22 Replies Latest reply on Apr 18, 2013 8:55 PM by Lundberg02

    Retired and into Photography

    64Photoboy

      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

        • 1. Re: Retired and into Photography
          Lundberg02 Level 3

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

          • 2. Re: Retired and into Photography
            the_wine_snob Level 9

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

            • 3. Re: Retired and into Photography
              JJMack Most Valuable Participant

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

              • 4. Re: Retired and into Photography
                John Blaustein Level 4

                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

                • 5. Re: Retired and into Photography
                  Level 5

                  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.

                  • 6. Re: Retired and into Photography
                    Level 5

                    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.

                    • 7. Re: Retired and into Photography
                      John Blaustein Level 4

                      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

                      • 8. Re: Retired and into Photography
                        Level 5

                        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…

                        • 9. Re: Retired and into Photography
                          64Photoboy Level 1

                          Appreciate the message.

                           

                           

                           

                          FYI….

                           

                          I shoot with a Nikon D3200.

                           

                           

                           

                          Here are a few sample photos….

                           

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

                           

                           

                           

                          Perhaps you will see where adjustments need to be made……to soften in certain areas, etc.

                           

                           

                           

                          I need a program that will allow me to ….for example to add clouds in a bland sky…..to add warmth when needed……adjust the background, etc.

                           

                           

                           

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

                           

                           

                           

                          Thanks again for taking the time to comment.

                           

                           

                           

                          Best regards,

                           

                          “64Photoboy”

                           

                           

                           

                          Charles

                          • 10. Re: Retired and into Photography
                            Level 5

                            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.

                            • 11. Re: Retired and into Photography
                              Level 5

                              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.

                              • 12. Re: Retired and into Photography
                                the_wine_snob Level 9

                                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

                                • 13. Re: Retired and into Photography
                                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                                  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.

                                  • 14. Re: Retired and into Photography
                                    Level 5

                                    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.

                                    • 15. Re: Retired and into Photography
                                      64Photoboy Level 1

                                      Thank you for the kind response.

                                       

                                       

                                       

                                      By suggesting that I would benefit from “full version” Photoshop do you mean CS6? 

                                       

                                       

                                       

                                      Also, is it possible to do RAW conversion in in CS5?

                                       

                                       

                                       

                                      Very best regards.

                                       

                                      64Photoboy

                                       

                                       

                                       

                                      Charles

                                      • 16. Re: Retired and into Photography
                                        John Blaustein Level 4

                                        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-cameras.html

                                         

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

                                         

                                        John

                                        • 17. Re: Retired and into Photography
                                          davidc1815 Level 4

                                          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.

                                          • 18. Re: Retired and into Photography
                                            Noel Carboni Level 8

                                            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

                                            • 19. Re: Retired and into Photography
                                              64Photoboy Level 1

                                              I appreciate all the great advice.

                                               

                                               

                                               

                                              Sounds like I need CS6.

                                               

                                               

                                               

                                              Sure wish I had access to a camera club in our City.

                                               

                                               

                                               

                                              It would be great to discuss topics such as this in person.

                                               

                                               

                                               

                                              All members have been most helpful.

                                               

                                               

                                               

                                              Thanks again.

                                               

                                               

                                               

                                              Kindest regards,

                                               

                                              “64Photoboy”

                                               

                                               

                                               

                                              Charles

                                              • 20. Re: Retired and into Photography
                                                Noel Carboni Level 8

                                                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

                                                • 21. Re: Retired and into Photography
                                                  John Blaustein Level 4

                                                  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

                                                  • 22. Re: Retired and into Photography
                                                    Lundberg02 Level 3

                                                    You could just get DxO or Capture One.