Elements 2 or Gimp?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Cloud9, Jul 15, 2006.

  1. Cloud9 macrumors regular

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    #1
    You guys give great advice often worth more then the cost, so any advice could save me lots of time.

    I have been assisting a wedding photogrpaher for the last two month
    s. I am not getting paid yet, but I am getting valuable experience especially since I did not go to school for this. Up untill recently he was letting me shoot next to him using his equipment, (eos 300d). I just bought my own 20d kit from best buy for a steal and oh my god I love it!

    So the photographer is not the most tech savvy. He is not stupid by any means he just has not put his emphasis into the photoshop end of the workflow. He does great photo edits, atleasts he has taken some of my "learning" shots and made them usable, to include in packages.

    I have an opportunity now to get some money out of assisting with him. He would like me to start putting my emphasis on the post production end of things. I know I can do it, and I even think I could probably do the edits better then he does. I am realy excited about this opportunity and I want to get into it as soon as reasonably possible. I own elements 2.0 and I have the gimp installed. I am not going to purchase any other software, its out of the question at this point. Which program is easier to use or more valuable for photoedits and eventually artisiticly designed album construction. I know gimp is very powerful, but I want ease of use. I have not gotten in deep with either program but I dont want to switch gears halfway through a project, (or is that easy to do?).

    I've heard that photoshop alows for nondestructive edits of raw images. Is there any other types of issues that I should know about that would make me choose one over the other for my main workflow.



    Any advice would be great.
     
  2. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

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    #2
    I'm pretty sure ANY photo editing software allows nondestructive editing of photos, as long as you always save the photo as a new file when you start working on it. Leave the master alone.

    I've never used gimp or elements, but I'd probably recommend elements. Since it's photoshop's little brother, seems it'd help in learning the basics of photoshop and then when you feel you're ready, then transition to photoshop would be a lot easier.

    But still, I'd try out both for maybe two weeks each. They probably do the same things but in different ways. See which way works best for you.
     
  3. w_parietti22 macrumors 68020

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    #3
    I have elements 2 and it works great. Has all the features that I need. I have never used Gimp before so I cant compare the to.
     
  4. munkees macrumors 65816

    munkees

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    #4
    Elemets 2,

    Gimp is great, but you will be able to get more from Element 2 with less effort.
     
  5. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

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  6. Macnoviz macrumors 65816

    Macnoviz

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    #6
    I used both as inexperienced user, and Element is a lot easier to use and to learn by using. I still can't figure out some basic thins in Gimp. Elements is also more suitable for organising and managing your photos, and in your situation it would be ideal. Maybe consider Aperture as a solution in the future, but for now, stick with Photoshop elements
     
  7. Cloud9 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    Elements it is

    Thank you all for responding,

    I will use elements 2.0 and look for some good books to go with it.
     
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #8
    Yeah, Seashore is just GIMP, but more Mac-like and easier to use.
     
  9. RacerX macrumors 65832

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    Aug 2, 2004
    #9
    Micro Center has a ton of older used books (some very discounted) and I recall seeing some books on earlier versions of Photoshop Elements over there.

    Every few months I walk out of there with just about as many books as I can carry for under $40.00. It would be worth the trip to stop in and browse for a little while (the used books are all mixed together).
     
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #10
    It depends on what you want to do. Neither is very easy to use on a Mac. The user interface of all Adobe Photoshop products (cs2 and Elements) is very PC-like andhas a long learning curve. Gimp is actually a lot like Elements. Gimp's bigest advantage is that it is truely cross platform and runs on Windows, Intel Macs and PPC Macs, Linux, Solaris and "whatever". This is a Mac forum the the real difference is the Gimp runs native on Intel and is therefore MUCH faster then Elements if you have a newer Mac. Wel there is the price too. Gimp is free.

    For simple things Gimp's and Element's toos and dialog boxes are almost identical, curves, levels, crops and so on work the same way but you find those features under different pull downs from the main menu.

    For simple stuff like slight color correction and crops iPhoto wil be easier to use BY FAR. And I sugest you use that untill you have reason not to use it.

