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Author Topic: Photo editing software for a new user...  (Read 10315 times)

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2012, 02:50:58 PM »
LR 3 is $69.95 today at B&H (2/15).  Its backordered for a couple of weeks, so place a order, and download the trial.  View the online tutorials before you start using it. 

Then, if you do not like the demo, you can still cancel the B&H order before it ships, or take delivery and resell it for $100.

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Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2012, 02:50:58 PM »

RC

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Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2012, 02:51:26 PM »
I am not so interested in creating great photos from my computer and software but instead my goal is to make great photos from camera, lens, light, technique and skill.  With that being said, I still do some editing with software to make corrections and adjustments such as WB, lens correction, noise, minor exposure, and maybe some perspective correction (since I don't have a TS lens).  Therefore Lightroom seems to be the ideal software for me.  In fact I have never been so wow'd with a piece of software until I downloaded LR3 trial and watch some online tutorials.  I also use DPP and an alternate editor.

(I have also dabbled with PSP, ACDSee Pro, and Elements)

I still consider myself a beginner at photo editing and maybe someday I'll change my tune some and do more extreme editing.

My suggestions are:
- Install DPP from your CD which came with your T3i. 
- Download a trial version of LR.  I see that you can get a smoking deal on LR3 right now but keep in LR4 is right around the corner.
-  Watch these Adobe LR tutorials for starters:

What is LR
Be Organized
Lens Correction and Perspective Correction
Create Stunning Images

[/http://tv.adobe.com/product/lightroom/

zim

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Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2012, 03:47:49 PM »
Zim, that hurts. Free software is free for many reasons. There are many developers and corporate sponsors out there giving up their free time and knowledge to bring us great software like Gimp, Firefox, Open Office, Linux, Apache... Please don't disrespect them. True, there is a lost of nasty free software, but there is also very good stuff. Even Mac OS is based on free software (BSD), as is Android. Probably even some of the firmware in Canon's cameras.


sposh I find it hard to believe I’ve hurt anyone but in case I really have I apologise.
I disrespect gimp (actually I think I dismiss it) and open office (you mentioned it) for that matter as it’s my opinion and I’m allowed an opinion as I believe that offerings will always remain underdeveloped compared to the offerings from Adobe, Corel, Serif, DxO. Please don’t put words in my mouth by lumping this opinion in with client/server software like Linux and Apache the original OP was asking about editing software and it was in that context that I made my comment.
I’ve been in IT for more years than I’m prepared to admit, I’ve run an adult training department I know the difference between learner friendly and user friendly. I know how much help and resource there is out there for mainstream. I’d also recommend getting a few copies of the likes of PhotoPlus magazine which exclusively deals with Canon gear and is great for the less experienced, but unsurprisingly doesn’t have many articles on Gimp.
In my opinion it’s wrong to recommend Gimp, go main stream is what I say, your opinion is different nothing wrong with that I certainly wouldn’t smite you or anyone else for it.

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Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2012, 05:06:58 PM »
One thing that may not have been mentioned, but I consider very important - the software should be a non-destructive editer.  Basically, it means it creates a virtual workflow on the image that is only applied when you export the image, leaving the original image untouched.  So many novice PPs over-ride their original with changes that cannot be undone.  For this reason I use Lightroom.

DeadPixel

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Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2012, 08:50:30 PM »
Wow, great feedback!  I really appreciate everyone’s information here and the diverse opinions. 

Firstly to KeithR’s point – I agree that the software here isn’t the problem, I admit I don’t know how to use it.  I’m sure each program is perfectly capable of producing stunning images – just not by my hand yet!

7enderbender – no I don’t really have a workflow established yet.  My organization has been quite literally the was the Canon EOS utility downloaded my photos, sorted in folders by day. 

I am not planning on being a “heavy editor” in terms of magically erasing individuals from photos or going crazy with a lot of those type features – my main intent is to improve a photo that looks okay, but could be better with a few changes like white balance, hue/saturation, etc, and some noise reduction efforts on high iso stuff.

In the attachments, see my example of what I'm looking to do mostly.  Recently I took this photo of a mink on a pond (really wish I had a zoom lens with more reach!) – the white blance was off (looked blueish) and the mink wasn't nearly as brown as he looked.  I used Lightroom for this example (beacuse I had the trial open) and added lens correction for the 55-250 lens, what balance adjustment - and poof, its better (not great, but better).  The bluish one is right out of the cameras JPEG (I shoot jpeg + RAW) and the whiter one I edited. 

So while I know nearly all the programs out there can do this - I am especially interested in the one that requires minimal effort to learn so I can spend more time out there taking pictures, that hopefully don't need editing!

A few notes on the programs I gather from the comments:

I am a Windows user so Aperture is out.

