Software

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Chili, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. Chili

    Chili TPF Noob!

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    Hello all,

    I am as new as you can get to a dslr, I have been a p&s guy and want to expand my horizons. I got a D50 with the kit lens 18-55 from a friend but there is no software on my computer other than the card reader that I used for my p&s that is SD also. He did not have the Nikon CD.

    I was at the store and was looking at adobe photoshop 5.0 and not knowing what I was looking at, I was thinking to myself maybe I should ask someone who does. So is this a good place to start or over my head?

    I have never been off auto and dont have a clue about settings, but I will get there as I go. I'm sure you will hear from me on that soon. I like to shoot buildings and architecture if that helps. Any recommendations on lens for that type of shooting.

    Thank you all
     
  2. I shoot a lot of architecture. Without recommending a specific lens (other members here are really good at that kind of stuff) you will want to get as wide a lens as possible. Your camera (like 95% of all dSLRs) has a specifically-sized sensor that tends to reduce (crop) the available field of view of lenses. That means that a lens with a focal length of 20mm acts like a 30mm lens. Btw, the lower the number of milimeters (mm) the wider the lens. Canon has made EF lenses of every focal length for years, but now has a sub-set of those called EF-S lenses especially for their new dSLR cameras. Look at those for now.

    Adobe Photoshop Elements (note the word Elements) is a very good program that will be able to address virtually all of your needs for the first few years. I moved up the proper Photoshop a couple of years ago, but was a happy Elements user for some time. You mentioned you saw version 5, I assume you mean Elements. It should cost around $90. The "big" Photoshop (most current version is called CS2) costs around $600 is waay more than you need.

    ANY editing software can be daunting. I am pretty comfortable on a computer, but found these types of programs to be far from intuitive. Fortunately there are some very good guidebooks. Get the software, install it, and then try to fix something that bothers you. It could be something simple like straightening an image, or cropping it, or removing something. If you can't figure it out (even by reading the manual) then go to a book store, and leaf through the dozens of (good) tutorial books. Pick the one that describes the solution most clearly.

    If you're in a rush, pick Elements 4. The new one is "new and improved" if you're a marketing guy, other than that it's pretty much the same. The advantage is that there are dozens of Elements 4 books already in circulation, whereas the 5 books are just coming to market in the next couple of months. Plus the older software ought to be discounted, effectively giving you the cost of the book for free :)
     
  3. Chili

    Chili TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Flatline,

    I understand about the wide lens but will my picture apear to be far away if I cant get that close to the building?

    It was "Elements" 5.0. I think I will go with that it was $80 witch I though was a good price.
     
  4. Chili

    Chili TPF Noob!

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    I can get a Tamron AF 100-300mm f5-6.3 macro for $90. I know it's a slow lens but the buildings are not moving so I dont think that will be a problem or will it? I will use the lens for other stuff but mostly for architecture. This will let me get close for the long shots or higher ones that are off the ground. Like I said I'm very new so if I am wrong about something dont hold back let me have it.
     
  5. It's not a brilliant lens but architecture is like landscape - shoot it slow at a small aperature, and you'll get better sharpness. At that price you can use it for a while, and then still get something better if you decide you want that. Know that in photography, usually what you pay is what you get, and good lenses cost around $1,000 - $1,800 for SLRs.
     
  6. ahelg

    ahelg TPF Noob!

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    The new elements 5 is an excellent program. The new user interface is much easier to use for beginners, and it also contains an excellent photo organizer.

    A hint. Start tagging photographs strait away so that they are easy to find in years from now when you suddenly think, hmm, I wonder where that is. I found out about tagging after 2 years of casual P&S which left me with thousands for photographs to browse through every time I want to find something. With a tag, if I want to find photos of my uncle in Norway, I simply type in his name and they are all displayed. It's a brilliant help and well worth the few minoutes it takes to add the tags.
     
  7. Chili

    Chili TPF Noob!

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    Is the tagging done in Photoshop? Right now I have all my pictures in folders in "my pictures" on the computer.
     
  8. You can tag in PS, but I recommend still keeping a good folder hirarchy. My folders are usually named 2006 Q4, or if it was a special event it would say 2006 12 05 B-day Fred or 2006 12 Hawaii. I put JPG files in those folders which my wife can find easily. Each folder has two additional sub-folders - one called RAW and one called PSD (or, specifically 2006 12 Hawaii RAW, for instance).

    Anal, I know....
     
  9. Chili

    Chili TPF Noob!

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    I'll keep doing that, why fix it if it's not broke. After I download the photos to photoshop and touch them up can I send them to my pictures or do they have to stay there. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it after I get it and work with it a little bit. Thanks for all the help.
     

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