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  #26  
Old 07-07-2015, 03:58 PM
Jason D Jason D is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rastoff View Post
I got Photoshop Elements (PE) several years ago because it was inexpensive. I think I paid $60 for my first copy of PE those many years ago. I have upgraded it several times since then.

I also use another Adobe product called Lightroom. It has a completely different user interface and takes some time to get used to. However, they have some great tutorials on line for it. Each has their pros and cons.

I don't consider myself a "power" user of either one, but I can get some good shots with them. Here's an example:

This is a picture I took on my way to work one day. It's a dramatic sunrise. Unfortunately, there is a freeway right down the middle. Using PE I was able to underexpose the mountains on the bottom to the point where they turned almost completely black. It really made the sunrise stand out without making the picture look "photoshopped" in the process.

PE isn't as powerful as the full version of Photoshop, but it's still pretty powerful.

There is a program out there that is better than PE called GIMP. It's free and every bit as powerful as the full version of Photoshop. The drawback is it's not as user friendly. I used it to make this picture:


In this picture the road is integral so, I didn't want to edit it out. However, there were a few cars on the road. I used GIMP to remove them, but it took me a while to figure it out. One nice feature was the star effect on some of the glare spots. Notice that only a few of the bright shiny spots on the motorcycle have the star effect. I'm not sure I could have pulled that off in PE, but it wasn't too hard using GIMP.

Now, I haven't used GIMP in a few years so, I'm sure it's changed. Still, it's the cats meow if you really want to do some serious processing.
Wow would be an understatement.

I have tried GIMP.
It was like a 15 year old trying to undo a bra clasp.
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  #27  
Old 07-07-2015, 08:06 PM
Rastoff Rastoff is offline
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Thanks for the compliment.

Yeah, GIMP is free and powerful, but not intuitive or user friendly. I just downloaded the most recent version and tried to do some simple editing. It took me about 20 minutes just to learn how to make one tool work. That experience will transfer to the other tools, but it's still not intuitive.

Here is a before and after of the same image:

Before



After


This was edited in GIMP. It took about 20 minutes to do the full edit. Yes, the differences are subtle, but that's the point. I think the after image is far superior to the original.

The most obvious change is the overall contrast/color/brightness fix. I think the after is much clearer and easier to view.

There are a ton of more subtle changes. I fixed the scratch on the knife blade. Then there was a lot of small "debris" on the mat the gun is sitting on. Lots of little specks removed in that operation. A few specks on the gun itself were removed. Then there were a couple of hairs I didn't like, got rid of those.

Then I resized it to 1,000 pixels wide.

Most of these "flaws" are things most people won't notice. When viewed side by side, and having the flaws pointed out, it's much easier to see why post processing is important. Once a few things were figured out, the GIMP was actually easier to use to get the finished product and it looks much less "altered" than if PE was used. Still, it takes some work.

In the end, the original will stand on its own. Subject matter is more important than anything else. That is the one thing that really can't be changed much. Sure, things can be added and deleted, but if the original subject isn't good, any addition/subtraction will be marginal.

I don't know why I'm going through all this, no one asked. Meh, I guess I'm just a geek and like to play with photos. I hope this helps a little. I'm willing to help with PE or GIMP or Lightroom should any of you try these programs.
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  #28  
Old 07-08-2015, 04:02 PM
Jason D Jason D is offline
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That's at a whole new level that what I usually do.

I am good at subtracting small little bits and debris, and even adding and subtracting other things in the picture. I just suck at photo taking. I actually took a photography course once to learn. Though I did pick up some things, I lack at actually doing. So not all my shots start with a good quality base.
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  #29  
Old 07-08-2015, 11:19 PM
Rastoff Rastoff is offline
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Jason,
If you want to learn to take better pictures, check out this site: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech.htm
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  #30  
Old 07-09-2015, 07:56 PM
Jason D Jason D is offline
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Thanks
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