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SkyWriter
03-21-2008, 06:50 PM
Greetings!

Iím curious to find out what photo editing software folks who frequent this website have loaded in their PCs.
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I got Photo Shop (PS) Elements 2.0 when I got my first <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on">Olympus</st1:place> dSLR in late 2006. More recently I installed Paint Shop Pro (PSP) 7, and since then I stumbled across a free photo-editing application, Paint.NET (PN) v3.22, that Iíve downloaded and installed.
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Iíve experimented a bit with all three of the application mentioned above and confess Iím a novice with each of them. As most of you already know, these applications (PS, PSP and PN) have similar working environments, and similar photo editing tools, making me wonder how come folks consider this one to be better than that one and that one.
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So, who uses what, and what makes that better than the competition?
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And a follow-up question: What, in your opinion, is the best photo editing application available today?
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Thanks to all who respond!
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-<st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">leon</st1:place></st1:country-region>

4/3_Pickles
03-21-2008, 06:53 PM
Lightroom....

tried a bunch and deleted them, except for Master but it is just there for firmware use. I convert all to DNG and Lightroom is the workhorse here...

The follow up question is more of a loaded question. Very similar to what is the best camera. But if you hold a telephoto to my head, I got to go with Lightroom because if I didn't, I'm kind of a nut-job for having it on my PC...right?

Andreas
03-21-2008, 07:28 PM
Buying a MAC soon and I like the synergy of apps to OS to hardware.

The funny thing is I know thats got to be the worst reason. HAHA

Anyways with the price drop I think its a good solution...now i should go out and buy a DSLR

There...

Andreas

dh202
03-21-2008, 07:30 PM
I have PSP Photo x2 and Photoshop Elements 3.o. I am only now begining to learn both. Many people here on the forum use multiple programs to PP their images.Some use a certain program mostly for noise reduction, and another for sharpening, besides their main program, even though the main program has those features.
From what I gather some programs do certain chores more eficiently and better than others,and of course there is always the personal preferance and familiarity factor.
Like every other product, each has it's pros and cons and I think it boils down to using them and discovering for yourself which one you like.
David

SiB
03-21-2008, 07:40 PM
Photoshop CS2 for the big work.
ACDsee Pro 2 for the organization and quick and dirty work.

TomServoCA
03-21-2008, 07:44 PM
PSE 3.0
Photoshop 7.0
Lightroom
Oly Master 2.0 for camera/lens updates
Pinnacle Studio for video work

+ Noiseware and Noise Ninja as well as Focus Magic

All running on Win XP Pro

E B
03-21-2008, 07:48 PM
I use Olympus Studio for RAW development and some minor editing:

http://olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/oima_softwareStudio.asp

For serious editing I use Picture Window Pro:

http://www.dl-c.com/

For noise removal I use NoiseWare:

http://www.imagenomic.com/

For downsizing and sharpening for web posting I use PhotoCleaner:

http://www.photocleaner.com/

For high dynamic range images I use Photomatix:

http://www.hdrsoft.com/index.html

And for printing images I use Qimage:

http://www.ddisoftware.com/qimage/

bwenzel
03-21-2008, 08:37 PM
My main workhorse is Tiffen DFX (http://www.tiffen.com/products.html?tablename=dfx) (yes, the filter company) - As an amateur, I love it! Fast, intuitive, and does 99% of what I need with some kick a$$ masking! I also like that it shows me what Im about to do at the bottom of the screen so I have a quick preview and dont have to perform the action to see the results. Can do Raw but is limited. I think it can do video too but I have never tried. See picture of workflow and masking abilities here (http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2129/2347247646_6b5d12c568_o.jpg).

For the limited amount of Raw work I do, I use the newest Oly Master.

For straightening or cropping an image, I use Microsoft Digital Image Suite.

Noise reduction is usually Noiseware.

Cant stress enough how many hours Ive spent playing around with the Tiffen program. My wife hates it!

Jim Flinchbaugh
03-21-2008, 08:43 PM
here in novice land ,
Installed and used:

Elements V6 (still learning)

PhotoImpact V4.2

PhotoImpact XL

Olympus Master 2 (camaera updates)

Picasa 2

HP Photo Printing (easy print set up)

Not used

MS Paint, Dell Image expert, old version of Irfanview

Wow, lots of stuff for a greenhorn

Jim

Ravenwing
03-22-2008, 10:31 AM
Raw Development: SilkyPix. Also have Raw Therapee and Raw Shooter but don't really use them any more.

Editing: Paint Shop Pro VII (had X2 but hated it), Picture Window Pro (use it a lot), PS Elements V6 (don't use it much), Gimp2 (don't use it).

