First steps in image processing

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by alaios, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

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    Dear all,
    I need some help and guidance for my first steps in image processing.

    I have done in the past a bit of photoshop cs, like read 2-3 books and run few tutorials. In the past I was composing and making my own posters.

    I would like to ask you which are the programs you use for editing jpeg and raw images and if I can use my photoshop cs previous knowledge for some of this work. I think here there are two different things also one needs to mention.

    Which Program and techniques I need to learn
    and
    how to understand what type of improvements an image can get.
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    any books (I do like books) to suggest so I can start workin on?
    Regards
    Alex
     
  2. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

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    I do everything in Photoshop, have been doing it for years, from jpeg files. Recently I'm adding some Snapseed for quick and dirty vignetting and borders.
     
  3. Grisu_HDH

    Grisu_HDH TalkEmount Veteran

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    - ACDSee Pro 6
    - Adobe Photoshop Elements 11

    Think the choice of the software depends on the needs and the budget you have...
    You have CS knowledge?
    Than go for
    1. CS6 if you can afford it
    2. PSE11 cause it's good and it's much cheaper
    3. CS2 cause it's completely free available (but does not have new Camera Raw support)
     
  4. Nubster

    Nubster TalkEmount Veteran

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    Lightroom 4 (previously Lr2) for 99.9% of my post-processing.
    CS5 occasionally for processing, but mostly for playing around.
     
  5. gio

    gio TalkEmount Veteran

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    i have only ever used PS elements,it suits me fine for what I want to do and it's a lot cheaper and easier to learn, I only ever take jpegs though, so I cannot vouch for what it's like with raw images
     
  6. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer Charter Member

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    I can't afford PS CS6, and PSE11 is sh*** imho. So, while not being able going the Adobe Camera RAW + Photoshop route I found a nice setup that works for me: Aperture 3 for developing the RAW files and editing the photos in most cases, Pixelmator for photo manipulation and a few Aperture plug-ins (most from Nik Software, but also a few others) for fine-tuning, HDR-processing and so on.

    The advantage here is that you can get these things pretty cheap. Aperture costs only 60€, Pixelmator is available for 16€ and the whole Nik Software bundle costs about 200€.

    But try the demo versions before you decide what to use. I have to admit that Lightroom has some much more powerful tools than Aperture has - I simply prefer the management parts of Aperture, that's why I still use it.
     
  7. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks   Super Moderator Subscribing Member

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    I used to use Photoshop for almost everything. But I got a free copy of Lightroom 4 with my NEX-6, so now I've switched. I don't know what books to suggest for a beginner. But when I've tried to learn a new piece of software, I go to my local bookstore and browse the shelves for something that suits my level of expertise.
     
  8. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer Charter Member

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    As for the learning curve - I always go the try & fail route. It's fun to try new things out, to see what each slider does and to learn the software you chose step by step. A few dozen photos later you know it better than after reading every tutorial out there.
     
  9. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks   Super Moderator Subscribing Member

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    Oh, I'm a BIG fan of the "what does this button do?" method of learning software. But I have also picked up plenty of hidden features from a good instruction manual, features that would have otherwise taken months or even years to stumble across by trial and error.
     
  10. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes   Super Moderator

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    I use Aperture with plugins from Nik Software and OnOne for everything when shooting RAW. I find it all quite intuitive to use. I looked at Lightroom but I like the phot management of Aperture more. I know nothing about Photoshop and it looks like to much of a time sink to learn right now.
     
  11. Nubster

    Nubster TalkEmount Veteran

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    I also love some of the Topaz Labs plugins.
     
  12. olli

    olli TalkEmount Veteran Charter Member

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    I use Lightroom for everything. I find that with the latest version I no longer need anything else.

    If you do go for LR it's worth tracking down good instructional videos and books since just playing around with it will never reveal all it is capable of.

    Adobe have a lot of free resources including a series of videos on LR4. The best book (for me) is Jeff Schewe, The Digital Negative (though the first chapter can seem a little overwhelming). Another one I found useful is Vision & Voice, Refining Your Vision In Adobe Photoshop Lightroom by David Duchemin. As well as discussing the capabilities of LR he selects twenty of his own images and shows how he has used LR to process them. Duchemin also runs and ebook publisher called Craft & Vision and there are three eBooks on LR by Piet Van den Eynde. One is a general work, the two others are on dodging and burning and B&W conversion.

    Of course if you decide to go with something other than LR you can ignore all of the above:)
     
  13. ErickSaint

    ErickSaint TalkEmount Regular

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  14. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount Top Veteran Subscribing Member

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  15. Grisu_HDH

    Grisu_HDH TalkEmount Veteran

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    Yep, Lightroom would also be a perfect alternative. Unfortunately it's not running on Windows XP.

    I also have Gimp installed, but the learning curve IS really hard...
     
  16. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

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    Hi all,
    very shortly what is the difference between photoshop cs and lightroom? If I understand it right is software coming from the same company

    Alex
     
  17. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount Top Veteran Subscribing Member

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    Yes. Gimp is quite powerful but very difficult to use. Besides there are some serious drawbacks with it (notably that it is mostly 3*8 bit program). Can't really recommend it. Works for me (mainly removing backgrounds etc., wavelet noise reduction and wavelet skin smoothing). There is no good choices for me. My tabletop machine is 5 years old and has got Windows XP 32 so even raw therapee doesn't work and Gimp is very slow to use. So I run mainly Ubuntu 64 now.

    Maybe in the autumn Windows 8 will be usable and there is suitable time for computer upgrade.
     
  18. Bimjo

    Bimjo   Super Moderator Subscribing Member

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    I've never used Lightroom, but here's my basic take on it. Lightroom is primarily a image cataloging program that has image editing abilities. Photoshop is image editing/illustration software that has rudimentary image cataloging functionality.

    Of course it isn't that simple, but that's the basic idea.

    Lightroom has leapfrogged Photoshop in some areas in recent years, but lags behind in others. Which one to use depends on how you work and what you want to do to your photos.
     
  19. teefin1

    teefin1 TalkEmount Top Veteran

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    Does Lightroom not work with Windows 8? I got a new laptop this weekend, running 8.....and I find it quite er, weird.
     
  20. Nubster

    Nubster TalkEmount Veteran

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    Lr room is a pretty powerful photo processor with lots of print setup options. It doesn't allow you to manipulate photos like you can in photoshop however but the processing is pretty great and not too hard to learn, at least the basics. There's a lot under the hood that you can learn if you take the time to learn it.

    It also is supposed to work with W8.
     

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