DSLR – What Software

So I have the camera and the lens. The next question I need to resolve is “What Software?”

I have very little experience in editing pictures beyond the normal removal of red eye, cropping, resizing and basic enhancements BUT I have big dreams!

I also wanted to look at alternative means of sharing the pictures. I am a big fan of Flickr and in addition to the OurCoolMacs Pictures account I have one for our day to day pictures. I intend to keep this account as I think it is great for sharing ‘snaps’ and I still intend to use the Sony DSC-T7 for day to day pictures. I do not intend to use the D80 for every picture that I take, nor do I intend to edit and enhance all my pictures. I am great believer that there is a place for both the ‘picture’ and the ‘photograph’ in life. The ‘pictures’ I take reflect the moment, they are more spontaneous and the priority is to capture the moment more that the quality of the picture. I chose the T7 for just that reason, it is pretty much always with me. The D80 is for the ‘photographs’ that I want to take – the planned, thought through, specific photographs that I want to create.

I have opted for SmugMug and have set up an account along with Wayne, Mac and Matt. The site is a means of capturing our four individual thoughts and experiences hence the 4framesofmind name and logo. The ‘plan’ is to encourage each other to take more photographs though various ‘projects’ and to critic and comment on each others pictures pre and post any editing etc.

Hopefully as we develop our skills we can advise each other on how to use not only the camera but the software as well.

With respect to editing software I suppose this is really a ‘no brainer’ in that CS3 has to be the end point. For now I am happy enough learning and developing with GIMP, but I am trying to work out whether I just take a GIMP to Elements step at some stage, or a GIMP to CS3 jump later on?

Aperture or Lightroom? I have been reviewing Lightroom for a while now and am loving it. It is really making me think about my workflow (subject for another day) and if I do decide to keep it I will review it in detail then. Suffice to say it is looking good at this stage!

I asked Matt what his thoughts on software were:

I didn’t (and still don’t) have Photoshop and had been using Gimp as needed beyond iPhoto. I had used Picasa on the PC before I got my Mac mid-last year.

I then decided to try Aperture. I put off trying it because I was afraid that once I started using the trial that I’d find that I “couldn’t” live without it, and I didn’t have $300 in the budget.

But, I finally gave in and got the 30 day trial. Sure enough, it fit like a glove into what I wanted to do. I got to the end of the trial and ended up buying it.

The one complaint I have at the moment is the lack of vignetting functionality. Lightroom has this. Obviously you can do this in Photoshop but I still don’t have that. You can export from Aperture to an external editor easily, like Gimp. The problem is that Gimp only supports 8 bit TIFF, not 16 bit TIFFs.

You’ll probably never notice the difference of 8 bit vs. 16 bit color in small prints or small online pics, but I just don’t like to lose info / data that I already have in an image, so I don’t use it.

Now, I’d like a MacBook Pro to go with my Aperture, because it just hammers my MacBook when doing editing or when I move around a lot. The anemic video chip on the MacBooks is quite frustrating when trying to do any graphics-intensive work, but they weren’t really designed to do that. Saving my pennies …

Hmmm – this is an expensive hobby!!! Now I will be thinking whether my Mac(s) are up to the job in hand!!!

I got more food for thought over on the Forum (which I know is REALLY slow – any suggestions on an alternative plugin?) from Wayne and Mac.

I have been using the D80 for a while now and I love it – some of the pictures are over on the 4frames site – mine is Dudes Frame

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