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Old Mar 15, 2007, 10:49 AM   #1
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Hi All,



I know a lot of people on this forum use a imaging package to reduce noise and manipulate photographs using a computer, can anyone recommend a good product for the begginer to use that is perhaps not too deep or complicated as I'm new to all this.

I have seen 'Photoshop' mentioned a few times is this a good product to go for?

Many thanks,



Baskerville.
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Old Mar 15, 2007, 11:45 AM   #2
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There are lots of products on the market - some free, some cost money.

A couple points of interest:

1. Noise reduction is best done by specialized software packages that do just that. The packages most widely used for noise reduction are: Noiseware, Neatimage and Noise Ninja. I believe all 3 have scaled-down free versions you can download (just google to find them). Any of these will do much better at noise reduction than standard photo editing software.

2. I would recommend you consider Photoshop Elements (it's the scaled down version of the full Photoshop package - Elemnts sells for $100 or less while the full version of Photoshop CS2 sells for around $600). It's not that Elements is better than some of the other software packages out there, but you can find A LOT MORE help with how to use it. There are plenty of books out there (Scott Kelby has a great book on how to use the package) and a huge amount of users who use the product. So, when you want to find out how to do something you have a lot more people and books familiar with the package. With some of the other packages it can be more difficult to find help on how to use the product.

In any case, I highly recommend getting a book like Kelby's - the book is written in format of how to use the product to solve image problems. For example: image is underexposed, how to fix it; color is off - how to fix it. So it's more of a problems solving guide - as oppposed to a user manual. Just make sure whatever book you get is geared toward the software package you are using.
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Old Mar 15, 2007, 2:02 PM   #3
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And I second John's comments. I'll also add that using Elements helps you get ready for the full version of photoshop if you ever decide you need to upgrade to the full program.

It has more functionality (I even would say too much) and is more powerful... but Elements should not be discounted. In the last few versions it has become very good in its own right.

Eric
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Old Mar 15, 2007, 3:33 PM   #4
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photoshop is the best there is.......no doubt about that but its certainly not for begginers

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"the software that normaly comes with a camera is aimed more at begginers
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Old Mar 15, 2007, 3:40 PM   #5
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I highly recommend against Photoshop unless you need to do professional work. Even then, I am not a fan, though I use it everyday. It is extremely NON-intuitive, very clunky, a huge resource hog, and a general displeasure to use. Everyone uses it because everyone else uses it. If you have to do professional graphics work and need your output to be compatible with most other professionals, then you need to learn Photoshop, otherwise go with the alternative suggestions above.
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Old Mar 15, 2007, 4:47 PM   #6
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coachjames wrote:
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I highly recommend against Photoshop unless you need to do professional work. Even then, I am not a fan, though I use it everyday. It is extremely NON-intuitive, very clunky, a huge resource hog, and a general displeasure to use. Everyone uses it because everyone else uses it. If you have to do professional graphics work and need your output to be compatible with most other professionals, then you need to learn Photoshop, otherwise go with the alternative suggestions above.
your saying photoshop isnt good yet recomend elements? they are basicly the same interface but elements is more limited, yes its wise to start on elements and when familier with it and feel the need move to photoshop

it runs real sweet on modern pcs with 1 gig of ram and fast processors and lets u be really creative with masks, blending images, making graphics for websites etc.

photoshop also comes with imageready that is a real bonus for slicing up websites and making animations for them, direct from work done in photoshop.

photoshop also automaticaly can make gallerys for showing your pics.......no work to do except tell it what folder your images are in........same for HDR photos and it will also autostich

if u want to be creative with your pics get photoshop........if u want to just edit use elements.....

Baskerville elements is about £50 from pc world or shop about for it cheaper
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Old Mar 15, 2007, 8:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
if u want to be creative with your pics get photoshop........if u want to just edit use elements.....
I've seen some very creative work done with Elements, PhotoImpact, Paint Shop Pro and Gimp. There is very little you can't do with that next level of program.

