Recommend a good, basic photo editor ?

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

  1. Looking at Irfanview's website it's not even clear what it does let alone
    whether it's any good. I curious why its a recommendation when something
    like Rawtherapee is free and has the necessary functionality built in.

    I use Opera in part because it avoids the plug-in hell of Firefox.
    Charles E Hardwidge, Feb 17, 2011
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  2. James

    otter Guest

    For easy to use and be productive with, I recommend Lightroom. The
    nice thing about LR3 is it is all non-destructive editing.
    That, and the cataloging and comparison tools make it easy to quickly
    sift through your shoot and pick the keepers.

    For heavier lifting, you my also want one of the Photoshop variants.
    I use LR3 as the front end, and then pop over to CS5 for advanced
    things like removing complex objects. The develop module in LR3 is
    essentially the same as Camera Raw in CS5, but I prefer the user
    interface of LR3 over Bridge+Camera Raw. Plus I bought LR3 first, so
    I guess I'm more used to it.

    Some say Elements doesn't have a steep learning curve. However, I
    remember being quite frustrated with it the first dozen or so times I
    tried to use it. Hardly anything worked the way I expected, and there
    was no manual!

    The full version of Photoshop is even worse. It is a hodge-podge of
    menus and modules, many of which do the same thing only in different
    ways, with the old methods carried over for "compatibility". It is
    not unusual to find out the obvious way to do something is only there
    because that was the way it was done in early versions of the tool,
    but now everyone does it differently.
    If you get either of these tools, be sure to also invest in training,
    either books or on-line.
    otter, Feb 17, 2011
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  3. James

    Pete Guest

    Thanks, Peter. I hadn't realized it's quite a common problem.
    That inspired me yesterday to research and write my "DOF and Sensor Size" post.
    I edit with Capture NX2, which suits me perfectly because it doesn't
    have layers - I've never been able to get my head around them. I use an
    old version of Photoshop for the odd occasion I need to add a text
    layer to an image.
    I'm not going to attempt learning how to do that!
    Pete, Feb 17, 2011
  4. Read 'The War of Art' by Steven Pressfield.

    Think of a layer as a customisable filter. It has properties you can mould
    like plastic that cascade when stacked.
    Charles E Hardwidge, Feb 17, 2011
  5. James

    Irwell Guest

    Another good poto editor is Photofiltre, free download.
    Irwell, Feb 17, 2011
  6. James

    Pete Guest

    No disrespect to you, indeed, many thanks: I fully understand the
    technical side of layers, possibly more than many of those using them.

    What you, Peter N, and others have said have make me realize that
    layers, a blank page, even the simple task of making my own dinner,
    lead to such an overwhelming flood of thoughts (multiple options) that
    I'm left incapacitated and unable to perform the task.

    Sorry to misquote Alan Browne, but my interpretation of his words to me
    some time ago is "focus on the issue, not the noise". That is
    impossible when the noise dominates the "signal" by about 100 dB. Where
    the hell is that signal? I've been trying to improve my internal
    filtering since Alan said that and I reckon I've got it down to about
    60 dB. Only another 80 dB to go and I'll be able to "think straight".
    Step-by-step, I don't give up easily...
    Pete, Feb 17, 2011
  7. James

    OG Guest

    Only if you tell it to.
    OG, Feb 17, 2011
  8. I know that one courtesy of an INTJ personality type and software
    development, among other things.

    The psychology, Zen, and other stuff could turn into a long and involved
    discussion but I get bored of hearing it (from myself mostly). But, skipping
    through The War of Art it throws a different angle on procrastination,
    analysis/paralysis/stage fright.

    Zen is an issue of focus or, rather, unfocus. Sometimes hearing the same
    thing but with different words or tone can knock our minds into a different
    place. It's easier said than done but a similar technique helped me kick
    Doctor Johnson style lifelong depression. That void still tugs from time to
    time but I can shrug it off now.

    I spent last week grinding through Kirk Tuck's blog from beginning to end.
    He's got his pitch with all the usual BS and flannel anyone else has and
    some cool moves like he doesn't give a shit what gear he uses and shouts out
    for a camera walk sometimes. I'd lay money on him being as bonkers as the
    pair of us put together but he rolls on. ****, yeah.

    I'm waffling again.

