Post Shoot Software Editing Options (non-sub.)Pay or Free

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by cathexis, Oct 19, 2017.

  1. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    I'd wager this 'learning curve' myth was started by those who are familiar with PS and the like who tried GIMP and found it different. Not difficult. Just different. I'd also wager that those wholly familiar with GIMP would similarly label PS as 'having a steep learning curve' merely because it's different.

    It's not that one or the other is truly difficult to learn, it's just than once you become conditioned and comfortable with one system, it seems difficult to learn another. Just like most adults find it difficult to learn another language.


     
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  2. s_marolf

    s_marolf TPF Noob!

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    @480sparky

    For me I have never used PS, Lightroom or other programs so the learning curve is just figuring out what to do at all. More like a kid learning to talk vs an adult trying to learn a new language
     
  3. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Not suggesting that you're cheating and sorry for the colorful description (it was late after a couple beers). The problem with the how-to Youtubes is that so much of what's there is really wrong and really not helpful. There's good ones, but there's so many bad ones and for someone new how do you tell them apart? How do you know you're getting good advice or just watching another fool -- blind leading the blind.

    So, Silver Effex is a "canned" solution -- a button push. You're relying then on someone else's algorithms to render your image. I represent an opposite and admittedly leaning toward extreme -- take with grain of salt. It's my photo and I want everybody from the folks who make my camera to the folks who make the software I use to keep their hands off it -- MY PHOTO. So for example I save and process raw files. I do that not only because it's the work flow that produces best results but also because I don't well tolerate letting someone else do it for me -- MY PHOTO.

    This is an issue with digital photography. The image a digital camera captures requires extensive post processing to become a finished RGB photo and that includes the JPEGs that a digital camera delivers. Who makes those post processing decisions that determine what your photo looks like? These guys?

    indians.jpg

    Consider even processing a raw file in something like LR or C1. Just to open and display the photo on screen requires extensive processing. An instructive exercise some day is to take the same raw file and default open it in 1/2 dozen different raw processing programs. You get 1/2 dozen different photos. In other words you get 1/2 dozen different interpretations of your image. What about your interpretation? How best to arrive at your interpretation? Start with someone else's or start with a clean slate?

    This is one of the struggles for me in working with digital photo, I want that clean slate because it's MY PHOTO but that's really hard to get because all the software from the camera on through is designed to do it for you. You'll eventually have to find your best compromise. I responded to you're original post and you're claim that you want to learn. How do you learn as quickly and efficiently as possible and what role in that process is played by the camera maker and processing software maker all shoving their interpretation of your photo in your face?

    Here's an example: Most recent photo I've taken. The figs in my garden are starting to ripen and I grabbed a snapshot.

    fig.jpg

    From the left you first see the photo opened in C1 with as much processing disengaged as possible except the base tone curve. The DarkTable version is the same -- only the base tone curve. The difference then is in the software engineer's interpretation. In the LR version I pushed the auto button and so LR has gone further and made white balance and tone response adjustments. The right-most photo is what I produced using C1. With actual photo in hand and eyes in my head I'm better than any push button. You are too or can be.

    So back to you're creating B&W photos. You have lots of options. Your camera will generate a B&W JPEG for you directly. A lot of people are happy doing that but it's absolutely those guys above interpretation of your image. You can use software to try and fix it but that has some complications for sure. So then as you suggested process the raw files yourself. If you're going to do that why try and replicate the camera software's push button processing (Silver Effex)? A better push button and/or more push button options -- that works for a lot of people. I think the best way to get what you want is to do it yourself.

    Joe

     
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  4. cathexis

    cathexis TPF Noob!

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    First off, no apologies needed; I learned a long time ago that newsgroups, forums and such are not for the faint of heart.
    Your example of the fig pix reminds me of Bill Clinton saying, "It depends on what your definition of 'is' is." Point taken.
    It seems to be a truism that back when we had fewer choices but those choices were considered reliable but today we have
    more choices than we can ever possibly choose yet which ones can you believe? At least, that's what I think.