    But as soon as you need features like "layers" and you want to do some image editing (as opposed to simply applying the same "corection" to the entire image) then you need somthing like Elements or Gimp.

    The botom line is that neither Elements or Gimp is easy to use unless you are doing only very simple things. Both are deeply featued applications that will take months of study to fuly use.
     
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #11
    Aperture simply will not do things the Elements or Gimp will do. Aperture is NOT and image editor. Neither is iPhoto. In fact both Aperture and iPhoto. allow you to specify an external app to use as the editor when you double click of an image.

    The only reason to use an image editor is if yo want to apply different operations to differnt parts of the image. For example iPhoto has a "sharpen" operation. But what if you only want to apply the "sparpen" to the forground subject and you like the out of focus background and sky? or what if the background is in focus and you want to blur it out leaving the subject in sharp focus. Or if there is a utility pole or wires in the shot and you'd like to remove them. then you need an editor.

    One more thing: When people say one program is easier touse you need to ask "easier to use for what purpose?" and then see if their usage matches yours. Certainly iPhoto wind the ease of use contest but is usless if the goal is to remove a utility pole from the skyline.
     
  12. RacerX macrumors 65832

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    #12
    Since when has the interface of Photoshop been very PC-like? The interface hasn't change dramatically since it was originally released... and it was a Mac-only application until version 2.5. The only real change since the early releases of Photoshop is that PCs have adopted a more Mac-like interface.

    And to date there is not a native Mac version (and X11 is not a native Mac environment) of Gimp... nor is one planned.

    Given the choice between a Mac-like interface in Photoshop or an X-Windows interface with Gimp, I'd pick the Mac-like interface every time.
     
  13. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #13
    I'll go with saying that my impression is that PSE got a lot of features with version 3.0... the GIMP will certainly be more powerful than PSE. But until there is a feature you need but do not have, there should be no harm in using Elements... And it doesn't sound like you're anywhere near that wall....
     
  14. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #14
    An answer to your question....

    Seashore doesn't require X11, and the interface is much cleaner and better laid out. I just think this implies that Seashore is better than GIMP, but I've only used GIMP on a Linux box, not on a Mac.
     
  15. RacerX macrumors 65832

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    #15
    While I think that Seashore is a great project, the last I checked it was still short on providing all of Gimp's abilities.

    There are a number of open source projects that have approached Mac compatibility from different angles. OpenOffice and Gimp see no reason to make a true Mac version of their apps (even though they are willing to make native Windows versions). In the case of NeoOffice we have been given a reasonable Mac version of OpenOffice, and Seashore is attempting to provide a more Photoshop type of interface (nice, but I really don't thing Gimp requires this).

    But then you see people like AbiSource turn around and make a native (Carbon) version of AbiWord and you have to wonder why these other projects aren't willing to do the same.

    And what are we really talking about? Moving menus from the app window to the menu bar is just about the largest shift these apps would need to make in the way of interface changes to become native. AbiWord has made that switch, and the people at NeoOffice (who are using Java) were finally able to do this before their final release too (early versions still had the menus on the application window).

    And I have nothing against any of these apps (by themselves). I've been using Gimp since 1999 on my SGIs along with AbiWord. And I was using StarOffice on my Suns long before the OpenOffice project got started. I just think that having to run these apps in X11 rather than as Mac apps shows where our community rates with these projects... and while we are on pretty much equal footing in the AbiSource project, we are unmistakably second class citizens (and an after thought) in both the Gimp and OpenOffice projects.
     
  16. Macnoviz macrumors 65816

    Macnoviz

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    #16


    I only recently switched to Mac, but I can't really see the advantages of the menubar disconected from the Window vs. one per Window. What are the reasons for this?
     
  17. RacerX macrumors 65832

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    #17
    There are a number of reasons actually...
    1. In the Mac environment the window is not the application or an instance of the application. In Windows most apps are forced to exist in a root window with nested sub-windows. The root window is a left over of the original versions of Windows where Windows was nothing more than a GUI shell to run a given app (the first version of Windows was originally to run Excel). While a rooted application environment may be nice if you only have a single task to perform and don't use multiple apps in a work flow, for a multitasking user the root window effectively blinds you to what you are doing in other apps.