    I think, sometimes, we just have to learn to have fun again. Things can be
    crap but they can be a lot worse.
    Charles E Hardwidge, Feb 17, 2011
  9. James

    PeterN Guest

    Nobody should even attempt to force you to. Fortunately, whether you do
    it or not, will have no effect on your next meal. I am very much type
    "A" and do photography only as as outlet, for relaxation. The day I am
    forced to do anything photographic, will be the day I give all cameras
    and accessories to some charity.
    PeterN, Feb 18, 2011
  10. James

    Pete Guest

    I will get that book next week.
    Unfocus - that's what I need to do when my internal noise is swamping
    the signal.
    That's one heck of an achievement.
    Good, I enjoy it and it helps.
    Too right! I exploit my child-like nature to turn negatives into
    positives. My bumbling incompetence was always deeply humiliating; now
    I'm learning to see that I'm unique rather than just a bag of problems
    who's a pain in the arse to everyone. An odd conclusion considering
    that this post has nothing whatsoever to do with OP's question :)

    To me, the relevance is "starting something new": each new day offers
    the choice of carrying on in the same old way or learning new things to
    create an alternative (better) future. I never get bored, but if I ever
    stop learning and changing I'll bore myself to death.
    Pete, Feb 18, 2011
  11. James

    Chemiker Guest

    Interesting thoughts. I got into photography as a forensic consultant.

    Typical example: Marijuana and seeds presented as evidence in a case
    of trafficking. Something seemed wrong. Solution: Forced the state to
    present the evidence for examination, which was 100% subjected to
    Macro-photography. Shot in a model, under the observation of the State
    Police. Eqpt: A copy stand, a Nikon F Photomic, lots of Panatomic by
    Kodak. Process the film personally, make the 8x10's, read them.

    Step two: Demand discovery of the place (autos) the evidence was
    collected and do our own collection.

    End game: Evidence presented to the court was, of course, marijuana.
    100% pure, and absolutely undeniable. Supposedly swept from the
    carpets and trunk of 2 vehicles.

    Our view: Why were the evidence samples presented, 100% pure? No dirt.
    No grass seeds. No carpet fibers. *NOTHING* but pure marijuana.

    Our sweeping samples showed pine needles, grass seeds, dirt, carpet
    fibers, tide detergent granules, fragments of space-heater ceramic,
    dead insects, tobacco, etc. etc. Oh, yeah! a afew marijuana seeds.

    Took 80 8x10's to prove that the evidence was planted and not

    The teens were found guilty anyway, but sentences were suspended for

    Why am I saying this?

    Cameras and related gear to me are tools to an end. If that end is
    proving a scientific point, making a pretty picture, expanding my
    mind's vision, or remembering Aunt Winifred makes little difference.

    George Eastman did not sell the original Kodak Cameras with the idea
    of creating great works of art. He did so that the average schlub
    could make his own souvenirs of personal events past. So what's wrong
    with that?

    The only person I have to please with my photography, is *me*.

    TO this day I love close-ups. Ever seen crystals of the
    gold-chloride/mathamphetamine adduct under polarized light? Absolutely
    beautiful in an abstract way. Sorta like fractals. Been there!
    Micro-photography with polarized light is a world unto itself.

    'Nuff said. I ramble.

    Alex, who lacks the vision to be a great photographer, as such are now
    generally perceived. (I don't put a starving black kid in every shot
    as "human interest", and I don't give a damn about recording the
    so-called "human condition".) There it is! Further, respondant sayeth


    All Hail the Golden Nostrils! Hail! Hail!
    Chemiker, Feb 18, 2011
  12. James

    Chemiker Guest

    If you're hungry, eat. If you're tired, sleep. If you see something
    you'd like to remember, take a picture. What's so complicated?

    Alex, who remembers that one part of getting unsatisfactory answers,
    is asking the wrong questions.


    All Hail the Golden Nostrils! Hail! Hail!
    Chemiker, Feb 18, 2011
  13. James

    Pete Guest

    Having a brain that was damaged beyond repair during my teenage years
    and is incapable of performing these apparently trivial tasks. It has
    also left me permanently tired due to CFS.

    I don't even know when I'm hungry or thirsty, I have to figure it out.
    I usually eat once per day because I know it's essential (vital even!)
    so I have to make food that contains approximately the right number of
    calories, protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals, then force myself to
    eat it.

