Dark Side of the Lens


Separation … which way to go? (Part 1)

SeparationYou have probably already had a play with the photo editing software that came free with your camera. Although I have not tried all the variations that come with new cameras, I have found that the supplied software is usually very limited indeed, and not much good for anything other than resizing and cropping your photos.

However, there are exceptions. For instance many cameras come with a free copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements, although the ones I have come across are not the latest version. The other big players in the field are Adobe Photoshop itself, the industry standard, and Corel’s Paintshop Pro – Photo.

There are many other players out there, such as Ulead Photoimpact, ACDSee Photo Editor, Photoplus, Photosuite etc. I have not used all of these applications so can not make detailed comparrisons. However, I did find this excellent table that give heaps of detail. They did not include Photoshop, presumably as it was not in the same price bracket as the others. They gave their Gold aware to Photoshop Elements and the silver to Paintshop Pro. I am not going to do a table such as this myself as quite frankly this one is excellent. You can see the table, and read the full review here.

So, the shortlist is down to Photoshop, Elements and Paintshop Pro.

Firstly let me simplify this article by covering Paintshop Pro. I first used Paintshop Pro when it was in its infancy. I had just got into photo editing and found actual Photoshop far too confusing. I had not even heard of Elements back then. It was a great program and easy to use … partly because it was not as feature rich by a long long way as Photoshop. As I became more proficient with photo editing I found myself living in Photoshop more and more until eventually I didn’t even bother installing Paintshop Pro any longer.

Since then Paintshop Pro, now owned by Corel, has come a very long way indeed. I spent some time at a recent trade show with one of Corel’s experts and I have to admit I was very impressed. I do not feel it is yet on a par with Photoshop but it now certainly gives it a run for its money. However, with increased complexity comes increased confusion, for most people at least, and it is no longer quite as easy as it was for the beginner. As I am by no means an expert with this product I will not be delving much into it, if at all, but I would encourage you to investigate a little deeper for yourself if this might be the right product for you, as at US$79.00 it is great value for money. At this stage I won’t be doing tutorials on Paintshop Pro as I do not own a copy, but if I do ever purchase a copy I will include this excellent product in the tutorials.

On an aside, before I move on from the Corel product range … do not confuse the functionality of Photoshop, Elements and Paintshop Pro (which all compete in the same market) with Corel’s Painter X
or Painter Essentials. These, truly excellent and extremely fun, products are more for digital artists and not as well suited to photo manipulation. So, we’ll use the right tools for the right job and leave the artists to their own dark magic.

Please don’t take any of this as a slight on the Corel suite of products, as they are excellent, or on any other products that have not been mentioned. This site is about teaching people how to get the most out of their photos and, as it does not make sense to use a myriad of products to do exactly the same thing, I have opted to mainly focus on the Adobe productsΒ  … which I happen to believe are well in front of the field anyway. Also, as this is an unfunded site my budget is somewhat depleted with purchasing the software I have as it is.

However, if you are using Paintshop Pro, or other photo editing software, do still come back and visit. I’ll be covering heaps of topics around the subject of getting the most out of your camera in general, so there will still be lots of great tips and tricks to assist you.

Anyway, that brings us to the biggie, as far as I am concerned … Photoshop or Photoshop Elements?

And for that one you’ll have to wait until the next thrilling episode.

Simon
http://darksideofthelens.com

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10 Responses to “Separation … which way to go? (Part 1)”

  1. Snoskred Says:

    Photoimpact and Gimp are the ones I use. πŸ˜‰ Never seen photoshop, never played with it. Maybe one day.. πŸ™‚

  2. Gemisht Says:

    You have just reminded me that we have Photoshop and Paintshop somewhere on a computer, both free with cameras. I did look at both of them quickly a few times but got confused and frustrated so gave up. I would love to learn more about either or both of these and get more out of my photos so I will be back πŸ™‚

  3. Natator Says:

    Hi guys, and welcome πŸ™‚

    Photoimpact and Gimp are both great tools Snoskred, and good for basic photo editing from what I have seen. Tools like Photoshop, Elements and Paintshop Pro let you take things that bit further, but with that comes added complexity. I know with Photoshop, for instance, that many people with no photo editing experience have a go with it and run away screaming in fear as it can be somewhat overwhelming when you first start out.

    There you go, thanks for illustrating that for me Gemisht πŸ™‚ There seems to be a lightbulb moment with programs like Photoshop and Paintshop Pro where suddenly it all starts to make sense. One of my aims is to help people when they do first start out, rather than more experienced users, so they reach that lightbulb moment before they give up … or go insane πŸ˜‰

    Best wishes

    Simon

  4. rs hack Says:

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  5. Ervin Says:

    I admit, I have not been on this webpage in a long time… but it was another happy to see It is such great subject and avoided by so many, even authority. I thank you to assist making people more aware of possible problems.

  6. Cheryle Ruzzo Says:

    Hi, i must say fantastic blog you have, i stumbled across it in Bing. I bought myself the lumix tz7 digital camera. Its just a pleasure to use.

  7. Dominic Monzingo Says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. Are you going to make a new Photoshop tutorial soon?

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  9. Haywood Reidel Says:

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  10. Cierra Devilliers Says:

    very good stuff. Do you have an RSS feed? And would it be cool if I put in your feed to a blog of mine? I have a website that brings content by RSS feeds via a few sites and I would like to add yours, a lot of folks don’t mind considering I link back and everything but I like to get approval 1st. Anyway let me know if you can, thanks.

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