I've used Photoshop since version 3 and still have to look things up in the help files or find tutorials. But I would probably have to consult such sources for things I hadn't done with other good image editors as well. Unless you just learn some basic skills and do the same thing all the time you are likely to struggle at times with any competent program. You can do more with Photoshop than with any other image editing program. But you might never require the things it will do that other good programs can't.

This is your best buy in a competent image editor IMO: http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-Corel-Paint-...QQcmdZViewItem It is the full program and can be registered. Corel makes the CDs to be sold with new equipment, so they will send a useless something to make it legal.

Paint Shop Pro is more complete than Elements and closer to the full Photoshop in capabilities. There are probably more online tutorials for PSP than for anything but the full Photoshop. Elements is hobbled in some critical areas to keep the market for the full Photoshop.

Elements would probably offer an easier transition to the full Photoshop if you were to ever need the capability. Some Photoshop tutorials might be more easily adapted to Elements. And Adobe's shadow/highlight is better than the corresponding function in PSP. But I think PSP is the better overall program, especially considering the price.

All of the good noise plug-ins work in PSP as well as Photoshop and Elements.

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Old Mar 16, 2007, 3:07 AM   #8
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Well - I'd say it depends.

I am a long-time PaintShopPro user (still using v7 and v9) but decided against XI - imho Corel is trying to make a "press-1-button-get-a-colorful-photo" tool out of it - which is NOT what I want.

I finally ended up using PhotoLine (www.pl32.com) which has the stuff needed for all my basic editing, starting with RAW import, easy color model handling (RGB, CMYK, LAB, HIS), 16bit processing (which GIMP hasn't yet in Windows for example), layers and so on...

The trial run's 30 days without limitationl, just check it out, if there are any questions, ask. With this I am down to 2 tools for standard workflow - pl32 and ImageAnalyzer (for denoise and deconvolution and some other stuff). All the basics are covered by pl32.

Good luck in finding "your" tool - it's a challenge.

Th.
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Old Mar 16, 2007, 3:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
I am a long-time PaintShopPro user (still using v7 and v9) but decided against XI - imho Corel is trying to make a "press-1-button-get-a-colorful-photo" tool out of it - which is NOT what I want.
It appears you just glanced at the boiler plate. PSP X and XI have some serious improvements. Things like improved color management, monitor calibration, 16 bit, raw, CYMK, lens corrections and an improved interface. I don't care whether Corel adds features for the one-click crowd as long as it doesn't get in the way and they continue to make serious improvements.

They added a feature to XI that I have waited for in Photoshop in vain for years. They combined the levels and curves tools so you can refer to the histogram and pointers while using curves. I had a raw converter that did that and always wondered why Photoshop was so limited.

I like both the PSP crop setup and actions (scripts) better than the corresponding Photoshop tools. I still much prefer Photoshop to anything else, but there isn't much you can't do in PSP XI. For thirty bucks I think the CD-only version is a steal.

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Old Mar 19, 2007, 2:08 PM   #10
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I've tried Photoshop version 7.0 and while it's certainly powerful, it is (to me) cumbersome and not very user-friendly.

The one I like & use is Photoshop Elements 2. I strongly recommend it. The main deficiency in Elements 2 (for the things I do) is that it doesn't include fine colour balance adjustment, but for that I've found ACDSee 7.0 every bit as effective as full-blown Photoshop. In fact that's all I use ACDSee 7.0 for!

For quick image viewing, (and sometimes for the simpler sorts of manipulation) I use ACDSee version 3.0

I think the main problem with all the version of Photoshop (for many users) is fathoming how to use layers. Once you discover how to use layers, it all seems easy. Unfortunately, using layers isn't (or wasn't for me) 'intuitive' and it took a long time for me to work out how to do it. I should have asked somebody to actually show me how - and that's what I'd suggest other people do, rather than wasting months scratching heads in frustration.

You can buy original disks of Photoshop Elements 2.0 at quite reasonable prices on e-Bay - that's how I got mine.

Apart from these, my other favorite is JPEG Optimizer. It's the easiest way that I've found to compress JPEG files down to fewer kilobytes. And now and again, Neat Image can be useful.
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