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Old Mar 27, 2007, 5:43 AM   #11
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I find this thread interesting as it highlights one of today's BIG problems. The computer has put tools in our hands that we think we should be able to use intuitively and we no longer see the need to learn in the old fashioned way. This is in part down to the way computers and programs are sold to us. Photoshop is a professional tool for image manipulation and it's millions of users will testify to it's power and potential. Like all specialist tools it needs to be understood and it's limits learned. The best way to do this is to take an introductory course - yes they are expensive but you get what you pay for. An investment at the beginning will save hours of frustration in later years.
Photoshop contains many tools, effects and processes that are not needed for basic image manipulation but as an Elements and Photoshop user and teacher I find I use Photoshop for almost all of my photographic work, only reverting to Elements when I am preparing specific teaching material. The power of Photoshop huge and I still find myself using books and online help for less used processes. If you use Photoshop regularly for image sizing, cropping, corrections and cloning these processes will become second nature. My free tip for any new user of any powerful program is to create your own "mimimum manual" as you learn the program, writing down the steps for any technique or process you find useful as you explore. You will then have a compact source of the information you use in your own language rather than having to hunt through five hundred pages of someone else's words.
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Old Mar 28, 2007, 11:02 AM   #12
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ianphot

very well put, i totaly agree with what you said.

lots of people dont want to take time to learn any more, i have spent probably 8 years using and learing photoshop, been creative i use it for a huge variety of image editing, and often as you do top up on new ideas with various online tutorials.

when u get creative and go find and use the many 1000s of custom brushes that there are as well as actions and styles, and 3rd party pluginsit expands its use many more times over

Gary
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Old Mar 28, 2007, 11:32 AM   #13
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Ianphot and Reanimator,

While I don't disagree with you, I'd like to add the following:

Photoshop is a $600 product. And, I would argue thatthe majority of photography hobbiests buying consumer level gear - i.e. 90% of the people in this forum don't want to make a career out of editing images. For most people I would argue the added features Photoshop CS2/3 gives them is not worth the $500 extra they pay. You said so yourself - take a a class (an expensive class usually) to learn how to use it. If a software package requires a class then it's not really consumer level. Now, I have CS as well as Elements. But as a hobby photographer and not a graphic designer I can't imagine myself ever recommending a newbie photographer shell out $600 for the tool. If you go the Elements route, and decide you want to upgrade I think you pretty much get most of the Elements money back in a discounted upgrade. But I would venture to say most Elements users don't even use that tool to it's fullest. As a user of both I would suggest for someone starting out the $500 you save by buying the lesser package could be much better spent buyig a better camera / lens. And money saved in photoshop class could be much better spent in a photography class.

If photography is your hobby (and not graphical design) - you're much better off learning how to take good photographs to begin with.

Just my spin on things, given the target audience. YMMV.
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Old Mar 28, 2007, 12:11 PM   #14
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equaly true johng

original qusetion was Photoshop, best image editing package? answer still gotta be yes

as a newbie he wanted to know what to use so elements was recomended. if i didnt do what i do then id be still using elements......which is still photoshop but limited, full title is "adobe photoshop elements 5" still classed as photoshop but not to be confused with the cs versions.

http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshopelwin/ bargain at $99

photoshop is the pro version of elements click upgrade to pro and it links to cs3




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Old Mar 30, 2007, 11:56 PM   #15
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I'd refer someone starting out back to Paint Shop Pro, but one of the earlier version, as you suggest. v10 is okay, but Corel started to trash it by then. v9 is much better.
Maybe for elementary photo editing. You eventually get into color management and version 9 is as devoid of advanced color management as Elements.

I'm not familiar enough with either to make a comparison, but I don't find version X either buggy or trashed. I know they added some one click fluff, but they also added some advanced features. I don't see that any of the fluff gets in the way if you want to use it as a serious editor. And the fluff might be good for a beginner transitioning to a serious image editor.

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Old Mar 31, 2007, 12:10 PM   #16
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I just have to use something like the free "SmartCurve" plugin if I realize I'm working in 10.
Thanks – missed that one. I have too many plug-ins already but that one is quite good. It is not only better than PSP X but also better than Photoshop CS IMO. Why can't someone add levels controls to the histogram like my old raw converter?

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When needing some of PSP's features still (its Chromatic Aberration tool I've not found elsewhere)
I think CS2 has it. I would still use my regular Select > Color Select. Crank up the fuzziness and use the quick mask to deselcet any purple that belongs there. Pick the best background (usually sky) and replace the purple with it. Works better than the filter in PSP X and probably better than the filter in CS2.

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There's another editor that I've been watching grow-up for the last few years. Called "Zoner Photo Studio", now at v9. This is a VERY nice program in its last incarnations, and worth taking a serious look-at by someone starting out (or anyone really). Simple in its interface, but has full curves and other bells and whistles one would expect. The Home edition doesn't support 16-bit and color management, but the Classic and Pro versions do. I'd say it's on par with Paint Shop Pro v10 at least. I haven't compared the two extensively, but they're a close match from what little I've played with it.
Considering the Pro version is $85 and you can find a legal Corel CD of PSP X on Ebay for less than $20 it isn't a great value. The big advantage of PSP is the wealth of tutorials available. I'm sure you can transcribe Photoshop tutorials for most programs, but most beginners can't. It is sometimes hard enough when the tutorial is for the same program and version they are using.

For a beginner Elements or PSP are the programs of choice IMO. There are literally thousands of tutorials online, and you will get a quick response for help on most boards. Elements has the advantage of an easier transition to Photoshop if interests expand, and PSP is the more competent program. To start out in PhotoLine or Zoner or The Gimp adds too much in self help requirements for a beginner. They might be well designed programs, but nothing beats a good tutorial.

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Old Apr 7, 2007, 11:23 PM   #17
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I was using PSP XI for a while but found it tended to be a bit heavy-handed. I also have Photoshop CS2 but man is the learning curve steep!

I recently found a program called Lightzone. It works in a completely different way, so much so that I'm finding it difficult after spending so long trying to learn how to use the Curves dialogue. Lightzone is impressive though, and maybe for a beginner it could be superior to Photoshop. It's a damn sight cheaper too, which is nice.

http://www.lightcrafts.com/learning_center/
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