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Digital imaging software - Which image editing program do you use?

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Pete Bargh
Posted 30/05/2002 - 12:35 Link
This is a poll to check out what image editing software you use so that when we cover digital techniques in the magazine they will be more relevant.
Posted 14/06/2002 - 19:08 Link
Photoshop for me
I love cameras ending in -tax
Posted 17/07/2002 - 09:43 Link
There was a temporary problem with our server, in which the dates got mixed up. The following messages on this thread had to be deleted.

colin brown: can anybody sugesst a simpler programme than adobe.

johnriley: We have tried simpler programs such as MGI Photosuite, plus Canon and Kodak picture software as supplied with cameras, but our opinion is that they are nowhere near as good as Photoshop.
There is an excellent book "Easy Photoshop 6" by Kate Binder which will guide you through the program with ease. (There is also a similar book for Photoshop 5).
Sometimes there really is only one proper answer.

Edited By admin on July 17 2002 at 10:03
Posted 24/02/2003 - 23:31 Link
If your scan or digital exposure is duff you NEED photoshop but if you get it right with a good digital camera then MS Photo Editor is ample !!
Posted 25/02/2003 - 22:18 Link
With respect, I would maintain that Photoshop is a very powerful tool, and almost any image can be optimised using it. The file straight out of a digital camera is only the beginning!
Best regards, John
Mark St J
Posted 08/07/2003 - 20:32 Link
colin brown: can anybody sugesst a simpler programme than adobe.

Personally I find there is a lot of snobbery surrounding Photoshop, when 99.9% of the programs resourses are not needed on a day to day basis.

Even with 1gig or ddr ram, a drive that spins so fast its a wonder it doesn't take off, and enough processing power to controll most of NASA and start my own cloning facility. By the time photoshop has loaded, I could've loaded Paintshop Pro, scanned in my image, edited it and hit the print button.

For the money they ask for this overpriced overdeveloped and overrated piece of software, I would say buy two other products and put the rest to a better scanner with better import software(for SLR works, for which I can highly recomend the top of the epson perfection range, which even does a pretty good job on med format, and it comes with silverfast) . Or some more mem cards if its digi your working with, so you can take more uncompressed shots (I keep a pouchfull and use them like films)....any compression being about the worst thing you could do to a photo. (IMO)

The only feature I find usefull in PS is its ability to change resoloution (dpi) better for transferring to the web;

But PSP has all the basic filters you need, layers, masks, histograms, a far better undo cache that doesn't swallow your ram up, thumbnail browsing, and had print preview, with sizing to match your output source and print multi pictures well before PS. (and an upgrade is only 50!!!). It's optimisation wizards are simple to understand (and see what it is you are doing to the file) and to be honest, when you are down to pixel level, cloning a dust spot out, PSP tend to work a little faster and doesn't slow down to a crawl while it has a think.

OKay so PS has some pretty nifty plugins and actions, but how often do you really need them?

I have been using PSP since it was Neopaint, and find it far simpler and quicker to use, and if you use it right, nearly every bit as powerfull.

And whilst I have always also had PS scince v4, I wouldn't actualy buy it (I wait till the upgrade is going cheap somewhere...then moan and buy it)
Posted 08/07/2003 - 20:59 Link
I think you're right in that it's a wise person who only buys what they need without being influenced by hype, on the other hand Sue and I do like Photoshop and it seems to work pretty fast for us. I guess a repro house would probably need Photshop and all it's facilities and wouldn't even blink at the price!

There's a product to match the needs of every worker - if I'd always got it right over the years I would have saved a small fortune.....
Best regards, John
Mark St J
Posted 08/07/2003 - 23:40 Link
johnriley wrote:

There's a product to match the needs of every worker - if I'd always got it right over the years I would have saved a small fortune.....

Isn't that the truth? You and me both.

Don't get me wrong, I do admit PS is good, (and probably not quite as slow as I made out <grin> ) But I also occaisonaly handle files as big as 500mb (artwork) and when the real number crunching comes down to it, PS is very resource hungry. Whereas PSP (due to its lighter features) copes with files like this, I can find PS hangs in the air especialy on a large conversion or filteration.

I just find that for the average user, PSP has what it takes to make good from bad, be creative and I have yet to find much I cannot do with it. For its cost, it is pretty powerfull in its own right. I also do web-graphics and again when I want a job done today, i do it with psp, rather than PS or Fireworks of which I have both. PSP is without a doubt one of the most essential pieces of software on my machine.

But going back to the hype, as you so rightly put it, what does annoy me is: when I find classes teaching groups who don't have the finacial resourses to invest in software like this (or the macromedia bundles...and they wonder why they have piracy problems???), They still insist on harping on about PS being the be all and end all. Or some member of a camera club who almost snubs his nose at the guy who doesn't run PS-25 and the latest nikon coolscan. As Pentax users we should all know how that feels.... for as good as we know they are, you often still find similar reactions from the other big 3 users.

Most of us would love to have the latest and the best, (but you can keep your canons etc., and give me my MX any day) but we have other bills to pay and wives to explain why to.... So if you want something light on the pocket which will do the job almost every bit as well as PS, get PSP 8

I can't afford half the lenses, filters and films I want, never mind 500+ for something, which is basically there to improve lousy photos. <grin>

If I had asked the guy who taught me, his opinion, he would've just told me:

'Well don't take such lousy photos in the first place'
Posted 09/07/2003 - 10:48 Link
I find that I need multiple programs, depending on what I am tackling. And, like many others, I cannot afford the full PS, as much as I'd like it.

Personally, I use Photoshop Elements 2 most of the time for photographic work. I had used PSLE, then PSE1, and am pleased with PSE2. Thankfully, my two machines each have 1Gb of RAM which helps a lot. For scanning I use the Nikon Coolscan IV with Vuescan ( ) which pumps out nice 60Mb files. For cleaning up old images, and removing grain, as well as removing digital noise from my digicam, I use NeatImage Pro ( ). They are all very reasonably priced tools that do a very good job.

My general PSE workflow uses: selection & crop, levels, curves, colour balance, and unsharp mask. The curves and colour balance tools are provided with the "Hidden Power of Photoshop Elements" book. Well worth the 21 for it (Link: and the book website: where there are some free plugins available)

A lot of the "missing" facilities of PS I can emulate with PSE2. In fact, I am building up a whole set of tutorials and links for working in PSE1&2. There are also a number of free plug ins for PSE. (Here's one: )

When I get a chance I'll put them on my web site, or send them to Peter for the magazine.

Whenever I have used PSP7 for levels, curves, etc I have found it much slower at the preview stage than PSE. Yet, I still have PSP there for other facilities.

I've also used Gimp on Suse Linux - which is free It's quite a challenge getting around it, but the results are fantastic. There's a Windows version too: is the place to start. (You'll need broadband though for downloading everything )

As with most things, it's a case of "suck-it-and-see" and trawelling the net for tutorials and plugins.

(Hope this helps someone out )

(For gallery, tips and links)

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