Why do people spend money on photoshop?

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ewen_r

Link Posted 10/07/2008 - 12:41
One thing has bothered me a great deal since getting interested in digital photography.. and that is

"Why do people spend money on photoshop?"

I am by no means an expert on digital image manipulation (I do very little) but when I do, I use GIMP which is freeware and for most intents and purposes seems to do everything that photoshop can do. I think it has one possible limitation, in that it is not yet 16-bits/channel but I hear even that is coming soon.

Perhaps my question can be expanded further... Why do so many magazines and online articles/tutorials also refer to Photoshop? Maybe there is some kind of self-fulfilling prophecy here. ie we buy photoshop because that's what we hear about so often.. and we hear about photoshop so much because that's what everyone has bought.

Anyway, I'd love to hear your opinions. If you absolutely have to have photoshop, please tell me why..
If, like me, you are getting by with GIMP then let's hear it too.
Maybe you've bought photoshop and are still wondering why you paid money for something you could have done with freeware?

ewen

Father Ted

Link Posted 10/07/2008 - 13:10
I've started using GIMP, but I have a copy of Paintshop Pro 9 and I find the layers in that easier to use. But that might be lack of practice with GIMP.
Getting there! Thanks to you guys

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amoringello

Link Posted 10/07/2008 - 13:28
Dunno about later releases, but last time used the Gimp, it was slow and unstable. It lacked some of the features I 'thought" I needed in photoshop at the time and tutorials were geared towards photoshop and generally near unavailable for other products.

At the time, I also got PS for less than half the going price, so it fell reasonably within the price point of other products for the features it had at the time.

Now, I suppose Gimp is much faster and more stable and even more capable. There is also a lot more online documentation and tutorials for things like PaintShop Pro and Gimp.

PaintShop Pro, as of PSP X, was still horribly slow and color management was a complete disaster. Although it had some REALLY nice features that made workflow for certain actions many times quicker than the manual steps required by Photoshop. (de-skewing an image for example).

I will probably not upgrade PhotoShop next time around. Their concern lately seems to be to let PhotoShop stagnate and instead add new products to bring in more cash from the ultra rich.
The new features are often buggy, slow and sometimes even none-too useful compared to similar features in other products -- which if I added them together probably wouldn't cost half the price of CS3.
e.g. resizing, noise cancellation, photomerge (complete joke of a feature), extraction tool filter, etc...

Unlocker

Link Posted 10/07/2008 - 13:31
Strangely enough, we got Photoshop recently and have yet to use it!

Slightly different reasons though, we used Macromedia Studio MX yonks ago on the PC, moved to MAC, and the upgrade to our existing software couldn't be done through Macromedia anymore as they merged / were bought out by Adobe, so we cross platform upgraded via Adobe to Creative Suite Web Premium CS3.3.

This upgrade, for roughly the same price we paid last time, gives us all the updates to our existing software but also includes Photoshop CS3 Extended, and Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro for free, along with others such as Bridge, Contribute etc.

Our plans for the future include designing new websites around our photography, possibly a blog, possibly a new business etc. etc. so the upgrade was a no brainer to go with the new Mac. Strange thing is, 6 weeks later, still haven't used Photoshop. The web software isn't my strong point, so Fiona gets the most use out of that, but I have been quite happy with Aperture so far, for what I need to do. It will get used for some shots at a wedding we are shooting soon, but apart from that, haven't had any use for it yet.

Unlike most people who have paid well for it, our legal copy is, to us at least, effectively a freebie. Personally, still being a newbie to photography, my priorities have been learning how to use the camera, and doing it well enough in the first place to not need much PP, that which needs doing, Aperture does enough for me at the moment.

Guess what I am trying to say is that Aperture is a photographers application, whilst Photoshop belongs to the image manipulators. I'm more into the photos at the moment so I don't need it, yet. I know as I get more advanced, I will probably use Photoshop a lot, so the only reason at the moment that we have the latest, upto date version is that it was free!

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MattMatic

Link Posted 10/07/2008 - 13:58
It depends what you use it for.... (as ever).

For pure photography, Photoshop Elements is hard to beat. I find the Adobe way of handling filters and layers much faster than any other package. However, I have nothing against Gimp, Paint Shop Pro, or anything else that gets the job done.

However, Photoshop CS2 is invaluable to me for the following reasons:
* Pen tool with clipping paths (can't live without this one)
* Decent colour management engine for soft-proofing and conversion
* 16-bit image support
* Layers (I know there are plugins with PSE). CS2 has layer groups too. Essential for the way I work (with at least a dozen layers at a time)
* Actions (ie macros). I use several third party actions in my workflow, and that saves a lot of time.
* Integration with Illustrator

I could add this list of items that I know are in many other packages, but are still essential:
* Curves
* Blend modes (especially for luminosity & hue)
* Keyboard links to tools (I work with a Wacom + keyboard simultaneously)
* Industry standard plugins (though most other tools can support them too).

As I mentioned, it's the speed of filter & layer previews that I haven't found elsewhere. Most packages seem to apply the filter to the whole image as you adjust. It looks like Photoshop only does this to the current view, in the current zoom setting - so it's almost instant.

Although I have nothing against other packages, it'd be a tough thing for me to switch! Photoshop CS2 is second nature to me - I hardly have to think about it.

