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Old 11-09-2014, 06:22 PM   #21
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If you haven't tried Lightroom, the 30 day free intro is worth a shot. While I was skeptical coming from Photoshop (and rightly so with the early versions), I find it faster at making corrections than Photoshop. As I mentioned earlier, the database it builds of your images, complete with your added key words makes searching through thousands of images easy & fast. Since all editing never changes your originals, as you get better at using it you can go back & apply your new skills to the older images.

I don't like the spotting tools in Lightroom, and it does not do Panoramas so I still use Photoshop for those needs, but for everything else it is great.

Serge Ramelli produces podcasts using Lightroom that are useful. I just checked his website & his older podcasts are available for free as YouTube files.
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Old 11-09-2014, 06:27 PM   #22
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Thanks Jon! I may do that. From what I saw on my friend's computer, it's like having permanent RAW files. And, evidently, lots more from what you say. Very cool.
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Old 11-09-2014, 06:36 PM   #23
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Jon and Ellen, non-destructive editing is my favorite advance in editing software.

[ I'd suggest Aperture for anyone with a Mac as it is very similar to Lightroom, but as I said it is being discontinued]
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:35 PM   #24
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I've been using Gimp for years. I don't need much, I'm a true amature, but I haven't found any picture manipulation it wouldn't do for me. It's much better than I am and it's free.

It loads on my hard disk, needs no registration, and is updated regularly. If worried about it going away you can even get the source code, for free.

A real bonus is you pick up Linux along the way, also for free.
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:59 PM   #25
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As I mentioned earlier, the database it builds of your images, complete with your added key words makes searching through thousands of images easy & fast. Since all editing never changes your originals, as you get better at using it you can go back & apply your new skills to the older images.
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Jon and Ellen, non-destructive editing is my favorite advance in editing software.
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I've been using Gimp for years...
A central database is good for performance, although it tends to lock you into one tool - not so bad when it is free Picasa, but can be expensive when it's something from Adobe and just limiting when it's something from Apple. Perhaps the advance is that expensive software now exposes this basic metadata handling fuctionality. Cheap or free tools such as IrfanView, and apparently GIMP, have allowed editing of metadata (such as the IPTC tags and JPG comments), without touching the image data, for a long time.
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:56 PM   #26
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Lightroom is the only software that the majority of photographers will need. The only ones who don't are the ones who are at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Those who have little need to edit photos and whose needs would be met with a free program like Picasa or whatever came with their camera. And the people who are pushing editing software to its limits who won't be satisfied with anything less than Photoshop. For non-serious photographers, who just want to take a few snapshots, I'd recommend saving money and using the free stuff.

I find that Lightroom works for 99% of what I need to do. As mentioned earlier, the organizational features and the non - destructive editing are huge reasons for that. I take enough photos that before I got Lightroom I spent too much time organizing and looking for photos. The editing tools are good enough to get most photos looking decent and are quick and easy. Since it's nondestructive, I still have my RAW files for future use.

Also, Photoshop is a complex, enormously capable program with a steep learning curve. I use GIS software, which is even more complex, at work and don't want to work that hard at night and on vacation. It's much more fun to be out shooting. I don't intend to learn Photoshop until I retire.
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Old 11-09-2014, 09:26 PM   #27
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I'm curious about what people do with all these high-end software products. What to you do with all those photos that need so much work on them? I thought I was the only person left in the world who actually gets prints and puts them into albums--and for me Picasa is good enough.
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Old 11-09-2014, 09:33 PM   #28
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I'm curious about what people do with all these high-end software products. What to you do with all those photos that need so much work on them? I thought I was the only person left in the world who actually gets prints and puts them into albums--and for me Picasa is good enough.
I'm with you Karen. If I were into real photography though, like Jon or some of the others here, maybe I'd use it.
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Old 11-09-2014, 09:37 PM   #29
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I've gotten into the habit of deleting images myself.
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Old 11-09-2014, 11:25 PM   #30
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I do think the Lightroom/Photoshop combination for $10.00 per month is a pretty good deal.
Wanting to upgrade from CS2, this was my only option. As long as they don't raise the price a bunch, I am very happy with it. As you said, it works great offline. I do all my downloading, sorting, and much of the initial editing in LR, with a few tweaks done in PS when needed.
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Old 11-10-2014, 01:26 PM   #31
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Karen, I print my photos because I make prints and greeting cards to sell (well, try to!)
Once I go on the road with my Escape, will not take my printer so will just be posting photos online. I used do events/family groups, etc. and used Photoshop for difficult challenges (moving a head from one photo to another so that everyone in the picture looked good, doing collages with lots of layers, etc.) Photoshop is pretty amazing but without a printer on the road, I think I'll be happy with a much simpler software.
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Old 11-10-2014, 03:29 PM   #32
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Modern digital cameras produce very good jpg files, however they often can be improved, particularly in shadow detail, color balance, sharpness, and a few other areas. If you try to make these improvements to a jpg image, you are already starting where the camera software quit. Since the camera software already "threw out" much of the data from the sensor when it produced the jpg image, adjustments may be difficult or impossible.

If your camera can produce a RAW file, you are starting from scratch with the data from the camera sensor. You have complete control over white balance, shadow & highlights, and many other editable characteristics of the image. Depending on your editing skill, you may not be able to improve on the camera's jpg producing software, but with practice, it doesn't take long to be able to produce better results than the camera software, particularly under difficult lighting conditions.

In the past, most of the editing & manipulation decisions were made during the printing process, either by machine, or, if you were willing to pay for it, a skilled enlarger operator. Since digital removes the "manipulation during printing" that was done during the film days, if you want or need it done with a digital file, it is going to be up to you (unless you send the file out to be custom printed).

While many individuals have no need or desire to go any further than the image the camera produces as a jpg, I consider photography a hobby. Like other hobbies, how deep you want to get into it varies with the individual. There does seem to be a significant number of camera users that are interested in editing their images - the Photoshop Elements classes I teach rarely have an empty seat.
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