software

Nov 27, 2010
43
Laurel, MD
the only other free or low cost software that I am aware of if called "The Gimp" it is an open sourced program similar to photoshop. It has a pretty steep learning curve but there are a lot of free resources about it online. Many compact cameras come with a program called Silkypix that is free if you buy the camera.

Myself, I use Adobe Lightroom but it unfortunately costs much more than $30
 

BillN

Hall of Famer
Aug 25, 2010
123
S W France
Bill
unfortunately there is no free "three course meal" - you may get the odd snack or appetiser for little

down load a free trial of LR3, use it for a month and start dining at the Ritz

"a cheap software app can be expensive and an expensive software app can be cheap"

Depending on where you live, LR3 can cost more than a good compact - but the early versions of Lightroom (1 and 2), must now sell for very little and may even be free - I used them and would say that they are better than any of the bundled or cheap photo software - have a look on EBay, maybe
 
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BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
Have to add that I agree with Bill's analogy. Being new to digital and starting down the path in February 2010, I first used iPhoto, then I spent a bundle on Aperture...loved it until, I ran into problems with color shifts (don't get me wrong many still love Aperture) on all of my photographs - suddenly. I finally got Lightroom, though it came "free" with a very expensive camera called the Leica X1... Once I switched that was it. Don AKA Streetshooter had been trying to get me to make the move from day one - if only I had listened! Hindsight is, of course, 20:20.:wink:
 

EasyEd

Regular
Dec 22, 2010
43
Hey All,

Look hard at Artizen HDR

Features List

File Format Support
- ARTI, ATX, BMP, DIB, OpenEXR, EMF, GIF, HDR, ICB, ICO, JPG, JFIF, JPE, JPEG, PBM, PCD, PCX, PFM, PGM, PNG, PPM, PSD, PSP, RLE, SGI, TGA, TIF, TIFF, VDA, VST, WBMP and WMF

Digital Camera RAW File Format Support
-ARW, CR2, CRW, DCR, KDC, DNG, ERF, MRW, NEF, ORF, PEF, RAF, RAW, RW2 and SRF

Layers, brushes, cloning, etc
Histograms of various kinds

Transformation Filters
- Rotation
- Scaling
- Skew
- Flip
- Mirror

Panoramic - Link (NEW)
- Panoramic > Fisheye (Small Planet)
- Fisheye > Panoramic
- Panoramic > Mirror Ball
- Mirror Ball > Panoramic

Misc. Filters
- Curves
- Replace Color
- Add Vignette
- Bilateral Filter
- Gaussian Blur
- Zoom/Radial/Motion Blur
- Levels
- 7 Edge Filters
- 3 Metallic Filters
- 5 Distortion Filters
- Aged Photo
- much much more...

Sharpening Filters
- Unsharpen Mask
- Modes RGB and Luminosity

Orton Filter - Link
- 5 Modes
- Brightness
- Hue
- Saturation
- Opacity
- X and Y Radius
- Sharpness

DeNoise Filters
- Bilateral Noise Reduction Filter
- Noise Reduction Filter

HDR Tone Mapping Operators
- Dramatic
- Natural

High Dynamic Range (HDR)
- Creation using 1 of 2 Auto Alignment methods
- Creation with Manual Alignment
- Ghost Removal
- Batch Processing
- Support for Processing Images over 8000x8000 pixels (system specs dependent)

Hue Balance Filter - Link (NEW)
- Hue Selection
- Hue Brightness
- Hue Threshold
- RGB Adjustments
- Invert Option

Color Balance Filter - Link (UPDATE)
- Temperature
- Hue
- Linear and Non-Linear Vibrancy
- Luminosity
- Linear and Non-Linear RGB Channels
- RGBCYM Hue Adjustments
- Grayscale
- Invert

White Balance Filter
- Temperature
- Auto White Balance
- Red, Green and Blue Channel Controls.

Exposure Filter - Link
- Brightness
- fstop
- Reflection
- Xposure
- Contrast (Standard or Divergence)
- Highlights
- Shadows
- Gamma

Image Scaling Methods
-Nearest Neighbor
-Bicubic BC-spline
-Bicubic Sharpen
-Lanczos
-Lanczos Sharpen
-Lanczos Smart

System Requirements (Windows Only)

All for less than $50

This software is a good way to get your "feet wet" and may well be all you need.

-Ed-
 

wt21

Hall of Famer
Aug 15, 2010
123
I use Lightroom

But sorry, it's not free. It is $99 for students, if you are one. Well worth it at that price.

If you are on a Mac, then iPhoto is a reasonable "basic" package. More a DAM than an editor.

Picasa from Google is also another basic organizer with some basic levels/adjustments tools and is free.
 
