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photo editing software for beginner
Just seeing what is EASY and what works. The most popular ones that I know of are Photoshop & Corel - however I don't know how user friendly they are..

Also, will these types of programs help lighten my low light images. I know what the advice is, but I don't think I have the interest or the $$$ to swing a dSLR right now. I have a nice P&S. May be I'll learn it well and want to move up, but right now, I just have too much to learn. Size also matters, and I don't want the baggage of a dSLR right now either. I'm already dragging around 4 kids..

Anyway how much can I accomplish post processing with these programs - any insight is greatly appreciated. These forums are so informative, and I thank everyone who answers questions and shares their pictures & experiences...

Comments (14)

I'm not too familiar w/ Corel's recent offerings, but if you're looking at 'Easy' and 'cheap'(?) from Adobe, you want Photoshop Elements (~$99), not Photoshop (>$650), they're 2 different apps. For info on PSE, check out this link:http://www.adobe.com/digitalimag/ideagallery/?promoid=BGRYQ.

The top three boxes are for Photoshop Elements, the last 2 for Premiere Elements (another program that you can buy bundled w/ Photoshop Elements that is for video editing)..

Keep in mind that if you want to do editing of your images, you want to shoot in your camera's RAW mode, or TIF if possible, and then save your final edited file as a JPEG. You don't want to edit an existing JPEG if you can help it..

Leehttp://leem.smugmug.com..

Comment #1

Photoshop Elements would be a good choice..

So would Picture Window or the Pro version (download a trial at http://www.dl-c.com). These will take some effort to get good at..

Or free editors like Faststone or Irfanview (google them) are pretty useful and may be enough for you. They're pretty easy to use right off the bat..

And unlike what Lee is maintaining, no you don't have to shoot in raw or tiff to use these programs effectively.A member of the rabble in good standing...

Comment #2

Take a look at Helicon Filter, good work flow, the free version (after 30 trail) is fine.Gary S P.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Http://www.garysworld.net..

Comment #3

It sounds like you aren't looking for anything fancy. If you're using a Windows computeryou didn't sayyou might find the free Picasa 2 program from Google to be plenty. And the price is right.http://picasa.google.com/..

Comment #4

Get Vicman's Photo editor free at.

Http://www.vicman.net.

Also free PhotoPlus (you have to register with an email, and they will send an advertising email every couple of weeks for their current programs) at.

Http://www.freeserifsoftware.com.

The free Serif program is a few years old and it was inspired by even older versions of Photoshop. It still gives you some solid editing functions..

These will get you started. There are other free programs which are more complex. You could look for those when you're ready, or jump right to Photoshop Elements...

Comment #5

Have a look at FastStone and IrfanView first as they are free and easy. And both very good. (I often wonder why most people pay out good money for other programs when these are free: it just shows how many idiots there are in the world... ).

Regards, David..

Comment #6

WOW - I didn't know there were so many programs. Now I'll have to do some research. Thanks so much!!..

Comment #7

Not that I would necessarily recommend it for general use, but I have found Olympus Studio 1.2 to be more user-friendly than other software I've tried (and it has some features specific to the use of my E-300 DSLR). One feature I've found very useful for all my newer digicams is the automatic tone adjustment function, which I'm fairly certain is also included in the free-to-download Olympus Master 2 software. This function adjusts tone curves for individual parts of the image and helps bring out shadow detail or brighten backlit portions of high contrast scenes. This site's review of your FZ8 includes an image quality description that sadly is applicable to many cameras:.

"The FZ8 has the usual problem associated with limited dynamic range and a steep tone curve (high default contrast), compounded by a slight tendency towards overexposure in contrasty lighting (something you can at least overcome easily). The annoying thing is that the highlight clipping is actually worse than it was with the FZ7 - that's progress for ya! The only way to avoid it completely in the bright, contrasty situations it arises is to lower the exposure manually if necessary, turn the contrast down (if shooting JPEGs) or - ideally - shoot raw.".

For the kid's, outdoor sports you mentioned in another post, under sunny conditions you may find, as I did, that you need to reduce exposure and lower contrast to avoid blowing highlights. This can result in flat, somewhat dark images that look anything like the bright, sunny day you shot them in. Auto tone adjustment is a quick, easy fix that brings back the snap and detail of the original scene with realistic tonal gradation and no blown highlights..

