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Why ALWAYS photoshop?

Discussion in 'AP Magazine Feedback & Suggestions' started by Shaun1970, May 25, 2011.

  1. Shaun1970

    Shaun1970 Well-Known Member

    I understand that photoshop is an excellent piece of software. Why on earth is it that every time there's a publication from one source or another that prints a paint package booklet special it's always got to be PS. I for one aren't going to spend hundreds of pounds on software that would have kept Dick Turpin's days of robbery very short. I'd have to sell both kidneys and a lung to be able to afford it. So why is it that AP etc. cant do one of their specials for something that's a lot more affordable like Paintshop pro x3 for example. I'm sure i'm not the only newbie to manipulation packages, so surely giving assistance for psp x3 would help people with more sense than money as well as sell more copies of magazines.
  2. mark_jacobs

    mark_jacobs Retired

    I am sorry Shaun, I cannot recall a AP special dedicated to Photoshop.

    I have sent you a PM. For the benefit of other members Photoshop is often used as a standard.

    One from which the methods explained can usually be applied to one or other more affordable (a moveable feast - dependent upon the purchasers needs/wants/desires/pay packet) packages.

    I have also previously stated, in similar threads, that unless you require CMYK output I can see no reason for the enthusiast to purchase Photoshop. However I may be corrected on that.

    I present, once again - an AP Award Winner - the GIMP.
    It is free and Photoshop tutorials can be applied to it.

  3. Mark

    Mark Well-Known Member

    This is one of those questions that gets asked time after time.

    'Photoshop' is a standard because it is used by so many photographers around the world. But that statement needs to be put into context. 'Photoshop' is a family of products. In some circles the word is even used as shorthand for any software that can be used for manipulating digital images, in the same way as vacuum cleaners are often called 'hoovers'.

    Perhaps an analogy will help clear up the confusion? If you were talking about buying a car, your thoughts may not immediately switch to the latest Porsche or Audi A8 etc. A quick visit to the Adobe website shows that the current Photoshop family comprises CS (in both standard and extended versions), Lightroom, Elements, Premiere®, and Express. Each member of the family has a different range of functions, and is intended for use by a different group of people. Just like cars, these can be sorted into 'utility', 'luxury', 'enthusiast' and 'professional' categories, each in a different price and functionality range. For example, I have the 'free' express version on my Android device (mainly because it seemed like a good idea at the time, although I probably will never use it). I have a five year old version of Elements on my PC (which handles 99.9% of my 'standard' photo editing (the latest version retails for around £70 in several shops), I have a similarly aged version of Lightroom to cover part of my working process, and I have a (more than ten year old) version of the top-of-the-range product which I bought for my work in the 90's. (There is no way that I could justify paying over £500 for the current version having 'retired' a few years ago.)

    As well as these products, there is a wide range of competing and often free products available. I have no doubt that there will be a lot of comments added later by people here who use them extensively.

    I hope this helps.
  4. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    I do use CS3... however I am unlikely to move on from there. I have invested a lot of time and effort learning the various versions of Photoshop since it first came out.

    I would not want to re-learn on another application, what I already "Know" in photoshop.

    If I needed to start from scratch, as an amateur, I would use Gimp. It is sufficiently the same to be able to do all the major things, but sufficiently different to require a new learning curve.

    A professional is unlikely to chose a "second best" any more than he would use, what he thought, was a second best camera or lens. It is a trusted tool of the trade that virtually every trained employee knows how to use. its cost is a business expense that can be both justified and amortised.
  5. I think that there is still a tendency to use CS5 as the "de facto" standard in many photographic magazines. Sorry Mark, as a subscriber of many years to AP I am under that impression that this still applies to AP too! (I know you will now give me chapter & verse as to how that attitude has changed, but that's the impression I have)

    It is a magnificent tool for the Professional but far, far too many features for most of us. Put it another way, I have a Nikon D700. Do I use it's feature set? Er .... no.
    Would I be happy with ownership of a D3000? Probably .... Not! Would my pictures be inferior? Of course not! It is largely in my mind. Expensive, loads of features, constructed like a tank = Must take the best pictures!

    Frankly I find all Adobe products difficult to use - the colors (dark grey on dark grey) the tiny controls, the general lack of clear guidance by shape and very poor labels. Paint Shop pro was far better!

    I now use elements - better results than PSP - a guarded yes, but still an absolute pain to use.

    Honestly, I think all magazines and reviewers should either use Gimp or Elements as the de facto standard.

    And on another topic .................... jpegs should be the basis for your judgements on cameras, not RAW. That would encourage manufacturers to improve what 90% of people use anyway.

    Magazine elitism again?

  6. Norman

    Norman Well-Known Member

    The way I look at it is this. If you shoot film and are happy to leave the processing and printing to a third party then there is no further expenditure required to produce your 'masterpieces'. If you want the control and pleasure of producing the final output yourself then there would be a requirement for developing and printing equipment. That equipment would likely cost in excess of what PS costs (I'm assuming you already have a computer and printer for other purposes).

