Photoshop recommendations

Discussion in 'Photoshop Tutorials' started by Neil Jones, Dec 24, 2008.

  1. Neil Jones

    tony cooper Guest

    It's appropriate to go back to the initial post. The OP takes
    photographs, but has not been editing them. He's looking for a
    program to take his first steps in editing photographs.

    I recommended Elements as a good first step. Elements, at this level,
    is easy-peasy. The "Quick Edit" module shows the original and the
    results of any editing side by side. He can crop in this mode, click
    the button for "Smart Fix" or "Auto Levels" and make just about any
    decent photograph look more than presentable. A bit too dark on the
    faces? Move the "Lighten Shadows" a bit to the right. The auto Red
    Eye fix usually works. For 90% of the average photographer's output,
    this works a treat.

    There's some additional bells and whistles for anyone who wants to
    follow one of the many online tutorials. Elements does Adjustment
    Layers and creates Selections. It has most of the basic tools for
    editing. The Spot Healing brush is easier to use than the Clone

    Anyone who tries Elements can be successfully editing the average
    photograph right away. No learning curve to speak of.

    You can put that OP in the full Photoshop or Gimp, but the learning
    curve is steeper. He can do more eventually, but there's no
    indication that he's ready to do so or interested in doing so.
    tony cooper, Dec 25, 2008
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  2. Neil Jones

    tony cooper Guest

    I see the same type of threads in the photography newsgroups. Some
    guy comes in and wants a recommendation for a good camera because his
    first grandchild was born and he wants to take photographs.

    The thread then takes off into gearhead discussions on the attributes
    of various cameras and the P&S vs dslr wars. Truth is, the new grampa
    can buy the camera nearest the door and it will work for him as well
    as the best camera in the store. All the guy's gonna do is point the
    camera at the baby and push the button.

    You really have to gear the discussion to the wants and needs of the
    poster or you'll just add to the confusion that brought him to the
    newsgroup in the first place.
    tony cooper, Dec 25, 2008
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  3. Neil Jones

    Leo Lichtman Guest

    : (clip)You really have to gear the discussion to the
    wants and needs of the
    This sentence could well be cross-posted to a great many other newsgroups.
    Well thought and well said.
    Leo Lichtman, Dec 25, 2008
  4. Neil Jones

    Bob Williams Guest

    Full Photoshop is a PROFESSIONAL program.
    Although it is extremely powerful and versatile, it is NOT easy to learn
    on your own.
    Adode assumes that if you put out major bucks for the CS versions, you
    are a working professional or serious amateur and you already know your
    way around the program.
    OTOH, PS Elements is an entry level program for persons like yourself
    who are new to digital imaging. Entry level does not mean dumbed down.
    PS Elements is extremely powerful and can do almost everything that a
    newbie would want to do with full PS. But unlike full PS, Elements
    volunteers a lot of help as you work thru the editing process.
    Even so, using the tools in any photo editing program is not intuitive.
    IMHO, you will need a well written book or manual to help you learn what
    the various editing tools do and how to use them.
    I suggest that you buy PS Elements 7 and STRONGLY encourage to purchase
    a self-help book to go along with it. Over the years I have used a
    number of self-help books on using PS and I can recommend the "Teach
    Yourself Visually" series as well as the "Classroom in a Book" series by
    the Adobe Staff.
    Amazon carries both oh these series. For a rank beginner, I would start
    with Teach Yourself......" and graduate to "Classroom........"
    At, See:

    Bob Williams
    Bob Williams, Dec 25, 2008
  5. Neil Jones

    Neil Jones Guest

    You hit the main point that had me post this question! I do have GIMP
    on my system and have used it minimally over the years (only for
    cropping). Now I want to do a little bit more than cropping the
    pictures. I know GIMP can do what Adobe PS or Elements is doing. BUT,
    the support groups/books/classes offered for GIMP are minimal compared
    to Adobe Photoshop. Yes, the tutorials for GIMP at one or two main
    websites do not motivate me to do anything creative/enchanements to my
    pictures. The users on GIMP mailing list/newsgroup either have never
    been tried what I am trying to accomplish with my photo editing or have
    the attitude "Go figure it out yourself". Last but least, I am willing
    to take a class which will teach me how to process pictures. So far
    that I know, I have not seen anything for GIMP. Photoshop does have
    quite a few classes. With Photoshop, my main confusion was about the
    products at their website (Which one do I need?).

