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03-16-2010, 05:27 PM   #1
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Photo Processing Software?

I am actually quite new to Photo Processing. (even newer than taking pictures)

Can anyone recommend a software that is good to start learning on? Would be great if what I learn could apply to more professional programs later.

This doesn't have to be state of the art professional, because I won't be doing heavy processing (yet...).

I have heard GIMP is good.

03-16-2010, 05:34 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by NecroticSoldier Quote
I have heard GIMP is good.
Then try it, it's free! I find myself using that more than anything else, and new features get added to releases all the time. There are even some great books about it that can teach you how to make the most of it. I heartily recommend Akkana Peck's "Beginning Gimp" from apress publishing.
03-16-2010, 07:38 PM   #3
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Photoshop Elements would be another place to start. It is not free, but about $100.

What you learn in Elements can be used later on should you decide to get Photoshop CS4.
Also, Elements come with Adome Camera Raw for processing of PEF/DNG files from your camera.
03-16-2010, 07:51 PM   #4
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Id recommend lightroom or aperture rather than the more focused photo editing packages. They are useful for beginners and pros, and they can by a one stop shop for importing, managing, editing and publishing your photos. This way you only have to learn 1 program, not separate ones for each step in the process.

03-16-2010, 07:58 PM   #5
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I learned on Paint.net. It's very similar to Photoshop and free. I tried GIMP and although pretty good, the interface isn't easy to learn. Click on Enticing the Light in my signature and it will take you straight to a page full of free software.
03-16-2010, 08:01 PM   #6
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Elements version 6 here. I used the Pentax programs for 18 months and finally got something else which is way more user-friendly and had 2 features I need - horizon levelling (damn viewfinders) and the "smart-healing brush". Don't do tags, haven't gotten into layers, don't need the Organizer, but some people like those things.

New copy of V6 is $50 on Amazon.
03-16-2010, 08:22 PM   #7
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picasa. it's really easy to use but not as powerful as the other programs mentioned above.

it's also free
03-16-2010, 08:23 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by thrillerb Quote
picasa. it's really easy to use but not as powerful as the other programs mentioned above.

it's also free
That's a neat one that convenient to use. And it keeps getting better.

03-16-2010, 09:07 PM   #9
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You can use Photoscape for now when you get into more "intense" PP then GIMPshop to keep things free donate if you want $5 every so often at least (an option) if you are still on Windows you can move on to LightRoom but if you need even more then Photoshop (if you're a student buy before you leave school) naturally i won't encourage the "free editions"

Google bought out picnik recently so i'm not sure how they're going to integrate it into Picasa. Then there are online editors similar to picnik; Fotflexer is one but these are simple as long as you have good in camera technique, it's best to cut back on PP work unless you're an "artist" and you need to do funky work then Photoshop and some other products by Adobe is the standard although Corel would like to challenge that with Draw and Paint.
03-16-2010, 09:45 PM   #10
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I think I'll buy photoshop if I end up going to a school for photography (some includes photoshop I believe). For now I think... I'll try out these programs like GIMP or Paint.net Hope I can figure them out. Thanks everyone for the answers!
03-17-2010, 08:31 PM   #11
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I don't have exact figures, but generally Adobe academic discounts still leave the software being pretty expensive. But, you need programs like ACR and Lightroom and PS because that's what's used in schools.

I don't have those programs, but I use Gimp on Windows and Linux. It's not the easiest software to use, and I have to refer to tutorials to do fairly basic things. It has a lot of features that are more oriented toward graphic effects than what I think of as traditional photo manipulation. On Windows I use FastStone for organizing pictures, but it has editing features too, and is almost free (I donated because I use it quite a bit.)

Paul
03-17-2010, 11:09 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by NecroticSoldier Quote

Can anyone recommend a software that is good to start learning on? Would be great if what I learn could apply to more professional programs later.

This doesn't have to be state of the art professional, because I won't be doing heavy processing (yet...).
I can't comment on GIMP, though the name in itself makes me chuckle.

As far as a recommendation for software, I use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 & Adobe Photoshop CS4.

If you can afford those two programs, you will learn to love them. Pro's use those two (and some others) because 1) They're quite intuitive and make workflow a breeze and 2) While being advanced programs, beginners can achieve fantastic results after a few short video tutorials on the basics. I'd suggest starting with YouTube. Check out the PeachPitTV channel, amazing tutorials. Then just go from there. There are literally hundreds of tutorials on both programs and you'll enjoy the results quickly!
03-18-2010, 03:04 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by FattyMcJ Quote
As far as a recommendation for software, I use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 & Adobe Photoshop CS4.

If you can afford those two programs, you will learn to love them. Pro's use those two (and some others) because 1) They're quite intuitive and make workflow a breeze
Ouch ouch ouch ouch OUCH!!! You did NOT just go and call Photoshop Intuitive!!! It's like the LEAST-intuitive graphics program in the history of intuitiveness. Just because most professionals learn it and have it memorized by heart does not make it intuitive. What kind of an idiot software engineer goes and puts the colour management stuff in the "Edit" menu instead of the "Image" menu? Same for the "Stroke", "Fill", and "Transform" tools? Those things do NOT belong in the same place as "Copy", "Cut" and "Paste". The whole thing is a nightmare conglomeration of Mac and Windows user interfaces, with specific Adobe crap thrown into the mix that matches no user interface conventions.

I'll admit Photoshop is powerful, I was abusing it back when version 4.0 was the awesomest thing around (ONE undo level, and no History... you go and figure out how intuitive that was) and I've mostly kept up with it over the years. I still have CS2 residing on my system for the occasional thing that I haven't learned to do with other tools. But pretending it's intuitive just because it's the only thing you know is pretty far-fetched.

Personally, I think new users should stay as far away from Photoshop as possible (at least initially). Otherwise, they get sucked into a specific way of doing things that's not portable across other applications, and then they get stuck buying into the upgrade cycle forced upon them by Adobe, forking over money year after year just so they don't become obsolete. If you're a new user that hasn't been ruined by Adobe, try learning as many other things as you can first. Once you've reached the limits of what those can offer, THEN you can move up to advanced stuff like Photoshop. And get ready for a steep re-learning curve.
03-18-2010, 03:29 AM   #14
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so ignore me

I started with PaintShopPro when it was free, around v.2 and paid for v.7 and v.9 which is what I currently use. I've tried GIMP (tough) and PS Elements 1,2,3 (weak) and I'll stick with PSP9. Otherwise I use AutoStitch for panos and XnView to look at stuff. And AnimationShop3 to pick at movement, Video7 for more. I know how to manage and move files, don't need hand-holding there. The only thing I miss is a tool for mapping 2D images onto 3D shapes. Guess I just need to search more.
03-18-2010, 03:34 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I started with PaintShopPro when it was free, around v.2 and paid for v.7 and v.9 which is what I currently use. I've tried GIMP (tough) and PS Elements 1,2,3 (weak) and I'll stick with PSP9. Otherwise I use AutoStitch for panos and XnView to look at stuff. And AnimationShop3 to pick at movement, Video7 for more. I know how to manage and move files, don't need hand-holding there. The only thing I miss is a tool for mapping 2D images onto 3D shapes. Guess I just need to search more.
I was using Paint Shop Pro back in the days when it was a slight upgrade from MS Paint/Paintbrush Of course, this was way back in 1996 or so. I used it extensively for my web graphics because it generated much smaller and cleaner images than Photoshop did. I hear it's grown by leaps and bounds since then! I guess 14 years will do that to an application...

*sniff* it's sad when kids grow up...
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