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04-30-2012, 05:54 PM   #1
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Free software

I'm not great with software or computers or kindles... I still use pens and read from paper...

I use google picasa... I tried LR but we didn't get on... Picasa is real easy but I miss the curves feature from LR...
I sometimes use MicrosoftICE for stitching images... Thats real easy too

Just downloading LuminenceHDR... Anybody use it and have any gripes, hypes or examples?
Its free... Some had said a nightmare to use... Others very easy... ?

Cheers
Dave

04-30-2012, 06:15 PM   #2
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The problem I see with all graphics software is that there is a learning curve. And for some reason it seems to be unusually steep for me. I have almost a year of almost daily use invested in Lightroom and feel like I am only just starting to figure it out. I don't have an art or graphics background so I am sure that is part of the problem. I just don't always understand what some of the words mean.

But no matter which program you use, unless you invest the time to really learn it and to maintain those skills, you will not get along. Maybe that's just me.
04-30-2012, 06:45 PM   #3
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If you're looking for a free editor that has a lot of features I'd recommend Photoscape. You can use editing presets or adjust manually, it offers many features that would expect to pay for, the only quirk, the user interface isn't set up like most editors. I didn't find this to be an issue for me, but, your mileage may vary. As far as paid software goes, I've had good luck with Paint Shop Pro X3 and X4, they pack a lot of utility for $50 US.
04-30-2012, 09:45 PM   #4
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a program called "Photocap" is really good Jpeg freeware, it is only thing I use you need to do anything to the Jpeg after converted from RAW maybe from Pentax Utility. It is developed by Taiwanese folks, the web site is in Chinese, but you will be able to d/l the English version

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05-01-2012, 01:49 AM   #5
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What kind of free software are you looking for?
For raw development I have tried and liked: http://rawtherapee.com and Rawstudio The former has a bit of a steep learning curve and the later, while very simple to use (basic curves and adjustments only), is not available for windows, I think.
05-02-2012, 06:12 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by DaveHolmes Quote
I'm not great with software or computers or kindles... I still use pens and read from paper...

I use google picasa... I tried LR but we didn't get on... Picasa is real easy but I miss the curves feature from LR...
I sometimes use MicrosoftICE for stitching images... Thats real easy too

Just downloading LuminenceHDR... Anybody use it and have any gripes, hypes or examples?
Its free... Some had said a nightmare to use... Others very easy... ?

Cheers
Dave
If you're generally looking for the next free, best and easy software to use, I would highly recommend FastStone Image Viewer, Screen Capture, Photo Resizer ... - a very very good software that will make you forget Picasa and it does have curves and many more things that Picasa does not offer. The drawback for me, no undo history and no noise reduction, however controlling colors, contrast, brightness and just about everything else you'd need is there!

I personally would use GIMP - The GNU Image Manipulation Program for HDR, it is free but learning curve is extremely steep. Once you get familiar it's a very very powerful software. It can pretty much do everything from RAW on, but as mentioned, it's a steep steep learning curve...

Good luck!
05-02-2012, 11:01 AM   #7
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For very basic work - resizing, cropping, minor adjustments of jpgs you can look at paint.net
It's pretty intuitive.
05-02-2012, 11:21 AM   #8
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Helicon Filter is an excellent programme and also does a good job of RAW development' I have a licnece but actually prefer the free version (4.93.2an older release) as I prefer the interface and it is less system intensive

05-02-2012, 01:36 PM   #9
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Hi... Sorry for not being specific and getting back to this sooner... Bit stressed out at the moment, been writing my final uni shiz...

I use Picasa for basic editing... I like the oranisational function of it and in terms of everyday editing it (just about) does the job.

I'm interested in in programs that will let me get into HDR... Something that will merge 3 to 5 bracketed images... I have downloaded luminenceHDR... I even loaded 3 images into it and after an age it merged them but how you do anything with it from there I have no idea and I couldn't open the file it made with picasa afterwards either... Not exactly user friendly...

So I'm pretty much looking for a really easy to use HDR making thing that I can merge bracketed shots in, edit and then save as a best quality Jpg/Jpeg file and then open in picasa... Free is good but if I need to pay then so be it...

Does the striped down version of photoshop do HDR (is it called elements?)?
How easy is elements to get to grips with? My girlfriend uses PS CS5 and loves it doing things with layers and stuff that makes no sense to me... I find it impossible to get to grips with, FAR TOO COMPLEX! LOL!
05-02-2012, 05:54 PM   #10
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I was going to suggest qtpfsgui: http://qtpfsgui.sourceforge.net, but it looks like Luminance is the exact same program, by another (saner) name. You can do HDR with photoshop or alternatives thereof, but it actually is harder (you have to know exactly what you are doing).

I'd recommend you read a tutorial on qtpfsgui/Luminance, it isn't that hard once you figure out the basic workflow.
There are 2 main steps to it:
1) Creating the HDR image from your source jpegs. For this, you can use a wizard which will guide you to the process, possibly request exposure information and will try to align the images for you, if necessary.
2) "Tonemapping" the HDRs, that is mapping each pixel in the 32 bit (or more?) range to a color range that can be reproduced by your screen/printer. This is the more creative step, since you can select different algorithms (from the more realistic "Reinhard"s to the painting-like "Fattal") and their parameters. Just experiment at that stage rendering the results in small windows until you are satisfied.

EDIT: Here is a qtpfsgui tutorial: http://garmahis.com/tutorials/hdr-tutorial-free-software/ to get you started.

Last edited by c-meier; 05-02-2012 at 06:06 PM.
05-03-2012, 06:46 PM   #11
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If you want to play with tonemapping HDR that only needs a single image, AutoHDR does a very nice job, and it's free.
05-03-2012, 07:05 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by mgvh Quote
If you want to play with tonemapping HDR that only needs a single image, AutoHDR does a very nice job, and it's free.
how's that comparable to the newer DSLR's digital filter?
05-03-2012, 08:17 PM   #13
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FDR Tools offers a free basic version of their HDR software for both windows and mac:

FDRTools - High Dynamic Range HDR Imaging Digital Panorama Photography Freeware

easy to produce and tonemap HDR's from 3-5 bracketed images... works great for me...
05-06-2012, 12:59 PM   #14
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I 2nd the GIMP suggestion. GIMP - Downloads
Its the best featured most updated free software out there and unless you never plan to do serious editing there is no reason to learn anything lesser, I learned most all the basic stuff just by looking at all the stuff in the menus, advanced features can wait till later. (curves is easy to find in one of the top drop downs)

I also needed UFRaw to do raw file stuff but maybe you won't.
05-07-2012, 08:07 AM   #15
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Seems the knock against The GIMP always used to be that it pnly does 8 bit processing - not just that only produces 8-bit results, but that even internally, it only works at an 8-bit-per-channel color depth. Is this no longer true? Or perhaps has it always worked with more than 8 bits internaly, and it is pnly when it comes to output that it was ever limited to 8 bits per channel? And if so, has that limitation been removed?
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