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Old Dec 2, 2004, 10:30 PM   #1
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Hi. I just bought a Nikon Coolpix 8800. Great camera ! I use an ACDSEE program to edit my shots and have experimented with the Nikon software included with the camera. One thing I know I can't do is to correct a horizon that is not level.

What else can you do with all the editing programs that are offered ? May sound like a dumb question, but I don't know what I'm missing ! My present programs have satisfied me so far, butis there something more interesting out there ?

Thanks for any response !

Steve
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Old Dec 3, 2004, 12:09 PM   #2
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Steve, have you checked out the Digital Art and Xtreme Makover forums here? You'll find many examples of what can be done post production with a variety of editing programs. People here are great about sharing knowledge, and seeing what can be done is inspiring!

I have basic photo editing software at home (Kodak EasyShare and iPhoto), which are fine for basic editing, but I can use Photoshop 7 at work. I needed to straighten a horizon, which I can't do (as far as I can figure) with my entry-level software. I can only change orientation 90 or 180 degrees. With PS I rotated it until it was straight, which turned out to be only a 2-degree rotation. Also, with iPhoto I was able to retouch a photo of our family enough to get rid of wrinkles and pimples, but I couldn't correct the glare off a pair of glasses. The retouch brush is one size fits all. Aside from improving photos, you can also go wild with replacing selective colors and such. It's fun!
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Old Dec 3, 2004, 3:50 PM   #3
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Thanks R. Chick ! I'll investigate the other forums. As I seem to habitually make crooked horizons, that sounds like something to concentrate on. If the program can make pimples and wrinkles disappear, how will anyone recognize me ?

Appreciate your time !

Steve
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Old Dec 3, 2004, 5:07 PM   #4
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LOL! You can be as old or young as you want to be! Maybe I'll replace my wrinkles with my teenager's pimples so I can be young again!

With the first digital camera I had I tended to have crooked horizons. It was an early Kodak model that was shaped more like binoculars than a camera. With my new Kodak I find I'm not having that problem. Figure out which way you typically tend to tilt, and try to correct yourself when you're shooting. It may be that you're pulling down with your shutter finger hand. My kids like to try to fool the software in the camera that rights the image when you shoot in portrait orientation. Here's one that worked:
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Old Dec 3, 2004, 8:36 PM   #5
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The Scubbler wrote:
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... My present programs have satisfied me so far, but is there something more interesting out there ?
Lots of interesting stuff. Keep in mind that learning how to the power of any program that does a large number of things is not trivial to learn. The hardest thing figuring out what you want to do. Why look at a histogram? What is contrast? Local contrast or global contrast? ... Do some reading about what adjustments do, and why you might want to do them. Don't pay a lot of attention to the exact techniques used by a particular program, but to the changes made in the photo. Is there more/less color? ...

There are timed test versions of several good programs. Just don't download them until you are willing to spend a bunch of time figuring them out. A program with a lot of power will take time to learn. Don't let the test period go away without using it.

In the mean time, grab a few freeware programs. IrfanView and an EXIF reader should be high on that list.
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Old Dec 3, 2004, 11:10 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tips ! I'll check out the freeware first. I can see there may be more I don't know than I knewI didn't know (?).

Steve
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Old Dec 3, 2004, 11:14 PM   #7
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Thanks, too, R. Chick. Smart kid you've got there !

I can't figure my horizon problem as the slant is high on the shutter button side. I wonder if my left leg is shrinking ? The shutter delay on digital cameras sometimes fools me, but I can't figure this one out.

Fortunately digitals are free and I guess it's safer to take multiples.

Steve
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