      Actually, Photoshop is a perfect example of this. In the Windows version the app has a root window which covers the screen in a gray background. You can't see the desktop, open file system windows or other applications. You are effectively cut off from the rest of your system. In the Mac version there is no root window. Each image gets it's own window and you can still see other apps in the background (including apps you may be preparing an image for).

      Root windows also effectively cut off a users ability to drag-n-drop between applications... if you can't see two applications open at once, how can you drag anything between them?

    2. By having the menus in the same place for all apps the user builds up what is effectively muscle memory. When designing the mac interface it was decided early on that having the menus in the same place... and having common menus (like File and Edit) between apps would make it easier for users to learn new apps. Of course this has been hurt a little in Mac OS X because Apple now has the application menu first. And because it uses the application name, menus like File now have a tendency to move from one app to the next depending on the length of the name.

    3. Lastly, having the menus at the top of the screen insures accuracy in menu selection. When the menus are anywhere else on the desktop you run the risk of over shootting the menu you were aiming for. Even in Windows with the root windows full screen, the menus are still below the title bar of the root window and can be over shot. With the menus pressed up against the top of the screen the user only needs to aim in the right general direction of a menu and if their aim is on, they don't need to worry about over shooting their target.
    Well, that is some of the more obvious advantages. I use a number of different operating systems and have seen different takes on menu placement. And when it comes down to it, I find it is easier to work on Macs because of this.

    It is interesting to see what Adobe did when porting Photoshop to other platforms... version 2.5 was the first multiplatform release. I've seen both the Windows and SGI versions of 2.5 and neither platform has a fixed menu bar. In the SGI version the menu bar is free floating until you open an image and then it attaches to that image. If you open up more than one image, you get a menu bar on every image window (SGI doesn't use a rooted environment either... this was unique to Windows but sadly has been copied in some Linux/Unix apps over the years to make Windows users feel more at home).

    What I've found is that many former Windows users are afraid of seeing other apps or the desktop. They actually need their apps to be full screen... hiding everything else.

    The most dramatic example of this was a Windows user I was working with a number of years ago. I had gotten her a very nice 19" display to replace her old 15" which was going out. I had replaced the display after hours so I wouldn't get in her way while she was working. The next morning I got a frantic call that something was very wrong with her computer. I rushed over and found out that her main application (a book keeping app or some sort) would not go full screen at the resolution of the display (it was only designed to go full screen at 800x600). Well, she couldn't function unless that app was full screen... so I reset the display to 800x600.

    Needless to say you could read everything on her screen from across the office. :D
     
  18. munkees macrumors 65816

    munkees

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    #18
    The whole menu bar in apple came about with the design of the GUI and the user trail conducted on the GUI. It was found that it is natural for a user to home in on the top of a screen. Also the menu bar changes for each application that has the focus (one in use). It make life tidy, after awhile when you go back to windows you will see the advantages of the mac GUI over any other. Apple built its GUI based on user trails, other company just copied then engineers changed to what they thing is better.

    Apple has designers and trails to get things good, and user friendly, the rest of the world just let engineers who are not creative and nerdy dicate the results.

    It the reason why apples are so cool, and not boring, they have designers running the show. Microsoft just has Bill gates way, and no one want to argue with the riches man in the world he has to be right.
     
  19. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #19
    When I first switched from Windows to Mac, I had a lot to learn....and the first time I opened CS2 on my new iMac, I was disconcerted because it looked "broken." The palettes framing my desktop.... Where was my grey background? I closed the program, reopened.... same appearance. Finally I decided to just try working with an image to see what happened, and lo and behold! Later I also looked in a book and saw that, yes, this is how CS2 looks on the Mac platform. :D :D
    Now I DEFINITELY prefer it!

    Oh, to get back on-topic here: why use such an old version of Elements? Why not v.3 or the recently-released v.4?
     
  20. Cloud9 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    FREEdom

    I will be using elements 2.0 because I got it free with my 20d. I have too much debt to go into more, and I only need it to edit and and touch up wedding and engagement photos. There is no reason the 2.0 will not do the job I imagine.
     

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