    I started using PS at version 5 with an upgrade from PS Light (the predecessor of Elements) which was a 'freeby' with my first digital camera. Since then I periodically upgrade to the latest version of PS at a much more affordable price. You don't need to upgrade every version but, I believe, the version being upgraded must be no more than 2 versions old.
  7. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    I agree with much that you say, Paul; the current and previous versions of Elements, indeed right back to version 3 when Adobe included an Organiser, have become bloated software, and much more difficult to use; hence I still use Version 2, the last version before the Organiser was included. The look of the latest versions, with the dark grey background does not help, though I suppose it does look fashionable. The only thing I really miss in Elements is the fact that Actions are not included; Curves can be added with SmartCurves, downloaded from the internet for free.

    I have tried GIMP several times, but find it awkward; the next best, from my point of view, is Serif Photoplus which I occasionally use (version X2) - it is very Photoshop-like, includes a form of Actions, and is comparitively easy to use (my version cost £9.95 so was very good value).

    Whilst magazines seem to use RAW for many of their tutorials, I agree that, as most camera users only take pictures in JPEG, that should be that basis for most tutorials.

    Photoshop is a wonderful program (I have used version 7) but most photographers probably only use 5% of its capabilities, and I am sure most would be quite happy with a version of Elements.

    There is a problem with magazines nowadays, when reviewing equipment, to only review expensive stuff; this does not only apply to photography magazines; I used to subscribe to Country Walking, and 90% of what they reviewed was very expensive; does no-one cater for the average man-in-the-street anymore, or do Editors believe that consumers have money to throw around. Perhaps it is time they came back down to Earth?
  8. DeeJay

    DeeJay Well-Known Member

    I am new to photography as a whole but certainly not to the world of I.T. There will always be a multitude of software packages on the market at any one time trying to tempt you into buying.

    You just need to look at the features sets offered by all and then decide realistically what you will be using the software for. Then look at your budget and decide if there is a current package which suits your needs. I myself got Elements 9 for my Birthday last week and I really like it. I was offered Photo shop as an option, but once I had looked through the features I decided that Elements would suit my needs very well indeed.

    Anyway getting back to the issues raised in the OP. Keep in mind that most tutorials can be adapted for use on other products, you just need to learn the fundamentals as you do with anything. You may not have the advantage of a screen shot driven tutorial to guide you but you can still read and digest it then apply it to your own software package. The principles of image manipulation are the same no matter what software package you use.

    Back in the days of developing film in a dark room, it wasn't about the room but about the knowledge of what chemicals did what, you could then use that knowledge to manipulate and develop the negative to produce your chosen image.

    Whilst it can be frustrating to read articles purely related Photo shop, I always read them to understand what the principle is that is being taught. Then use that in my own package to acheive the desired effect.
  9. Fen

    Fen Well-Known Member

    Totally disagree. I don't know any photographers who I meet in 'real life' that use JPEG. Everyone uses RAW.

    Not going to repeat all the arguments that people state for using RAW though as we've been through them time and time again.
  10. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

  11. DeeJay

    DeeJay Well-Known Member

    I agree with Fen and would like to add that there is also a big difference between a beginner and an amateur.
  12. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Among hobby photographers the most serious tend to use RAW but nonetheless I do know that a sizeable number of members at both clubs I go to are JPEG users - so not quite everyone...

    I would also expect that a lot more casual users use JPEG compared to serious hobbyists. They may be missing out on getting the ultimate from their image but if they are happy with what JPEG gives them then fine - not everone wants exhibition quality prints.
  13. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Yes, but how many of this category read photo mags?

    AP does fairly frequent research on this sort of thing - type of software used, type of file used - and I'm sure that's used as a basis of what to include in articles.

    Personally, I use Photoshop on my mobile phone, and as Elements, Lightroom and the full-blown programme because it suits me - I've been using PS for many years, since version 4, I'm used to it and know how to do what I want to do with it. That in itself makes an occasional update worthwhile to me.
  14. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    You obviously move in very different circles to me, then.
  15. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    Certainly there is a very big difference between an amateur and an enthusiast.
  16. Fen, how can you make statements like that?

    I don't know a single photographer who does, so does that make my world view more valid?

    Some photographers use RAW, most don't, but then most photographers buy a compact camera or use a mobile phone. Even amongst my son's friends - most of whom have DSLRs and the new breed of Compact "Interchangeables" I don't know of one who does.

    In my case I earn a substantial part of my income from photography and see no reason to use RAW whatsoever as the jpg results are more than good enough for my market place.

    I try and take "oven ready" photos. I even resent the time I have to trim them and think to myself "why didn't I get the framing right first time".

    Basically I do three things - trim, sharpen, resize. I have been experimenting with "in camera" sharpening recently to see if I could remove stage 2.

    All I know is that my jpgs have paid me for all my recent photographic expenditure in under a year - my Darkroom years never did that!

    Modern cameras are brilliant - they expose correctly (auto focus is not quite 100% yet!) and produce excellent results with no "tweaking" - if you frame things correctly (working on that!) so why not use them to take "ready to use" photos rather than spending hours with an editor?

  17. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    I totally agree.
  18. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    And I totally and utterly disagree.
  19. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Perhaps casual users was not the most appropriate term in this case. By casual I was thinking more along the lines of those who use their cameras with some regularity but don't necessarily see photography as a prinicipal or even secondary hobby. Judging by the plethora of available titles I suspect there may be quite a few of these - either that or some serious 'togs are spending more time reading about photography than doing it...:D
  20. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Sorry, wrong post - it's Paul's earlier one I particularly disagree with. There are just parts of the last one I disagree with - clearly not the bits that refer to what suits him.

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