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64Photoboy
Currently Being Moderated

Retired and into Photography

Apr 17, 2013 12:00 PM

There needs to be better information directed to non-Pros.

 

I am very interested in photoshop; but which version??

 

There are so many different versions to select from.

 

I will likely purchase an older version of CS5, but am not sure THAT is what I need??

 

I have spent hours vewing on-line tutorials in order to learn as much as possible; and still do not know what I need.

 

Seems today is all about "Making" photos rather than "Taking" good photos.

 

Any thoughts??

 

64Photoboy

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2013 1:24 PM   in reply to 64Photoboy

    What is it you actually want to do, and what is your budget? what equipment do you have?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2013 2:19 PM   in reply to 64Photoboy

    I would start here: http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshopfamily/buying-guide-version-com parison.html

     

    That chart will let you compare Photoshop CS 6, with Photoshop Elements 11, and Lightroom 4.

     

    There is much overlap in the programs' capabilities, so you might encounter specific questions. Do not hesitate to ask them here, or in either the Photoshop Elements Forum, or the Lightroom Forum. Users will be able to help you regarding specific questions.

     

    Were I just starting out in the world of photography, and digital Image manipulation, I would look to either Photoshop Elements or Lightroom first. Photoshop CS 6 is an awsome program, with an equally awsome price tag, but so much of its power, and its features, are geared for the professional. You can probably get everything that you need from one of the other two Adobe programs.

     

    Good luck,

     

    Hunt

     
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  • JJMack
    6,017 posts
    Jan 9, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2013 3:03 PM   in reply to 64Photoboy

    If you can get it cheap get CS3 and your camera is not very new. CS3 has fewer bugs then CS4, CS5and CS6.

     
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  • John Blaustein
    524 posts
    Aug 11, 2002
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2013 3:35 PM   in reply to 64Photoboy

    64,

     

    I would strongly urge you to consider Lightroom instead of Photoshop.

     

    I have been earning a living shooting pictures for 35+ years and shooting digital since it started.  I mention this only to give you perspective on the following comment:  I think Lightroom is the best thing that ever happened to digital photography!  While there is no doubt that Photoshop offers capabilities not found in LR, I'm willing to bet that LR will do everything you need... at least for now (and probably forever).

     

    Take a look at the excellent LR video tutorials on adobe.com to get a feel for what LR does and how it works:

    http://tv.adobe.com/product/lightroom/

     

    Better yet, download and try LR for free.  The download is the fully functional program, but with a time limit on it.  But be prepared for a learning curve... although a way easier curve than Photoshop.  And go to the LR forum as Bill Hunt suggested.  You can learn an awful lot just by reading the posts there.

     

    Hope this helps.

     

    John

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2013 4:50 PM   in reply to John Blaustein

    John Blaustein wrote:

     

    …I have been earning a living shooting pictures for 35+ years and shooting digital since it started…

     

    Which clearly explains why Lightroom fits your needs so nicely.

     

    Lightroom is all about high-volume work.

     

    Personally, I didn't like it one bit, and I tried it extensively.  Hated the interface and hated the "libraries" paradigm.  But that's just me.

     

    I've been totally sold on the full version of Photoshop for about a decade.

     

    Fortunately, there are trial versions of all Adobe applications for the OP to try.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2013 4:54 PM   in reply to Bill Hunt

    Bill Hunt wrote:

     

    I would start here: http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshopfamily/buying-guide-version-com parison.html

     

    That chart will let you compare Photoshop CS 6, with Photoshop Elements 11, and Lightroom 4…

     

     

    Great resource!  Thank you for posting it, Bill.

     
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  • John Blaustein
    524 posts
    Aug 11, 2002
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2013 5:03 PM   in reply to station_two

    station_two wrote:

     

    Lightroom is all about high-volume work.

     

    Personally, I didn't like it one bit, and I tried it extensively.  Hated the interface and hated the "libraries" paradigm.  But that's just me.

     

    Yes, LR works very well for high-volume work, but it works equally well for the casual, low-volume photographer who wants to correct RAW files and manage a photo library using keywords, collections, etc..  Interestingly enough, it works very much like iPhoto which is known for its ease of use.

     

    Having said that, I am not trying to talk anyone into anything.  To each his own.  But, I spent a lot of time learning PS and way less time learning LR, and for someone just beginning to learn the digital workflow, LR is a faster way to start.

     

    John

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2013 5:14 PM   in reply to John Blaustein

    John Blaustein wrote:

     

    …LR works very well…  Interestingly enough, it works very much like iPhoto…

     

    ROFL !

     

    Funny you should say that, but your remark is right on target:  even as a nearly-three-decades Macintosh enthusiast, I hold iPhoto to be an unmitigated piece of garbage and the worst thing ever to allow to reside on a computer.

     

    Each to his own…

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2013 5:28 PM   in reply to 64Photoboy

    There's nothing you can do with Lightroom to an individual image that cannot be accomplished in the full version of Photoshop, but plenty of stuff that can be done in the full version of Photoshop that cannot be done in Lightroom.

     

    Admittedly, the full version of Photoshop is a professional application that comes with a long and steep learning curve, for which no apologies need to be made.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2013 5:30 PM   in reply to 64Photoboy

    64Photoboy wrote:

     

    …Here are a few sample photos….

