If you are serious about your photography a photo editing program is absolutely essential. I don’t care what anyone says, all (and I mean ALL) photos can be improved and will benefit from some editing. It may need a bit of cropping for better composition, it may need a bit of sharpening, the contrast may need a slight tweak or the shadows may need lifting a bit – trust me, there is always a tweak or two you can do to a photo to improve it, and the only way to do this is with some photography software. The big question is do you need professional photography software?
Professional photography software packages, such as Photo Shop CS, are complex and powerful programs, and whilst they are exceptionally good they are also difficult to use properly. The other thing with these professional photography software packages is there is one hell of a learning curve in using them. As well as being difficult to use professional photography software is also damn expensive, and it is a combination of the cost and the learning curve that you need to consider before parting with your hard earned cash. Even if you have the money required to buy this type of software, do you have the time, motivation and inclination to learn to use it? Food for thought…………
Thanks to the internet, online learning/courses, webinars and the like learning to use professional photography software packages is more accessible and you can do it at your own pace, but it still isn’t easy, and also very frustrating when you can’t find the answer/solution to what you want to do and achieve online or in a book. I have tried to learn to use a professional photography software package in the past, but I didn’t have the time (i.e. daily life got in the way) or the patience to see it through.
Rather than carrying on with the professional photography software package I decided to change over to Photo Shop Elements, a cut down version of Photo Shop, and I haven’t looked back. Even though it is a “lite” photo editing software package Photo Shop Elements is powerful and will do an awful lot of tweaks and adjustments. With Elements I can adjust the exposure, adjust the tint, adjust the highlights/mid-tones/shadows, adjust the blacks/whites, adjust the hue/saturation/contrast, adjust the clarity, sharpen the image, convert to black and white, crop and recompose the image, adjust the size of the image…….. the list goes on and on. Photo Shop Elements is a very powerful tool that will do everything you need, and some.
Getting started and learning the basics of Photo Shop Elements is quick, easy and something you can pick up yourself. Even with the basic features of Elements you will see a significant improvement in your photos. Identifying the advanced features and learning how to use them, on the other hand, is another story altogether……….. There is also a learning curve in using the advanced features of software packages such as Photo Shop Elements however you don’t have to use the advanced features if you don’t want or need to. Learning the basics of Photo Shop Elements, which you can easily do yourself (with the aid of online tutorials and/or books) will be more than enough to see you through.
I know several professional photographers who have stayed away from using a professional photography software package and use Photo Shop Elements instead. These professional photographers earn a living from their photography, they pay their bills with their photography, they put food on the table with their photography and they have no other sources of income. With this in mind perhaps Photo Shop Elements is a professional software package after all.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.