If more were closer to here it might be interesting to do a Photoshop tutorial session... but I'd need some funding and time!
Matt
http://www.mattmatic.co.uk
(For gallery, tips and links)

Unlocker

Link Posted 10/07/2008 - 14:16
MattMatic wrote:
If more were closer to here it might be interesting to do a Photoshop tutorial session... but I'd need some funding and time!
Matt

How's about we all come down the south coast, take some pictures, you can play with our new shiny toys, you show us the basics with photoshop, we buy you fish and chips with a beer or two?

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Clarky

Link Posted 10/07/2008 - 14:17
MattMatic wrote:
It depends what you use it for.... (as ever).

For pure photography, Photoshop Elements is hard to beat. I find the Adobe way of handling filters and layers much faster than any other package. However, I have nothing against Gimp, Paint Shop Pro, or anything else that gets the job done.

However, Photoshop CS2 is invaluable to me for the following reasons:
* Pen tool with clipping paths (can't live without this one)
* Decent colour management engine for soft-proofing and conversion
* 16-bit image support
* Layers (I know there are plugins with PSE). CS2 has layer groups too. Essential for the way I work (with at least a dozen layers at a time)
* Actions (ie macros). I use several third party actions in my workflow, and that saves a lot of time.
* Integration with Illustrator

I could add this list of items that I know are in many other packages, but are still essential:
* Curves
* Blend modes (especially for luminosity & hue)
* Keyboard links to tools (I work with a Wacom + keyboard simultaneously)
* Industry standard plugins (though most other tools can support them too).

As I mentioned, it's the speed of filter & layer previews that I haven't found elsewhere. Most packages seem to apply the filter to the whole image as you adjust. It looks like Photoshop only does this to the current view, in the current zoom setting - so it's almost instant.

Although I have nothing against other packages, it'd be a tough thing for me to switch! Photoshop CS2 is second nature to me - I hardly have to think about it.

If more were closer to here it might be interesting to do a Photoshop tutorial session... but I'd need some funding and time!
Matt

You make it sound alllll so easy Matt
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Gwyn

Link Posted 10/07/2008 - 14:24
I use PSE 6 for everything - so also for RAW conversion. OK the RAW converter isn't brilliant but it is heaps better than it was in PSE 4, as is the whole package.
Why do I use PSE? I was given PSE4 as a present. It did nearly everything I wanted it to do, and PSE6 is very near perfect for me. I don't need the full PS package. I'd never use most of the features, and I 'd rather spend the dosh on camera equipment to be honest (which is also why I use PSE for RAW conversions too - can't really justify forking out more cash on a separate program at this point). My friend, a graphic designer, uses CS3 at home for fun, but rarely for photos. She likes "painting" with it.

I've never tried Gimp or Photofiltre os any of the other freeware options, since I was given PSE within a month or so of going digital. Another friend swears by Photofiltre and gets really good results from it together with her little Canon P&S and heaps of natural talent.

sledge

Link Posted 10/07/2008 - 14:32
i use cs3 and before that cs2. from what i know these are exspensive programs which i currently get free so to me it's easier to get a well know program rather that a program i have never heard of. if any one would like a copy let me know.

cheers

MattMatic

Link Posted 10/07/2008 - 15:03
Quote:
if any one would like a copy let me know.

How about Adobe for a start?? Or FAST (Federation Against Software Theft)?
They'd like one from you

Sounds to me like you have an illegal copy, not a "free" one

Do not use this forum for sharing illegal software

Going back on thread
As I mentioned, PSE is a fine, fine program and suitable for most photographic needs... and some. I'm generally happy to work with PSE, but not all my work is 100% photographic... and that's where PS-CS2 comes in

Unlocker: that might be possible...

Matt
http://www.mattmatic.co.uk
(For gallery, tips and links)

ChrisA

Link Posted 10/07/2008 - 15:06
Unlocker wrote:
you show us the basics with photoshop, we buy you fish and chips with a beer or two?

He's already published a great deal more than the basics for free on his web site.

MattMatic

Link Posted 10/07/2008 - 15:20
Quote:
He's already published a great deal more than the basics for free on his web site.

Oh there's more... much more

I have no problems doing such a thing - it's partly the logistics (need a room with power for lappy + LCD), and partly needing something to tempt me into finding the time and doing it! LOL!

Matt
http://www.mattmatic.co.uk
(For gallery, tips and links)

Unlocker

Link Posted 10/07/2008 - 15:25
ChrisA wrote:
Unlocker wrote:
you show us the basics with photoshop, we buy you fish and chips with a beer or two?

He's already published a great deal more than the basics for free on his web site.

Best make that 3 or 4 beers then!

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Don

Link Posted 10/07/2008 - 15:42
just add a little note:
I've stated many times elements is best for most.
on the 16 bit issue:
you don't really need that either.
If you use Aperture/Lightroom or a good raw converter....
And you do your color/exposure/adjustments etc BEFORE sending the images to photoshop.... then print it....

8bits looks just fine..when you start with 8 GOOD bits, is what I'm saying.
Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.

ChrisA

Link Posted 10/07/2008 - 15:50
MattMatic wrote:
Quote:
He's already published a great deal more than the basics for free on his web site.

Oh there's more... much more

Don't I know it.

However, I wouldn't dream of placing a burden on your time until I've mastered the things you've published already...

... any more than I'd fail to read the manual before prevailing upon the good people here for camera help.
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