You've received a lot of suggestions for good, free image editing options. Olympus Master 2 might be worth a look also. Try several of them out and see if there's one that will work for you...

Comment #8

Trouble is, I don't know what your low light problem is. Especially since the idea of low light problems didn't exist until recently. People my age usually open the aperture a bit more, bought a faster film or else switched on the flash. Somewhere the answer would be found in that short list. Nowadays, all the cameras have pop-up flashes and so I can't see what the problem is that can't be solved by flash indoors or a bit of technique outdoors at night..

The other problem seems to be dynamic range which is usually cured by using RAW and a bit of fiddlying around with the free software that came with the camera..

And, of course, there's tilted horizons, perspective distortion and so on but these are not that frequent and most software will resolve it. As I see it most of the free stuff covers the most popular (if that's the word) stuff and few beginners need much more..

Hope this is some use to you. FastStone and Irfanview are probably the best place to start..

Regards, David.

PS Paintshop Pro - brilliant program - changed hands a while ago and it's worth looking for older versions (especially v9) being given away free or dirt cheaply. Many people swear by it, btw. It has everything you'll need and a lot you probably won't need...

Comment #9

Paint Shop Pro X2 is $99 US, has more editing features, is more powerful, edit results are better IMHO than PSE 5 (I haven't seen PSE 6 though), and is also easier to use..

I've had them both..

Albert-OColoradoPlease visit me athttp://www.berto.zenfolio.com.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #10

Wendysue,.

I am not sure what camera you have or aspire to but IF it is a Nikon consider Nikon Capture NX. It is about the same price as Elements (though that program gets discounted more heavily). It gives excellent results with Nikon cameras and you will not have to learn a new program if you get a Nikon DSLR..

Otherwise try Elements. I use Irfanview which is very powerful and free. But I would make the general comments about free programs - The user interface is often not as well developed as the rest of the program and may not be so intuitive. Either that or the controls are very limited..

Chris Elliott.

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

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #11

I recently got a copy of PSP X for $25. I like it a lot. I hear it is less intrusive on your system & does less un-wanted internet up-dating and sending info than later versions..

I use Picasa as my basic organization & editing program; it is the best for loading files from the camera and keeping track of them that I've seen. Most of the time a single click on "I'm Feeling Lucky" will do an excellent job of improving a photo. The cropping & leveling tools are nice..

Dave..

Comment #12

For me photoshop is the best buys I ever made I know it's expensive but i'ts worthy i've achieved a lot in four months worth of photoshop I am very new to photoshop but there won't be a turning back I would say it does take some times to get used to and I am still learning and have lots more to learn but the opportunities it give to edit, manupilate, enhance,colorized photos for me is second to none..

Cheers.

Mstmart.

Http://www.pbase.com/mstmart..

Comment #13

Wendysue wrote:.

Just seeing what is EASY and what works. The most popular ones thatI know of are Photoshop & Corel - however I don't know how userfriendly they are..

Both companies have good programs. Some are user friendly, but they can be complex and have a steep learning curve..

I use Adobe Lightroom + Photoshop Elements 5, but this is probably too much for you to start with..

Also, will these types of programs help lighten my low light images..

Any photo editor can do that..

I know what the advice is, but I don't think I have the interest orthe $$$ to swing a dSLR right now..

Heavens NO! Ignore people that only have one suggestion..

I have a nice P&S..

Actually, you have a compact camera. "Point & Shoot" is a lifestype choice! Even with a dSLR, most people still point & shoot!.

Anyway how much can I accomplish post processing with these programs- any insight is greatly appreciated..

You can do magic!.

I find I generally agree with LM1 and David Hughes on most advice. Do what they say! Or do what I say, which is to look at 2 free editors to start:.

PiccasaFaststone.

Pick the one that you like the most and use it for a while. If it continues to please you, stick with it. If it's limited, try:.

Photoshop Elements (I think versions 3 and 5 were the best).

If you outgrow that (and especially if you take LOTS of pix and don't like the way PSE organizes them, try:.

Lightroom.

After that, it's the full blown Photoshop....

The reason I say stick to Adobe products (and I hate Adobe as a company at times) is that the Adobe community is so much larger than anything else. You can find books, companion software, and advice so much easier!.

BTW, I use CorelDRAW and not Adobe Illustrator, because it's much better and has a huge user base..

These fancy editing programs are so complex that I refuse to invest the time to learn a dead-end program. BTDT.

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #14

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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