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06-24-2011, 02:13 AM   #1
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Image editing for Macs

So I'm only a beginner. . . haven't even bought my camera yet
I want some sort of software for editing and manipulation
I have aperture installed on my Mac, Is this worthwhile software to have?
I now Gimp can be used on the Mac, but not having played around a lot and not really understanding what I can do with it, I'm a bit unsure of it?

Can anybody recommend something that's reasonably full featured, user friendly, and available for Mac, freeware is great but I understand you get what you pay for and it might be worth investing in some decent software

Any advice?

06-24-2011, 02:26 AM   #2
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Definitely give gimp a try, and if you don't like the interface but do like the capabilities, give photoshop or photoshop elements a try.
06-24-2011, 02:35 AM   #3
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gimp is great, there are plenty of tutorials out on the internet that'll help you learn to use it. Its not the most user friendly, but i found it to be really good for what you "pay" for it.
photoshop is the industry standard, but also costs quite a bit =\ However, the price is definitely worth it as i find it a lot more user friendly than gimp and, as a result, my workflow is a lot faster with it. Student price is a little under $200.
photoshop lightroom is what i primarily do everything on, its very intuitive, easy to use and pretty much all my photos go through it, even the ones that are eventually sent to photoshop for further edits. With the student discount, it comes down to a little under $100

aperture is pretty good imo, although i dont have much experience with it. i prefer lightroom but if i was forced to use it, i can definitely get aperture and gimp into my workflow.

if you're just starting out, you really shouldnt worry too much about editing. At this stage, worry more about getting a camera and learning basic technique and composition. As for processing, start out small. Basic stuff like exposure correction, color correction and whatnot, leave major digital plastic surgery for later as i found out early on in my PP endeavors, less is more unless you're a pro, cause chances are, you dont know what you're doing.
06-24-2011, 02:54 AM   #4
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I use Picassa to organise my photos as it's free. I found iPhoto to get really slow one it has a few thousand RAW files in it - it isn't designed for that. It also creates a hideous file structure of folders within folders that makes it a nightmare to swap to anything else. I much prefer the way Picassa deals with things, and it runs much quicker. It also allows you to store some or all of your pictures on other drives, which iPhoto can't handle. I'm in the process of moving all my RAW files older than a month on to an external drive (they're all backed up, but in time machine - I'm putting them on their own partition) and just keeping JPGs on my laptop because I only use them to show on screen. If I want to print, I can just plug in the external drive.

So - don't start using iPhoto - sooner or later you'll have to many pictures for it, and it'll be a nightmare to move to something else.

In addition to Picassa I use Photoshop Elements, which is pretty cheap and comes with ACR. It also seems to come with Bridge, but I didn't get on with it very well.

Elements has all you need, and is part of the Adobe family. You'll think about buying it or full Photoshop eventually, so you might as well take the plunge and start of with it I reckon. It integrates quite well with Picassa - you just right click an image and choose 'Edit with / Photoshop' - when you save the image it appears in the Picassa library. Simple. There is probably a custome button you can install, but it's simple enough for me as it is.

I did try GIMP but again, I didn't get on with it. It was a while ago though, I expect there is a newer version now.

I also occasionally use HDRtist (free) - you don't get masses of control, but it produces nice HDR images with a sliding scale to control how strong the effect is, and it lines the images up nicely. qtpsfgui (also free) gives you a bit more control in making HDRs if that's you thing (and it's always useful occasionally on contrasty days)

I tried DxO - some swear by it. I was impressed, but not impressed enough to buy it. If it had more modules for K mount lenses I might reconsider.

The software that came with my K10d (Silkpix) and K-7 (also Silkypix - can't remember!) were really horribly slow on my mac.

People will give you all sorts of opinions on which RAW developing software to use - I tried loads when I got my K10d and there was one I quite liked - can't remember what it was now - but in the end I starting using PS Elements as it has the convenience of having a photo editor too. I found that with each update PS got better, and it's now very good indeed. And of course, if you want to reprocess your files later you'll still have the RAW file - I have a romantic image of me in my dotage going through my old DNGs when I'm too old to get out much anymore. Oh, that's another thing - I recommend shooting DNG as I reckon it's more likely you'll be able to work with a DNG in 50 years time than a PEF.