Noise reduction: Neat Image

Printing: QImage

Image Organization: IMatch (my efforts at organization are pretty pathetic)

Olympus Viewer for firmware updates.

Bill_Turner
03-22-2008, 10:51 AM
Leon,
Are you ready for this?
FastStone Image Viewer
FastStone Resizer
RawShooter essentials
RawShooter Premium
Lightroom
PSE3
Photoshop 7.01
Photoshop CS3
PSP X
Helicon Filter
PhotoCleaner
GIMP
Olympus Master
Olympus Viewer


What I actually use...
FastStone Image Viewer
Lightroom and/or RSP
Photoshop 7
FastStone Resizer.

travelfotografer
03-22-2008, 11:01 AM
Serious work:
Adobe Lightroom - for RAW conversion, workflow and most PP done here
Adobe Photoshop CS3 - for exotic edits not supported by LR

Quick n (not) Dirty:
FastStone Image Viewer

Photo Album:
Picasa

Under evaluation:
Capture One 4

For updating firmware and reference RAW conversion:
Olympus Master 2.xx
Olympus Studio 1.5.1

jtfrazer
03-22-2008, 07:45 PM
Hi,

The things I use a lot:

Lightroom
PSE 6
PaintShop Pro X2
Neat Image

I have CS2 but seldom need or use it.

evolt
03-22-2008, 08:33 PM
Lightroom - love it, especially for my indoor sports (volleyball, basketball) shots - these always need to be tweaked and lightroom makes it easy.

Photoshop Elements 6.0 for creating posters and photobooks.

250swb
03-23-2008, 01:53 AM
And a follow-up question: What, in your opinion, is the best photo editing application available today?


I use PS3, and PS3 is the best photo editing software available. I use Photomatix (new Pro 3 now excellent with Olympus ORF files) for complicated layering that takes an age in PS3 (the PS3 HDR merge feature isn't very good).

refiningman
03-23-2008, 06:59 AM
ACR4.4
CS3
Optipix 3.1
FocusMagic
Noiseware Pro
Photokit Sharpen

and some PS actions I wrote
Edge Burn
Polarizer
saturated diffused glow
Velvia
"image as" border
etc,...

Peter

OlyShutterBug
03-23-2008, 08:21 AM
I use Photoshop CS3 and Lightroom for the heavy lifting.
I also have Aperture but I hardly ever use it. There are some specific features Aperture has that I like--sometimes--but I wouldn't buy it again if I could do it all over. For photography workflow, I think Lightroom is better, a little more powerful, and slightly better featured. Aperture is a great application, but not when put against Lightroom. So pick your poison. May come down to what you can afford, and I think Aperture is now cheaper than Lightroom by a hundred bucks. Oh, and if you're running Windows, then forget all this. Aperture is Mac only. Sorry, I forgot about that.
My advice is to buy one of those big-two....Lightroom or Aperture. Those programs will enable you to do a lot with your photographs in terms of tweaking the look of the shot (exposure, colors, tones, levels, etc). Photoshop is best for fixing pictures (cloning, spot healing, painting, etc) and the ideal workflow (in my mind) includes both Lightroom (or Aperture) and Photoshop. One doesn't replace the other.
Hope this helps you :-)

ncartwright
03-23-2008, 10:35 AM
Bibble as a RAW converter, this is all I need for 95% of my images. I have tried Lightroom several times but I still hate it!

If any image needs further adjustment I have Paintshop Pro XI and Elements 6. Elements 6 is probably used more as Paintshop Pro does not run some plugins like Tiffen DFX that I use otherwise Paintshop Pro would be my preference.

In addition to the above I use an application called Dynamic-Photo HDR for HDR images.

Neil

Kenneth T. Lightcap
03-23-2008, 05:52 PM
I use
OLYMPUS MASTER 1 sometimes and OM 2 also, but I use
Photoshop Elements 4. Photoshop CS2 I use most of the time,but I'm still learning CS2 there is a lot you can do with that program. There is also a lot to learn.

srf4real
03-23-2008, 07:51 PM
I have used a combination of these for raw development and post-p, as well as file management...

Silkypix Studio
Lightroom
Photoshop CS3 Trial
Elements4
iPhoto
Bridge

Try running these all at once on a g4 mac mini!

