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  #1  
Old 19th April 2019
jonesy jonesy is offline
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Recommended reading

Due to just having had knee surgery i have been given 2 months off work, and longer still off the gym!
It's my intention to use the time wisely on my hobby. Apart from a short while studying photography i have never shot raw. The jpg files always seemed to be better than what i could produce. Now i have time on my hands and a selection of shots taken recently i want to see if i can master processing. (Or at the very least, get comfortable with a workable process)

I'm looking for advice/guidance/tutorials etc about workflow and processing to publishing.

I currently have Photoshop Elements with some Topaz plugins. Im reluctant to go down the subscription software route, so what options are there for me?

Many thanks for any advice.
T 😊
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Old 19th April 2019
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Re: Recommended reading

What version of PSE have you got Tracey?
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Old 20th April 2019
jonesy jonesy is offline
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Re: Recommended reading

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What version of PSE have you got Tracey?
Hi, thank you for the reply.
I've just checked and its elements 14 i currently own.
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Old 20th April 2019
Tram Tram is offline
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Re: Recommended reading

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Hi, thank you for the reply.
I've just checked and its elements 14 i currently own.
Thanks, the book I have is for PSE 9, was going to offer it up for free, but not much use to you then.
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Old 20th April 2019
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Re: Recommended reading

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Thanks, the book I have is for PSE 9, was going to offer it up for free, but not much use to you then.
Thanks for the kind offer. I do appreciate it.
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Old 19th April 2019
RobEW RobEW is offline
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Re: Recommended reading

I don't like the idea of renting software either. I purchased DXO Photolab (including the DXO Viewpoint add-on) and a copy of Affinity Photo thinking I'd want the latter for any detailed local editing. In practice I find I hardly ever bother with Affinity and have pretty well forgotten how to use it; for my needs DXO presets (with a few geometric adjustments and cropping, and occasional minor local adjustments) are good enough for most things, and dead easy to use. Some of the tools on the market have a bewilderingly large number of tools, whose effects are only vaguely described.

Best wishes for your rehab.
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Old 19th April 2019
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Re: Recommended reading

I find Photshop Elements 12 good enough for my needs (its about 6 or 7 years old). It has layers and masking which is the main criteria for complicated techniques. I believe that later versions have better auto selection algorithms amongst other improvements. I also purchased "Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 Classroom in a Book (Classroom in a Book (Adobe)) Classroom in a Book (Adobe)" which to be honest was not as good as I wanted. Half the book seems devoted to managing and storing your photos and trying to find some of the editing techniques I wanted in the second half was like looking for a needle in a haystack - I had better luck with google and you tube.
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Old 19th April 2019
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Re: Recommended reading

I use Lightroom 6, that was the last standalone version. Also have the Nik collection as plug ins, got that when it was free a couple of years ago.
Also got PSE 2018, still got version 9 too and the book that goes with it hence the reason I asked what version the OP had.
I find the Scott Kelby books useful and for a more detailed approach the Martin Evening guides are good too.
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Old 20th April 2019
Crazy Dave Crazy Dave is offline
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Re: Recommended reading

I gave up Photoshop two years ago in favour of Affinity Photo and have never regretted the move. I’m about £200 ahead and saving £10 a month. The main thing however is that AP does everything I need, has excellent in-house video tutorials that mercifully are produced on this side of the Atlantic. The raw conversion works extremely well from within the software unlike Adobe Raw Converter. Plus all the raw tools can be used on jpegs. Good luck with whatever you decide.

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Old 20th April 2019
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Re: Recommended reading

I'd suggest that you do not start with Photoshop or other "destructive" general purpose image editors. These all directly manipulate the image and the raw processing part is limited to import and basic image manipulation. They are really aimed at graphic artists rather than photographers. They do a lot, but they are also complicated and not intuitive for photographers.

Instead, you need a specific raw image processing tool like Lightroom. These are "non destructive" - they work directly off the raw file and build changes as a separate set of instructions that are applied to the file for viewing or ultimately for export as a jpeg or for printing. They usually also offer some form of catalogue management. Their features are targeted at photographers. They do less than the Photoshop type tools, but they are much easier to use.

I use Lightroom, which these days is subscription at just under £10 a month. Ok, it's over £100 a year, but otoh, I get all the updates which I'd need to pay for as new versions if I bought a perpetual licence version. If I were to choose a paid- for alternative to Lightroom, I'd go for DxO.

