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Thread: Advice on Software

  1. #11
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    I like Aperture 3, so if you have a Mac, download a month trial. if you own PC, download a month trial of Lightroom

  2. #12
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    Can I change my vote?

    I said Lightroom should be the no-brainer option over Elements when comparing their current suggested retail prices... but I had still yet to actually try Lightroom. After giving my suggestion I figured I really should get around to trying Lightroom. So I did.

    My recent Doberman puppy shots were a good test candidate, as they really pushed the requirements of post processing, being underexposed, noisy high-ISO shots of a black dog. Actually the first few were exposed correctly, but within minutes the shots started getting under exposed as the light faded, the fog thickened, and I'm sure the clouds probably got denser too. I couldn't change settings to expose correctly because the shutter speed was already as low as I could reasonably go (1/80s for a puppy is slow!), and the ISO was already as high as I could go on the 1Ds2 (1600... 3200 looks abysmal). Shots at the edge of shootable, on the edge of usable. This was my test case.

    For elements, once I knew the settings from one photo to use it was a matter of repeating (with slight variations) on each image. It wasn't anything major, or much different from my usual flow, aside from some extra fill light, some extra noise reduction, and some extra slight USM after doing my super-secret-magic-sharpening (see my post processing forum Moose Peterson Sharpening post, and replace the blending mode with 'overlay', and leave the high-pass slider at 1.9, 95% of the time... actually I'm going to update that post with my latest knowledge).

    Given my first half hour with the Lightroom 4.3 trial, the differences between Lightroom's RAW options and Elements' RAW options aren't as huge as I had believed. What I was lacking however was the ability to do any of the processing I normally do AFTER camera raw. Parts of what I normally did afterwards, such as curves (using a plugin, the built in Elements curves tool is useless), are available as part of RAW processing in Lightroom. But other forms of noise reduction or sharpening just aren't there... and these tools were critical for these images.

    The bottom line is that it seems I get more control and options in Elements after RAW conversion, and can make the images substantially nicer. As a hobbyist, where I'm not shooting several hundred shots per event (usually... I *have*, but not often) I'd rather have the ability to edit my photos to perfection with Elements than all the wonderful batch-editing and batch-processing Lightroom can give you.

    Anything you'd want to do with layers, like Denise's texture work, or the awesome frames she puts on some of her images, you'd need to do elsewhere, outside of Lightroom, so you'd still need Elements (or GIMP) anyway.

    In addition, Elements has some of it's CS big brothers' features, in cut down ways. You don't have the full content-aware suite of tools, but you've got content aware healing brushes, recompose tools, and a few others. I rarely use content aware healing, but I'd probably use it more than batch processing.

    I'd always looked at Lightroom as the holy-grail package everyone wants to be using, but having tried it, I preferred what I already had.

  3. #13
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    Many people use both - do most editing in a tool like Lightroom or Aperture, and then if needed, you can open the images that need special treatment or anything involving layers in Photoshop, directly from Lightroom.
    Arnt

  4. #14
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    Re: Advice on Software

    That's kind of an "edge" case though. As a starting point though, LR will do most of the heavy lifting. It's mainly to replace Bridge and ACR, and be more user friendly to photographers. I do see what you are saying with curves and layers (those plugins can be bought separate for Lightroom until the new version releases which might include them). I still stick with Lightroom/DDP as the starting point.
    Words get in the way of what I meant to say.

  5. #15
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    Another program that sounds like it might be pretty good (although I have yet to try it), is MuseMage. I don't know if anyone here has used it by either purchasing or the free trial but for $49, it doesn't seem like it would be too bad.

    My daughter is in the middle of building me a new computer and I just received a free product key for MuseMage with my graphics card that came today. If anyone here has used it, I'd be curious to hear your opinion of the program. I had never heard of it until receiving this.

  6. #16
    Junior Member kingscurate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidEccleston View Post
    Can I change my vote?

    I said Lightroom should be the no-brainer option over Elements when comparing their current suggested retail prices... but I had still yet to actually try Lightroom. After giving my suggestion I figured I really should get around to trying Lightroom. So I did.

