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08-24-2013, 11:48 AM   #16
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I quickly skimmed, but didn't see Picasa mentioned. I used it for 2yrs before buying LR4. It has some easy to use exposure tools. It's free too. GIMP should be mastered one tool at a time. Curves is a great place to start.

08-24-2013, 12:19 PM   #17
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So much depends on what i am shooting. If I am shooting my kids, then a do a quick edit of some kind of lightroom -- 10 seconds, maybe a crop, that's all. If I have shot a landscape photo, then I work longer on it using LIghtroom and Nik Effects -- or I pitch the photo if it doesn't look like I can turn it into my vision for it.
08-24-2013, 12:21 PM   #18
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Thanks to everyone for offering their opinions. I think the consensus is clear, and that I need to suck it up and take the time to develop some simple editing skills. I appreciate what everyone had to say. I can't say enough about this forum. You guys are awesome to freely share valuable information that you likely learned on your own. Thanks for making me feel as if no question is too stupid. Every time I'm looking around on here I always seem to learn something. Love this place...
08-24-2013, 12:34 PM   #19
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Just chipping in quite late. I shoot in RAW most of the time and tried out LR5beta and then bought the official version after the beta period expired only to find out Adobe had added a restriction which only allowed it to work with Windows 7 and 8. As my PC had Vista, LR5 went right back to Amazon with a big complaint.
I have subsequently been told there is an unofficial workaround to let it to run on Vista but this is not on for software costing 100.
I am now using the free program RawTherapee and it's pretty good

08-24-2013, 01:07 PM   #20
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I pp my photos. You can use the Pentax software that came with your camera. But in my experience, it is a little complicated to use (makes good images, though).
I prefer Lightroom because it is very easy and fast to use. No time wasted. But it doesnt always offer all the features with Pentax gear
There are threads with lists of good post processing softwares, even a lot of free ones. Raw Therapee, Aperture, FastStone, Aftershot Pro are very popular

Also, dont forget to think about monitor calibration.
08-24-2013, 01:36 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Knock Quote
Thanks to everyone for offering their opinions. I think the consensus is clear, and that I need to suck it up and take the time to develop some simple editing skills. I appreciate what everyone had to say. I can't say enough about this forum. You guys are awesome to freely share valuable information that you likely learned on your own. Thanks for making me feel as if no question is too stupid. Every time I'm looking around on here I always seem to learn something. Love this place...
BTDT...in the beginning it`s a struggle, overprocessing more often than not. But eventually you get the hang of it. like said before: Start with the simple things like curves and then move further.
What helped me most was some spare time and a rainy day, just take a image and experiment with it. Find out what the sliders do. Google and especially youtube are your friends.

And remember this: sharpening is the last step in your workflow. First make all your other adjustments before sharpening the image.
08-24-2013, 06:10 PM - 1 Like   #22
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Somebody else here implied that post processing/edit is essential to the serious photographer. There are many ways to use a camera and not all of them require much editing, so there is no wrong answer, I suppose, but I cannot ever recall seeing an "I got it right in the camera/no editing" picture that looked very good to me.
Just go the rest of the way and finish the job, people.
08-25-2013, 08:17 AM   #23
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Downloaded Faststone Image Viewer yesterday. It seems like the perfect program for what I need. Much easier to navigate than GIMP--not all the bells and whistles that GIMP offers, but like someone said I probably wouldn't utilize most of the bells and whistles anyways.

08-25-2013, 09:03 AM   #24
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I do because I pretty much have to. But I hate sitting in front of PSE and LR (especially - dog's breath interface!) so much that I often procrastinate by logging in here.
08-25-2013, 09:32 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Knock Quote
Downloaded Faststone Image Viewer yesterday. It seems like the perfect program for what I need. Much easier to navigate than GIMP--not all the bells and whistles that GIMP offers, but like someone said I probably wouldn't utilize most of the bells and whistles anyways.
Fastone is what I use for image viewing and sorting. I also use it for fast "down and dirty" adjustments for e-mailing and photo blogging on the road. I can then identify the better images which I will then run the RAWs through ACR and PSE.
08-26-2013, 11:47 AM   #26
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I guess I am a little late to join the discussion.
I started to use DSLR 6 months ago. Without PP, my pictures are even worse than those I took from my P&S camera.

I use Faststone and recently I started to use Lightzone which is also free. Friend of mine told me Lightzone is similar to Lightroom except it is free.
08-26-2013, 01:24 PM   #27
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I'm here late too, but it's my understanding that all raw images require PP even if it's only to add a touch of contrast and sharpening.

My chosen tools are Lightroom 5, Photoshop CC, Bridge CC and ACR8.1, which give me the results I need.
08-26-2013, 02:16 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Knock Quote
I'm curious to know how many people edit their photos. I've heard people say that every photo needs some editing. I've also heard people say that editing is cheating and takes away from learning to take the proper exposure. Personally, I'm not a fan of editing--not because I think I'm a purist or anything, but mainly because I'm terrible at it! I do not own Lightroom or Photoshop. I have GIMP (because it was free--I'm on a budget). I am not very good with computers and operating software. GIMP isn't very easy to use, but it seems that I tinker with the photos too much and end up with an over processed piece of crap. After going through this frustration a few times, I now tend to just stay away from editing. I've heard that Lightroom is pretty user friendly. Is it worth the investment or should I keep trying to get the perfect exposure? Your opinions are appreciated.
I edit every single image although some of the editing is actually done in batch. If you shoot raw, not editing is like buying great food and then not cooking it but dumping it on a plate raw, straight out of the supermarket shopping bag.

Some images need more than just a cursory edit, there are worlds out there to conquer! With other images, the image "as shot" is just the basis for a creative endresult I have in mind. I use GIMP, ImageMagick, LuminanceHDR, DigiKam and more open-source image editing and manipulation software.

Whether I do well or not is not for me to judge, have a look at Flickr: newmikey's Photostream

As to your question: ANY image editor needs the input of what you call "the perfect exposure" to obtain the best endresult, whether you use GIMP, Lightroom or any other product - there really are no shortcuts. You can attempt to save over- or under-exposed images or those with other issues but this is still very much a GiGo process - garbage in equals garbage out. This is not an either/or proposition, you learn to expose correctly AND to process correctly in order to get the best out of your camera gear.
08-26-2013, 02:49 PM   #29
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Lightroom makes my editing life so easy.

Import:
Select first photo
Contrast +10
Clarity +25
Vibrance +10
Saturation +5
Sharpness +15
Whateverisaftersharpness +15

Ctrl+A -> one of the options -> Sync all photos -> Sync -> Bam, I'm pretty much done. Just rotate, crop, and adjust exposure as required, and my snapshots are pretty much done. There's probably a way for lightroom to set those settings as default, but I can't be bothered to find it.

When I want extra 3D - increase clarity. When I need to correct blown out skies - work the highlight slider. Need to raise the dark areas? Increase shadows. So many simple sliders!

PDCU on the other hand was slow and not fun =p
08-26-2013, 04:12 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
Lightroom makes my editing life so easy.

Import:
Select first photo
Contrast +10
Clarity +25
Vibrance +10
Saturation +5
Sharpness +15
Whateverisaftersharpness +15

Ctrl+A -> one of the options -> Sync all photos -> Sync -> Bam, I'm pretty much done. Just rotate, crop, and adjust exposure as required, and my snapshots are pretty much done. There's probably a way for lightroom to set those settings as default, but I can't be bothered to find it.
Just create a user preset of all these settings and apply that preset during import and Bam.
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