If you want free though, I'd recommend RawTherapee - the latest version is very good. Its only downside is that the UI is a bit challenging to new users.
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Old 20th April 2019
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Re: Recommended reading

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdk42 View Post
I'd suggest that you do not start with Photoshop or other "destructive" general purpose image editors. These all directly manipulate the image and the raw processing part is limited to import and basic image manipulation. They are really aimed at graphic artists rather than photographers. They do a lot, but they are also complicated and not intuitive for photographers.

Instead, you need a specific raw image processing tool like Lightroom. These are "non destructive" - they work directly off the raw file and build changes as a separate set of instructions that are applied to the file for viewing or ultimately for export as a jpeg or for printing. They usually also offer some form of catalogue management. Their features are targeted at photographers. They do less than the Photoshop type tools, but they are much easier to use.

I use Lightroom, which these days is subscription at just under £10 a month. Ok, it's over £100 a year, but otoh, I get all the updates which I'd need to pay for as new versions if I bought a perpetual licence version. If I were to choose a paid- for alternative to Lightroom, I'd go for DxO.

If you want free though, I'd recommend RawTherapee - the latest version is very good. Its only downside is that the UI is a bit challenging to new users.
Thanks for this, i will look at what DxO does. I'm more than happy to pay for software, its just the subscription model i hate.
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Old 20th April 2019
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Re: Recommended reading

I have just had an ad for Udemy.com, photography masterclass appear on my Facebook page, has anyone here done this course or anything similar?
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Old 20th April 2019
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Recommended reading

Photoshop Elements already includes Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) for processing your raw files. ACR uses the same algorithms as Lightroom but just has a different user interface. I believe that PSE 14 can be upgraded to v9.5 of ACR which I think was released end 2015 or early 2016. So unless your camera was released after these dates you already have everything you need to start processing your raw files non destructively. Worst case scenario if your camera is not supported by the ACR version you have you can convert these to DNG (Adobe Digital Negative Raw Image file) and process them, bit of a flog but ‘doable’.


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Re: Recommended reading

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosiebud View Post
Photoshop Elements already includes Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) for processing your raw files. ACR uses the same algorithms as Lightroom but just has a different user interface. I believe that PSE 14 can be upgraded to v9.5 of ACR which I think was released end 2015 or early 2016. So unless your camera was released after these dates you already have everything you need to start processing your raw files non destructively. Worst case scenario if your camera is not supported by the ACR version you have you can convert these to DNG (Adobe Digital Negative Raw Image file) and process them, bit of a flog but ‘doable’.


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Yes, Lightroom includes ACR. This does indeed mean that raw conversion and simple image adjustments are the same - but there's a lot more to both Lightroom and Photoshop than the initial raw file processing.

As to using PS in a non-destructive way - well, you can of course use ACR to import the raw files and then fiddle with it in PS until it's as you want it then store it as a PSD/TIFF etc. However, I'm pretty sure that you can't then later go back and undo the actions you've done. The editing history is lost.

Using PS + ACR certainly works and can generate excellent results, but the skills to use PS well are much more demanding than LR and the workflow you need to use is quite different with the need to generate more intermediate files. There's nothing wrong with that - but the learning curve is steeper and the need to handle the image files becomes more of a challenge.
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Old 21st April 2019
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Re: Recommended reading

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdk42 View Post
Yes, Lightroom includes ACR. This does indeed mean that raw conversion and simple image adjustments are the same - but there's a lot more to both Lightroom and Photoshop than the initial raw file processing.

As to using PS in a non-destructive way - well, you can of course use ACR to import the raw files and then fiddle with it in PS until it's as you want it then store it as a PSD/TIFF etc. However, I'm pretty sure that you can't then later go back and undo the actions you've done. The editing history is lost.

Using PS + ACR certainly works and can generate excellent results, but the skills to use PS well are much more demanding than LR and the workflow you need to use is quite different with the need to generate more intermediate files. There's nothing wrong with that - but the learning curve is steeper and the need to handle the image files becomes more of a challenge.
Don't often find myself disagreeing with you Paul but in this case I do.

I use LR for DAM and then into PS from there using the integration they provide. Using smart layers/filters, including ACR I can go back and change as much as I like as long as I stick to non-destructive methodology. Yes there is a learning curve to do that which is certainly not to everyone's taste.

I frequently have several versions of the same image and still have the original RAW file so nothing is lost. Final versions typically include a print and PDI versions all stacked in LR with the original and keyworded for searching plus typically in collections. In short a full history and the ability to go in and review and change.

Personally I enjoy processing as much as I do the taking of the image, perhaps I'm unusual in that, so this works for me very well. I find PS an excellent tool and I enjoy the incredible flexibility. As is often the case in photography there is no right and wrong just what works for you.

Hec
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