After upgrading my Apple computer to a G5 power mac,
I downloaded the Aperture2 trial and ordered the code after twenty eight days of using it for all facets of my photography. It is currently the only app I have been using and I don't miss any of the others although Elements4 does have a few tricks I wouldn't want to go without.:wink:

OlyShutterBug
03-23-2008, 08:40 PM
In my humble opinion, you guys/gals who are using Photoshop LE or Elements, etc, may want to consider ditching it for something more powerful. I know Photoshop CS (CS3, or CS3) or Lightroom/Aperture aren't cheap, but you have to think of your software as another investment in your photography. Just like a lens. Photoshop gives you both RAW development, and a bunch of other useful tools for editing and optimizing your shots after you've edited your RAW image for color/tone, etc. So you kind of get a two-for-one with Photoshop. Or you can go with Lightroom or Aperture and "just" get super-duper-mondo RAW editing (it also gives you a healing tool, and sharpening/noise-reduction filters).
Good photography starts with your camera and lens. The cherry on top is post production. Your software can make the difference between an absolutely beautiful shot, and a shot that just looks nice. I can't tell you how many of my shots went from "nice" or even "not so good" to "beautiful!" thanks to the tools I use in post-production. For a great product, you should use great tools. Again, I know good software isn't cheap, but you can't think of it as secondary. It's just as important as your lens--in some cases, more so! If the cost of higher-tier software is a bit of a bite, then save up until you can afford it. It's that important.
By the way, I forgot to mention that I also use Olympus Studio 2 (not Olympus Master). Studio is a great program. Not too expensive either. Doesn't give me as much as Lightroom does, but it comes close. If your'e on a budget, I think Olympus Studio 2 may be the most affordable "good" application. A lot of bang for the buck.
:-)

OlyShutterBug
03-23-2008, 08:42 PM
Everybody has their thing. But I don't know how anyone can "hate" Lightroom. It's a brilliant application! But to each his own ;-)

ncartwright
03-24-2008, 03:30 AM
At the risk of starting a long debate, Lightroom is fine if your indoctrinated into the Adobe way of doing things. Although I have a lot of respect for Photoshop I do not use it as I do not like heavy manipulation of images (It's not that I have anything against manipulated images but it's not my thing). So although I have used Photoshop extensively in the past I have found other products give me the level of control that I need without the expense. As I am not used to using Adobe products on a regular basis and most of my editing is in RAW, I find that Lightroom is not the best or most intuitive RAW editor on the market in my opinion and as with programs like Elements, Adobe's approach to image management is very restrictive (you have to do it the Adobe way!) which does not suite me. I therefore use separate RAW editing and image management software until such a time that someone produces a combined package that works for me (I have great hopes for the long overdue Bibble 5 but this may still end up being a RAW developer only).

The concept of Lightroom is good as a combined image management and RAW editor in one package would make my life simpler, but in the case of Lightroom it simply does not work for me. Having tried to get on with on several occasions (as it is so commonly used it must be good!!!) it just does not work in my case.

I think the lesson here is that we all work in different ways and just because Adobe produce a top rate image editing package (Photoshop) it does not mean that it will suit every ones method of working and that everything they produce is naturally better than everything else.

I spent a good three months investigating different combinations of RAW processing, image editing and image management options before deciding upon the best combination for me personally, the fact that it is not Adobe does not mean that it produces inferior results. If I had to spend more to get the results I require I would, but at present I am happy with my choices. Sometimes it pays to look a bit further than the obvious choices, most of us have which is why we use Olympus equipment.

Neil

cifcap
03-24-2008, 05:51 AM
I use the following applications in order:

1. Studio 2

2. PSE 4

3. MS Paint

Studio 2 works faster for me when it comes to Olympus ORF than PSE 4. PSE has more than enough image enhancing firepower for me and since I don't do heavy image processing I see no need to have Photoshop or Paintshop Pro. It's nice to see plug-ins being made for PSE as well as it's big brother. MS Paint is used for simple file conversions. The quality and size are acceptable for web uses IMO. I'll be upgrading Studio 2 to take advantage of tethered shooting once I return.

Keep shooting,
JW

Rockin Ronnie
03-24-2008, 06:15 AM
The best photo editing program, IMHO, is the one or ones that work best for you and your work flow.

For me it is Capture One 4 for RAW editing and PSP X2 for final touches. PSP X2 is a powerful program that does most of what the more expensive programs do at a fraction of the cost. Capture One 4 is the program I received as part of a Sandisk CF deal and I have stuck with it; of course I also think that it is quite good.

I use Olympus Master 2 for downloads and occasionally for editing.

Ron

jaeae
03-24-2008, 06:36 AM
I've been using Master 2 and Paint.net.. used Gimp for a while but removed it after trying the latter. I shoot 90% jpegs and edit & keep the photos organised with Master 2. If I need more advanced sharpening or frames, I launch Paint.net (it can be launched and the photo under editing opened from Master 2 directly :nerd: )

shrinkpictures
03-24-2008, 03:46 PM
Ok, you asked for it!