I did checkout DPP a little bit, though didn’t really do a whole lot with it yet and wasn’t sure if it was a friendly program to learn and use.

Paintshop Pro just didn’t feel intuitive to me, that’s mainly why I wondered if I was just out of the loop and needed to spend more time on it or not.  I hadn’t looked at AfterShot Pro, but I think I’ll look into it too. 
There are a few Photoshop elements classes at my local art institute, however it seems like a bit more options than I really need.

I was honestly unaware of the freeware out there for RAW files, I understand both points being made by the posters at odds with the software – however for the immediate I think I’ll stick with something I can get a book on or learn from tutorials/classes.

There seems to be a lot of people indicating Lightroom is fairly easy to use. I did download Lightroom and it does seem reasonably intuitive – there are a few books out there I see and ghosh9691, that link for SLRLounge was very informative.  Mt. Spokane, you make a very good point about making a purchase and being able to cancel before it ships…. I do like the lens correction profile options here (is this in a lot of other packages too?)

Thanks for everyones comments!

dstppy

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Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2012, 09:01:36 PM »
Thanks for everyones comments!

Is that a Ferret or a Llama? :)

I'd adjust exposure (lighter) -- the lens correction is pretty much a MUST.

I think John said DxO had profiles as well.  Honestly, from neuro using it, alone, I'd consider it . . . of course if he told me to sell all my belongings and follow him and 11 other guys doing good deeds I'd probably do that too. (he's one smart guy) ;D  Well, maybe.

(EDIT)

Seriously, what *IS* that?  I can't stop staring at it, like the giant rabbit from Donnie Darko.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 09:03:34 PM by dstppy »
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DeadPixel

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Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2012, 09:15:19 PM »
dstppy,

Its a wild Mink - uncommon to see in the day since they are nocturnal, but this time of year its mating season so they are a bit more wild.  He's sitting in the drain of a medium sized pond, which I believe is a modified 5-gallon bucket!  I saw him run across the ice and dive in, but I camped out till he popped his head up.  I would have killed for a 400 or 500mm zoom lens, that image is heavily cropped.

The white tuft of fur under his chin is what gives away his identity as a mink.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_mink

Thanks for the advice - I'll play with exposure next!

DeadPixel

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Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2012, 09:15:19 PM »

Vaz

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Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2012, 09:30:40 PM »
I'm curious about this deal for lightroom. I would like to get a legit copy, but I am not about to buy right before the next version comes out. It seems like it might be about a $30 discount for lr3 and then another 100 to get lr4. This means I pay $130 for lr4. What am I missing?

The full version of LR 4 will cost you $299 when it comes out, but a upgrade from LR3 will cost $99.

The current retail price of LR3 had dropped over time, but LR4 will go to full list price.

This means that it will cost $169 with the upgrade to LR 4 versus $299.  And, if B&H delays shipping too long, you might just fall into the free upgrade period for LR4.  Not likely though, I think that has been figured out carefully by Adobe.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 10:04:18 PM by Mt Spokane Photography »

dstppy

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Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2012, 06:39:40 AM »
dstppy,

Its a wild Mink - uncommon to see in the day since they are nocturnal, but this time of year its mating season so they are a bit more wild.  He's sitting in the drain of a medium sized pond, which I believe is a modified 5-gallon bucket!  I saw him run across the ice and dive in, but I camped out till he popped his head up.  I would have killed for a 400 or 500mm zoom lens, that image is heavily cropped.

The white tuft of fur under his chin is what gives away his identity as a mink.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_mink

Thanks for the advice - I'll play with exposure next!

DeadPixel
Hehe I figured something like that.  I used to live up near Canada for the first 20 years of my life.  We pretty much call everything a weasel (and shoot at it, not with a camera) whether it be fisher, weasel, mink or someone's pet ferret.

Oddly enough, we all seemed to be able to tell the difference between those and otters. :)
« Last Edit: February 16, 2012, 08:08:55 AM by dstppy »
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2012, 12:17:56 PM »
DxO Optics Pro (DxO) is by far the best option for a beginner. In Lightroom (LR) one needs to work a lot for a decent result, while in DxO the photo comes out AUTOMATICALLY very realistic and nice. That's thanks to the modules which optimize the postprocessing for the camera-lens combination. I personally prefer to use DxO first, and then convert the very nice result to TIFF to work on it with Photoshop, if I deem it necessary. Since I started using DxO postprocessing time has decreased to a small fraction of what I needed with LR, and the result is much better.

Its true that DXO produces better looking images right out of the box.  However, if you want to edit them, its difficult, and has limited capabilities, so you need to move them to other software if significant editing is needed. 

