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Old 06-21-2012, 03:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dr. PhunkyPants View Post
FYI, I use Adobe Lightroom 3. It's not free, but I find it absolutely indispensible. And if your camera support RAW shooting, LR has Adobe Camera Raw built in, so you get maximum flexibility with max data. I convert images to .dng (Adobe's "standardized" RAW file format) for longevity.
Can't agree more. Lightroom is worth the $120 or dollars, depending on the deals. So many of the commonly used tool from Photoshop are utilized in Lightroom. And don't forget about it's ability to manage, import, export, etc. photos.

For about half the cost, Photoshop Elements can be used for your current list of needs. For lack of better words, Elements has less bloat than Photoshop. A lot of the graphic design elements have been stripped away. Depending on what camera you purchased, you may have a copy of Elements in the camera's box.
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks for the input! I don't mind spending a few dollars for software, I just don't have the cash or needs for Photoshop, etc.

I got a used Canon T3, but no software came in the box
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Old 06-22-2012, 09:07 AM   #13 (permalink)
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That's fine. You generally don't ever want to use the bloatware that comes with a camera, anyway. And as time goes by there are fewer and fewer reasons to install anything like that.

I work with a lot of beginners to photography. My standard recommendation is:

1. Purchase and install Adobe Lightroom 3
2. Spend $25 for a one month basic membership on
3. Watch the video training "Photoshop Lightroom 3 Essential Training" by Chris Orwig--a fantastic video training done by one of the top instructors at the leading school of photography, Brooks Institute
4. Prosper

The key point is to understand that digital photography is not just about the camera and the moment of capture. It's about how you (1) capture, (2) organize/sort, (3) adjust/process, (4) catalogue/archive, and (5) print/publish images. Lightroom is great because it is set up in 5 workflow-friendly modules that support this.

These four questions will help you understand why this is important:

1. If your hard drive crashes tonight, will you lose all your images?
2. If a virus starts to corrupt your image library, will you notice missing files?
3. Since Canon and Nikon both use standard naming conventions, if you ever get a NEW camera will the names of those images start conflicting with existing ones?
4. Can your image organization scheme support 10,000 or more files? How will you find and retrieve your most treasured images ten years from now when your image library reaches that size?

I go on diatribes about Digital Asset Management and workflow all the time because there is no universal solution to all this yet and so people have to figure it out themselves. The camera makers just want to sell cameras so they tell people it's all about the's really not! Up to 8x10, I can make the exact same image with my camera now that I made seven years ago.
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