RSE
RSP
the GIMP,
Raw Therapee
silkypix,
Lightroom,
PSE 5
Autopano pro
Hugin
noiseware - both community edition and standard edition
photomatix
Studio

I now only tend to use lightroom these days for most things as it is capable of doing what I need. There is a lot of stuff I no longer use (RSE, RSP -both excellent programs but no longer supported :( ) and the list of sometimes used, specialist purpose and evaluation software makes up rest.

Godfrey
03-24-2008, 04:59 PM
a) I have a large number of image processing applications installed on my system, but what I use 90% of the time is Lightroom and 10% of the time Photoshop CS2. That's it. The rest are there for one special reason or another, but I don't use them very much.

b) The question is like asking, "what's the best hammer?" There are dozens of different hammers in the world, all designed to be used for different things. "Best for what purpose" is a more sensible question.

Godfrey

Godfrey
03-24-2008, 05:09 PM
So Neil ... You went on and on as to how you didn't like the "adobe way of doing things", whatever that is, and justifying that Lightroom didn't suit you, etc etc ... But you didn't say what software you used.

I don't really care whether someone uses one thing or another. I use Lightroom and Photoshop, and it works fine for me. But as I said I have a dozen or more other image processing tools on my system beside them that I use for one special reason or another now and then.

What would be more interesting than "what software you use" is the question "What is your image processing workflow?"

It's the process, the procedure, the workflow of your production tasks that's most important, not specifically what tools you use to expedite them. What I see as I contract to help people 'fix' their broken photographic computer systems is that most aren't broken, they're just stymied by not having a clearly articulated design for the workflow ... they don't have a good map in their head to say 'I have this, I need to produce that, and these are the most efficient, logical steps to get from here to there.'

Godfrey


At the risk of starting a long debate, Lightroom is fine if your indoctrinated into the Adobe way of doing things. Although I have a lot of respect for Photoshop I do not use it as I do not like heavy manipulation of images (It's not that I have anything against manipulated images but it's not my thing). So although I have used Photoshop extensively in the past I have found other products give me the level of control that I need without the expense. As I am not used to using Adobe products on a regular basis and most of my editing is in RAW, I find that Lightroom is not the best or most intuitive RAW editor on the market in my opinion and as with programs like Elements, Adobe's approach to image management is very restrictive (you have to do it the Adobe way!) which does not suite me. I therefore use separate RAW editing and image management software until such a time that someone produces a combined package that works for me (I have great hopes for the long overdue Bibble 5 but this may still end up being a RAW developer only).

The concept of Lightroom is good as a combined image management and RAW editor in one package would make my life simpler, but in the case of Lightroom it simply does not work for me. Having tried to get on with on several occasions (as it is so commonly used it must be good!!!) it just does not work in my case.

I think the lesson here is that we all work in different ways and just because Adobe produce a top rate image editing package (Photoshop) it does not mean that it will suit every ones method of working and that everything they produce is naturally better than everything else.

I spent a good three months investigating different combinations of RAW processing, image editing and image management options before deciding upon the best combination for me personally, the fact that it is not Adobe does not mean that it produces inferior results. If I had to spend more to get the results I require I would, but at present I am happy with my choices. Sometimes it pays to look a bit further than the obvious choices, most of us have which is why we use Olympus equipment.

Neil

llpoolej
03-24-2008, 05:17 PM
My main application is CS3 as I do quite a bit of work with layers and actions. I have master, studio and viewer also on the computer. I also use breezebrowser and neat image

Ox Online
03-24-2008, 05:56 PM
I mainly use iPhoto and PSE3 for more detailed work, although I'm not huge on PP work if I can help it. For me the most enjoyable part of image making is capture and getting it right 'in camera'.

That said, Lightroom or Aperture and PSE6 are on my shopping list when I've paid off my recent purchases and repairs.

glenbarrington
03-24-2008, 06:02 PM
Like a lot of people, I have far more software than I need, installed on my PC.

Rignt now, I'm using Lightroom. I just love how it does my raw images. I'm also using an old copy of ACDSee V8 as my organizer. After printing, organizing is LR's greatest weakness. I have tried ACDSee Pro 2, and while I like it, it just can't compare to LR for raw. I also use ACDSee FotoSlate V4 for printing. Unlike Lightroom, it is always reliable as a print utility.

I have 2 editors right now. PSE5, and an old copy of ACDSee Editor v3. I find I use ACDSee Editor V3 about as much as PSE5 even though it is far more limited, it is just SO easy to use. . .

