PS CS3 or iPhoto 08?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by duncanapple, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. duncanapple macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2008

    I am new to posting but have been reading around here for some time. I have a question for the photo editing experts. I have both iPhoto 08 and Photoshop CS3 (I have it as part of the Creative Suite, I use Dreamweaver often, but not too much Photoshop). I am getting ready to buy the new Canon Rebel XS due out shortly and wanted to get some opinions on how you all edit your photos. I have a general understanding of how iPhoto works (I have tweaked a couple things before, with it and my point and shoot canon digital elph) and I was messing around with PS last night. For simply editing the color/exposure/etc is there any reason to use Photoshop over iPhoto? Does it add any functionality?

    If so, is there a way to view all the adjustment sliders at once? It was sort of a pain to have to go to the drop down "image" and then "adjustments" and then the type of adjustment, move the slider, and "okay". It seems in iphoto, having all the sliders in once place is much (much) easier. I know there are lots of button layout options in PS, maybe I am missing something?

    Lastly, and this is a little more ambiguous, any tips for adjusting photos? When I start tweaking things, my pictures end up looking more "fake" or "cartoonish" than anything else. Perhaps there are some small tid bits of advice you guys have or maybe you could point me towards some easy to follow online tutorials?

    Sorry for all the questions, but thanks in advance for the help!

    - Chris
  2. futuremac macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Melbourne, Australia
    Have you tried Aperture or Lightroom? Download the demos.
  3. 66217 Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    If you are shooting RAW (or will start recently), I would really suggest Aperture or Lightroom. iPhoto lacks the non-destructive editing, what it makes is create a new photo each time you edit it. And it also lacks some more advanced options.

    Photoshop is great, but is far more complicated, and I find myself only using it for complicated adjustments. 90% of the time I find Aperture to be enough.

    As for tips, I find the Aperture page at to offer very good tutorials. Even if you don't have Aperture its helpful to see them. Another key point is to understand the histogram of a photo, make sure to understand how Exposure, Brightness and Contrast change the histogram. Another good tip is that the first step should be the cropping of the photo (in case it is necessary).
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Iphoto will do most of what you need, simple adjustments and crops. It will handle both JPG format files as well as the Canon's RAW format files.

    Use Photoshop if you want to go inside the image and change something for example to remove a utility wire or pole from a background or to retouch skin blemishes. For the limited set of things iPhoto can do it is best to use iPhoto.
  5. duncanapple thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2008

    Thanks for the replies guys, that helps. It sounds like the ideal is something between iPhoto and PS, unless I want to make some major edits such as pasting myself shaking the presidents hand or something to that effect. I am going to read up on the histograms and whatnot, it sounds like maybe my problem isnt so much iPhotos limitations as much as my own. I may not even be using the limited feature set in iPhoto to its fullest.

    As for the non destructive editing - call me paranoid, but I usually just duplicate the original photo before I edit. Especially b/c 9/10 times they look worse that when I started.

    Keep the suggestions coming!

    - Chris
  6. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2006
    Bay Area
    Photoshop files (saved as unflattened PSDs) keep your history open so you can revert it to the original. It also lets you go back in steps, preserves your layers of editing etc.

    However, this is an apples to bananas comparison. CS3 Bridge is a (sorta) equivalent of iPhoto, whereas Photoshop doesn't even have organizational capabilities.
  7. rweakins macrumors 6502


    May 3, 2007
    that's very true but i would say the versatility and possibilities of photoshop is worth the trouble of making a few folders and organizing the photos yourself.
  8. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    Another vote for using Lightroom or Aperture. I prefer Lightroom, but the only thing that keeps me from at least evaluating Aperture is the fact it won't read my Lightroom sidecar files, which means throwing away all my edits (something I'm not willing to do). Anyway, Lightroom is perfect for me since I have to deal with many photos at once (like 4000 for a race event).

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