Which editing software?
I'm a complete beginner to photography, only having bought my first dslr a few months ago. I've quickly realised that some editing software would be really useful. The choice is overwhelming though, particularly the different variants of photoshop: Elements, Adobe Lightroom, etc etc. Could anybody recommend a particular one? Or suggest which is most appropriate for this stage in my photography career?! Many thanks...
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I use Adobe Lightroom & Adobe Photoshop CS3 (I've had Photoshop for a long time). I've also tried Adobe Photoshop Elements and Corel Paint Shop Pro. Before I bought Lightroom I used the free RAW processing software that came with my camera (Sony Image Data Converter)9 July 2014
Lightroom has a wide range of tools & features for adjusting an image, but you can't use it for working on selected parts of an image or for creating & working on multiple layers. It is reasonably priced. You can use it on TIF & JPG files but it comes into its own when working on RAW files. I virtually always shoot in RAW and would recommend any serious photographer to do so.
For RAW file processing Sony Image Converter had a useful range of features, but not as extensive as Lightroom.
Photoshop CS (whatever level it is now) has an enormous range of tools & facilities and you can work on selected areas & layers. , Some of it's features are only relevant to preparing images for commercial magazine printing or for graphics work. It is very expensive.
Photoshop Elements is a slightly cut down version of the photographic bits of Photoshop CSn but still has a wide range of tools and facilities. It is reasonably priced.
Corel Paint Shop Pro probably has more tools & facilities than Elements. I didn't take it up partly as I was used to Photoshop's way of doing things and partly because the version I tried seemed less reliable. You can work selected areas & with layers & when I looked at it, it was cheaper than Elements.
You can get many of these programs on a free trial basis for a limited time period. So it's work trying them out, but as Linda says the choice depends on what you intend to do (not just now but in the medium furure).
A lot of it is personal preference and how much manipulations you want to do to your photos. Elements and Lightroom seem to be really big on here. I have only had my DSLR for about 9 months. I only use a simple program to adjust things like contrast, saturation, sharpness, brightness, cropping,and etc. I will probably get thrashed on here but at this point that is all I want to do. I want to put my camera and myself to work and create the best possible photo I can and then make minor adjustments from there. Being somewhat inexperienced, I am afraid that I would just start snapping photos thoughtlessly and then rely on Photoshop to make it a good shot. Just my opinion though and maybe someday when I get better at taking photos I will upgrade to a better editing program.Helpful 2 4 July 2014
I suppose that depends on your budget and how serious you are. As a beginner with a somewhat limited budget, I use a combination of Lightroom and Gimp 2.0. Lightroom is for editing raws, and it is perfectly adequate for most of my needs. If I need more functions then I edit the exported jpg file with a Gimp.4 July 2014