As I said, I have been playing with ACDSee Pro 2, but I have also been playing with the latest version of ACDSee Editor V4, Which just might replace PSE for me. Priced less than PSE, they have added layers (They call 'em objects) and ALL tools work in 16 bit mode and it works as well with Lightroom as does PSE.

Godfrey
03-24-2008, 06:18 PM
Rignt now, I'm using Lightroom. I just love how it does my raw images. I'm also using an old copy of ACDSee V8 as my organizer. After printing, organizing is LR's greatest weakness. I have tried ACDSee Pro 2, and while I like it, it just can't compare to LR for raw. I also use ACDSee FotoSlate V4 for printing. Unlike Lightroom, it is always reliable as a print utility. ...

That's a very curious statement.

I use Lightroom for its excellent organizational tools and the incredible ease with which it pumps out print after print, perfectly. So printing and organizational tools are top notch in my perception and the worst part of Lightroom in yours.

I wonder if you can articulate what Lightroom does wrong in these things? I'm interested from the point of view of helping others use Lightroom ...

Godfrey

4/3_Pickles
03-24-2008, 06:21 PM
I don't have an issue with Lightroom's ability to print or organize images. Their slide show module needs work though.

Godfrey
03-24-2008, 10:39 PM
I don't have an issue with Lightroom's ability to print or organize images. Their slide show module needs work though.

I don't use the slide show module for anything but reviewing my own work to myself. When I want to present a slide show, I use Apple's Keynote application ... it is absolutely terrific for presenting a slide show.

I wish they'd offer some more HTML format options in the Web module, however. I would find it very useful if I had a little more control over it and the ability for it to output embeddable HTML.

Pontiac005
03-25-2008, 04:54 AM
Master 2
PSP X2
Noiseware Pro
ACDSEE 10
Infraview

Jonathan McGee
03-25-2008, 06:17 AM
Currently I use Photoshop CS3. Bought it from the School Store on the cheap. (Technically, it was Design Suite CS3. I use Illustrator for the vector art in my thesis.) It's much more software than I need at this point in time. I tend to stick to its RAW development abilities and sharpening tools.

Prior to CS3, I used Raw Therapee for RAW conversion and Paint.NET for simple image manipulation. They were both free, so that makes them convenient. There's also Master, but it sticks around only for firmware updates. (Prior to Illustrator, I used InkScape, also free, for my thesis vector artwork. Lack of CMYK kinda got to me.)

ncartwright
03-25-2008, 10:21 AM
I don't really care whether someone uses one thing or another. I use Lightroom and Photoshop, and it works fine for me. But as I said I have a dozen or more other image processing tools on my system beside them that I use for one special reason or another now and then.

What would be more interesting than "what software you use" is the question "What is your image processing workflow?"

It's the process, the procedure, the workflow of your production tasks that's most important, not specifically what tools you use to expedite them. What I see as I contract to help people 'fix' their broken photographic computer systems is that most aren't broken, they're just stymied by not having a clearly articulated design for the workflow ... they don't have a good map in their head to say 'I have this, I need to produce that, and these are the most efficient, logical steps to get from here to there.'

Godfrey
Godfrey,

The post of mine you quoted was a response to an earlier couple of quotes one directed at the fact that I had mentioned that I had tried Lightroom and hated it and the other alluding to the fact that if you used anything other than Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture you would not be getting the best out of your images.

I totally agree with you that it is not important what software you use, which was part of the point I was trying to make, although perhaps badly. There are many competent software packages out there and the trick is to find ones that suite your work flow which is what I spent three months investigating for myself. My personal work flow is based loosely on the book T"he DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers by Krogh" which I would recommend as a read.

I think you are correct when you say it would be more interesting to ask the question "What is your image processing work flow?" as long as you also ask why. The danger is we all get tied up in software and how other people work and do not concentrate on how we work best. This is the reason I do not use Lightroom, not because it is not a good package but because it does not work for me and there are equally competent packages out there that in my case do.

Neil

Godfrey
03-25-2008, 10:32 AM
... alluding to the fact that if you used anything other than Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture you would not be getting the best out of your images.

It's a silly attitude, I didn't see that particular assertion. ;-)


... My personal work flow is based loosely on the book T"he DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers by Krogh" which I would recommend as a read.

Yes indeed. Mine is based on principles that Peter has formalized/articulated there, and on my experience working on this stuff for several years. I continue to innovate and adapt my workflow as my production needs develop.

What I'd be interested to know is why Lightroom didn't work for you.. What about its workflow model was difficult or inefficient in your opinion?


I think you are correct when you say it would be more interesting to ask the question "What is your image processing work flow?" as long as you also ask why. ...

Certainly ... The "what" here is wholly dependent upon the "why", an articulation of both is essential to understanding.

