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pengudeus
09-08-2006, 03:56 PM
I have a great Nikon Coolpix P2. It takes wonderful pictures. I want to go a step further, though, and enhance the photos. What do you recommend ( red-eye reduction, sharpening, cropping, etc )?

staereo
09-08-2006, 09:27 PM
It really depends how comfortable YOU are with your editing.

Ideally, acheiving a proper exposure in the capture stage of your imaging is most beneficial. That is, if you learn how to avoid red eye in your capture, or optimizing your focus to produce as sharp as possible image, proper framing to reduce need for cropping, etc..., then you will be able to avoid tedious work in post work.

How far you want to go in your digital workflow after your capture is up to you. Just tweaking your images to balance your exposure isn't time consuming, and many image software titles offer fairly competant auto features in this vein. (Photoshop, Paint shop pro, and many others)

As far as taking your images to another level, luminous landscape has some nice tutorials. Here is a place to start, but check out their other tutorials. Simple to advanced, theres much to be learned there. http://luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/digital.shtml

Other sites also have tutorials that are great. Poke around, then get some images and play around.

Ultimately, as a photographer, aim to get as close to the image you want when you are capturing, and just use post work for perfecting it.

Good luck,
Bruce

shiroin
09-12-2006, 06:19 AM
go check out Adobe Lightroom
it has some of the most intutive photo editing features as far as i am concerned.
does batch and organization very well!

staereo
09-12-2006, 09:54 AM
shiroin is correct. although, its my understanding lightroom is still in beta.

Lightroom is intended to be a raw conversion software to seemlessly work into adobe cs2. (A very versatile one at that!)

And Im not intending to slam lightroom AT ALL here, because I think its great in its own right. I really prefer capture one. It offers a little easier workflow, and if your a pro, has many features that are very convenient to a high volume workflow. The only advantage that lightroom REALLY offers is it is better at organizing images (capture one isnt intended for that at all) and its flow into cs2 is a bit more seamless.

Mind you, putting aside c1's advantages in features, adobe lightroom is a HUGE system resource pig. Something that can slow you down a bit if your system isnt top-notch. As is all of adobe's software, to include cs2 and bridge if you use them. I still use cs2, occasionally bridge, but am not satisfied with lightroom in its current state after using capture one.

But there are plenty of people that LOVE lightroom already, so its definately worth a shot to try it out. Not bad software at all. I dont know if the P2 offers raw capture, but thats something to learn before investigating lightroom OR capture one.

Bruce

shiroin
09-12-2006, 04:04 PM
lightroom's status as beta with its current capibilities, I will have to say, it has nothing but great potentials.

yes indeed it is intended as a RAW processing software, but according to Adobe, all its features are also useable on JPEGs, PSDs, or any other readable file types.

staereo
09-12-2006, 04:15 PM
Oh, definately. My mistake, I didnt want to sound as if it could only handle RAW. Most raw processing software is capable of handling all image file types, but because RAW allows you to change a lot of your exposure without and loss to the image, RAW converters are primarily used for RAW. CS2 can do everything lightroom, capture one, etc can do, but CS2 can probably do it better, or at least more feature rich options, since it is lossy anyways.

When lightroom, c1, or any other raw processing software modifies a image file rather than a RAW file, it is just as lossy as cs2 (if not more?). So most people just turn to photoshop.

I didn't mean to make it sound as of raw was the only file it handled.

Im all for lightroom. Even if I don't personally use it, we need SOMETHING to balance out Apple's Aperture.

Bruce

pengudeus
09-12-2006, 04:50 PM
Thanks for the advice, everyone. I'm not much of an Adobe fan, as I'm more into open source apps like the Gimp and such, but I'll check out lightroom.

jtnishi
09-12-2006, 06:43 PM
Thanks for the advice, everyone. I'm not much of an Adobe fan, as I'm more into open source apps like the Gimp and such, but I'll check out lightroom.
Unfortunately, RAW work and open source don't mix very well, mainly because RAW formats are disgustingly proprietary and fairly secretive for the most part. It wouldn't surprise me if someone's already made a RAW conversion plugin for GIMP for DNG format, but beyond that, the licensing work would make such pursuits at least somewhat incompatible, since it requires reverse engineering the RAW format somewhat, or licensing the right to a converter, which is incompatible with open source to begin with.

shiroin
09-13-2006, 12:40 AM
jtnishi is right,
lots of raw decryption gets overlapped with algorithems that are copyrighted by the companies, and obtaining or using such algorithem requires a degree of coperation between the camera companies and the raw software developers.

if the camera manufactures decide to work with an open source group, that will mean that the algorithems will have to be revealled in public, which is not in the cooperations' best interest.

Oklahoma
09-13-2006, 10:26 AM
Actuallly, Pixmantic raw shooter was open raw coding and was free for the basic version and cheap comparatively for the advanced or pro version and worked very good. Unfortuniatly it has been bought out by Adobe and is the raw processing engine for Adobe Lightroom. To the best of my knowledge it was the only open raw processing program and it no longer exists.

staereo
09-13-2006, 11:02 AM
Well the first thing I want to note, is that I dont know if the O.P. even USES raw here. So if he wants to go open source on an image editor, he may be dealing with jpg and tif, or other image files. Not raw, which kind of makes all the raw discussion in this thread moot.

