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Old 12-11-2012, 09:28 AM   #1
tinkerbell615
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Photoshop ?

So I am back to you guys with another question.

Can you tell me what is the best Photoshop software to use when editing photos? I know that there are so many different options and varying price ranges. I have heard of Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, CS6 etc... Can you tell me what would be the most reasonably priced that someone could use? I don't know anything about these. I just need to know what would be the good for my daughter. I have the computer, now we need the software!

Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:39 AM   #2
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Photoshop in general is a tool used to make "enhancements" to pictures you take, or to correct errors. You digitally manipulate your photos.

Many people start with a program called light room. Made by the same people who make photoshop Adobe.

You use Lightroom to catalog and "develop" you pictures out of the camera. Then for the 10% of your pictures you want to do extra work on, you switch to photoshop.

Many people, like me, do not use photoshop at all.

It's all very technicle and there are a great deal of factors that go into deciding what workflow you will use.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSLRuser View Post
Photoshop in general is a tool used to make "enhancements" to pictures you take, or to correct errors. You digitally manipulate your photos.

Many people start with a program called light room. Made by the same people who make photoshop Adobe.

You use Lightroom to catalog and "develop" you pictures out of the camera. Then for the 10% of your pictures you want to do extra work on, you switch to photoshop.

Many people, like me, do not use photoshop at all.

It's all very technicle and there are a great deal of factors that go into deciding what workflow you will use.
Thank you! She has been tinkering with Photoshop CS6 and the free trial. Just thought I would check with those a lot more knowledgeable to get some information.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:52 AM   #4
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I use Adobe Lightroom myself. Simple and you can do practically any adjustment needed.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:57 AM   #5
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I don't have Lightroom. It's something that I want to add to my software, but being an architecture major, I have CS5 (think I'll wait til CS7 to upgrade) and use Photoshop to edit my photos. Photoshop encompasses more than just photo editing - you can create from scratch in Photosop. That's where I add grass, sky, trees, people, and materials to architectural renderings. And it's where I swap people's heads in photos (you know, that wonderful family photo that one person is looking the wrong way in?), clear their skin, volumize their hair, etc.

If you think your DD would like Photoshop, Elements is the less expensive route. It has almost all of the same features as CS6 (just in different locations... I use Elements at work in a professional photography studio, so it's annoying to adjust), it's just only the Photoshop part. CS6 Creative Suite includes additional programs like Adobe Illustrator (a graphics program for creating PDFs and vector files), InDesign (like Illustrator, but intended for portfolios and books with many pages that have the same template), etc. If all she wants is Photoshop, I wouldn't buy the entire suite.

No matter what you choose to buy, know that Adobe offers great student discounts, so if your daughter is a student (even just in high school), be sure to purchase a student license. You'll have to verify with a photo ID and transcript/tuition bill/report card, but it's a huge savings.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinkerbell615 View Post
So I am back to you guys with another question.

Can you tell me what is the best Photoshop software to use when editing photos? I know that there are so many different options and varying price ranges. I have heard of Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, CS6 etc... Can you tell me what would be the most reasonably priced that someone could use? I don't know anything about these. I just need to know what would be the good for my daughter. I have the computer, now we need the software!

Thanks in advance!
The three software packages you mention all have different purposes. We can offer some better advise if you're able to expand on the exact situation and what your daughter's use/need would be.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is an excellent tool for cataloging and doing basic developing (adjusting exposure, color, cropping, etc.) This software makes an excellent stand-alone tool, or can also be paired with either of the other two packages you mention.

Adobe Photoshop Elements is a photo editing tool. While not as extensive as Adobe Photoshop CS6, it can perform the tasks that most armature/hobbyist photographers need.

Adobe Photoshop CS6 is a professional-level editing tool. It has an extensive toolset and allows editing, manipulation, and many artistic enhancements to photos. The target audience is for advanced hobbyists and professional photographers. If your daughter is taking photography classes, this may be the appropriate software, as many digital darkroom classes use this software in conjunction with the course. There are two versions of this software, the basic version and the extended version. The extended version offers additional tools for rendering 3D objects.

CS6 comes with software that allows you to perform many of the same tasks that Lightroom performs, but I still prefer to use both packages together. For a photography student, I'd recommend Lightroom + CS6. Be sure to check for the educational pricing. There's a substantial discount for students. For someone taking up photography as a hobby, I'd recommend starting with just Lightroom, then possibly adding on Elements only if you find there's a need for it.
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Last edited by BirdsOfPreyDave; 12-11-2012 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinkerbell615 View Post
So I am back to you guys with another question.

Can you tell me what is the best Photoshop software to use when editing photos? I know that there are so many different options and varying price ranges. I have heard of Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, CS6 etc... Can you tell me what would be the most reasonably priced that someone could use? I don't know anything about these. I just need to know what would be the good for my daughter. I have the computer, now we need the software!

Thanks in advance!
I have Elements, CS6 and Lightroom here at the house. My daughter (12) has basic skills in all of them but prefers Elements. It has RAW processing that she uses and it also has more editing tools than Lightroom. It just seems to suit her the best because it's got tons of features without being overkill. It's also going to be the cheapest option. You can sometimes get it free when you buy a Wacom tablet, which is also an awesome tool to have if you do a lot of photo editing.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:03 AM   #8
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If considering Photoshop Elements or the full version, you might also have a look at Paint Shop Pro, by Corel. It's very similar, has the same functionality as the full versions of Photoshop, and is very inexpensive at around $50-70 for the most recent versions (I believe they're up to 'X5'). I have been using both Photoshop Elements and Paint Shop Pro (PSP) for nearly a decade, and have actually always preferred Paint Shop Pro for having a better interface, more controls and functions than Elements (it's much closer to the full Photoshop), simpler to use and figure out, and very good 'one touch' type touchups. Plus, it takes all of the same plugins that Photoshop does, so I use the same third-party software on both PSP and Photoshop.

