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colbol

Photo Editing Program ?

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Hi Guys

As an amateur photographer with entry level DSLR and lenses etc and without the wish to spend up large, I would like to be able to explore the editing of some pic's further other than the Microsoft program installed on the PC.

As I gain experience and confidence I will invest in better kit and programs.

In your opinions, what is a good/great editing program I can use too

(A)  try and learn- how to use such a program to potential

(B) gain experience through trial and error  from using program to push boundaries on camera settings

Any help appreciated .

Cheers Colbol

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I use Lightroom.  It isn't free, but you can do a 30 day free trial.  This program can do many things and is really easy to use once you get used to it.

 

 

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Easy I like the souind of -- thanks for the hint  Tulips :)

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Another vote for Lightroom. I use it and I'm very happy with the results. It's easy to use, and you'll keep learning and discover new features all the time as you get better and more comfortable with it.

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cheers xyz99,thanks for the reply, I will explore the option, it sounds user friendly ??

Cheers Cobol

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I use Lightroom - it is user friendly once you get used to it. There are a lot of video tutorials on the internet that give advice on how to use it.

Have you looked at the software that comes with your camera? I use Canon, and it gives free software called DPP which can be a good starting point - I used it for a few years before I moved to Lightroom. It allows you to do a range of adjustments to your photos, and if you have a Canon DSLR you get it for free. It will certainly allow you to do more than the microsoft stuff, and will get you used what is possible. It will allow you to work with RAW or JPEG.

I don't know if Nikon (or other manafacturers) provide a similar set of software - perhaps a Nikon user could let us know?

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Nikon do have their own editing program, but I have never used it and am not sure if it's free either.

I also use Lightroom, and am very happy with it. Unlike most editing programs, it has a comprehensive set of tools for managing your photos, which I find extremely usefull.

 

It allows one to rate photos by quality, to apply key-words to them, to place them into collections and to search or sort by any of the above, as well as by metadata (which is handy if you want to see what equipment you use most often, or what settings have given you the best results.

 

However, there are a number of freeware progras available. I have heard a lot of good things about Gimp, but have never used it.

 

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As @Peter Connan has suggested you can try a freeware program. Have a look at this one suggested by @Soukous here 

 

The problem you could face is learning an image processing program and then deciding that it is not for you and trying something else.  

All this can leave you with a time consuming learning curve and nothing has been gained.

 

If you decide to take the Adobe route (i.e. Lightroom and/or Photoshop) you're going to have to pay via a monthly subscription which many people don't like as it is charged in $US and you need to be aware of the currency exchange rate if you live in a country outside of the US.

 

I note other members have suggested Lightroom but I wouldn't bother with that. Much of the functionality is often not used by the owner. If I was going the Adobe route i would have Photoshop only, and then use ACR ~ Adobe Camera Raw (ACR is a part of Photoshop and uses the same engine as Lightroom to process an image) and then you can move into Photoshop proper to further enhance the image. That way you have the best of both worlds. 

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I think you can still buy Lightroom (at least in the UK) as a standalone program

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Just to mention that Nikon does have its own program, Nikon NX-D, and it is free. It will give you most of the basic editing functions and is excellent for RAW conversion. So if shooting Nikon its a good place to start if you want a free program.

 

I personally use a freeware program called Picture Window Pro (it used to be paid but recently was made free.) I love it and have used it for many years but its very different than most in terms of concept, and while quite powerful, not necessarily something I'd recommend to a beginner.

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Thanks for the input Tony, Peter, Geoff  and Tanzin - all very helpful. Appreciate your time and effort .

Will be looking into these suggestions.

Many thanks Colbol

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On 13/08/2017 at 4:22 PM, TonyQ said:

I think you can still buy Lightroom (at least in the UK) as a standalone program

 

Is it updated to take the latest camera models though Tony? However, thanks to this forum I have found out how to easily convert them in to DNG files ( from Canon RAW) and then it probably wouldn't be a problem.

Canon actually provide a free programme with their DSLR cameras which is very comprehensive although too complex for me!!

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@Dave Williams I don't know - I am still on Lightroom 5 and a Canon 70D:)

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24 minutes ago, Dave Williams said:

 

Is it updated to take the latest camera models though Tony? However, thanks to this forum I have found out how to easily convert them in to DNG files ( from Canon RAW) and then it probably wouldn't be a problem.

Canon actually provide a free programme with their DSLR cameras which is very comprehensive although too complex for me!!

 

I understand the stand-alone program is not updated anymore, and that it lacks some of the newer features (such as the de-haze slider and the ability to modify the coverage of radial and grad filters with the brush).

I guess the same would apply to profiles for newer cameras and lenses.

 

Please correct me if I am wrong, but this is the reason I went onto the subscription.

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5 hours ago, Peter Connan said:

 

I understand the stand-alone program is not updated anymore, and that it lacks some of the newer features (such as the de-haze slider and the ability to modify the coverage of radial and grad filters with the brush).

I obviously wasn't getting my money's worth on my subscription hence I cancelled and went back to CS6, At the end of the day I tend only to do a few simple changes in post processing  which is mainly about tweaking exposure and sharpness plus cropping to suit. You can do that for a lot less than the monthly subscription to Lightroom, however, use it to the full potential and I'm sure it's good value for money.

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Well.

Uhm.

Yes.

I understand that star photos should really get a "proper phtotshopping". And this was part of my reasoning for getting the subscription.

In the ensuing year-and-a-bit, I have opened Photoshop just once. And shut it down again immediately, without using it...

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Must admit when I had the package I went no further than Lightroom for 99.9% of the time.

 

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Over a year the Lightroom standalone  package is still cheaper than using the monthly subscription, at least in the UK anyway and it's yours for life. As long as you are prepared to wait a short while to covert your pics to DNG  "the job's a good 'un" as they say !

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I use photoshop to clone out things I don't want in my photo.  Animal dung, people sometimes, sticks, leaves etc.  I've also used it to replace a sky.

 

Imuse Lightroom in conjunction with Photoshop and the Nik collection although Google has stopped supporting that.  So far it still works, but may have to switch to Luminar if it stops.

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An angle not yet mentioned: Lightroom is both: a powerful database for the managemnt of your pics including rating, geo taggging, key words AND a raw converter with editing software, that allows general adjustment like white balance, saturation, lens corrections, some repairs, a bit of pano and so on. For the 'organization and management' it's arguably number one, for the raw converter you could have a look into DXO an dCapture one as well. With LR, if you don't need the catalog, the key words and the ratings with flags, stars and colors, you're going to pay for a lot you're not going to use. Going deeper into twisting the pixels, programs like photoshop have much more options. If that's what you're looking for, there's software for free you could have a look at (e.g. GIMP), but I can't comment on them.

 

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