So why is Lightroom a poor fit for your work? :-)

Godfrey

SkyWriter
03-25-2008, 04:52 PM
Thank you, one and all. I had no idea that so many would provide such in depth and thoughtful responses. In the future Iíll try to remember who uses which application(s) during post processing when I look at your photos.
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I was pleasantly surprised to read that a couple of you (rather impressive photographers) use FastStone Image Viewer. I discovered this application quite by accident a couple years ago, and in a few hours I was able to post process photo-files far more impressively than I could with PSE-2, PSP-7 and PN after months of struggling.
<o:p></o:p>
It was so easy, but in the past couple months I have come to realize that these less intuitive applications are quite a bit more versatile and can produce even more impressive images; it just takes a different way of thinking to make it so.
<o:p></o:p>
Itíll be a while before I make a major investment in PP software. There are a couple lenses I want to get first. In the meantime Iíve still got a lot to learn about PSP-7, which of the aforementioned applications Iím beginning to like most. I noticed several of you use PSP-9 and PSP Photo x2. Off hand what are the major differences between them and the older PSP-7?
<o:p></o:p>
Cheers!
<o:p></o:p>
-<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">leon</st1:place></st1:country-region>

cyrtolite
03-26-2008, 12:08 PM
I use a Mac for my photography work (PCs for my day job).

I've been using Lightroom for the DAM portions of my RAW workflow and for much of my post-processing.

Lately, I've been using Aperture & trying to learn its nuances. In some ways and for some images, Aperture produces results I like more quickly and easily than Lightroom does. I'm still undecided as to which I like better overall, although Lightroom seems a lot easier to use for DAM tasks.

I use LightZone a lot for taking images beyond what I can do in Aperture or Lightroom. LightZone enables me to apply different post-processing to different parts of an image so it comes in handy for many of my images.

I keep a copy of Oly Studio on hand for firmware updates and in the hope that some future update will make the program useable for me as a post-processing tool.

I occasionally use Photomatix for HDR image processing.

Rarely, I use Helicon Focus for increasing DoF but I don't like the process and I've not been impressed with the results in the photomicrographs on which I have used it. I don't think it works well in that particular application.

I have PS CS3 but I seldom use it.

I think that's about it.

ncartwright
03-26-2008, 02:01 PM
So why is Lightroom a poor fit for your work? :-)

Godfrey

Hi Godfrey,

That's a good question and one that I am trying to totally figure out for myself as the concept of Lightroom is very appealing and I feel that it should work for me but after four separate occasions trying it out, I still can't get it to work.

I think there are two issues one with asset management and one when using it as a RAW converter.

Tackling the RAW convert side first, although I see nothing fundamentally wrong with Lightroom my personal experience is that Bibble which I have been using as my primary RAW converter for years gives me better results and offers me a more powerful editing solution, especially when combined with some of the plugins for it. This may be a bit unfair on Lightroom as I am used to using Bibble and know it well, a Bibble novice would probably have to struggle with the interface to get the best from it in its present form (looking forward to an improved interface with version 5). As I personally get better results with Bibble, I would therefore not be inclined to spend the extra money for Lightroom based upon RAW editing performance alone.

Looking at the asset management side of things is a bit more difficult to explain. I have experience similar problems with the browser part of Elements and I know other people have, hence my comment "about the Adobe way of doing things". I think the main issue is around a restricted work flow imposed in both Lightroom and Elements, I have found that this initially appears to roughly align with the way I work, however I then start to hit some issues such as being unable to name files the way I wish upon downloading and restrictive renaming of batch files as an example. I could go on with a list more issues but for the sake of keeping thing as brief as possible I think I am used to having more flexibility from my current image management software (ACDSee Pro 2) which allows me to subtly tune things to how I work as opposed to the 90% right situation I find myself in with Lightroom. If I had not developed my own system prior to Lightroom (or Elements) this would probably not be a problem, but that said I have not experienced difficulties using programs such as IMatch which fitted perfectly into my workflow. I think many of the issues are minor ones around flexibility but add up to what over time becomes a frustrating experience which I can not seem to get over.

In addition I find that occasionally I need to work with the images at folder level, normally to tidy things up when I haven't got it right such as too many files in a top level folder to archive to DVD or have been lazy. Lightroom appears to be set up not to allow images and folders to be moved within the program and does not like it if they are moved outside the program which causes me some frustration.

I think what I am looking for is a flexible solution which allows me to work way that is subtly tuned to my particular quirks, the combination of Bibble with ACDSee or other image management packages have allowed me to achieve this, but with Lightroom I do not seem to be able to get there. This is a shame as I really like the concept and would love to be able to work with one package eventually keeping most of my workflow with RAW images only.

