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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing 
Thread started 27 Aug 2014 (Wednesday) 11:47
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Which software for a guy with an empty wallet?

 
Intheswamp
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Aug 27, 2014 11:47 |  #1

I'm trying to figure out what to use for my post processing. I'm just an amateur, but would like to turn out decent images. I've been dabbling with the first three software packages below and I'm sure I still have lots to learn in all of them. But, I got to thinking that if I'm going to be learning I may as well learn a program that will be a good one. The software I currently have for post processing are:

Photoshop CS2
Elements 11
Canon DPP

I'm also considering/wondering about Digikam and GIMP. GIMP's interface seems to be lacking for an amateur like myself (but it's free!) and I have no idea about Digikam other than it was recommended and the screenshots look nice (and it's free, too!).

Of these mentioned which would be the best to focus on and learn? I'm kind of leaning towards Elements 11 and move over to Adobe Camera Raw from Canon DPP.

Thoughts (that I can understand...and afford :o )?

Thanks!
Ed


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GeoffSobering
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Aug 27, 2014 11:53 |  #2

The three you list are all more than capable post-processing tools.

The biggest issue with the first two is support for newer raw-formats, although the free DNG converter can handle that (at some cost in time & hassle).

GIMP is a bit idiosyncratic but also very capable.
You might consider Picassa, too.

Cheers,

Geoff S.


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davidcrebelxt
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Aug 27, 2014 12:59 |  #3

For RAW, Elements isn't really an upgrade over DPP... its a bare-bones ACR.
You could look into RawTherapee as a free RAW converter with a bit more.

I use Gimp regularly. But I don't do a lot of layers and masking... I take care of most of my toning in LR or elsewhere, and usually do minimal clone/heal or perhaps a filter effect in Gimp. Before LR I did my curves/levels/saturati​on/etc in Gimp. I don't think CS's interface is particularly more intuitive... its just many people come into PS with some background knowledge and plenty of tutorials...

If you are in school or have any kids in school, you might look into the Educational discount on LR... I think it brings the cost down under $100. I think LR with Gimp or Elements is a great combination if it can fit into your budget.


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Aug 27, 2014 13:09 as a reply to  @ GeoffSobering's post |  #4

I'm also an amateur. I had an old version of Photoshop Elements, but somehow I just didn't like it. I searched and found FastStone Image Viewer <link (external link)>. It has served me well.

Other software can be used in conjunction.


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Aug 27, 2014 13:25 |  #5

Well I hate to say it, but there is always the CC subscription for Ps and Lr that is still $10 mo. if I recall correctly.


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Amamba
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Aug 28, 2014 16:49 |  #6

For several years, I've used DPP and Gimp. The only issue with this setup is the extra time it took to process a photo in two different packages.

DPP provides excellent output for Canon RAW files and good H&S recovery.

Gimp, despite a silly interface and lack of adjustment layers, is a very good software that has some powerful tools. I especially liked Wavelet Denoise and Wavelet Sharpen.

I switched to LR but I have a love-hate relationship with it. Love the adjustment brushes, hate the catalog and the goofy skin colors it tends to produce sometimes.

My current setup is Photo Ninja and Corel PSP X4, with 90% of work done in PN.


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PhotosGuy
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Aug 28, 2014 22:37 |  #7

What are you shooting & what is it that you need to do that you can't do in CS2? I think that you're over thinking this.


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groundloop
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Aug 29, 2014 09:52 |  #8

Gimp isn't bad at all, I used it (in conjunction with DPP) for quite awhile before getting the Lightroom/Photoshop subscription. If you download it and spend some time learning it worst case is you're out some time, and for most anything you want to do with it you can find a tutorial somewhere online.

And depending on how you feel about letting Adobe have $10 per month, the Lightroom/Photoshop subscription isn't a bad option for many people.




  
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Intheswamp
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Aug 29, 2014 12:00 |  #9

Thanks for the feedback, everybody. I have a daughter who is a teacher so I may pick up a copy of LR at some point. The cataloging aspect of it actually seems attractive to me...keeping up with images has got to be a bit of a challenge for me so I'm thinking a catalog might be good.

But, in regards to actual processing/editing of images...I think PhotosGuy has made a very good point...that I'm over thinking this. I'm a rank amateur who likes to take photos. I got my first DSLR right at a year ago after shooting point-and-shoots since the first part of this century...a secondhand T2i...and I've *immensely* enjoyed using it. I shoot anything and everything that catches my eye...nature, people, inanimate objects,...a snapshooter, I guess. :o

It seems that I do most of my processing in DPP before moving on to CS2 or Elements. I use the latter two mostly for cropping and maybe cludging together some composites for the kids and grandkids. So, I think the current programs will suffice for that. I guess I was mostly looking for something to streamline the RAW>JPEG processing flow...if that makes sense. The cataloging of LR5 is appealing, though.