    The other software packages, even the ones that came along with my
    camera really don't interest me in trying to be creative with my pictures.

    I think I will consider getting Photoshop Elements (in the next few
    weeks) and consider taking a class.

    Now, like Leo, I will need to find a university professor or some
    professional who offers classes locally for Photoshop.

    Neil Jones, Dec 25, 2008
  6. Neil Jones

    Dave Cohen Guest

    I just took advantage of that $12 for Elements 6 from Price Grabber, so
    I'll be able to get a good feel for how it compares to my current PSP 9.
    All packages do red eye in one way or another, but PSP 9 does it in
    style, you get to choices on what to replace with, and for animal lovers
    is has an animal selection which is nice. They get same problem but
    color is usually other than red.
    Now at least I should be able to get a decent book or two that relates
    to what I'm using without having to translate (although much of the time
    that does work).
    For $12 the op could play with that at low risk. I looked at some
    reviews and there doesn't appear to be much lost in 6 from version 7.
    Dave Cohen
    Dave Cohen, Dec 25, 2008
  7. That's one possibility!*
    And same to you, and all.


    *Probably would be from a ten year old Mac to a new PC, or from a new PC
    to a two year old Mac, but I purposely left it quite open.....
    John McWilliams, Dec 25, 2008
  8. Neil Jones

    tony cooper Guest

    I use Elements 5.0, and tried 6.0 as a trial. I didn't see enough of
    a difference between the two to buy 6.0. There's always one tool in a
    new version that is nice, but new versions don't offer major change.

    If you feel comfortable buying a book, do so. That adds $30 to $40 to
    your cost. The price of books on any program is astronomically high.
    I spent $40 on a Scott Kelby book recently. It was worth it, but it
    focussed on one particular function of Photoshop (full version):

    I'd recommend that you start with following some of the many online
    tutorials for Elements. They are free, and I think you'll find that
    the tutorials get you started as well as a book would. I do have a
    book on Elements (Classroom in a Book - $40) that was a gift, but I
    usually go to an online tutorial if I want additional information on a
    tool's use. The one advantage of the book is the included CD with
    tony cooper, Dec 25, 2008
  9. Neil Jones

    J. Clarke Guest

    You think 40 bucks is high, price college texts.
    J. Clarke, Dec 25, 2008
  10. Neil Jones

    ray Guest

    Why is that? I find that GIMP does layers adequately.
    ray, Dec 25, 2008
  11. Neil Jones

    ray Guest

    "Beginning GIMP" by Peck is an excellent resource book. "Grokking the
    GIMP" is likewise an excellent and quite comprehensive tutorial.
    ray, Dec 25, 2008
  12. Neil Jones

    Paul Furman Guest

    Yep, Elements is a good choice and it is eligible for upgrading should
    you decide to.

    One more possibility that hasn't been discussed is Adobe Lightroom, or
    Picassa is similar if $300 sounds like too much. You really can do
    almost anything for photography in Lightroom including minor cloning &
    locally applied adjustments almost as good as layer masks in photoshop
    but a lot easier to apply to a batch of files. This is a professional
    program though and definitely requires studying to use. Try just playing
    with it & you'll make a mess! :) I'm evaluating a trial copy now and
    I've used photoshop for probably 15 years, only the last 5 years or so
    did I really study it's use for photography.

