Recommend a good, basic photo editor ?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by James, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. If you want the basics any good raw processor will give you white balance,
    tone, cropping, image rotation for horizon levelling, a brush for minor
    touching up, and so forth.

    Rawtherapee is free (best on price). Capture One (best on skintones),
    Lightroom (best on useability), and DxO Optic Pro (best at correction) are
    at the top end of paid options. Bibble 5 is a cheap paid option. Downloads
    are available for all and free trials are available for the paid options.

    An image editor is something else entirely. About 99% of anything I want to
    do can be done within Lightroom. Some gearheads insist on Photoshop but
    that's not always necessary. Photoshop Elements is a cheaper alternative.
    GIMP is free but a bit hairshirt. Unless you're doing ads or art a full
    featured image editor doesn't add much value.
    Charles E Hardwidge, Feb 15, 2011
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  2. James

    Peter N Guest

    You certainly are entitled to your opinion. And if you enjoy that, great.

    OTOH I see nothing wrong with heavy post processing. And horror of
    horrors to some purists: placing and removing objects and distractions;
    changing color; etc. Yes it's a lot less work to get as much right in
    the viewfinder as possible. Many times, for me the initial image is only
    the starting point.
    Peter N, Feb 15, 2011
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  3. James

    Peter N Guest

    That is also true of PhotoShop. Have you played with Corel Painter. It's
    really neat for making photos look like paintings.
    Peter N, Feb 15, 2011
  4. James

    Peter N Guest

    You almost have it right. The key point is when you say "... of anything
    I want to do can be done within Lightroom."
    There are many others who want to do different things that cannot be
    done within Lightroom. LR while a fine program, does not satisfy my
    photographic needs, nor that of many others.
    Peter N, Feb 15, 2011
  5. James

    gordo Guest

    "Peter N" wrote in message

    You almost have it right. The key point is when you say "... of anything
    I want to do can be done within Lightroom."
    There are many others who want to do different things that cannot be
    done within Lightroom. LR while a fine program, does not satisfy my
    photographic needs, nor that of many others.


    Also, take a look at Microsoft's Windows Live Photo Gallery. It is free and
    will do many basic editing tasks. My recommendation beyond that is Adobe
    Photoshop Elements version 9. You will need to install Adobe Camera Raw
    (ACR) to be able to process raw images, but it is a simple add-in if you
    follow the proper install instructions.

    gordo, Feb 15, 2011
  6. James

    Chemiker Guest

    No, sorry, I have not. I have 4 irons in the fire right now, not
    counting the archiving project. 1)Learning how to control light better
    with HDR during post, which is in PaintShopPhotoPro, 2) Learning how
    to properly colorize old B/W prints, 3} Learning to spatial correct
    distortions caused by poor lenses, 4) Learning to restore seriously
    damaged or faded prints (found in shoeboxes of relatives).

    It is to my regret that, due to phycical limitations, I can't get out
    with my gear and shoot as much as I would like. I'm planning another
    photo tour in Europe, but I have some doubts that I'll be up to it.
    We'll see. My situation forces me to devote more effort to tabletops
    and still lifes, especially food.

    Thanks for the idea, though.

    Chemiker, Feb 15, 2011
  7. James

    Savageduck Guest

    It sounds as if you need CS5.
    Savageduck, Feb 15, 2011
  8. James

    Chemiker Guest

    So it has been for some of the greatest oil-paint artists in history.
    Vermeer, DaVinci, Titian, all the greats have works that show
    corrections and false starts (made visible by X-ray and other

    Henri Cartier-Bresson was reputed to be totally ignorant of darkroom
    processing. He was once asked whether all his pix were as good as his
    published ones, and he responded: "You're a journalist - a writer -
    and you make many notes. Do you publish all of them?" (paraphrased)

    Even a simple crop is a modification. Only news fotogs need to worry
    about absolute image accuracy, in the name of journalistic honesty.
    The rest of us want something that is arresting, meaningful and, if
    possible, beautiful.

    Let the slings and arrows follow. Ansel Adams or Man Ray? Annie
    Liebowicz or Yusuf Karsh? Take your pick.

    Alex, heading for the bunker.
    Chemiker, Feb 15, 2011
  9. James

    Chemiker Guest

    Mebbe so, SD, mebbe so. I do what I can with the Corel gear but
    everytime I build up the fund balance, I find I need *another* lens.
    It's a rare problem, I know, but I have it. Right now the voices say I
    need an ultrawide. <G> So far the scanner has won.

    Chemiker, Feb 15, 2011
  10. That makes me feel all Euro Chic.