06-24-2011, 04:04 AM   #5
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If you already have Aperture just use that. It's aimed at pro users, and as such is leagues ahead of consumer software like iPhoto, Picasa or Elements.

In my experience you'll be able to do 95% of your PP in Aperture (especially if you have version 3 with local adjustments). The only major missing feature IMO is layer masking, whether you'd use that or not is another question.
06-24-2011, 04:07 AM   #6
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Aperture should be more than enough for now.

If you really need a layers based editor get Pixelmator.

Pixelmator

It's currently $30 in the app store with a free upgrade to Pixelmator 2 when it comes out later this year.
06-24-2011, 04:38 AM   #7
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Aperture is pro level and I used it almost exclusively despite having PS CS3 and Elements (+Bridge since it's packaged). The only thing missing in Aperure is stitching which I don't use much. I then discovered NIK software and acquired the "Complete" collection. Definitely worth the money and a better deal than the truly great individual modules. I recommend them highly. Check 'em out. The workflow in both Aperture and NIK is non-destructive so it's hard for even a neophyte like me to mess up an original through forgetfulness - you are never working directly with the original. Another little perk with NIK is free, live, interactive workshops with experts on a regular basis!
06-24-2011, 04:56 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jac Quote
Aperture is pro level and I used it almost exclusively despite having PS CS3 and Elements (+Bridge since it's packaged). The only thing missing in Aperure is stitching which I don't use much. I then discovered NIK software and acquired the "Complete" collection. Definitely worth the money and a better deal than the truly great individual modules. I recommend them highly. Check 'em out. The workflow in both Aperture and NIK is non-destructive so it's hard for even a neophyte like me to mess up an original through forgetfulness - you are never working directly with the original. Another little perk with NIK is free, live, interactive workshops with experts on a regular basis!
They also have the best photo app for the iPad - Snapseed.

06-24-2011, 05:17 AM - 1 Like   #9
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I use Aperture all the time. I have an old version of Photoshop which I use on occasion, but, Aperture 3 was a turning point in APerture's history. Adding the dodge and burn brushes made Aperture familiar to us old dark room guys, and made the program functional on a level it wasn't before. Before version 3 Aperture was my cataloguing software, but if I was serious about an image, I finished in Photoshop. Now 95% of my work is finished in Aperture. Photoshop is way more than anyone needs most of the time. Unless you are going to be combining images, using one or more files to make one image, it;s not really necessary.

I used to like putting my head Arni's body, or giving nudes 3 boobs as much as anyone, but it's gotten old over the years.
06-24-2011, 05:25 AM   #10
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I don't use much of PS for my photographs - I suppose I get 95% of what I want from Adobe Camera Raw. I use PS for b&w conversions, cropping and straightening, and the odd bit of levels adjustment, especially on jpgs if I shoot them. Most of the options I never touch.

I am perhaps a little biased against Aperture because it runs like a pig on my laptop - if you have it, and it runs quickly enough, go for it.
06-24-2011, 05:30 AM   #11
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QuoteQuote:
I am perhaps a little biased against Aperture because it runs like a pig on my laptop - if you have it, and it runs quickly enough, go for it.
Good point, I have 3 computers, Aperture runs only on the newest... my version of Photoshop CS2 runs on all of them. Mind you, my older ones are going on 5 years old now.. Macs do last longer...but, my oldest machine is 8 years old, won't run any of the last 3 updates to the OS and you can no longer get a modern browser to run on it. It will probably last another 10 years... considering I almost never use it.
06-24-2011, 06:08 AM   #12
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Aperture 3 is nice for organizing large libraries of images and doing editing as well.
06-24-2011, 10:18 AM   #13
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I run photoshop because camera raw is packaged in it, it's the easiest program to edit with (as most effective), and I find a simple file based workflow in my own folders is easier than the resource-hogging, dogs of aperture, iPhoto, or lightroom. However to be fair I only briefly tried those, didn't really take a lot of time to try to acclimate to their styles.
06-25-2011, 04:04 AM   #14
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editing aside,
I've not found a way to locate my images in the file system, you can't navigate the aperture library in the file system
06-25-2011, 04:12 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by monarcmarc Quote
editing aside,
I've not found a way to locate my images in the file system, you can't navigate the aperture library in the file system
You can with a referenced library, but why would you? The search in Aperture is awesome.
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