Perhaps I am missing something that I may one day discover with perseverance.

Neil

Godfrey
03-26-2008, 03:02 PM
That's a good question ...

I think there are two issues one with asset management and one when using it as a RAW converter.

Tackling the RAW convert side first, although I see nothing fundamentally wrong with Lightroom my personal experience is that Bibble which I have been using as my primary RAW converter for years gives me better results and offers me a more powerful editing solution, especially when combined with some of the plugins for it. This may be a bit unfair on Lightroom as I am used to using Bibble and know it well, a Bibble novice would probably have to struggle with the interface to get the best from it in its present form (looking forward to an improved interface with version 5). As I personally get better results with Bibble, I would therefore not be inclined to spend the extra money for Lightroom based upon RAW editing performance alone.

They're different RAW processors and editing environments with different controls and workflow. I think your experience with Bibble gets in the way of your motivation to learn how to make Lightroom work the way you need it to.

Nothing unusual with that ... when I was evaluating RAW processors, I dedicated two weeks time to learning each one of the applications, using it alone for that period of time, and then evaluated what I liked best. I managed to get through five of them (two dropped out in three days each because I just could not stand using them). That's not enough time to be "expert" in their use, IMO, but In the end I found I could get end result output that looked identical from each of the three that I went throught the whole test with, consuming about the same amount of time and effort.

That's been my experience with it. I was a little fumble fingered in each of them at first, but after a week or so using them each I felt I was proficient enough to understand the model.


Looking at the asset management side of things ...

I see three items which you had problems with (I know nothing about Photoshop Elements browser/album thing ... this is Lightroom):

- restrictions on import file naming
- constraints on batch renaming
- direct file system manipulation

I haven't had any problems with import file naming or batch file renaming but then I don't do too much of this kind of stuff. It seems to handle naming manipulations very flexibly for me.

Regards file system manipulation, you didn't go deep enough. In the Library's folder panel, you can move things around any way you want ... you're moving them on disk exactly as you move them around the folders. If you want to move things in the file system outside of Lightroom, you do and then when you start up Lightroom it tells you that it can't find things that have moved. Then you tell it where the files have moved to. It resets all the paths once you do that.

Lightroom's design suggests a model workflow through the image management and global editing that is good for the ninetieth percentile person working with it casually without much fuss. I've built my own workflow, disk organization, and policies for expediting work based on what it does by default added with what I know about how it works. My workflow and organization, prior to adopting it, came out to be pretty similar to its defaults, and I've refined/tuned things as I accommodate and learn more of what it does, and why.

Every time I go through one of the video tutorials online (or offline with the Luminous-Landscape set), I pick up a few more things. Same for when I browse through one of the reference books now available. I'm a bit amazed at how much stuff it can actually do. There are a couple of holes where it needs some development still, but I haven't found it to lock me into one particular way of working. I use it flexibly in combination with Bridge and Photoshop CS2 for managing things that it is not designed to handle.

I've been working with a couple of clients, learning how they approach their workflow, and often times I see a very successful idea stymied due to insufficient information about the tools that are being used. It's hard ... the tools are very complex and deep these days. That's one of the areas I've been able to help as I have a very good understanding of how the tools do their thing and can frequently modify someone's procedure just the tiniest bit and it all comes together and works well.

But now I best get on with my own editing and processing work ... I have a deadline! :-)

best,
Godfrey

glenbarrington
03-26-2008, 06:32 PM
That's a very curious statement.

I wonder if you can articulate what Lightroom does wrong in these things? I'm interested from the point of view of helping others use Lightroom ...



My biggest beef is the printing. I have tried everything, gone to the lightroom user to user forum and followed ALL the suggestions. and the simple truth is for me, Lightroom prints in a totally inconsistent manner. It's always too magenta, but the amount is never the same. Other programs, give me dead on accurate prints. so I know it isn't me.

As an organizer, LR isn't BAD, as such. It's just that it isn't as good as ACDSee. ACDSee allows a great deal of freedom in how we do things. But LR has a more limited set of options.

Future Assassin
03-26-2008, 06:55 PM
I shoot 99% in RAW and use the following

Olympus Viewer for adjusting the RAW file a little and then PS7 for final touch ups.

I just bought PSP PX2 and will be giving it a test run and hopefully liking it as I have no intentions anymore to spend more money on one piece of software then I spent on my camera.

Godfrey
03-26-2008, 07:01 PM
My biggest beef is the printing. I have tried everything, gone to the lightroom user to user forum and followed ALL the suggestions. and the simple truth is for me, Lightroom prints in a totally inconsistent manner. It's always too magenta, but the amount is never the same. Other programs, give me dead on accurate prints. so I know it isn't me.

