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Post Processing and Editing Software

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Old 02-13-2013, 06:03 AM   #1
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Post Processing and Editing Software

I’m new to photography so I’ve been reading a lot about post-processing and editing software. This is what I have been gathering. I’ll continue to use the camera software and free choices until I have a better grasp at this new hobby. Please correct my collection of reading points where I may have misunderstood them.

Use the basic photo editing software that came with your camera (like View NX2 for Nikon users) to do basic retouches. A good free alternative is Picasa.

If you can afford the full-blown PhotoShop, do so. A good alternative is PaintShop Pro. One level down is the more lightweight and more inexpensive PhotoShop Elements. It is well suited for the average photo enthusiast or amateur photographer who doesn’t need heavy graphic editing. A good free alternative is Gimp, Paint.net or Pixlr.com.

Lightroom is a photo database organizer loaded with post-processing tools for photo adjustments. While not as robust in graphic-editing as PS or PS Elements, it has enough tools to satisfy most entry-level photographers. A decent free alternative is Picasa.

HDR software. Use Photomatixs or HDR Efex Pro. A good free alternative is Luminance or Picturenaut.


I’m really not concerned with the organizational and database features of Lightroom. So in regards to photo editing, is there anything that Lightroom can do that PS Elements cannot?
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:12 AM   #2
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I have not used lightroom but I have used both photoshop and PS elements quite a bit.

Photoshop is a very powerful program and unless you have some sort of training it can be a little daunting to get started and use it to its full capacity. Elements has many of the same tools as PS but its geared towards the beginning user. There are even a few things that I like more about elements than the full blown, expensive version of PS! And all of the programs allow editing of RAW files in pretty much the same user interface.

My advice: get the less expensive elements and start to play around and get familiar with the software. Chances are you'll be more than happy with it.
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:46 AM   #3
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I agree that the full blown photo shop has a steep learning curve, too steep for me. Elements works fine.
What I really like is a old HP printing program that includes paper management. This allows you to print multiple images and sizes on one page. biggest drawback for this particular program is its not compatible with the newer operating systems.
I'm sure that there is another similar proram for newer systems.
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:50 PM   #4
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Photoshop is my recommendation. Yes it is a little pricey but it's definitely worth it. You can sign up for a photography class and qualify for the student price, that's what I did.
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