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bilzmale

Super Moderator Emeritus
Jul 17, 2010
124
Perth, Western Australia
Bill Shinnick
Helicon Software make the old version (4.93) of their Helicon Filter software available free. Don't be fooled by the 'Filter' in the name - it is a fully featured editor including RAW support. Version 5 is $75 or $60 with current discount till Jan 15 - they also offer an annual licence for $20.
 

davect01

Hall of Famer
thanks

I know that in most cases it is a you get what you pay for scenario, but I just don't need some of the fancier programs and features. I am simply looking for a great basic program. Perhaps when I get more advanced I will spring for a more expensive software.

I tried Artizen and The Gimp. Both seem good, but held no settings I did not have with Photoscape. Helicon Filter added a few settings I was missing, probably keep that one. Thanks so much for the info and great advice.:)
 
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Sep 8, 2010
123
London UK
Andy
I use Lightroom 3.3 to process my images and then pop them into Photoshop Elements 9 for tweaking, layering different exposures and adding borders when the need arises. I could just use Elements but i love the power and simplicity of Lightroom 3.3.

For any amateur i would recommend Elements if you are on a budget.
 
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BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
Mayank, is that really the only software you use? Don't mean to sound incredulous because I have heard that Elements 8 is very, very good - and I know how wonderful your photographs are. I must be confused.

Some people I know do use more than one - as I said, I've gotten into Lightroom and I also use some of the NIK plug-ins, such as Color Efex and Silver Efex. Still haven't taken the tutorials.:redface: Need to write that on my resolution list.
 

Grant

Veteran
Nov 12, 2010
68
Lunenburg Nova Scotia
BBW

Photoshop Elements 8 is a Windows only. You are a Mac person so you either have to go to Elements 7 or 9. Elements 7 has a version of Bridge with it and Elements 9 has Organizer with it. The editor in Elements 9 is a bit better if only for the expanded use of layer masks. But Elements 7 has bridge which I like over Organizer. Either version of Elements would be all an amateur photographer needed. You notice I didn't say wanted :rolleyes:
 

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
Don't worry Grant! But that's the thing Mayank is not an amateur and that's why I was surprised that it was the only software he mentioned.:wink:
 

Grant

Veteran
Nov 12, 2010
68
Lunenburg Nova Scotia
BBW

I don't mean any disrespect with the word amateur. In fact I recommend Photoshop Elements to almost everyone that takes my class because for the most part they are amateurs. In this case I us the term amateur in the original sense of the word (from Latin amator ‘lover,’ from amare ‘to love.'). A professional may need another package to get his/her work out quickly, if you shoot 1000 images for a wedding and you have to get them to the bride ASP then you need the speed of automation of a more sophisticated program like Photoshop or Lightroom. On the other hand if you do you art for love you probably want to take the time over your images and put savings on a new camera. Elements seems to have about 85% of what Photoshop has for a fraction of the cost.

If today, I didn't already own Photoshop then Elements would be my editor of choice as well. Of course Aperture or Lightroom would be my organizer of choice.
 

Mayank

Veteran
Jul 16, 2010
103
India
Hi BBW and Grant, Thanks for your messages. Elements 8 is available for Mac, I work on a Mac :) Yes, the beauty of Elements 8 for the Mac is that it comes bundled with Bridge and therefore full version of ACR (unlike Elements 9). Bridge is a beautiful software in its own right as a browser and ACR in it provides powerful image correction features (much like Lightroom) so basic image correction is done in ACR (even on JPEG images) and then final correction including framing and cropping done in Elements. I use only one Elements plugin: Freeware Boundary Noise Reduction that, despite being free, gives awesome NR capabilities and options and I would highly recommend it (in my opinion this plugin works much better than the much talked about NR feature of Lightroom 3, specially in reducing chroma noise)! Grant, imho Elements 8 for Mac would meet the needs of even the most demanding professional photographers unless they wish to do CMYK manipulation.
 
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Grant

Veteran
Nov 12, 2010
68
Lunenburg Nova Scotia
Mayank

I sit here red faced there is no Elements 7 for the Mac it is indeed version 8. I am doubly red faces because I have version 6 and 8 on my Mac. I believed Adobe skipped versions 5 and 7 for the Mac. If you need a Mask tool for Elements version 8 or earlier you can get them here at Grant's Tools Just don't ask me for support :crying:
 

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
Thank you Mayank - I knew I remembered that there was more to the story.:biggrin:

Grant, thanks for your link and now it's time to get rid of that "red face"!:wink:

Now it seems I may need to reconsider adding this version of Elements to my tool box. Hmmm, just when I was feeling comfy....
 

BillN

Hall of Famer
Aug 25, 2010
123
S W France
Bill
non destructive editing, quick and effective management of workflow, integrity and easy organisation of images are important - add "in the same application"

it's not just "image manipulation" any more - we all take far too many images just to use a "photoshop" type program
 

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