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photo editing software


samsensam

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Lightroom must be one of the most logical and easy to use pieces of software available, with endless video tutorials. I have bugger all qualifications in anything, and even I can use it!  Given many of the comments on this thread, the free offerings can be a real hassle.

 

P.S. I am not a professional and consider myself a "normal" person; as is everyone I know that uses CC.

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Have never tried that but did other programs and was not happy with them - far too much of a learning curve for me.  But your "with endless video tutorials" comment does not lead me to believe it is really that easy for occasional user.  Lighten/darken/align/crop/size/print and such are about all I would want for normal daily use.  Am sure for those that want a hobbyist activity more complex programs are great.  As we age our minds like it simple.  :saai:

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7 minutes ago, lopburi3 said:

Have never tried that but did other programs and was not happy with them - far too much of a learning curve for me.  But your "with endless video tutorials" comment does not lead me to believe it is really that easy for occasional user.  Lighten/darken/align/crop/size/print and such are about all I would want for normal daily use.  Am sure for those that want a hobbyist activity more complex programs are great.  As we age our minds like it simple.  :saai:

Have a look at Faststone. It's free and easy to get along with.

http://faststone.org/

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I'm not much of a photographer but I do write a blog, so I've been looking into photo editing to adjust pictures a little lately.  I downloaded Gimp--the open source alternative for Photoshop--but it was immediately clear that I was a fair number of tutorials away from making any sense of it.  

 

I had experimented with Snapseed for use on my phone before (an Android based Google application), and that does work better with my 8 inch tablet, but a 5 1/2 inch phone screen is way too small to see detail, and editing on a tablet seems a bit odd too.  For very basic editing the picmonkey online editor works, to only adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, etc., although there are more touch-up functions and effects.  Really to get to the next level beyond what Instagram can do there doesn't seem to be an alternative but working through that other learning curve, and probably swapping out Gimp for Photoshop.

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1 hour ago, honu said:

I'm not much of a photographer but I do write a blog, so I've been looking into photo editing to adjust pictures a little lately.  I downloaded Gimp--the open source alternative for Photoshop--but it was immediately clear that I was a fair number of tutorials away from making any sense of it.  

 

I had experimented with Snapseed for use on my phone before (an Android based Google application), and that does work better with my 8 inch tablet, but a 5 1/2 inch phone screen is way too small to see detail, and editing on a tablet seems a bit odd too.  For very basic editing the picmonkey online editor works, to only adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, etc., although there are more touch-up functions and effects.  Really to get to the next level beyond what Instagram can do there doesn't seem to be an alternative but working through that other learning curve, and probably swapping out Gimp for Photoshop.

Photoshop is immensely powerful, but it is designed for graphics work of all types, not just photography. The interface is not intuitive and you need to spend time learning the specific things you want to do.

Lightroom on the other hand is designed for photos only, has an easy to use interface, and I have taught people to use the basics in less than an hour. If you are swapping from Gimp, would recommend Lightroom rather than Photoshop. Plus, Lightroom will catalogue all your photos, but Photoshop will only work on one image at a time.

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3 hours ago, lopburi3 said:

Have never tried that but did other programs and was not happy with them - far too much of a learning curve for me.  But your "with endless video tutorials" comment does not lead me to believe it is really that easy for occasional user.  Lighten/darken/align/crop/size/print and such are about all I would want for normal daily use.  Am sure for those that want a hobbyist activity more complex programs are great.  As we age our minds like it simple.  :saai:

As we age, it's good to keep our minds active learning new things!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm using Lightroom... didn't have a clue how to use it the first time I opened it but I learnt with tutorials. It won't do any extreme acrobatic editing like Photoshop or Gimp but it's a true "dark room" software that can greatly enhance your pictures and correct their flaws once you know how to use it, which is not that complicated. And actually I found using it quite dramatically improved my technical knowledge of photography.

 

I have tried most competitors and find it's the only that is satisfyingly performing in terms of accuracy and processing speed.

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I use Lightroom for cataloguing the photos, it is an excellent tool !  then I use DXO Optics Pro for 'global' colour, light, contrast, perspective adjustments.  DXO Optics Pro has a better RAW convertor and a better colour rendering than the Adobe RAW convertor.

 

I only use Photoshop when I need to retouch a 'local' detail.

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On 12/6/2016 at 6:52 PM, FracturedRabbit said:

Lightroom on the other hand is designed for photos only

 

It is also available for videos, but not all buttons or sliders are available and of course no gradient filter, retouching tool etc.

I consider it too basic, not really useful for post processing a nice video.

 

I use Lightroom for almost all of my fotos since I shoot in RAW, Fotoshop only if I want to use layers.

I

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  • 1 month later...

I'm with those who prefer Photoshop. It's the most powerful app.  I can't imagine my phone without Photoshop Express (  last time I took it from Theappsdepot ) even in mobile version it still the best app for photo editing. And the important thing is that it has gone free, and all premium features are available. This app should be on any phone with a good camera if you want to take and upload pictures from your phone directly. Of course, if you have time to edit your photo on PC nothing can replace the original Photoshop.