    I wonder if lions in Africa feel like that. "Oooh, ooh. Guys! Guys! It's the
    photogs. /Look menacing/". Grrr.
    Charles E Hardwidge, Feb 15, 2011
  11. I keep forgetting about WL Photo Gallery. It snuggles into the list as an
    option at the lower end. It's a minimal and not built for much more than
    granny snaps but it's not pretending to be anything else. Does what it does.
    Charles E Hardwidge, Feb 15, 2011
  12. James

    Savageduck Guest

    If truth be told, all those shots we have captured on 35mm negative,
    slide, or MF over the years are not all worth the effort of digitizing
    regardless of how good they might be in our opinion. There is the
    personal nostalgia factor, but I would argue that if they were that
    valuable, what on earth were we doing with them in the intervening
    How many of those prints are on your wall?
    How many of those prints are in dust gathering albums?
    ....and when was the last time you bored a bunch of folks to death with
    a slide show?

    It seems to me that the vast majority of scanning & digital archiving
    of personal photographic history is overblown. There are probably only
    a handful in that pile of shots which are of such personal value they
    should be preserved digitally.

    If you have slides & negatives that are of unique artistic or historic
    value, then perhaps an archiving project is in order. However for most
    of us preserving the personally nostalgic is an exercise in futility.

    Just who is going to value that digital shoe box in 30 years, 60 years?

    So I would say, shelve the scanner, get that Ultrawide now, and think
    about CS5. Enjoy the challenge of the new rather than dwelling on the
    past, regardless of how old you might be.
    Savageduck, Feb 15, 2011
  13. James

    DanP Guest

    I use Picasa for basic editing, online albums and screen saver and
    Paint.NET ( for more advanced editing (free).

    DanP, Feb 15, 2011
  14. James

    tony cooper Guest

    We are in total disagreement. I have scans of 60 year-old photos (and
    older) of family members. It's the only tangible link I have to
    relatives now-dead but still remembered. My son and daughter
    appreciate them even if they never met the subjects.

    I have slides-converted-to-jpegs of our wedding. How else can I show
    my kids that Mom was a fox and Dad once had hair?

    Scanning old pix and taking more pictures today is not a mutually
    exclusive objective.
    tony cooper, Feb 15, 2011
  15. James

    Peter N Guest

    I sympathize with your physical problems. I too am now learning that my
    mental aspirations exceed my physical abilities. Emotionally I refuse to
    accept my age limitations. I get sharp reminders when I try to climb
    rocks, snorkel etc.
    Glad Corel is working well for you. I like their products a lot.
    Peter N, Feb 15, 2011
  16. James

    Peter N Guest

    Hello Alex. Welcome to the bunker.
    Peter N, Feb 15, 2011
  17. James

    Peter N Guest

    On 2/15/2011 11:48 AM, Savageduck wrote:
    I have little illusion about the ultimate fate of my images after my
    demise. Possibly I could become Egyptian and have them placed in my
    pyramid. Then 2,000 years from now they may have acquired some value.

    Just look at the cost of replacing my $2 Old Spice shaving mug, when it
    Peter N, Feb 15, 2011
  18. James

    Savageduck Guest

    I certainly agree to a degree. I have scanned and value certain family
    photographs to create a digital archive. Many of those were old, in
    some cases over a 100 years old and one of a kind.
    Perhaps something such as this;
    < >
    There are also some shots taken over the years which have always had
    some appeal to me. However not all of those thousands of shots are much
    more than dust collectors, and the effort of scanning them is not
    worthwhile. better to go through those and leave them in the shoe box.
    Oh! I am sure they are well aware of the point in your family history
    when you went to seed. For the sake of a trouble free post Valentine's
    Day, it might be best to edit that "was a fox" to something a little
    more current.

    ....and I even have a few shots of my wife when she was younger for my
    feeble memories.
    Agreed, but it should be done a little more selectively, rather than
    obsessively, thereby leaving more time for other stuff..
    Savageduck, Feb 15, 2011
  19. James

    Pete Guest

    Perhaps I should've ended my comment with a ;-)

    It was my attempt at being humorous because the subject line says
    "basic photo editor".
    It's the end result that counts. I've created a few surreal images from
    my night shots - I doubt anyone would call them art or photography, but
    I thoroughly enjoyed editing them. Like you said, the initial image was
    only a starting point (and in my case, not a pleasing photo).

    I suffer from "blank page syndrome", which is probably why I was always
    useless at art and creative writing. Photography means there's no blank
    page in front of me. Frequently, I have to scrap hours of work; even
    so, I learn a little each time and my creativity is improving.

    I've had a go at removing unsightly objects, but I've never tried
    moving things around (sounds like hard work).
    Pete, Feb 15, 2011
  20. James

    James Guest

    Once again, many good replies, and I thank all. I went to, and
    read the many reviews of Photoshop Elements. Many, many, folks love it,
    and many, many folks hate it. Of even greater concern to me, there seems
    to be near-consensus that it has a steep learning curve. If that is true,
    then I best stay away.....

    gonna look more at Gimp and maybe Picassa.

    thanks again to all !!

    James, Feb 15, 2011
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