Whats a good Photo Editing software for beginner

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by harleymhs, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. harleymhs macrumors 6502

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    Jul 19, 2009
    #1
    Hey Guys, Not new to taking photos, but new to POST editing software.. I am running a new Imac 27" display with 24GB ram, 512 SSD and good video card GTX 680.. Also running Mac and Windows! I'm looking for a good beginners POST photo editing software to fix and highlight photos.. I tried Adobe Photoshop Elements and it was not user friendly! I can shoot in RAW but never do.. But I can! I hear people using Light room 5 and Aperture for Mac.. I'm looking for a user friendly one if there is one out there.. Thanks!
     
  2. TjeuV macrumors 6502

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    #2
    If you're looking to only enhance your photo, I can highly recommend Aperture. The shared library with iPhoto, ease of use (Mainly simple sliders), clean interface, ...
     
  3. Parkin Pig macrumors 6502a

    Parkin Pig

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    #3
    Well your system's definitely powerful enough for the job - although you'll need a bigger (external) drive once your photo collection starts growing.

    So far PRE editing software has not been invented, so POST is definitely the way to go ;)

    Photoshop Elements was specifically designed to be user-friendly. There is always a learning curve associated with any software package. You will have to put in some time to learn. If you found Elements unfriendly, you may well struggle with either Aperture or Lightroom.
    The more time you invest in learning, the greater the payback. A lot of software packages can appear unfriendly because they are rarely packaged with manuals nowadays, but there's a wealth of tutorials on the web, and plenty of third party books.

    If you already have a copy of Elements, my advice would be to revisit it and search the web for Elements tutorials. It's a very competant package if you scratch below the surface.
     
  4. snberk103, Apr 7, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014

    snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #4
    Parkin Pig is giving good advice... keep at Elements. Also, though, understand that the editing you can do in Lightroom and Aperture is different than the editing you do in a program like Elements. In a complete workflow it is very common to use either Aperture or Lightroom for the majority of the post-production and and editor like Elements on occasion for the tough jobs.

    Also... Lightroom and Aperture are Digital Asset Managers, with editing capabilities. There are some good threads in this sub-forum that explains the difference.

    Also... get a good backup strategy working now.

    just my 2¢ worth ...
     
  5. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #5
    ^^ this. I have been using LR 5 for about 6 months now and I am still learning. You can download a free trial to have a play, however remember all software comes with a learning curve. YouTube is your friend.
     
  6. nburwell macrumors 68040

    nburwell

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    #6
    I would stick with PS Elements if you just want to make some basic edits. Both Aperture and even Lightroom are much more in-depth photo programs. I would look into maybe some web or YouTube tutorials pertaining to the PS Elements verison that you have.
     
  7. harleymhs thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 19, 2009
    #7
    PS elements are not an option.. Anymore.. I sold the computer it was installed on and cant get it back! Are there any simple ones that you can buy online or try them before you buy ?

    ----------

    going to give this a shot, PaintShop Pro X6 just downloaded a trial.. ots only $60.00 if I like it.. Any thoughts on Corel?
     
  8. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #8
    There is no absolute answer as to what is easy to use as everyone has a different notion or way of working.

    Typical tools that one might consider -

    Aperture (Apple only)
    Lightroom (Apple and Windows)
    Pixelmator (Apple only)
    Adobe PS Elements (Apple and Windows)
    Corel Paintshop (Windows)

    The first two are more about adjustments and some third party "plugins" or filters that can do a bit more may be added.

    Pixelmator, Paintshop and Elements are a bit more engaging with manipulating files. If all you need to do is some adjustments, Aperture and Lightroom are good choices and they also serve as file management systems for your images (Catalogues as it were).
     
  9. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #9
    Photoshop Elements is available as a Trial. Purchase is $99.
     
  10. themumu macrumors 6502a

    themumu

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    #10
    I might be in the minority here, but I still think iPhoto is quite tolerable for basic use, equal parts editor and organizer. Comes with every Mac, have you given it a try?
     
  11. harleymhs thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    My wife plays around with it, I dont go on OSX much mostly use Win7 .. Pics are all on a ext HD.. Can you crop and open RAW files in iPhoto?
     
  12. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #12
    You want a digital asset manager (DAM) to collect/organize your files, provide basic photo editing capabilities, and allow for plugins (3rd party apps) if you ever want them.

    Stick with iPhoto as your DAM. If you ever migrate to Aperture for greater capability,...your iPhoto libraries are easily read and used by Aperture. Use PSE as a plugin for pixel editing if needed.....but not as a DAM.
     
  13. harleymhs thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Not needing a DAM... Just editing software.. I dont use iphoto to organize.. I have all my photos on EXT HD that are backed up to another ext HD..
     
  14. themumu macrumors 6502a

    themumu

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    #14
    Yes, and yes.

    If you don't want to use iPhoto as your DAM, go into Preferences -> Advanced and uncheck "Copy items to the iPhoto library".
     
