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04-23-2007, 09:22 PM   #1
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Software advice for newbie

I'm new to digital photography, and need some advice regarding what software to use for storing, editing, etc., my pictures. Photoshop CS3 is simply out of the question because of the cost. I have Photoshop Elements 2.0 which I have just installed on my computer and also have installed the Adobe Lightroom demo. It's obvious that both of these programs require considerable learning and practice, and rather than trying to learn both (and maybe learning neither as a consequence) I'm seeking advice on which way to go. As the new kid on the block, Lighroom has gotten all the recent media attention, but based on the tiny bit I've seen about Photoshop I'm wondering if it has more versatility. I'd certainly appreciate any advice from those conversant with both programs. Thanks

04-24-2007, 02:06 PM   #2
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I suggest trying "Picture Window Pro" from Digital Light and Color.

Digital Light & Color - Welcome - What's New

It's a very powerful, yet inexpensive, image editing tool. They have a 30 day trial free download to test it out.

There are several categories of digital photography software, the two most essential, in my opinion, are raw conversion and editing. Lightroom is primarily for raw conversion. I use its predecessor, Raw Shooter Essentials (& Pro) bought by Adobe. Still evaluating Lightroom. Have you tried Pentax Photo Lab that comes with the camera? Hope this info helps
04-24-2007, 02:21 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clem Nichols Quote
I'm new to digital photography, and need some advice regarding what software to use for storing, editing, etc., my pictures. Photoshop CS3 is simply out of the question because of the cost.
If you have a kid or relative in college or university who has no interest in PhotoShop, the costs through academic purchasing are pretty fantastic.

We got our copy of CS2 at a pittance, while my wife was finishing off her graduate degree.
04-24-2007, 02:31 PM   #4
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You are asking the age old question of which is better. There are many programs available and depending on how far you want to delve into the Post processing world there are many answers. There is Silky pix, Bibble, Paint Shop Pro 9-10-11 there is Light Room, there is Photoshop CS2 & CS3 and there is Picasa from Google a good starter for post processing but doesn't hold the EXIF data. There is Essentials. It all depends on what you personally like and and how long you plan on a learning curve. Most of these are easy to learn and you can have fun and get great results right from the start. Me I use PhotoShop CS2 and Picasa by Google (for when I want to do a quick look and get an idea on a shot. But your right the cost is a concern.
If you can download some of the other trial programs and see how they work for you.

Good luck

04-24-2007, 03:17 PM   #5
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Concentrate on making excellent exposures in the camera; buy Lightroom (you have until 4/30/07 to save $100.00 off price).

Decide how far you want to go with your photography. Most family oriented snap shooters need only limited editing power. Lightroom has that along with the most current file archiving and workflow 'thinking'.

Down the road a bit you may notice that a few of your images probably need a bit more help; upgrade your Elements to v5 either online if there is still a deal or through one of the big box retailer chains (looking for a sale until it's in your budget).

If you foresee going very deep with the photography thing, plan on Photoshop. Wacom makes a pen tablet that's very useful and expensive--the good thing: many of the boxes have a coupon to upgrade Elements to Photoshop and almost the entire price of the table is deducted from the upgrade cost. Make friends with a salesman and ask to open the box.

Scott Kelby and Martin Evening both have books detailing Lightroom operations; either should get you up-to-speed in a few days. Not surprisingly, both of these authors and several others also have Elements v5 self help books. Try on-line booksellers for discounts.
04-24-2007, 05:02 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=Photo Tramp;51026]You are asking the age old question of which is better.

This is true, and I thank each of you for your answers. From what I've seen and learned of the two programs mentioned above, I get the impression that Lightroom has more to do with organizing, archiving and retrieving photos and less to do with tweaking them, whereas Photoshop Elements has more ways of modifying pictures, ie burning, erasing, blurring, overlaying, etc. Is this an accurate assessment? If so, I think I'd be better off to buy the Elements V5 upgrade rather than Lightroom. I've just purchased a new computer with the Vista operating system, and although my experience so far is very limited, they have a photo center which seems to have some of the same features for cataloging and retrieving pictures as Lightroom has.
04-24-2007, 10:08 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clem Nichols Quote
I'm new to digital photography, and need some advice regarding what software to use for storing, editing, etc., my pictures. Photoshop CS3 is simply out of the question because of the cost. I have Photoshop Elements 2.0 which I have just installed on my computer and also have installed the Adobe Lightroom demo. It's obvious that both of these programs require considerable learning and practice, and rather than trying to learn both (and maybe learning neither as a consequence) I'm seeking advice on which way to go. As the new kid on the block, Lighroom has gotten all the recent media attention, but based on the tiny bit I've seen about Photoshop I'm wondering if it has more versatility. I'd certainly appreciate any advice from those conversant with both programs. Thanks
Elements 5, which is compatible with Vista, has both good editing and organising facilities for your photos - it is also much cheaper than than the full version of Photoshop, although both are available at student prices.

If you are not shooting RAW then one of the best tools for importing and doing basic photo manipulation is Picasa, and it's FREE from Google. It is also an excellent way to get into digital photo manipulation and organisation and makes a good stepping stone to more sophistaicated products. Despite having Bibble and Photoshop CS2 on my Vista PC, I still use Picasa for general importing and quick adjustment tasks.

My advice is to start simple and enjoy your photography - you can upgrade as you go.
04-25-2007, 07:17 PM   #8
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elements

Hi Clem,
An organised photo album really is useful as your digital photos increase in number over the years. I have tried a few and decided to use elements 4, because I can get it cheap, it has good organising system that makes it easy to find photos, and has a quick fix system for manipulating photos. It will handle Pentax RAW files but is not great for manipulating them.
It is about as easy to learn as any of them that I have tried. Elements 5 is even better I believe but a bit dearer.
If you are an amateur photographer these are about all one needs, they do take some application to get one's head around how they operate and indeed to trust them. I wish you luck.
cheers Pete.

04-27-2007, 01:55 PM   #9
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Clem:
I would suggest (as someone else did) that you try the demo of Picture Window Pro. I discovered this program after using PS7 for a year or two. It's relatively inexpensive, much more intuitive to use than PS and was designed with photographers in mind. You're not paying for all the artist type stuff that is in PS and that you will never use.
It's not a mainstream program, but that shouldn't bother you; after all you're a Pentax owner
04-30-2007, 01:02 AM   #10
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Nice programme

I dowmloaded a demo of "Picture Window Pro" and I like it very much. Thanks PeterAM. Especially like the B&W section with the coloured filters, so simple , so good.
05-04-2007, 04:36 PM   #11
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PS Elements 5

I just installed the Photoshop Elements 5 Premiere Elements 3 bundle. There is a Camera Raw 4.0 (free) download to add to both parts of the bundle that lets you work with PEF files (DNG is native in both). PS Elements has lots of great tools to play with. Photoshop Elements 5 (stand alone) can be bought through Ebay very cheaply and with the updated camera raw is probably all that we amatuers need. (Pros probably want more).
Regards,
Brian
05-05-2007, 09:46 PM   #12
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if can't get Photoshop for whatever reason - try GIMP... it is open source...

GIMP - The GNU Image Manipulation Program

you can also use free edition of Silkypix ( SILKYPIX Developer Studio ) or free Rawtherapee ( Raw Therapee )
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