I'll plunder around with some of the programs mentioned, but probably what I already have is more than I can utilize for now. :)

Thanks again for the feedback,
Ed


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BigAl007
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Aug 29, 2014 12:26 |  #10

Intheswamp wrote in post #17124686 (external link)
Thanks for the feedback, everybody. I have a daughter who is a teacher so I may pick up a copy of LR at some point. The cataloging aspect of it actually seems attractive to me...keeping up with images has got to be a bit of a challenge for me so I'm thinking a catalog might be good.

But, in regards to actual processing/editing of images...I think PhotosGuy has made a very good point...that I'm over thinking this. I'm a rank amateur who likes to take photos. I got my first DSLR right at a year ago after shooting point-and-shoots since the first part of this century...a secondhand T2i...and I've *immensely* enjoyed using it. I shoot anything and everything that catches my eye...nature, people, inanimate objects,...a snapshooter, I guess. :o

It seems that I do most of my processing in DPP before moving on to CS2 or Elements. I use the latter two mostly for cropping and maybe cludging together some composites for the kids and grandkids. So, I think the current programs will suffice for that. I guess I was mostly looking for something to streamline the RAW>JPEG processing flow...if that makes sense. The cataloging of LR5 is appealing, though.

I'll plunder around with some of the programs mentioned, but probably what I already have is more than I can utilize for now. :)

Thanks again for the feedback,
Ed

I think you would actually find LR very useful. It has really good image organisation tools, the PSE finder is a kind of simplified version of LR's library features. Then you have the integrated RAW processing using the same tools as found in the full version of ACR that again in the case of PSE has most of the more advanced functionality stripped out. In very many cases using LR to process you RAW files is all that is needed. For me only about 2% of my images need additional processing in Photoshop (or any other pixel editing application). LR is also really good at producing finished image files as needed and tailored to the specific end use you might have in mind.

I generally do not keep JPEG versions of images on disk any more. I simply export a full tailored file from LR as I need it. Full sized high quality image to print? well actually I usually use the LR print module for that. Facebook sized image? Instagram? Larger size file for Flickr, but not quite full sized? I have presets for all of these, and LR also has publishing tools that will at least semi automate some of these functions, such as organising you Flickr collections. It becomes a simple matter of export file, use file, delete local copy of file. With the usual less then 5% of RAW's needing work in PS then you have plenty of space for the few large TIFF/PSD files that might be needed.

Alan


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Bob ­ Kupecky
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Aug 29, 2014 17:22 as a reply to  @ BigAl007's post |  #11

DPP for raw processing, comes free with your camera

Photoshop 7 for all your image manipulations. Can be bought second/third/fourth hand and you do not have to register it - I believe the last version of photoshop that didn't need registering,




  
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Amamba
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Aug 29, 2014 17:32 |  #12

davidcrebelxt wrote in post #17120981 (external link)
For RAW, Elements isn't really an upgrade over DPP... its a bare-bones ACR.
You could look into RawTherapee as a free RAW converter with a bit more.

I use Gimp regularly. But I don't do a lot of layers and masking... I take care of most of my toning in LR or elsewhere, and usually do minimal clone/heal or perhaps a filter effect in Gimp. Before LR I did my curves/levels/saturati​on/etc in Gimp. I don't think CS's interface is particularly more intuitive... its just many people come into PS with some background knowledge and plenty of tutorials...

If you are in school or have any kids in school, you might look into the Educational discount on LR... I think it brings the cost down under $100. I think LR with Gimp or Elements is a great combination if it can fit into your budget.

The problems with GIMP interface is the multiple windows (which they promised to combine in one but so far didn't, at least not in a stable release) and a lack of adjustment layers.

Otherwise it's a pretty competent software. But I do like the PSP better, and it's relatively inexpensive.


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Intheswamp
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Sep 20, 2014 12:58 as a reply to  @ Amamba's post |  #13

Update:

Well, I kept going over things and decided that besides the editing abilities that right now I really need to get my images better organized so I bought a copy of LR5 from a vendor on eBay. It should be here by the end of this coming week. What I need to do next is update the computer some...still running XP with 3gb of ram. :rolleyes: I picked up a used computer with Win7 64-bit loaded on it a while back that I need to drag out of the box and get set up...it has 4gb of ram but will ultimately have 8gb of memory. I know, it won't be a killer machine...but should handle photo editing better than the XP machine. I'm kinda stepping out on faith on all of this being as I've gotta have a heart cath Monday. So, the time frame for getting the computer up and going and LR5 installed along with everything else is kind of pending...hopefully it won't be long, though!!! :)

Anyhow, just thought I'd touch back with where I'm at on this.

Thanks for all of the feedback,
Ed


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CyberDyneSystems
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Sep 20, 2014 14:00 |  #14

Yes, use DPP and CS2.

I still heavily rely on CS2 and DPP myself, though I prefer some other RAW converters.


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BigAl007
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Sep 20, 2014 15:14 |  #15

Hope the health thing goes well for you on monday. Having poor health myself I know its not much fun. One thing I am often grateful for, is that when I am not so well and can't get out, at least i can sit with the computer and work, or even re-work, some images. That or maybe try out some new technique that has caught my eye.

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