  15. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #15
    It sounds like you don't really need anything. You don't need to organize them, you don't do edits other then cropping and the simple and cheap Adobe Elements is to expensive and "complex".

    So for you I recommend "Preview". It's already on your Mac and it allows you to adjust the color, it will open RAW image files and you can crop and resize photos and save them to different formats. It does everything you have asked for and is certainly NOT hard to use. and the cost is zero.

    But really. If you shoot any number of photos and you are serious about photography you need some kind of organization other then just folders on a disk. iPhoto is ideal for that and it work seamlessly with Adobe Elements

    ----------

    This is the best way. Import everything into the library and ditch the Win 7 PC. The next step is a Lynda.com subscription ($25/month) and learn about photo editing.)
     
  16. BJMRamage macrumors 68020

    BJMRamage

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    Oct 2, 2007
    #16
    what do you want to DO in post-processing?

    I used to use Photoshop in "the day" to edit photos.
    Switching to a Mac from PC, I stuck with Photoshop as my main "go-to" for editing. and would use iPhoto to "store" the photos.

    I then got into using iPhoto for most editing but felt it was lacking. It was a simpler Photoshop. Most of what I needed could be done in iPhoto but, like PS, it was mainly a one-off process. (yes, I can use Actions in Photoshop but that requires building an action and not too easily to undo or change some parts of the action when a few adjustments might be needed from the action)

    THEN last year I opted for Aperture. this took the ease of iPhoto (and the DAM, yes I know you don't need/want that) and the simple nature of it but expanded the editing and ability to copy a setting and flow it over to a bunch of photos taken at a similar time.

    Last year I got into RAW and more manual control of photography. I'd guess some of the last BIGGER photoshop edits happened about 4 years ago, when my son was 6 months old and I was dropping in type and adjusting perspective and doing some thing like that. I still like that but don't really bother with that.

    Being a graphic/web designer by day, I am opting for ease with my photography edits and more family time.

    Aperture and Lightroom are similar (please don't bash me on what one can/cannot do) and easily what most edits can be done with once you understand the limited masking that can happen. I chose Aperture because it was cheaper at the time (pretty sure) and I could easily open iPhoto libraries and 'test' it out.

    Not sure if any of this helps.
     
  17. Parkin Pig macrumors 6502a

    Parkin Pig

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    #17
    I think a lot of people overlook 'Preview'. It really is useful for quick mods like cropping, shadow/highlight adjustments, colour shift, sharpening etc
     
  18. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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    #18
    My advise would be to use Lightroom, and for hard drives I would buy a SATA docking station plus a SATA drive or two.

    I had several SATA drives (without enclosures) around the house, two which are 2TB drives. So I bought a Plugable USB 3.0 SATA HDD Docking Station (less than $30.00 at Amazon), plus a 3TB Seagate barracuda. Now, I am not trying to sell the Plugable docking station above, since even cheaper units work fine.
     
  19. Alexander.Of.Oz macrumors 68000

    Alexander.Of.Oz

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    Adelaide, Australia
    #19
    I will suggest you look at Lightroom, it'll keep things organised for you and allows you some simple to use tools that can be quite powerful in the right hands. Is $150 out of budget? You do not have to lease it at all, it can still be bought outright.
     
  20. harleymhs thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 19, 2009
    #20
    150.00 isnt out of the budget, can you download a trial of lightroom? I understand the use of a DAM but if I use iphoto will it seperate ALL my photos and use a date system to file them? Then Im affraid I wont find anything again! LOL I have all my folders marked by NAME, not date! I will look into lightroom today..
     
  21. BJMRamage macrumors 68020

    BJMRamage

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    Oct 2, 2007
    #21
    I am pretty sure you can set a program's library to not 'import' but to just reference the files how you have them set up.
    This way you keep all your folder settings.

    BUT key wording and Metadata are Super Helpful and ratings and the like and this is where a DAM shines.
     
  22. themumu macrumors 6502a

    themumu

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    #22
    As mentioned above, you can tell iPhoto to not move the photos into its own folder structure. Do this before you begin working with any photos, and it will leave them where they are, without affecting your folders. The same can be done with Lightroom, Aperture or any other DAM.
     
  23. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #23
    The whole point of a DAM is to make it very easy to find things - easier than filing by folder names. People who find it more difficult to find photos with a DAM are, please excuse the meme, 'not using it right'. If you are interested in setting up a DAM to make it easy, just ask away.. .there's lots of expertise here.

    Yes, Lightroom is available as a trial.

    There is work involved to get it set up right at the beginning, but then it makes finding photos very easy indeed.
     
  24. nburwell macrumors 68040

    nburwell

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    #24
    You can try PS Elements for 30 days. Same with Lightroom, but I would honestly avoid LR since it's more in-depth than what you're looking for.
     
  25. taptic macrumors 65816

    taptic

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    #25

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