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Forget software for now. Here's what I would suggest instead: start taking photos. Then ask yourself how they can be improved. If the answers don't lie in your camera then you likely need a better camera, but they probably do. Mastering exposure and choosing the correct settings for a given shot is what learning photography is all about - not butchering your photos to death in an advanced image editing application, which is really the realm of a graphic designer. These tools are great but they are mainly aimed at professionals. A professional aiming to have the absolute best looking magazine cover, for example, might go as far to remove the sky from a shot and replace it with something more appealing, but it's hard to understand why any amateur photographer would want to do this. 

 

With that said, here's some common tasks you will still likely need an application for:

 

- correct exposure 

- correct contrast & brightness 

- correct white balance 

- crop

 

Fortunately, there are many free desktop, web and mobile applications that do all of these for free. Your camera might even come with basic software that will do all of these and more. 

 

Once you've mastered the basics and know how to make small tweaks to your photos then by all means experiment but don't waste any money on photoshop or lightroom just yet. They are too advanced for a beginner and you might find you never really need them anyway.  

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I delete most of the photos that I take; but I still have 80,000 sitting on a drive. I currently use Lightroom, but perhaps you could recommend some free software that will help me manage that....?

 

Many of us consider the further processing of images after capture an important and enjoyable part of the hobby, not to "butcher them to death" but to make them reflect the image we were trying to capture. As Calach said, these tools help you understand the technical aspects of photography, they are fun to use, and open up all manner of creative possibilities.

 

Adobe has more than 9 million subscribers for its Creative Suite, I doubt many of those subscribers are "professionals".

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16 minutes ago, FracturedRabbit said:

I delete most of the photos that I take; but I still have 80,000 sitting on a drive. I currently use Lightroom, but perhaps you could recommend some free software that will help me manage that....?

 

Many of us consider the further processing of images after capture an important and enjoyable part of the hobby, not to "butcher them to death" but to make them reflect the image we were trying to capture. As Calach said, these tools help you understand the technical aspects of photography, they are fun to use, and open up all manner of creative possibilities.

 

Adobe has more than 9 million subscribers for its Creative Suite, I doubt many of those subscribers are "professionals".

Touche! My tone was a bit off in my first post so apologies for that.


I am not against post-processing, in fact as I mentioned I do make several tweaks to my own photos. But spending needless cash on applications is not good advice to give a newbie IMO. If all you want to do is, like me, capture what the eye could see then I fail to see why you need Lightroom. If you use Canon then the DPP software should be more than enough. In fact, any app with brightness, contrast, levels, white balance and cropping features should do for the majority of cases. The one exception would be HDR. The Photos app on Mac has all the features I mentioned, as does Paint.NET,  GIMP and plenty of mobile apps. I have recently been using two of these web apps from this web search. These web apps offer a free version that include most features that a photographer needs. You can pay a small subscription (e.g. $5 / month) if you want more advanced processing such as filters etc. It would be interesting to know what you use Lightroom for that doesn't exists in any free alternative. I may have missed some stuff that I don't use myself. 

 

Regarding using apps for learning: surely the best way to learn photography is by going out and using your camera? The camera is the starting point after all. You don't need much theory to get going but understanding the the Exposure Triangle, aperture, ISO and metering would be a good start. The manual will explain most of this. 

 

Finally, I would bet vast majority of these Creative Cloud subscribers are professionals (individuals and enterprises). Create Cloud is huge and caters for graphic design shops, advertising and marketing agencies as well as media companies and a whole load of other industries. I even have an annual subscription for my work and I am software developer (I use the web Fonts). There will be a lot of subscriptions for universities and training companies too. 

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 11/17/2016 at 3:46 PM, Jai Dee said:

I'm giving this topic a bump as I'm interested to see what you guys are using now.

 

I'm completely new to photo editing and am keen to give it a try.

 

Any recommendations?

Some of the cheap older versions of software applications are fine for editing (and I used an ancient version of Photoshop for aeons). However, today it is not just about editing the image but also labelling, storing and linking to other media. The old stuff doesn't have this methinks.

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I've tried most of the photo editing software already mentioned here and the one I now use exclusively is Picasa V3 Portable. 

 

Truth is I take pretty good photos and have pretty good cameras, so there's not all that much PP to be done. I find Picasa a breeze to fly through a folder of 40,50,60 shots quickly cropping out anything I dislike, adjust the tones/color, sharpen if needed. I can tweak 50-60 shots in 15 minutes or so. I find Abobe and Gimp to be ridiculously complex for the minimal adjustments my photos require. 

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On 29/03/2017 at 10:50 AM, phuketrichard said:

CS5 adobe bridge/Camera raw for labeling, edits ,sorting, meta tagging than further edits done in PS. Lightroom just can not compete.

Rubbish. Lightroom elegantly handles labeling, sorting, tagging and a whole lot more in the library module, and the Develop module offers 95% of what you might want to to with a photo with options laid out specifically for photos, unlike PS which is a cover-all graphics program which is non-intuitive to operate.

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4 hours ago, Jai Dee said:

Can anyone recommend some software for removing duplicate images on a hard disk?

 

(Multiple phone backups resulting in multiple images)

 

Unless some great improvements have been made since I tried any duplicate finder, several years back it's very difficult to know which file to delete... been there tried that and lost images too!

Use with caution!

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