Why should i edit pics and what prog do you recomend?

Discussion in 'Graphics Programs and Photo Gallery' started by thephotoroom, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. thephotoroom

    thephotoroom TPF Noob!

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    So i just got myself a d60 and have gotten reinspired to shoot, problem is, I dont have any editing software, nor have ever used any. I've used paint brush pro to make flyers and posters and whatnot, but never really understood how to edit a picture and what elements to enhance/hide.

    Just wondering if a few of you could shed some light, i understand as is most things in life, personal preference rules, but i also like easy, so lets just say...

    What editing platform gives you the most bang for your buck?

    Thanks.

    -Alex
     
  2. OregonAmy

    OregonAmy TPF Noob!

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    GIMP is free and it gives you a lot of bang for zero bucks. Documentation is online as well as a lot of add-ons.

    It's not easy, though. For that you might try Picasa. I use that for storing all my pics & making any quick edits (like straightening a shot)
     
  3. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    Paint Shop Pro X2 Ultimate is like Photoshop in many of its features but it is easier to learn and costs around $100 versus $900 or thereabouts for Photoshop CS4.

    By the way all photos require postprocessing partially because digital photography has limitations and does not precisely record photos the way the eye saw them. Dealing with mistakes is only a small part of postprocessing and editing.

    skieur
     
  4. Craddosk

    Craddosk TPF Noob!

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    Why should you edit pictures? Usually because they require work because they were not done right in camera. Usually cropping, enhancing detail, colours, things like that.

    Programs? Here are some major ones (in order of preference). Play with them and see what you prefer and what works for you. I think Adobe has a basic version of Elements available as an online function tool, but I don't have any experience with that.
    Adobe Lightroom (30 day trial)
    Apple Aperture (30 day trial) (Apple only)
    Adobe Photoshop Elements (30 day trial)
    Adobe Photoshop (30 day trial)
    GIMP (free)
    Apple Iphoto (free) (Apple only)
     
  5. Eldrich

    Eldrich TPF Noob!

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    I recently upgraded to DSLR (Canon 50D) from a point and shoot, and my new camera came with the Canon editing software Digital Photography Professional. I think that software is free, and it seems very sufficient if all you want is color, saturation, cropping and stuff like that, I don't think it can do some of the more fanciful things that photoshop can.

    Anyway, I started going through my old point and shoot pictures with the software (Because I have had my new camera for two weeks and have not had a minute of free time when the sun has been up, very frustrating!). But even with my very limited experience with editing software I have composed some fairly nice looking pics from pictures I otherwise wouldn't have given a second thought to. Thats an answer to the "why edit pics" question.

    But I have a related question. Do you keep all your original pics or do you only keep the edited version? I have a strange compulsion to save all originals, but I don't know if the logistics and organization of this would just get out of hand...anyway, just wondering what you all did for your saving of edited versus original pics.
     
  6. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ALWAYS keep the originals. I have 3 main folders. SORT I upload to, batch rename them with the date and subject, and move them to the next folder. ORIGINAL is where I sort the previously uploaded and renamed photos into categorized folders. I then either export them as TIFF to the next folder if I use a different software (I like the crop tool in one and editing in another software) for editing or just copy them over keeping as JPEG. The last folder is EDITS, where I have a copy of the original as I stated and this is where I keep the edited photos. I mostly do simple crop to whatever ratio I want to upload or print, then simple levels, curves, resize, and sharpening. Then I upload that to the web or upload to the print services. I seldom keep the edited shots and normally just delete them unless they are edited to put as a screensaver or wallpaper on the computer. I don't do much editing other than simple "digital development" as I like to call it. Thus, it's simple to reproduce if I need the photo again for another purpose after I've deleted the edit.
     
  7. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well most of the editing program names have been mentioned, but here is my view - when starting out get something like Photoshop elemets, Paintshop pro or GIMP. They will give your more than enough to work with at the starting stages and will do all the basics of editing that you need - expensive software like Photoshop CS is way too powerful and costly. You won't be using (nor probably needing) a lot of what you pay for and the money is far better spent kit to get the shot.
    If you have a shot you can always edit it at any point in time - but no matter how many editing programs you have you can't edit a shot that you were never able to edit.

    As for keeping originals I will echo the above - ALWAYS keep them - with the original you can always go back and edit again (and as you get better at it you can edit better as well) but if you don't have the original then you can't. An edited shot can always be recreated from an original but an original cannot be made back from an edite shot. Treat them like you would for a film camera and keep your digital negatives
     
  8. Eldrich

    Eldrich TPF Noob!

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    Great! That's what I wanted to do, just didn't know if I was being a little obsessive about it.

    It sounds like you use multiple programs, one to sort, one to crop, and one to edit curves etc. I have found its easier to just pop up whatever program seems to be the easiest to use one particular function. It seems like learning all the ins and outs of one program, to do everything from it, would not be worth it.
     
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    hmm nope I think most people stick to one possible 2 programs.
    Mostly people stick to a single editing program - most of them are very similar in operation and (within price ranges) similar powers and accuracy as well. Learning one single program well (Even something like elements) takes time.
    Some people do use Lightroom in combination with elements or full photoshop because lightroom allows for easy batch work with RAW photo files - which allows for a quiker workthrough. However lightroom does not have all the editing featuers of the other programs - its a batch tool - however lightroom 2 does have some improved editing capabilities.
    Also changing programs requires saving and opening a file several times - JEPGs degrade over time with saves and thus you are cutting down on life and quality each time you would be saving and switching. A JPEG (or RAW) saved as a Tiff file would allow such a workflow since Tiff don't degrade over time, but of course Tiff are much much larger filesizes than JPEG.

    Honestly though a single decent editing program is all you really need - concentrate on mastering one
     
  10. Eldrich

    Eldrich TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the advice. I knew I came here for a reason, been a member less than 24 hours and have already corrected 2 of my intuitions :)
     

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