    Give me a problem that I may be able to solve using a spreadsheet and
    I'll enjoying staying awake instead of trying really hard to sleep :)

    Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy life. Photography and music are my
    passions, but I've become "an expert" at cooking healthy and very tasty
    food in a Panasonic combination oven. My photography is often crap yet
    my ability to mentally adjust cooking times and temperatures for an
    endless variety of foods is no longer crap - learnt the hard way
    through hilarious mistakes! Inadvertently, I've become a very creative
    cook with an in-depth understanding of diet and nutrition; amazingly,
    no spread sheets involved, not even any written notes - everything done
    by instinct, except: knowing what I would like to eat. Speaking of
    which, with just under an hour to go before midnight, I must make my
    Pete, Feb 18, 2011
  14. James

    Chemiker Guest

    Hang in there, Pete. Photography and Music? Can't be all bad.

    Eat? When you're hungry, eat! Life was always there. It still is.
    Sometimes just seeing the beauty in a foggy morning makes your whole
    flippin' day. You will take pics when something unknown tells you
    "Yes, this is it... Now!"

    Yes, the pic will be crap to many, but what do you *really* care?

    It's yours! Be true to yourself and trust not to the opinions of the
    uninformed. Not all pics are for publication.

    Blessings on your house, and also upon all those within.

    Chemiker, Feb 18, 2011
  15. James

    Pete Guest

    Hey, I've managed to create some really funny poetry, tailor made for
    each of two friend, and sent within the limitations of SMS (texting).
    So far, demand is much greater than supply, which is nice.
    I know the beauty of a foggy morning. Even a dull rainy day has a plus
    side: without it, a nice sunny day would be nothing special.
    That's why I so want to overcome my perpetual tiredness - it keeps me
    housebound 99% of the time. My mind is willing, damn body just won't do
    what I tell it.
    I usually care far too much about what others think. Only two of my
    pictures "knock my socks off" and nobody else likes them. Strangely,
    I'm pleased nobody likes them (don't know what that means). The
    pictures have a very personal meaning; they are the only things I've
    ever consciously done for a completely selfish reason.
    Thank you very much indeed, Alex. I've been living on my own for the
    last 8 years, but I haven't given up hope that there's some sweet girl
    who'd love to spend her life with a permanently tired nutter who can
    wear her out with laughter if nothing else. I'm totally domesticated so
    all she needs to know is the difference between an f-stop and a
    fast-food stop. I'm on the right track, I've relearnt to believe in
    Santa and the Tooth Fairy so anything is possible :)
    Pete, Feb 19, 2011
  16. James

    PeterN Guest

    In NY many criminal attorneys will confirm that "dropsy" is not unknown.
    PeterN, Feb 19, 2011
  17. James

    PeterN Guest

    There are many people who function despite CFS, including one of your
    former Prime Ministers who had it before, during and after his term in
    PeterN, Feb 19, 2011
  18. James

    PeterN Guest

    PeterN, Feb 19, 2011
  19. James

    Pete Guest

    CFS is a neurological disorder that varies in severity from mild
    tiredness to permanently bedridden. Mine gets worse with the passage of
    time: using decades as marker points, each one of the three has shown a
    severe drop in ability to function. Technically, I am no longer able to
    look after myself properly therefore I should be in a care home. But
    hey, I don't want that! I've learnt to never see my doctor or other
    healthcare worker when I'm actually ill with something, I wait until
    I'm having a really good day so they think I am competent to look after
    myself ;-) I'd rather suffer a common ailment than be forced into care.
    In an emergency, I'm very lucky to have a small local hospital that
    doesn't ask too many questions. My sense of humour keeps me out of more
    trouble than it gets me into :)

    I have some very controversial methods of coping with CFS, which are
    fully supported by my specialist outpatient clinic. None of my methods
    appear in publicly available documents and I firmly believe it should
    remain that way. Unfortunately, it's unlikely that I'd be given the
    opportunity to have a chat with a former Prime Minister, but I'm sure
    we could spend a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon comparing notes.

    Politics inspired him; inspires me to carry on - a huge
    "thank you" to you all.
    Pete, Feb 19, 2011

  20. What is the plug-in called? I don't see a levels control plugin in the
    plugins list on the irfanview site and googling for one drew a blank.
    Gordon Freeman, Feb 20, 2011
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