PSP tends to just be a little easier to figure out, and has several modes it can be displayed in, from 'beginner' to much more advanced...and you can change the editing and display modes as you learn more about how to use the various controls on your own, or just leave it in simple mode for easy and fast touchups.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:45 PM   #9
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Adobe Lightroom is a great tool for beginners and pros alike and the price is right. It can be had for around $100 if you shop around. I personally use Lightroom and Photoshop CS6 together, but you can make some great images using Lightroom by itself.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:14 AM   #10
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Adobe Lightroom is a great tool for beginners and pros alike and the price is right. It can be had for around $100 if you shop around.
$79 if you have a student or teacher in the household.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:47 AM   #11
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$79 if you have a student or teacher in the household.
Yep. My 5th grader buys all the software for her dad. Just need a .pdf of a current report card.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:50 AM   #12
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It really depends what you want to use the software for. There is some overlap between the different programs, so you need to look at your priorities.
Zackie mentioned PSP. I have used it for a few years. I do like it as a cheaper alternative to Photoshop Elements, that can actually do a bit more than Elements. I haven't used Elements in years, but I have heard others say that Elements does work better.

But truthfully, I rarely use PSP these days. I stick mostly to Lightroom.

If you shoot in RAW (or want to start shooting in RAW), then Lightroom is the way to go. Photoshop and PSP will both also allow for processing of RAW pictures, but they don't do it as simply and gracefully as Lightroom. Lightroom is amazing for cataloging pictures, and for fast simple exposure corrections.
Lightroom is not the *best* product for photo enhancement, but it can handle some of the most common basics. It is very good for cropping pictures. It does basic red-eye and blemish removal. You can apply some Instagram type processing effects easily. And with use of brushes, you can do a bit more, like skin softening, wrinkle erasing.
Lightroom is also rather reasonably priced, if you can get the educational discount.

If you are looking to create a picture of Santa Claus and Mickey Mouse shaking hands at Yankee Stadium, then you need something like Photoshop or PSP.
But if you're just looking to perfect the exposure levels of a picture, fix highlights and shadows, and some very basic enhancement, then Lightroom is all you need.

If you are interested in HDR photography --- I know earlier versions of Elements did not do HDR. Not sure of the current version. PSP can do HDR, but performs it moderately well. The best program for HDR is the stand-alone program, Photomatix. (There is a plug-in for Lightroom).
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:03 AM   #13
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Adobe Lightroom is a great tool for beginners and pros alike and the price is right. It can be had for around $100 if you shop around. I personally use Lightroom and Photoshop CS6 together, but you can make some great images using Lightroom by itself.
I will add my opinion that Lightroom is not always a good tool for beginners. I have been using editing software of various kinds i.e. Elements, Picasa, Lightroom and others I've forgotten the names of since before 2000 and the first two I mentioned are far more intuitive to use. Lightroom being more photo organizer by design with editing capability can drive a beginner nuts. Even as experienced as I am I found LR a pain to learn the organizer options. But and this is a big one, I do not use the organizer options in any of the above but my own system. So I know that influences my preferences.
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:04 PM   #14
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I will add my opinion that Lightroom is not always a good tool for beginners. I have been using editing software of various kinds i.e. Elements, Picasa, Lightroom and others I've forgotten the names of since before 2000 and the first two I mentioned are far more intuitive to use. Lightroom being more photo organizer by design with editing capability can drive a beginner nuts. Even as experienced as I am I found LR a pain to learn the organizer options. But and this is a big one, I do not use the organizer options in any of the above but my own system. So I know that influences my preferences.
That's a good point. I just purchased LR4, my first ever experience with proper editing software and although I think it's pretty easy to learn, the organizer has me baffled. At some point in the not too distant future I'm going to have to get my head around it because I can assure you, whatever is happening in the catalogues is chaos at best.
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:15 PM   #15
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I will add my opinion that Lightroom is not always a good tool for beginners. I have been using editing software of various kinds i.e. Elements, Picasa, Lightroom and others I've forgotten the names of since before 2000 and the first two I mentioned are far more intuitive to use. Lightroom being more photo organizer by design with editing capability can drive a beginner nuts. Even as experienced as I am I found LR a pain to learn the organizer options. But and this is a big one, I do not use the organizer options in any of the above but my own system. So I know that influences my preferences.
Also... Lightroom started out somewhat as an alternative to Bridge. Bridge used to be clunky, awkward and slow. But now it's better (I'm truly shocked to say that because up until now I detested Bridge). And honestly Bridge is a lot easier to use for organization because it uses whatever file structuring system you already have in place. It's just instead of doing your RAW adjustments in Bridge like you would with Lightroom you use Camera RAW in PS or Elements... which has the exact same tools as Lightroom. So it's an alternative worth looking at for organization.

But more to the point.. .I also don't feel that Lightroom is the best software for starting out. Mainly because editing wise Elements will do everything Lightroom does and more.
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