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Thread: alternatives to photoshop

  1. #1

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    alternatives to photoshop

    I posted on this to photo.net but would like to see what folks here have to say. Is there an alternative to Adobe Photoshop? It seems to me that this thing was made for graphic artists and not photographers. One still has to pay (and handsomely) for the extra tools one will never use. I also find it really tedious to learn and somewhat arcane. I want to scan, do some very minor editing (colour correction, cropping, maybe some dodging and burning). I print with the computer mainly just to evaluate whether or not I want to send it out for a larger, serious print. Also, I only scan colour. I do b&w in the darkroom.

    I am also thinking of getting a Mac Mini and using it exclusively as a colour darkroom (i.e., not connecting at all to the net). Any experiences, suggestions, or advice on all of this?

  2. #2

    alternatives to photoshop

    Don - in a recent issue of Photo Techniques, Ctein had a very favorable review of Picture Window Pro, which costs only $90 but is still a very powerful and versatile program. You can also download a 30-day evaluation version for free. It's only offered in a Windows version, though. There's more info at the website of the company that makes it:

    www.dl-c.com/

  3. #3

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    alternatives to photoshop

    Both Picture Window Pro and the Gimp get good reviews. Another option for much less money, is Paint Shop Pro, or at least it was when it was produced by Jasc. I haven't seen PSP since Corel absorbed Jasc.

  4. #4

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    alternatives to photoshop

    Hello, Photoshop Elements 3 is almost like regular Photoshop but for about $90.

  5. #5
    Ted Harris's Avatar
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    alternatives to photoshop

    Don,

    I understand your frustration but am not sure that I agree that it was made for graphic artists not photographers. Granted there are tools that are more useful for graphic artists than for photographers but by and large there are many many tools that can be very useful for photographers but their use is not necessarily evident and the learning curve for the program is steep and sometimes seems endless. Adobe's program tailored specifically for graphic artists is Illustrator.

    I can echo what Oren has said, I have also heard good things about Picture Window Pro although I have no experience with it. As for The Gimp, I think you will find it as frustrating as Photoshop, perhaps more so.

    Final comment, cost aside, Photoshop is an extraordinarily robust program and the more you use it and the more you master some of the more obscure tools the more you will like it. I don't find it any more frustrating or full of features that I seldom use than other higher end software. How many of the available tools in Excel or even Word do most of us use? For that matter do you remember how frustrating and difficult it was to learn the counterintuitive commands in Wordperfect?

    Cheers

  6. #6
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    alternatives to photoshop

    I have never never seen an image editing program that can come close to photoshop, especially for photography. Without its rich layers and channels functions, and full 16 bit editing, I wouldn't be able get results that are nearly as good. I also find its interface to be the best and most streamlined of any complex program that I've used. Of all my software, I use photoshop the most and scream at it the least. No more than a couple of times a day.

  7. #7
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    alternatives to photoshop

    I should mention that the book Real World Photoshop CS is the best book of its type I've ever seen. I used photoshop for 10 years as a designer and print production specialist, but when I started using photoshop for serious photography, I had to send myself back to school. This book was all the schooling I needed.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0321245784/qid=1126021537/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/002-4392748-1953662?v=glance&s=books

  8. #8
    Palladium is beautiful Christopher Perez's Avatar
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    alternatives to photoshop

    Here's a second vote for the Gimp.

    Load it on top of Linux and you'd have a networkable rock solid stable system that is immune to virus attacks.

  9. #9
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    alternatives to photoshop

    You can use a little of the tools in PS or allot of them, but it is all there when you need it and want to use it. There are other programs out there but they are simply not in the same league as PS. It is an absolutely indespensable tool for the serious photographer who does digital capture or output.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    "Vocation to Solitude -- To deliver oneself up, to hand oneself over, entrust oneself completely to the silence of a wide landscape of woods and hills, or sea, or desert; to sit still while the sun comes up over the land and fills its silences with light." Thomas Merton

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  10. #10
    I exist, therefore I am
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    alternatives to photoshop

    Since the fabulous Color Studio died in the mid 90s (Any one remember Color Studio? Years ahead of Photo Shop at it's time.) I've used Photoshop exlusivly. It has all that you need and a lot you don't. The problem is you have to buy the whole package to get the things that you need. IMHO I find that every other program that is tailored for one specific use lacks one or more really usefull feature. You get what you pay for I guess.
    I'm writing this post on my Mac Mini. 1,24 GHz and 1GB RAM. I've used it for retouch work on files up to 350/400 mb. Saving is a bit slow but i'm usually in no hurry when I working at home. The trick is to work smart and don't have a lot of other things running. Mind you I've worked on files the same size on an old power Mac 8500 until 6 months ago. (Saving took about 10 minutes.)
    At work I use a PowerMac G5 2.3GHz but the difference in acceptable if you consider the difference in prize.

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