BUUUT, ultimately Jason is right here. Dealing with raw conversions is a highly interperative science. Many pros, including sports illustrated, use only conversion software from original manufacturers, because it is designed by the same people as the raw format, so the decoding and processing of the raw file into an image file may presumably be done best by the people that developed the RAW file technology proprietary to the camera they manufacture.

HOWEVER, because it is interperative, other companies such as pixamantic, adobe, phase one, breezebrowser, and so on create their own ways of interperting a camera's RAW file and creating an image file from it. Adobe's, for example, has a smoothing effect that covers up hot pixels. Phase One's C1 does not smooth in that way, but will show the EXACT pixels as they were shot. C1 has great noise reducers, while adobe's arent quite as powerful, and noise is left to be reduced in image editing after the conversion.

So, as you can see, a lot of the weight of a converter lays in its personal interpertation of a RAW file when converting into a digital image. This is all very coveted to the software companies. This is why you see very few open source raw conversion companies. It is pricey to develop, and often left to the companies that will make money from it.

HOWEVER, as far as raw shooter essentials go, I am *pretty sure* that they were NOT open source, but rather free usage rights. I am not at all up on software terms as such, but RawShooters conversion program that interperates a given camera's raw file into a image file was not actually released for open use in software development. Instead, free usage of its software package, RawShooter Essentials, was given out. I BELIEVE that is different than 'open source'. As Now with RawShooter pro, they charge, but the actual CONVERSION part of the software remains the same, whicih I BELIEVE is a property that is OWNED by pixamantic.

Again, could be wrong. Thats not my cup of tea.

As I started this post, the OP was talking straight up image editing software, not necessarily raw conversion. He may not be using RAW at all, so all of this conversation could be completely unrelated to this thread.

Bruce

pengudeus
09-13-2006, 11:15 AM
Unfortunately, all the pictures taken with my camera are in jpeg format. Though I would like to toy with RAW images, I am unable to do so, so I don't have to worry about using programs like the GIMP, which can handle jpeg images.

staereo
09-13-2006, 11:24 AM
Unfortunately, all the pictures taken with my camera are in jpeg format. Though I would like to toy with RAW images, I am unable to do so, so I don't have to worry about using programs like the GIMP, which can handle jpeg images.

Thats kind of what I assumed. (as I was hinting to in previous post)

I think the most popular open source photo editing proggie is GIMP.

Photoshop is the overall best, and most versatile photo editor. (most expensive?)

Jasc (or is whoever owns it now) has paint shop pro, that is like adobe's elements, but with a little more meat and potatoes in some areas, perhaps less in others. I dont know elements too well. It is at around the same price point as elements though. It's what I had before moving on to photoshop a long while back. Not sure how it is today.

But ya, GIMP is what I hear most when it comes to free image editors.

Bruce

pengudeus
09-13-2006, 11:25 AM
On a similar note to this topic, I thought you guys might want to read this if you didn't know about it already ( I just found it myself ).

http://www.openraw.org/info/

pengudeus
09-13-2006, 11:27 AM
Jasc (or is whoever owns it now) has paint shop pro, that is like adobe's elements, but with a little more meat and potatoes in some areas, perhaps less in others. I dont know elements too well. It is at around the same price point as elements though. It's what I had before moving on to photoshop a long while back. Not sure how it is today.

But ya, GIMP is what I hear most when it comes to free image editors. I can only assume its open source.


I have PSP on my Windows partition at home and the GIMP on my Linux partition. Since I'm more familiar with the GIMP, I tend to favor it more ( plus I can create my own plugins, brushes, scripts, and whatnot ).

Thanks again for all your help.

staereo
09-13-2006, 11:37 AM
On a similar note to this topic, I thought you guys might want to read this if you didn't know about it already ( I just found it myself ).

http://www.openraw.org/info/

The things that this talks about are very true....

For people that plan to keep their cameras for that long (mind you canon still supports its earliest RAW files today, and noone would be caught dead with a d30 I dont think.) it is important to note that at any time support can be pulled from conversion of old raw types.

THIS SAID, I dont think this will ever be a problem for me, as I wont keep a camera in service more than 7 years I dont suspect. So I should be fine, but when I retire a camera, I will be sure to keep a piece of software with it for conversions if the raw conversion is ever seen as unfit.

THE COOL SIDE OF ALL OF THIS, is that since my 20d was released, the RAW conversion is getting better for the EXACT same captures I had when I first got it.

This means that i can use new conversion software on my old, archived RAW images, and get a potentially BETTER output as the conversion as advanced. An example of this is in a dynamic range of an image. AS raw conversion gets better, you will be able to take a camera's raws from years ago, and reconvert them into images that can develop BETTER in the digital darkroom than back when you originally captured it. That is super cool, and a STRONG arguement as to why you should shoot RAW, and why you should save your RAWs in your archive. Something unusable today, may end up being fixable by tomarrow's raw conversion software.

Bruce

pengudeus
09-13-2006, 12:02 PM
According to their front page, Sony acknowledged openraw, which nearly gave me a heart attack since they're pretty well known for their proprietary work in other areas ( blue ray, anyone? )

staereo
09-13-2006, 01:08 PM
Does sony HAVE proprietary RAW? Or did they pick this up as a R&D cost saving measure to have the dual purpose of good PR?

Not trying to say Sony is inherently evil, just curious, you know?

pengudeus
09-13-2006, 02:47 PM
Yes, Sony has their own proprietary RAW format. It's often associated with the extension .arw

There's a Wiki that displays all ( or at least all that I'm familiar with ) of the proprietary RAW extensions.