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View Full Version : which software to adjust photos



pencil2man
10-25-2005, 07:21 AM
Just bt the canon digital rebel xt. great camera.
now i need to adjust/improve the pictures. Thru various other programs, I currently seem to have the following software available to me:
HP Photo & Imaging Gallery 1.1 (came with scanner/printer)
NERO Photoshop express 1.0 (limited version)
Microsoft Photo Editor 3.1

A few questions first.. Is the resulting quality of the adjusted photo close to the same with all these or are there major differences?

Nero adjusted file size is nearly triple the original size.... why??

what is suggested to use for making a bad photo generally better. the hp seemed good except it did not have an auto contrast adjustment.

thanks
john

also, any suggested books on using teh rebel xp digital?
any suggestions for lenses beyond the original xx-55?

thanks

Balrog
10-25-2005, 10:17 AM
You could try out the GIMP (http://www.gimp.org/) ... it's not photoshop, but it's pretty darn good .. and it's free. :D

Adjusted photo quality is more dependent on what you do than the program itself. Mathematically, most basic image manipulation is a fairly straightforward procedure.. a Curves tool is a curves tool be it in photoshop, gimp, or what have you. The difference in the programs comes in how intuitively and well they can give you control over what you're doing to the image.

Adjusted file size depends on the compression used, and the format. Assuming input and output were both JPEGs, changing the quality level can give you hugely varying sizes. Photoshop's quality slider goes from 1 to 12 .. others use 1 to 100, etc. Saving for web usually around 8/12 or so is fine.

For making photos better - My basic procedure is as follows: Fix any balance issues by setting a gray / white point, use Curves for color and contrast, add a bit of UnSharp Mask to sharpen things up, crop, resize, and call it a day. [I use GIMP, btw]

Books - I really don't know..

Lenses - welcome to the world of DSLRs .. you could spends weeks reading about lenses, and your life's savings buying them :D. What kind of lens are you looking for? What's your budget? There's way too many options to suggest lenses without knowing your needs.

patrickt
10-25-2005, 11:56 AM
1. Spend time learning to get the best possible pictures out of the camera instead of spending hours on the computer. Unless, of course, you find working on the computer more fun than taking pictures.

2. If you want post-processing control, seriously consider shooting raw. I use Rawshooter Essentials for editing and converting raw files.

3. I don't use anything Adobe makes but that's just because they treated me badly once. Photoshop is an excellent program for graphic artists. Photo Elements might be better for photographers. I use Picture Window Pro but the photo editors are fine, too. It really boils down to which you prefer or perhaps learn first.

bonni
10-27-2005, 10:34 PM
I use a full version of Photoshop CS2, but I'm a digital artist and graphic designer, so I use it for more than just fiddling with photographs.

Adobe Elements is affordable and has a lot of cool things for editing photographs (a free copy came with my scanner, and I installed and played with a bit, pretty nice stuff).

There's also Paint Shop Pro, now owned by Corel. It has a lot of features that are good for editing photos, and it's quite affordable.

Ulead makes a number of high-quality editing packages that they sell for very good prices. Ulead PhotoImpact is a particularly good one for this.

I'm afraid I haven't used any of the ones you mentioned, which is why I suggested these, if you're willing or able to part with a bit of money (I don't recommend a full copy of Photoshop if you're only going to be editing photographs, by the way; the learning curve is steep and the price is even steeper!).

bonni

Zinfandel
10-29-2005, 12:02 PM
Google's free program, Picasa, is remarkably useful for both editing and managing photos and photo files.