Newbie asking for suggestion for photo editing sw

Discussion in 'Graphics Programs and Photo Gallery' started by Photon1, Dec 18, 2015.

  1. Photon1

    Photon1 TPF Noob!

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    I'm a newbie looking to get into photography. one of my first questions is what software Do you suggest to use to edit photos, and be able to easily make digital photo albums. My daughter is giving me a hand me down Apple Mac book pro laptop and that's what I figure to use as I've heard that's where Apple shines. My wife likes using actual photo albums, but we're physically running out of space to store all these albums and would like to turn to digital storage. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thx


     
  2. Jim Walczak

    Jim Walczak No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hhmmm...where to start...

    Well, on the issue of software, personally I feel it depends on a great deal on how you work and your specific goals. In general, "editing" software and "photo album" software are going to be 2 different things, but in either case a lot of it comes down to personal preference. For example, a person who does professional production photography is likely to be good with something like Adobe Lightroom where they can make basic adjustments to a large number of images. Lightroom is also great for cataloging your work as well (although I use Adobe Bridge for much the same thing). On the other hand, a person (such as myself) who may frequently do more extensive image manipulations, Photoshop would have some VERY great advantages.

    On that note, I will say that, barring the issue of this "Creative Cloud" nonsense which I think is a scam, I am a long time Adobe user. As a freelance digital artist, Photoshop and Illustrator are my bread and butter...Adobe is the so-called industry standard for a good reason. It's worth mentioning however that I've used Photoshop since version 4 came out back in the mid 90's, so I am a bit bias...that's what I grew up with, so that's what I like to use. That said however, I've also used Gimp on occasion (free) and it does a very good job for what it is. The simple fact is that there are many photo editing packages out there, from Coral to Aperture to Elements. Which you use depends on your budget and again on your own specific needs. On this issue alone, I would suggest simply Google "photo editing software" (or "photo album software") and download a few demo versions to see what suits your own needs the best.

    Now since it was mentioned, I do very much have to say a few words about Mac here as well. Ok...ok...I'll admit that I'm -NOT- a fan of Macs at all. Again I will admit to a degree of bias here...like Adobe, I grew up with PC's and that's obviously what I prefer, however I've worked on Macs for a good 5 years now and I still just don't like the Mac OS (for a variety of reasons). That said however, the idea that photo and video editing is where "Apple shines" is a rather dated concept to say the least. At one time, yes - Macs were vastly superior for such applications, however today the fact is that they are little more than over-priced, glorified PC's with a rather wonkey operating system. Regardless of what Mac loyalists will try to tell you, an Intel i5 processor is an Intel i5 processor regardless of whether it's in a Mac or a PC. USB is USB regardless of the OS platform. And with a program such as Photoshop...wow...doesn't really matter what OS you're using. Photoshop is Photoshop. And don't be fooled - yes, Macs get viruses too. In short, if you're getting a Macbook for free...great...use it. But be warned that getting into Macs from the git-go just doesn't have any significant advantage at all these days. If someone were to give me a Mac/Macbook, I'd probably sell it, buy an equivalent PC and take my wife out for a VERY nice dinner with the left over money.

    With that all said, if you're looking to do the "digital album" thing, regardless of which software you choose to use and which platform you ultimately go with, I would suggest a good, sizable external drive...as well as a some way back up your work. I'm sure that it's just that I'm getting old, however I personally just don't trust online storage...even when I post something online (even here via Photobucket), I always have local backups of my work (including any/all originals)...yes, I do video and animation work as well, but at the moment I have about 4 1/2 terabytes of harddrive space on my PC (across a total of 5 drives) and I'm already looking to upgrade again. Digital storage is nice in theory, however it can get very hard to manage very quickly. Also, something to keep in mind...while physical photo albums can certainly start to clutter your house over the years (particularly if you tend to be a bit prolific), they do have one advantage - short of fire, flood or other disaster, chances are they'll still be around for the family to look at in 20 years. I do in fact have boxes of old family photos going back 50 years or more. Harddrives however can and DO crash...it's worth remembering that it's not a matter of -IF- your harddrive will crash, simply when. As such, if those family photo albums of memories have any real value to you, make sure you ALWAYS back up your work.

    Okies...not sure if that's what you were looking for or even if it was any help, but hopefully it gives you a few suggestions to get you started.

    Good Luck!
     

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