    Perhaps one path forward is to assume that Adobe & Cap One will always be happy to take my money but GIMP or DarkTable
    may not always be free or even still be supported (although I doubt that). So I'm going to look into those two first and see how
    that goes as pay options and button-pushing will always be available - at least until they're not<wink>.

    My Thanks,
    Andrew
     
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  5. mcap1972

    mcap1972 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I love lightroom but it looks like it's time to look into alternatives.
     
  6. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Lightroom is very good software. You just have to agree to go along with Adobe's pricing model. I haven't had time to look yet but I understand the newest version now has a new feature that I've been using for years in C1 -- nice that Adobe is still improving it.

    Joe
     
  7. dunfly

    dunfly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I use Corel Aftershot Pro, Corel Paintshop Pro and DXO Optics Pro. All are stand alone, work together and are relatively inexpensive. The problem with these programs is not that they aren't good, but all of the education tutorials are for Lightroom and Photoshop, so you sort of have to learn them on your own with very limited tutorials.
     
  8. pixmedic

    pixmedic The Mustached Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    i havent looked too hard at the new "classic" lightroom since i updated it, but as far as i can tell if you dont need the cloud you can keep getting regular PS and LR updates for the same $9.99 a month. doesnt seem like anything is changing unless you opt for the 1tb cloud storage.
    ill have to take a look later and see whats new with this latest LR and PS update.
     
  9. cathexis

    cathexis TPF Noob!

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    OK,...... So that resolve lasted about as long as it took me to study run requirements.
    No, I don't want to thrash out Linux ports. No, I don't want to thrash out plugins to
    GIMP. No, I don't want to run Xming server or try the (possibly) working Win 10 port
    of DarkTable. Etc.., etc., etc.

    In my world it's one thing if you tell me to try reading, "Moby Dick". It's something else again
    when you suggest I read it in Latvian. So it's LR 6 or Cap One for me. Maybe I'll save up for Cap
    One since it does have very good reviews even if it's pricey. A steep learning curve for a Noob
    like me means the software itself, not working around the limitations of Bill Gates' products.
    No, no, no. Too much bother. I just want to edit my pretty pix is all. Truth, I'd rather spend the
    time it takes to learn a big package than spend the same amount of time just getting it to work
    right in the first place. I'm sure some will find plenty to criticize but time to move on.
    Your mileage may vary.

    No 'dis to anyone. I asked for and got a lot of help. You guys are great,

    Andrew
     
  10. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Professor Joe made a good point about Youtube videos; many I find to have inaccurate or incorrect information. I've often thought people might have to unlearn all the crap they've learned online. (The Youtubers get money from the ads so that seems to be the motivation to do the videos for many.)

    Anyway, I have whatever Photoshop I could just pay for because I'm not doing a subscription. But I'm also a longtime film photographer and I think a key thing is - learn to get a proper exposure (and how to frame shots, and compose images, etc.) I've seen so many poorly exposed images and then people trying to fix them... I don't think you want to do any more of that than you have to; the editing to me ought to be to enhance the image or make adjustments. I do the same thing in a different way in the darkroom that I do shooting digitally - minimal adjusting and editing. If I have a proper exposure it won't take much. Sometimes there may be something I have to spend time on but I don't want to do that with every single photo I want to use.

    As far as B&W, it's the absence of color. I usually Remove Color and adjust contrast or brightness as needed. I've done submissions to juried exhibits and had photos hanging on the wall someplace, and it works for that. Like Derrel was talking about, it's more a matter of learning and creativity and ability...
     
  11. cathexis

    cathexis TPF Noob!

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    Sounds like a very reasonable reply.
     
  12. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Lightroom 6 would be a smart choice...

    It has some VERY good Lightroom Presets, plus some of the more-valuable Color Filter Effects, as well as multiple "types" of Black & White looks.

    A little tip for you regarding Lightroom: do not be afraid to take a raw file and process it using MORW than one, single pre-set, and do not be afraid of taking a color image and using a color-affecting pre-set on it, and then converting that image to a B&W image, and THEN editing it additionally!

    Some of the more-popular Lightroom Preset options can easily be combined with the B&W image processing presets and color filter effects to create some very captivating looks that are very,very different!
     

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