Photo editing and organizing


TPF Noob!
Mar 13, 2012
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Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I'm new to photography, and am considering getting Paintshop Pro X4 for editing. I'm not planning on doing any advanced editing any time soon, so is there anything important that I would get wit something like Photoshop but not in Paintshop? Also, I was wondering if anyone had any tips for keeping photos organized on my computer.
If you are serious about "keeping photos organized", then I would sugggest that you look at Lightroom (LR). The latest version is Lightroom 4. The Library module is, in my opinion, about the best software around for organizing and cataloging your images. The develop module will probably do just about all you would want as far as post-processing is concerned. Photoshop and its smaller cousin Photoshop Elements (PSE) are really only required if you want to manipulate images at the pixel level. If you are going to need that functionality, then I would suggest you acquire Photoshop Elements as it is much cheaper than the full version of Photoshop, particularly if you are not going to do any advanced editing, as you indicated. Lightroom 4, at present, can be had for about $149 and PSE 10 can be had for about the same amount. You can download both from the Adobe site - and try them for 30 days before you have to pay for them. As well, images can be passed from LR to PSE (and back) if you need to use the editing functions of PSE to process an image further than you can go in LR. I have not used Paintshop Pro, but a quick look at the specs, suggests that it does most of what LR does and some of what "Photoshop" does, e.g., layers. which LR does not do. It also indicates that it has some "organizing" capabilities, thus you may not need the "Library" functionality in LR. I would suggest you may wish to compare the two products on a feature by feature basis to ensure that you can get the functionality that you are looking for. My 0.02¢ FWIW.


Lightroom 4, at present, can be had for about $149 and PSE 10 can be had for about the same amount.
Elements 10 is $85 - Adobe Photoshop Elements 10

Lightroom is professional grade software, and it's image management database feature is way overkill for someone that doesn't routinely produce a lot of photos.

Here are some thoughts from another forum about PSP from someone who has used it extensively and whose opinion I respect:

I used Paint Shop Pro (now Photo Paint) for many years, and felt pretty good about it for a long time. In my experience, the last few revisions of the program have added little value as far as features for a serious photographer, and the software's robustness has suffered.

About a year ago I decided move to the big-boy photoshop. I made this decision after getting frustrated with the poor performance and reliability of the Corel program. I downloaded demo versions of Elements and Photoshop and was, quite honestly, floored by Photoshop's performance and user interface. It took me a good while to get used to the different UI, but there are SO many improvements in the features, the workflow, the incredible robustness of the softare. Dealing with huge images, many layers, and still far outperforming how Corel would run on a much simpler project.

While Corel "has" many of the features and capabilities of Photoshop, they are so much better, faster, more fluid, more reliable ... in Photoshop.

In short (too late for that), while you can accomplish many of the same things in Photo Paint, getting there is not as fast, making changes is not as easy, the UI isn't as helpful, and you better save often, because the program will crash far more often.
I would suggest you may wish to compare the two products on a feature by feature basis to ensure that you can get the functionality that you are looking for. My 0.02¢ FWIW.
You get Adobe Bridge with Photoshop. I've only started properly using it in the last 3-4 months and I love it for file management and batch processes.
While Corel "has" many of the features and capabilities of Photoshop, they are so much better, faster, more fluid, more reliable ... in Photoshop.
Given that Photoshop costs about 13 times as much as Paintshop Pro I would expect there to be some significant differences.

I used PSP for years and when it was sold by JASC it was as good or better than Photoshop. I had both at the time. When Corel bought JASC PSP became bloated, slower, and with not a lot of new features. I had PSP X2 on my previous computer and the RAW convertor was horrible. I have PSP X3 on this one (it came with it pre-installed) and to be honest all I ever use it for is cloning or adding a watermark.

For ohoto-editing Corel Aftershot Pro is much better, primarily because Corel didn't write it. It was previously Bibble 5 and, once again, Corel bought up Bibble late last year. Aftershot came out right after the acquisition of Bibble so Corel didn't have a lot of time to screw it up too badly. They basically threw their boilerplate logo all over it and left the Bibble guts in place. For the price it is very good editing software.
I'd second comments by WesternGuy. I had PS Elements and Photoshop CS3 (including Bridge) for many years and was never satisfied--too many bugs etc. I bought Light Room 3 about a year ago and rank it one of the best programs I have ever used. It has improved my photography. You will need to spend some time figuring out its various modules but the functionality of each module guides you into a workflow which is very efficient for today's take-too-many-images digital photographer. The Library module is used to take images from your camera and keep track of them in a catalog--I am now over 50,000 images and Lightroom still finds stuff in seconds. The Develop module will probably take care of most of you "enhancement" needs. The other three modules--Web, Print, Slideshow you'll use depending on what you do with your images. Now to be certain, for advanced photo editing and graphic design, Photoshop is much more powerful and is the professional standard. But Photoshop will not help you organize your images and from you question I'd bet you'd never use most of its functionality. And by the way, Lightroom interfaces with Photoshop in any case if the need arises.
Lightroom 4 isn't an option since I'm still on XP. But I'll look into PS elements and LR3.
Before you spend any money, give Google Picasa a try. It is free and may be all you need.

+1 Lightroom. Don't waste your time on Paintshop Pro.

I use Photoshop with Adobe Bridge now, but I got them for free from work (I work as a helpdesk technician and sometimes they order more than they need, so the employees get to bring home the spares). Before that I was an avid Lightroom user. I actually like Lightroom better in some areas.
A good organization scheme starts with where (on your hard disk) and how (file structure wise) you are storing your unedited images. If you are just dumping everything in a folder over and over eventually you won't be able to find anything and won't be able to spring clean except on a file by file (image by image) basis. Since every file contains a date created property, I find it easiest to store each image in a folder for that specific day, under a specific folder for each month, in one folder off the desktop for the year. So it looks like this harddrive\2012\March\03-20\files

Additionally, I make a sub folder in each day called post so that after I manipulate an image I export or 'save-as' inside this folder so the original is left intact. I also will sometimes add a folder to post called small for stuff I want to export as a smaller file size. So that only the real keeepers end up in the post folder and even fewer end up in the small folder. It would look like this in the above example: harddrive\2012\march\03-20\post\small with files in the day folder, the post folder and the small folder, It feels tight and organized compared to just dumping things in temp folders or everything in the Windows Pictures folder.

Also, if you are motivated to learn software a bit, Gimp is a free version of Photoshop and is powerful. I also use Photoscape for simple editing of levels (also free) and Picassa (free as well) from Google for viewing and an additional level of organizing. Save your $ for an external hard drive!
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