One of the things that lightroom does, for those who learn to use it is let you preset the import adjustments by camera model and ISO setting so that each image is adjusted as its imported, and you get just the image you like, not a pre-cooked one size fits all.  This can really speed up the process of editing. 

briansquibb

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Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2012, 01:45:01 PM »
DxO Optics Pro (DxO) is by far the best option for a beginner. In Lightroom (LR) one needs to work a lot for a decent result, while in DxO the photo comes out AUTOMATICALLY very realistic and nice. That's thanks to the modules which optimize the postprocessing for the camera-lens combination. I personally prefer to use DxO first, and then convert the very nice result to TIFF to work on it with Photoshop, if I deem it necessary. Since I started using DxO postprocessing time has decreased to a small fraction of what I needed with LR, and the result is much better.

Its true that DXO produces better looking images right out of the box.  However, if you want to edit them, its difficult, and has limited capabilities, so you need to move them to other software if significant editing is needed. 

One of the things that lightroom does, for those who learn to use it is let you preset the import adjustments by camera model and ISO setting so that each image is adjusted as its imported, and you get just the image you like, not a pre-cooked one size fits all.  This can really speed up the process of editing.

DxO is so slow when givig it 500+ images to process

7enderbender

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Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2012, 02:34:50 PM »
I'm curious about this deal for lightroom. I would like to get a legit copy, but I am not about to buy right before the next version comes out. It seems like it might be about a $30 discount for lr3 and then another 100 to get lr4. This means I pay $130 for lr4. What am I missing?

The full version of LR 4 will cost you $299 when it comes out, but a upgrade from LR3 will cost $99.

The current retail price of LR3 had dropped over time, but LR4 will go to full list price.

This means that it will cost $169 with the upgrade to LR 4 versus $299.  And, if B&H delays shipping too long, you might just fall into the free upgrade period for LR4.  Not likely though, I think that has been figured out carefully by Adobe.


Yep, I'm pretty sure Adobe and the vendors have this figured out carefully. My guess is that they are trying to get new customers while maybe selling off old stock that is sitting there. They got me. I figured for less than a hundred bucks I'll buy it even though I'm not a big fan of LR. If it sticks they know I may upgrade one day - and if not they still got my hundred buck at pretty much no cost to them at this point.

I'm not sure though about the incentive to upgrade. I don't see anything major in the new version that would be worth any additional money. Haven't tried it yet so this is just from looking at the specs.
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dstppy

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Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2012, 02:53:54 PM »
I'm curious about this deal for lightroom. I would like to get a legit copy, but I am not about to buy right before the next version comes out. It seems like it might be about a $30 discount for lr3 and then another 100 to get lr4. This means I pay $130 for lr4. What am I missing?

The full version of LR 4 will cost you $299 when it comes out, but a upgrade from LR3 will cost $99.

The current retail price of LR3 had dropped over time, but LR4 will go to full list price.

This means that it will cost $169 with the upgrade to LR 4 versus $299.  And, if B&H delays shipping too long, you might just fall into the free upgrade period for LR4.  Not likely though, I think that has been figured out carefully by Adobe.


Yep, I'm pretty sure Adobe and the vendors have this figured out carefully. My guess is that they are trying to get new customers while maybe selling off old stock that is sitting there. They got me. I figured for less than a hundred bucks I'll buy it even though I'm not a big fan of LR. If it sticks they know I may upgrade one day - and if not they still got my hundred buck at pretty much no cost to them at this point.

I'm not sure though about the incentive to upgrade. I don't see anything major in the new version that would be worth any additional money. Haven't tried it yet so this is just from looking at the specs.

Don't remember where the thread was on here, but someone mentioned that 5DmkII shots above ISO 3200 got better noise reduction in the v4 beta . . . if it's true, that will definitely be a selling point.
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Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2012, 02:53:54 PM »

DeadPixel

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Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
« Reply #28 on: February 16, 2012, 08:13:28 PM »
KeithR - Just to be clear, I was referring to editing RAW images (CR2 files). 

When shooting in RAW+JPEG I had been using what the camera was producing in JPEG form as my benchmark to try and replicate (or improve on) for initial training.  I quickly found that (and was told by many) that you can go much farther starting with a RAW file than JPEGs.

I think I have enough options to play with now - by the time these trials run out I'll have made a choice.

A serious note of thanks to the CR community, this place is an amazing resource with great members!

DeadPixel

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Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
« Reply #29 on: February 16, 2012, 10:03:40 PM »
I'm not sure though about the incentive to upgrade. I don't see anything major in the new version that would be worth any additional money. Haven't tried it yet so this is just from looking at the specs.

The incentive to upgrade is that the older version will stop being supported, and raw images from a new camera model issued after that will not be recognized unless you convert them to DNG or Tiff.

I've been using the LR4 beta, and high ISO images look cleaner, but it might not be a big deal to some.

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Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
« Reply #29 on: February 16, 2012, 10:03:40 PM »