• 12-06-2005, 03:35 PM
    Digital Photo Processing Software
    My wife and I bought a Nikon D70 last Christmas and have taken thousands of pictures in less than a year but have not yet purchased any software. I did some testing of some from Microsoft and Macromedia with the idea that the cost of Photoshop will not be in my budget for a while and I was not satisfied with those. Anyway, we are more than the casual users that just like to spend alot of $ on toys. We also bought some umbrellas, backdrops, backdrop stand, etc. and have some hotshoe lights that are working fairly well for us for now.

    We have been doing more and more "paid" photoshoots with friends and family since they really like the output and the ease compared to sears photo or another similar photographer. And all the while we are learning. I know this is how many of you got started. We have some visions of doing more "paid" work in the future.

    Anyway that is a long ramble to get to the point. I just happen to have returned to school this year for 2 semesters and am graduating this month. That being said, I had a flash of lighting hit me and realized that Photoshop may be available in a educational version and it is. ~$270

    So here are the questions:
    1. Am I correct that if PS is in my reach financially, it is bar- none the best photo editing tool there is?
    2. At this point my computer a laptop with a 1.5 Centrino processor and only 1024 x 768 monitor and I think 512mb RAM. Is this computer going to be able to handle PS?
    3. When and if I get PS, are there going to be other tools (software) that I am going to need? I here things about some using other tools for "processing" the RAW files.
    4. What type of process do you go through on your files in a step by step manor. Do you edit them all? Do you visually edit them all? Does PS or other program auto edit in batch manor things like exposure? If so is this recommended. I ask all of this, because we have not done much editing since we have so many pictured and it takes lots and lots of time using MS Office Picture Manager to view each one and make adjustments.
    5. Is there any other software I should consider?
    6. Do you know of any websites that answer all or part of my questions that would be helpful.

    Sorry for the long post..

    Thanks for your imput.
  • 12-06-2005, 05:25 PM
    Re: Digital Photo Processing Software
    Welcome to the Forum. :)

    I recently purchased the newest version of PS CS2 for $210 thanks to the student discount. There are lots of other editing programs available, but IMHO PS it the gold standard that all others are compared to. Take advantage of your student discount, and make the purchase. If you are getting paid to take photos, you could deduct the expense on your taxes too.

    As far as editing goes, I don't edit too many of my pics. I use the Browser in PS to view all of my photos, then pick the ones I want to do something with from those. I shoot RAW (canon) and use PS to make my RAW conversions to TIFF's of JPG's depending on what I plan on doing with the images. I know nothing about Nikon, but I have heard people say good things about the Nikon software for converting RAW files. PS works just fine for me.

    You may want to check out a program such as Noise Ninja of cleaning up the digital noise in your images. There are other programs available for this also, but Noise Ninja seems very popular. It's available as a stand alone program, or as a plug in for PS.

    To find out what systems requirements you will need to run PS CS2, go to www.adobe.com It will tell you what you need there.

    You can set up PS CS2 to make auto adjustments to your pics for things like exposure, contrast, saturation, etc... I turned all of them off except for contrast and saturation, because I didn't like the way the program changed the exposures that I set, but you can set it up to make the adjustments if you want.

    Yes, there is a site where you can get all of these questions answered. It's this one. :)
  • 12-06-2005, 06:37 PM
    Re: Digital Photo Processing Software
    I think there is still the upgrade from Photoshop Elements to Full Photoshop as well on the Adobe site.

    Have you see that they have taken over Macromedia as well now and they have bundling there as well. Although quite expensive.

    It really would be a good idea to get Photoshop Full version (Academic is just the same), that way you learn one thing with all the correct menus and addon's that you can get, there are many free things around for it as well.
  • 12-06-2005, 07:14 PM
    Re: Digital Photo Processing Software
    Welcome, MgMoore. Photoshop is a good piece of software, and it will do wonders for you. It is the industry standard for photo editing, and IMHO, there isn't much that can compete with it. The only other software I would consider is Photoshop Elements, which is a stripped down version of the full version.

    A Centrino processor will handle Photoshop more than adequately, but you might want to consider upgrading your RAM. My IBM R51 has 782mb of RAM and it can bog down when using Photoshop. The only other consideration you are going to want to make is hard drive space. Your images will take up a lot of space, so new hard drive of some sort would be a good investment.

    As for editing, I would look for a book by Scott Kelby called "The Photoshop [insert edition here] book for Digital Photographers." It presents a variety of techiniques for photographers plus recommends settings to use. There are a ton of websites that discuss Photoshop techniques, tips, and tricks. All you have to do is google for it.
  • 12-06-2005, 10:44 PM
    Spec A!
    Re: Digital Photo Processing Software
    If you have an Apple store nearby, I strongly suggest you check them out, and see how simple and easy it is to work with your images on a Mac. Not only that, but how helpful everyone in the store will be. Email me if you'd like more details! :)
  • 12-06-2005, 11:25 PM
    Re: Digital Photo Processing Software
    Something tells me that a new computer wouldn't be in the budget for the first poster. Besides, why would you want to give up a Centrino? They're newer and more powerful than any Mac laptop available.
  • 12-07-2005, 06:19 AM
    Re: Digital Photo Processing Software

    Originally Posted by masdog
    Something tells me that a new computer wouldn't be in the budget for the first poster. Besides, why would you want to give up a Centrino? They're newer and more powerful than any Mac laptop available.

    I would agree. We probably need to get at least another year out of this laptop. I do have a little buyers remorse since I was not thinking about digital pictures and video when it was purchased and the video is weak. The rest is not bad. I am sure it would not hurt it to put a bit more RAM in though.

    It sounds like Elements is suggested by many, another forum agreed but I am only going to get my discount at school for another week or so and then if I need PS after that it will be full price. I just checked Adobe and the upgrade from PS does not apply for Elements.

    Thanks everyone for your input.

    Adobe Photoshop CS2 Upgrade
    To install this upgrade successfully, you will need a licensed version of any version of Adobe Photoshop, on the same platform as this purchase.
    NOTE:This upgrade does not apply to Adobe Photoshop Elements, Photoshop Album, Photoshop Limited Edition, or PhotoDeluxe licensed users.
  • 12-07-2005, 10:52 AM
    Re: Digital Photo Processing Software
    With the way technology is advancing right now, you might be able to get two or three years out of your laptop. Centrinos are still relatively new, and the new dual-core Centrino processors won't be ready for a while.

    Besides, current Mac laptops aren't exactly the best for power and performance. The G3 and G4 processors used in them are behind the Intel and AMD based laptops that are on the market, and its going to take Apple at least another 6-8 months to convert the entire Powerbook and Ibook lines to Intel based processors. Stick with what you have until you absolutely need a new one - you'll save yourself a ton of money that way.
  • 12-07-2005, 11:37 AM
    Re: Digital Photo Processing Software
    Thanks for all the input.