Photoshop vs. something else?

ThePictureEffect

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I'm looking into getting a good photo editing program for myself. Something that's affordable and works well. It doesn't have to have all the bells and whistles, since I'm not a professional by any means. At the moment, I'm considering Photoshop Elements, but I'm looking for some feedback on it. How well does it work? Is there anything cheaper that works just as well? I've been looking at GIMP as well, which is a free download, so I'm wondering if anyone has had much experience with that program either.
 

RKW3

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I used to use Elements 5.0, works great.
 

GwagDesigns

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Elements came free with my new computer, its a good program, its adobe! Although in my case, i use Lightroom more than anything, with post editing in PS.
 

Alpha

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There's something else?

I'm not kidding. PS is literally unparalleled in advanced functions (read: the ones that are necessary for fine-tuned post-processing, advanced compositing, and a host of other things).

Elements? Works great? For what?
 

Saint-Brown

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Man, MaxBloom give peaple a break. PS is expensive and not worth it if you don't know how to use it. Fortunatly for me my wife is a graphic artist and has been teaching things since we meet. It's not the easiest thing to use.
 

Dominic

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People seem to forget that Photoshop is a designers tool (along with the rest of Adobe's suite) more so than anything. If you want a user-friendly, affordable piece of software, Elements is the better choice. Especially for a hobbyist looking for an initial program.

You may look into getting a Wacom board -- some come with a copy of Elements 5.0 included and will sit you back around $200 (USD).

Also, if you go the Elements route you can always have money left over for cool things such as Alien Skin, Photomatrix, etc...and still come in below retail price for CS3.

However, if you are a student and available to take advantage of student pricing on CS3 I would.
 

That One Guy

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I used the gimp for a long time. I was happy with it, but I will say that PS seems to offer a bit more and it should for the price of it.

Depending on your design and editing abilities, the gimp will probably suit you for a good while.
 

Dominic

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Yay! Indiana! BSU Class of 1998!
 

Mav

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There's something else?

I'm not kidding. PS is literally unparalleled in advanced functions (read: the ones that are necessary for fine-tuned post-processing, advanced compositing, and a host of other things).

Elements? Works great? For what?
PS is complete overkill for I bet >90% of photographers out there. I used Paint Shop Pro for years all the way back from when it was version 4 and it did everything I needed it to. Later versions would even work with photoshop plug-ins. GIMP is even better since it's free. It depends on the platform, but you can even hack PS plug-ins into working on GIMP too. On Mac I use DxO now (works on Windows too) and do all of my batch processing on that. If I need to do heavier editing I just use GIMP.
 

Amber24

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I use Lightroom and I love it. I find it much easier to use that PS and it was much cheaper.
 

Alpha

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I don't know who these "photographers" are that you guys are talking about, but you're talking about them as if they're not photographers. Make no mistake, I'm a hobbyist. But I'd hesitate to call myself a photographer were I not serious about my work at least to some extent. In the world of post-processing, being serious means using photoshop-- end of story. There are lots of good programs for simple editing that are appropriate for your average "photographer" who's using a point-and-shoot. But I tend not to refer to those people as photographers.
 

Mav

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I don't know who these "photographers" are that you guys are talking about, but you're talking about them as if they're not photographers. Make no mistake, I'm a hobbyist. But I'd hesitate to call myself a photographer were I not serious about my work at least to some extent. In the world of post-processing, being serious means using photoshop-- end of story. There are lots of good programs for simple editing that are appropriate for your average "photographer" who's using a point-and-shoot. But I tend not to refer to those people as photographers.
Original:

DSC_7634-vi.jpg



NOT processed with Photoshop:

DSC_7634d-vi.jpg



Cameras, lenses, and software like photoshop are merely tools. There's often many different ways to get the same result. Saying that somebody isn't a photographer or an artist or even a serious one just because they don't use a particular tool is absurd - end of story.
 

Alpha

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Congrats. You increased saturation and contrast. No, you don't need photoshop. If 90% of your photos are sunsets, you probably don't need it (those other 10% will be very annoying). But I bet you'd still think twice about the processing if you had to get the image ready for a gallery.
 

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