Friday, September 30, 2016

TGIF: Software 101





Think analog - film - cameras and materials. With a given subject, camera, lens and photographic prints are dependent on the choice of film, chemicals and the paper used to produce a print.  A different result can be achieved by changing to a different combination of film, chemicals and paper.

Over the years, a great deal of photographic conversation and writing has been based on what are the best choices. 

Since there is no single combination that works for all subjects and photographers, it comes down to a personal choice that reflects how they see a subject.

Think digital - sensor - cameras and materials. With a given subject, photographic prints are dependent on the choice of camera sensor, editing software, printer and paper used to produce a print.  A different result can be achieved by changing to a different combination of camera, software, printer and paper.

Since there is no single combination that works for all subjects and photographers, it comes down to a personal choice that reflects how they see a subject.

In digital photography, the light catching is done by a built in camera sensor.  Unlike changing to a different film, now change happens by using a different camera.

Editing digital files requires no chemicals. They are replaced by software. As with the darkroom chemicals, different software programs produce different results.

Like analog, since there is no single camera, software and printer combination that works for all subjects and photographers, it comes down to a personal choice that reflects how they see a subject.

This past week has been spent investigating editing software
to check out a few alternatives.   Downloaded several and selected a digital file for comparison testing.

First made a digital image using Photoshop CS 6.  This has been the software of choice for a number of years.  

   Spiceland, Indiana.

Photoshop CS 6 is a very complete graphics program, containing a rather large number photography choices including lens corrections and distortion controls.  Takes a bit of learning but once under control, results are straightforward. 

The second selected program was PaintShop Pro X9.  Now have used an earlier version - X5 - so the new edition was not all that new. 

Using PaintShop Pro X9 and the same digital file:  

   Spiceland, Indiana.

PaintShop Pro X9 is more of a photography rather than a graphics program.  It is not as complete as Photoshop as it does not offer a complete list of lens corrections.  The distortion controls due work but takes a bit of time to sort them out.

It may be operator error, but the color rendering - blue sky / sidewalk - seems off.  Will return and attempt to determine what's happening and how to change it.

Next steps include checking out a couple of other programs, as well as, making some prints for comparison.