Choosing a touch-up software package

I have had a DSLR for awhile now and want to get into a bit of 'touching up'. What is the recommended package for beginners and should I be shooting in RAW for this?.


Comments (5)

There are quite a few of them out there..

I would suggest Photoshop Elements ($100)or Lightroom ($200).

Elements has some of the basic Photoshop tweaking tools, but not the whole range of them so that you can set up the levels, curves, and other basic tools to really make your picture POP..

Lightroom was meant for RAW, but JPEG users can still take advantage of it. I don't have the program, but a little research between the two should show you what you want..

If your camera has the capability to shoot both RAW+JPEG, then I would strongly suggest that. This is because JPEG is very easy to manipulate and then as you learn more, you can always look at those RAW pictures you took in case you have some really fantastic pics (which we all hope for). And sometimes, one of those fantastic pics is underexposed or has bad white balance. RAW can fix those things up quite well. RAW is as it sounds, so it ain't done yet. This allows you to finish up the picture the way you want it to be finished into a JPEG instead of the camera doing it for you.

RAW can be considered as a way to save a picture that is off a little bit. However, a lot of new users begin to learn bad habits and rely on RAW instead of learning how to get the shot right. So I would suggest JPEG for awhile, then RAW later when you know more. That way the learning curve isn't like the Space Shuttle..

Hope that helps...

Comment #1

Simbarazzel wrote:.

I have had a DSLR for awhile now and want to get into a bit of'touching up'. What is the recommended package for beginners andshould I be shooting in RAW for this?.

There are lots of recommendable packages, and I'm sure your DSLR came with one. If you're unhappy with it, I'd recommend Olympus Master 2 for simple operation and some unique and useful touch-up features like auto tone correction. Plus, it's a free download from Olympus, so it doesn't cost anything to see if you like it. I set it up to find photos by folder rather than album because it's much easier for me to work within my computer's directory structure than any of the supposedly easy-to-use "import" schemes that so many programs (such as Kodak Easyshare) use as a default. And no, you don't need to shoot raw to use a photo editing program...

Comment #2

Simbarazzel wrote:.

I have had a DSLR for awhile now and want to get into a bit of'touching up'. What is the recommended package for beginners andshould I be shooting in RAW for this?.

You did not mention your camera maker and model. For sure, you have a software pack included with your camera - which is basically free for you. Try this one..

Another very good (and free!) choice for a beginner is Picasa from Google..

Finally, if you want to buy software, a good criterion to consider is what other people you know use. You'll be able to learn from them the ropes..


Comment #3

We use photoshop for retouching. among other things it provides for masking where, say, you can have two layers and then paint back in just the eyes and mouth from the top layer into the bottom layer. I don't think you can do masking in elements..

The raw converters don't tend to have much in the way of retouching tools so you often wind up in photoshop anyway (but with raw you can have 12 bits of data vs. 8 for a jpeg which could in theory lead to a smoother look in a big print)...

Comment #4

First question has got to be what DSLR you are using as the answer may be different according to make..

If you are shooting Nikon then Capture NX has lot going for it otherwise Elements is likely to be first choice..

Ignore comments like "It is free". The greatest investment will be your time in learning to use it so chose well-known software that will allow you to get the best out of your cam (including shots taken in RAW format).

But do explore the free software that came with your camera it may do everything you need for the moment..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.


Comment #5

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