Which organizer you like more is a personal preference.

But regards printing, that's something for which there should be a technical explanation and solution.

- What OS are you working on?
- Is your monitor calibrated? How?
- What printer are you using?
- Are you printing with printer managed color adjustment or via a managed color print workflow?

I run on Mac OS X, use an Eye One Display 2 colorimeter to calibrate my monitor to 130 luminance, 1.8 gamma, and 5500K white point. I use Epson Enhanced Matte and Epson Velvet Fine Art papers with an R2400 and standard inks, using the Matte Black ink option. I use a profiled print workflow using the Epson supplied ICC profiles for those papers.

I've made about 1500 prints with Lightroom in the past year. They're bang on the money for me, they match the screen perfectly. The only time I have to make an adjustment and reprint is if I choose to use a different color mat rather than my standard white.

If you're doing the same thing I am, I'm very curious as to why it would be off and/or vary so much. Lightroom is the best application I've found yet to make 100% consistent prints with.

Godfrey

ncartwright
03-28-2008, 11:45 AM
Hi Godfrey,

Thanks for the advice. I have been thinking about giving Lightroom a final go once Bibble 5 has been released and then to make a final decision on what works best for me. I think it will take a bit of persevering to get used to Lightroom but if Bibble still remains a RAW converter only, it may be worth making a few compromises and seeing if I can get used to the way it works. As I have already said I like the idea of being able to use one application to do my image management and RAW editing and the ability to keep things as RAW files for as long as possible.

Regards

Neil

Godfrey
03-28-2008, 01:59 PM
I have been thinking about giving Lightroom a final go once Bibble 5 has been released and then to make a final decision on what works best for me. I think it will take a bit of persevering to get used to Lightroom but if Bibble still remains a RAW converter only, it may be worth making a few compromises and seeing if I can get used to the way it works. As I have already said I like the idea of being able to use one application to do my image management and RAW editing and the ability to keep things as RAW files for as long as possible.

Glad to help. If you decide to give LR another go, I strongly recommend that you work your way through one of the tutorial video sets. Michael Tapes' videos at
http://www.whibalhost.com/_Tutorials/Photoshop_LR/01/index.html
do a pretty good job of getting you started in the right mindset, and there are a ton of others at Adobe, Luminous Landscape, etc. The Lightroom working model, like the Aperture working model, is quite different from what people are used to when using separate, independent applications to handle management, RAW processing, then RGB processing, then back to management, etc. It takes some time to get it into your head. ;-)

With LR, I find that often the ONLY time I ever push pixels in an RGB channel file is when I export a JPEG or TIFF for web or client consumption. It saves a of disk space and ensures I'm always working with the greatest amount of data.

enjoy
Godfrey

Malakor
03-30-2008, 01:10 AM
Think I've tried most of them in one shape or form, but presently have settled on:

Faststone
Breeze Browser
Picasa
Photoshop CS3 Lite + plug-ins
Bibble
Oly Master


Such a shame I can't get everything all under one roof. I will look forward to the day when one app can handle it all.

lkeeney
03-30-2008, 01:20 AM
Lightroom for RAW library, conversion, crop, rotate, WB, and exposure.

Photoshop CS3 for everything else except for printing.

Qimage for all my photo printing.

Lawrence

Jacob vP
04-04-2008, 12:50 PM
Hello!

I use:

gThumb - for viewing and sorting photos
UFRaw OR RawTherapee - for orf-conversions
GIMP - for editing images
Phatch OR ImageMagick - for various batch processings
Hugin - for panoramas
Qtpfsgui - for HDR

well, thats about it.
/Jacob vP

Don Baldwinson
04-05-2008, 01:56 AM
Hi Godfrey,

I think it will take a bit of persevering to get used to Lightroom but if Bibble still remains a RAW converter only, it may be worth making a few compromises and seeing if I can get used to the way it works.

Regards

Neil
I don't understand Neil, Bibble 4 works on my JPG's exactly the same as on ORF files.
Cheers,
Don

ncartwright
04-05-2008, 02:56 AM
I don't understand Neil, Bibble 4 works on my JPG's exactly the same as on ORF files.
Cheers,
Don

Hi Don,

Its the ability to manage my images and work on them in one package that I am looking for. Bibble is a great RAW converter that I really like and as you have said works with JPG's to, but its not really any use for image management. We may see this in Bibble 5 who knows, but at present Lightroom is the only package that works reasonably well as a combined RAW converter and image manager making it a strong candidate if I can get used to it. ACDSee will also do the job but its RAW conversion and support needs some work!

Neil