     

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/64photoboy/

     

     

    …I am new to digital, have always used 35mm……and just do not know what version program I need?…

     

    Charles,

     

    I'm a retired old geezer who started with the full version of Photoshop when I was in my early 60s, just over a decade ago.  Not a pro photographer by any stretch of the definition, just a photography enthusiast and camera collector for well over half a century.

     

    You have some excellent photos there on your Flicker stream.  I have no doubt you would greatly profit from the full version of Photoshop.

     

    The link provided by Bill Hunt is an excellent resource to compare the various applications.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2013 5:35 PM   in reply to station_two

    Most welcome.

     

    As you posted above, I did the original beta of Lightroom, but as I had used PS commercially for many years before that, could not find a place for it in my workflow. However, that was 4 complete versions ago, so I am certain that very much has changed, and I would assume for the better.

     

    Just because I did not find a place for it in my toolbox, does not mean that it will not work perfectly for others, and especially if they do not already have Photoshop. My opinion was obviously heavily skewed by that licence ownership. If I had not had PS, I might have felt differently, and not sure how valuable my comments were, as I kept basing them MY Photoshop.

     

    As for the chart, I wish that the comparison between the features of PS and PSE was more indepth. It does a good general job, but there ARE some useful features in PS, that I do not believe that PSE has added.

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2013 5:43 PM   in reply to 64Photoboy

    The one thing that struck me was "add clouds." While LR is great for "processing" and cataloging Images, when it comes to compositing, I would carefully investigate both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. They excel at doing compositing work, with feature-rich masking capabilities.

     

    Here is my "lists of useful features" that differ between those two versions of Photoshop:

     

    • PS has Adjustment Layer Masks*
    • PS has Layer Sets*
    • PS offers more complete control, but PSE makes the application of what it does have easier, and especially for the casual user.
    • PS has CMYK support, but that only would come into play if one was outputting to offset printing.
    • Might be some features that are not coming to my mind.

     

    Hope that helps,

     

    Hunt

     

    * I do not believe that either of these has been added to PSE 11, but it's hard to tell, and I have never owned PSE, though have gifted it many times, to photographers in sort of your position.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 18, 2013 1:54 AM   in reply to JJMack

    JJMack wrote:

     

    If you can get it cheap get CS3 and your camera is not very new. CS3 has fewer bugs then CS4, CS5and CS6.

     

    I had totally missed JJMack's post #3, and I'd like to advise any photographer strongly against getting any version older than CS6, if nothing else because the current 7.4 version of ACR (Adobe Camera Raw), which only runs with CS6, is so far superior to all earler versions, especially one as old as the version that runs in CS3, that I can assure you that you would be leaving a lot of image quality on the table if you're limited to what you can run with CS3.

     

    In this context, I would also advise against Photoshop Elements, as the ACR plug-in is emasculated by design when hosted by Elements, even though it is the very same binary one installs in the full version of Photoshop.

     

    From the point of view of maximum image quality, your choices are really limited to Lightroom and the full version of Photoshop.

     
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  • John Blaustein
    524 posts
    Aug 11, 2002
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 18, 2013 3:19 PM   in reply to 64Photoboy

    Hi Charles,

     

    Yes, you can do RAW conversions in PS CS5.  However, CS5 does not use the latest version of ACR and may not support your camera if it is a newer model.  Furthermore, as station_two correctly points out, the newest version of ACR, which only runs on CS6, offers the highest image quality possible.  If you are starting from scatch, I think most of us here would recommend CS6 -- latest ACR and most up to date features.

     

    Incidentally, the newest version of ACR is also in Lightroom 4.4.

     

    Here's a list of supported cameras in CS6:

    http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/extend.html

     

    And CS5:

    http://helpx.adobe.com/creative-suite/kb/camera-raw-plug-supported-cam eras.html

     

    You can also just Google "photoshop CSx camera compatibility."

     

    John

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 18, 2013 3:21 PM   in reply to 64Photoboy

    I think you should try Photoshop Elements 11 and if you outgrow that you can buy the vastly more expensive full Photoshop version of the day (CS6 at the moment).  Give it a try first.

     
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  • Noel Carboni
    23,526 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 18, 2013 5:48 PM   in reply to station_two

    For what it's worth, I'm with Station_two - I much prefer Photoshop proper, not Lightroom.

     

    Camera Raw (available with Photoshop and Photoshop Elements in a more limited edition) gives you enough ability to develop groups of photos right on your hard drive that you need not have a database-based system.  Photoshop CS6's (and Photoshop Elements 11's) Camera Raw (version 7.x) have far and away a better conversion algorithm than older versions.

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Noel Carboni
    23,526 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 18, 2013 6:38 PM   in reply to 64Photoboy

    Make sure to take advantage of the 30 day free trial of Photoshop CS6, to make sure it works on your system, and to start to see if you and it get along.

     

    -Noel

     
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  • John Blaustein
    524 posts
    Aug 11, 2002
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 18, 2013 7:20 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    And check out the great Photoshop video tutorials on Adobe TV:

    http://tv.adobe.com/product/photoshop/

     

    This is a good place to start:

    http://tv.adobe.com/watch/learn-photoshop-cs6/what-is-photoshop-cs6/

     

    John

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 18, 2013 8:55 PM   in reply to John Blaustein

    You could just get DxO or Capture One.

     
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