Never edited, what do I need?

28Fiend

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Apr 29, 2009
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Stop my head from spinning, what is needed and not needed in photo editing software?

I've never edited, though I've poked around CS5(trial), Lightroom(trial). I understand the difference and what either is used for. But I don't know what I need. I've basically always shot jpeg and want to switch to raw.
I've read quite a bit and there seems to be a variety of opinions that point all over the place, Aperture Gimp, Paint.net. Please help, thoughts, opinions, advice.

I've never edited and don't know the extent of what I need.
 

Phrasikleia

macrumors 601
Feb 24, 2008
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Over there------->
How much do you enjoy editing photos? How willing are you to invest as much time in editing as you are in taking the photos? How much of a perfectionist are you? If you think you might really enjoy finessing your photos or if you think you will be frustrated by processing limitations, then you will eventually want Photoshop. Otherwise, Lightroom/Aperture will be more than sufficient.
 

28Fiend

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miles01110 said:
Preview works just fine for most people. It's pointless to ask what you "need" because you don't even mention anything specific that you want to "do."
Fair enough, basically I want to correct any flaws there maybe with the picture, wb, exposure, distortion correction, blur, noise, etc.

Photoshop seems more for professionals, I like to medal in things, but from just messing around with it, it seems well above my understanding. Is something you grow into and learn to use over time?
 

28Fiend

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What about layering for HDR photos, stitching panos, stringing time lapses, or layering long exposures for multiple images?
 

snberk103

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Oct 22, 2007
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An Island in the Salish Sea
If you also want to keep your photos organized, and to start showing the photos (printing/slideshows/books/web-galleries) then start with Lightroom or Aperture. Keep in mind that both of these applications are designed as digital asset managers with a good suite of editing tools.

It will take some time to learn either of these.... so give up too easily. But the vast majority of the editing need to do can be done within the editing modules, in all likelihood. As well, both applications can be configured to pass an image to a 3rd party editor (of your choice) should you have some editing needs they can't handle.

More importantly - they are both will easily take your RAW images and convert them to whatever format you need to present your images.

If you need an image editor for more specialized stuff - panoramas, HDR, etc. Then the editor you use will need to match your intended use.

Luck.