be a good idea to join a few GIMP forums. And you can check this tutorial out: Grokking The GIMP
    You don't have to shoot in RAW to be able to edit them, you can edit JPEGs too. But RAW does give you more leeway to work with.
     
  8. Gaerek

    Gaerek TPF Noob!

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    I second Elements 7. Look for coupon codes online, and you should be able to download it for about $80. If you decide to upgrade to CS4, Elements is part of the upgrade path and will net you (I think) a $100 discount. You won't be disappointed with Elements. It lacks some of the features, and filters of CS4, and you can't do masking natively (though it's easy to 'trick' the program into letting you do masks), but it'll do nearly everything a beginner needs.
     
  9. jbhaferkamp

    jbhaferkamp TPF Noob!

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    Go with Adobe Lightroom. There is a free trial at http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshoplightroom. It's meant to take all of the things a photographer would use in PS and puts them into a more manageable program -- without many of the tools meant for designers. It also comes at about half the price - $300.

    It handles everything from organization to web gallery output. It's the complete package. It's the only program I use now and there is a large community out there using the program for you to learn from. If you're just looking for a photography program, then try out Lightroom.

    Also, go to my web site (www.jbhaferkamp.com). All of the photos there were shot in RAW format and have been converted and manipulated in Lightroom. You can get a sense of what the program can do.
     
  10. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    While I would agree Lightroom is a great tool, it is not a Photoshop replacement. Lightroom allows you to develop your images using a very solid workflow and it allows you to make minor corrections to exposure, remove a dust spot or two, adjust color/tone curves, sharpen and assorted other useful things. But it can't do more advanced things like remove things from the background, layers and masks, overlaying of different images, or any of the other more creative edits. I use them in concert, I wouldn't replace one with the other - or even compare them to each other.
     
  11. jbhaferkamp

    jbhaferkamp TPF Noob!

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    I come from a film background so those things aren't quite as important. I learned that you had to move around to get that stuff hidden or out of the frame (the background distractions). And there are darkroom techniques to overlay images.

    I would say that for someone just starting out with image editing, Lightroom is a good tool. Photoshop is certainly easier to use than GIMP, though I've used them both. And learning the GIMP after Photoshop is the easier transition.
     
  12. MagicMynx

    MagicMynx TPF Noob!

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    I use Paint.net - TBH I prefer it to photoshop...which reminds me...I should really make a signature for here....
     

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