    I used full photoshop in an office for architectural work (somewhat
    peripheral tool) for years before trying Elements and the first time I
    tried Elements I could not see anything missing.

    Check out video tutorials online. That's an incredibly valuable way to
    learn software second only to leaning over the shoulder of an expert.

    Paul Furman

    all google groups messages filtered due to spam
    Paul Furman, Dec 25, 2008
  13. Neil Jones

    KatWoman Guest


    Elements I could not see anything missing.

    ELEMENTS has no CMYK functions?

    which unless you will output for professional printing you won't need
    (digital color separations in ink colors)

    The best learning is to open the program
    and try all the tools to see what they do
    just get familiar with the interface
    or if you have a specific goal in mind Google a tutorial and learn one idea
    or correction style at a time

    when you say enhance photos some people just want a bit of control on
    contrast color balance change to BW sepia etc
    and others want to cut out objects blend layers add text make collages paint
    over filter and distort things
    so many things you may not need in the beginning and can add as you go along

    I began with 4.0 PS so many years ago and being self taught I just invented
    crazy ways to achieve my goals
    along the way I began to learn new and better ways to do the same things
    developed better work habits etc
    as people here mentioned PS is not a toy but a powerful set of tools
    so begin to learn to hammer nails and then screw in screws
    later you can re-wire the whole house or maybe even build one from scratch

    it was so much simpler then too I cannot imagine having to open CS3 and just
    learn it
    we are fortunate to have only had to learn changes in the updates as they
    came out
    the program has grown in complexity and range

    like any artwork you don't become a master because you took a course in
    school and learned to hold the brush and mix colors
    it's a lifelong learning and no end to one's creative artistic goals and
    perfecting technique

    so much is out there now in tutorials on line
    even youtube has some good vids on how to retouch etc
    if you prefer step by step school with a teacher maybe most comfortable to
    but my neighbor is a teacher of PS and Elements and sorry to say basically
    he reads a textbook and teaches that lesson
    on stuff he may not know himself coming from web design background

    I advise laying off plug-ins at first, learn how to do all these manually
    most important- file and formats for files
    layers how to work them why to use them
    selections selections selections
    layer adjustments- curves and or levels
    KatWoman, Dec 25, 2008
  14. Neil Jones

    Benny Guest

    I'm very open to using other graphics software instead of Adobe Photoshop CS
    or Elements.
    Can you please give some examples of what your suggested packages are
    capable of that are lacking in Adobe products.
    Benny, Dec 25, 2008
  15. Neil Jones

    Dave Cohen Guest

    Whoops, I posted late at night. $12 was for PSP9, Elements is $28 from
    Price Grabber with free shipping available.
    Dave Cohen
    Dave Cohen, Dec 26, 2008
  16. Neil Jones

    Matt Ion Guest

    I used Elements 2 for a little while. Went back to PSP. Same problem,
    the interface and features didn't appeal to me as PSP's did.
    Matt Ion, Dec 26, 2008
  17. Neil Jones

    Matt Ion Guest

    And another from me!
    Matt Ion, Dec 26, 2008
  18. Neil Jones

    Matt Ion Guest

    It's a good thought, but popularity is a double-edged sword: just
    because it's popular, doesn't mean everyone who has it is PROFICIENT in
    it. Yeah, you can find a lot of people that use it, but they're only
    using it because they too heard it's "the best" or "the most popular"
    and the most you'll be able to discuss with them is how to select
    multiple files in the File Open dialog.
    Matt Ion, Dec 26, 2008
  19. Neil Jones

    Matt Ion Guest

    Wouldn't it be cheaper to take advantage of the free download of the
    trial version from Adobe?
    Free is even less risk.
    Matt Ion, Dec 26, 2008
  20. Neil Jones

    Guest Guest

    Why is that? I find that GIMP does layers adequately.[/QUOTE]

    or not at all, in the case of adjustment layers.
    Guest, Dec 26, 2008
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