What computer Programs?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Golfer_Cody, May 31, 2008.

  1. Golfer_Cody

    Golfer_Cody TPF Noob!

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    I have a Apple Macbook and when I get a camera I think I am gonna get a canon but what computer programs are good for editing and doing all the HDR stuff? What are all the programs needed to do the stuff people do to pictures?
     
  2. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

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    Is money an issue?

    If its not, then Photoshop CS3 is the gold standard. There's also Adobe Lightroom, which does different stuff than Photoshop. But with the groovy Apple, you have Aperture, which is unavailable to PC users (I don't think).

    If money is a factor, then perhaps Photoshop Elements would be sufficient? There's also Paint Shop, which a lot of people like. Both of these I believe are under $100, which is about 5-10 times cheaper than their big brother. They're a much better "bang for the buck" if you know what I mean.
     
  3. Alfred D.

    Alfred D. TPF Noob!

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    Here's an overview of the rest:

    Wikipedia list of raster graphics editors

    Apart from the top tiers of graphical editing applications that Senor mentioned for MacOSX I can also recommend having a look at GraphicConverter and Photoline32 (both shareware).

    And then there is the commercially available superfast photo management tool "Photo Mechanic", the light table on your Mac, that integrates seamlessly with your favorite editing app.

    Have fun!
     
  4. elemental

    elemental TPF Noob!

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    I use GIMP on my MacBook Pro. It is similar to Photoshop in power and features, but it is open-source and completely free. GIMP versus Photoshop is about as ugly (and pointless) as Canon vs. Nikon, but when you factor in price, I think there's really no contest. GIMP certainly has a learning curve (what, like Photoshop doesn't?), but some moderate Google skills can usually get you where you need to go.

    I do not think GIMP does HDRs without add-ons, but I don't think Photoshop does this either.

    Oh, and you'll have to install X11 from your install DVD. This frustrated me for a good half hour before I figured it out. Do NOT use the one from the Apple website.

    http://gimp.org/
     
  5. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    If you want to do pro-level work then you need a pro-level program, which would be Photoshop.

    If not, Paint Shop Pro or GIMP, though I'd prefer the former.
     
  6. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    i use mac as well... this is a list of the software i use on a regular basis....

    (I have the adobe suite) but I use Photoshop CS3, Light Room and Bridges the most...
    I use Photomatix Pro (for HDR images)
    Pixelmator (only recently started messing with it)

    oh and Senor Hound mentioned Aperture... don't get it... Lightroom does the same things and more.. its a far better application
     
  7. Chewbecca

    Chewbecca TPF Noob!

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    I agree. I don't have a MAC, and GIMP was in my OS directory (my computer OS is Kubuntu), so all I had to do was install it, but it's free.
    If you can get it to do what you want for now, why not try it first? At the very least it will save you money temporarily.
     
  8. Golfer_Cody

    Golfer_Cody TPF Noob!

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    ok that helps, I dont really wanna spend 300 bucks till I get way good at all this. all I wanna do is just be able to do a little HDR stuff. Now you guys mentioned like 3 different ones a peice. Do they all do the same thing or do you need to get 1 and get the other?
     
  9. elemental

    elemental TPF Noob!

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    Industrial Light and Magic used CinePaint (previously known as Film Gimp, which branched from the GIMP development tree in 1998) on 2003's The Hulk. If ILM isn't professional, I don't really know who is.

    Like I said, Photoshop versus GIMP is a long, drawn-out, and usually pointless argument. If you (or anyone else) wants to read about it ad nauseam, just google "Photoshop vs GIMP." There are plenty of arguments for one or the other. GIMP is great because it's free, it's constantly being tweaked and developed, it has a great online support community, and it doesn't cost anything. Determine what your needs, wants, and budget are and decide accordingly, but know that chances are for your uses there is no wrong answer. If I were you, I'd get GIMP running for free and play with it, and if for some reason you really need Photoshop later on, it's not like you wasted your money. That's what I did, and somehow I still use GIMP. . .

    As to what programs do what, there are a few different types of programs and there are a few options for each type:

    Photoshop and GIMP are high-level image editing tools with applications beyond photography. They are useful for everything from removing red-eye to making a big huge ugly watermark so no one steals your crappy pictures to make big profit (did that come out harsh?) or putting big glowing Gothic letters on top of a picture of your hideous custom Honda for all the world to see as your forum signature. They will not organize your photos. They simply give you tremendous horsepower to edit images of all types.

    Aperture and Lightroom are tailored more towards photography. While I've never used Lightroom, Aperture is tailored towards professional photographers, designed to assist your workflow from camera upload to final output. Aperture has features like complete RAW support, stacking (to organize) and versions (multiple working copies), and others designed for the professional photographer. It will organize your photos and compress and store them in one large "vault," which the image editing programs will not do. The editing is tuned for photography, so you (may) not have the power to edit Goku into the driver's seat of your purple flame adorned Sentra for that sweet forum sig (not really sure about those heavier image editing capabilities, I know I never saw them). These programs are like professional versions of iPhoto or Picasa- the D2X to iPhoto's $85 point and shoot so to speak.

    There are other programs that work as either add-ons to GIMP/Photoshop or stand-alones that allow you to perform specific tasks like reduce noise (Noise Ninja) or make HDRs (HDRshop).

    To answer your question, a complete setup probably includes one organizing/workflow program like Aperture, one heavy-duty image editor for the heavy stuff like GIMP, and whatever stand-alones you need for your specific interests and style.

    While it would be wonderful to start out with all of this software, a more realistic beginner setup could be iPhoto for basic editing and photo library organizing, and GIMP for serious editing. This is a completely free and very powerful software setup. You can always add other programs as you develop your skills and interests.
     
  10. Golfer_Cody

    Golfer_Cody TPF Noob!

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    ok well Iphoto came on my computer. I just dont know how to use it. So you can do HDR with gimp?
     
  11. RebelTasha

    RebelTasha TPF Noob!

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    Where would one go about finding this HDR capable add on for Gimp?
     
  12. PhotoDonkey

    PhotoDonkey TPF Noob!

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    I don't know about add-ons, but a quick search turned this up
     

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