    My recent Doberman puppy shots were a good test candidate, as they really pushed the requirements of post processing, being underexposed, noisy high-ISO shots of a black dog. Actually the first few were exposed correctly, but within minutes the shots started getting under exposed as the light faded, the fog thickened, and I'm sure the clouds probably got denser too. I couldn't change settings to expose correctly because the shutter speed was already as low as I could reasonably go (1/80s for a puppy is slow!), and the ISO was already as high as I could go on the 1Ds2 (1600... 3200 looks abysmal). Shots at the edge of shootable, on the edge of usable. This was my test case.

    For elements, once I knew the settings from one photo to use it was a matter of repeating (with slight variations) on each image. It wasn't anything major, or much different from my usual flow, aside from some extra fill light, some extra noise reduction, and some extra slight USM after doing my super-secret-magic-sharpening (see my post processing forum Moose Peterson Sharpening post, and replace the blending mode with 'overlay', and leave the high-pass slider at 1.9, 95% of the time... actually I'm going to update that post with my latest knowledge).

    Given my first half hour with the Lightroom 4.3 trial, the differences between Lightroom's RAW options and Elements' RAW options aren't as huge as I had believed. What I was lacking however was the ability to do any of the processing I normally do AFTER camera raw. Parts of what I normally did afterwards, such as curves (using a plugin, the built in Elements curves tool is useless), are available as part of RAW processing in Lightroom. But other forms of noise reduction or sharpening just aren't there... and these tools were critical for these images.

    The bottom line is that it seems I get more control and options in Elements after RAW conversion, and can make the images substantially nicer. As a hobbyist, where I'm not shooting several hundred shots per event (usually... I *have*, but not often) I'd rather have the ability to edit my photos to perfection with Elements than all the wonderful batch-editing and batch-processing Lightroom can give you.

    Anything you'd want to do with layers, like Denise's texture work, or the awesome frames she puts on some of her images, you'd need to do elsewhere, outside of Lightroom, so you'd still need Elements (or GIMP) anyway.

    In addition, Elements has some of it's CS big brothers' features, in cut down ways. You don't have the full content-aware suite of tools, but you've got content aware healing brushes, recompose tools, and a few others. I rarely use content aware healing, but I'd probably use it more than batch processing.

    I'd always looked at Lightroom as the holy-grail package everyone wants to be using, but having tried it, I preferred what I already had.
    David, lightroom4.3 uses the same raw processing power as whats in elements 11(camera raw 7.2/3), so images will look the same in theory.
    With LR you do need to know the little keyboard buttons such as holding down the alt button(PC) and using the sliders in the develop module.
    Watch the adobe tv videos and get a good book on LR and your opinion will change
    I aint a pro

  7. #17
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    My problem wasn't with the Lightroom RAW conversion, but that I have steps I do AFTER I convert from RAW that Lightroom just doesn't support.

    Lightroom gets you fast bulk processing, but is missing some finishing touches I tend to apply to almost every image. If you shoot hundreds of shots at events regularly, by all means, use Lightroom. Elements and Shop aren't geared towards bulk editing, but give you more control after RAW conversion. Since I don't need fast bulk processing, but do want post-RAW conversion editing, and don't have the cash for full blown Shop, I'm fine with just Elements.

  8. #18
    Senior Member qwRad's Avatar
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    My vote is for Lightroom if you want to pay just once but also consider Adobe Creative Cloud. It includes Lightroom and all other software (including Photoshop) from Adobe and they have some good discounts on the monthly fee from time to time. Also if you can get the Student & Teacher Edition (as I have) that is significantly cheaper.

  9. #19
    Senior Member btaylor's Avatar
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    I have used gimp, elements, photomatix (for HDR), PTGUI, Aperture, iphoto, Canon DPP etc etc etc and I always come back to the Lightroom 4 + Photoshop CS6 combo. Lightroom is much more powerful than it seems at first glance and it integrates seamlessly with photoshop. I tried aperture for some time when I first started using a MAC but it doesn't have the functionality of Lightroom.

    So my suggestion would be to use DPP for the moment but have a go at a trial version on Lightroom 4, if you like it then definitely purchase it. I love it.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ben_taylor_au/ www.methodicallymuddled.wordpress.com
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