Are you done?
Has the season worn you out?
Well, let’s take it down a notch.
We’re gonna simplify some suggestions for you.
That hardware is great, and between the lighting, lenses, backdrops, lessons, and fast media cards, you probably have some great images.
Or do you?
It does come down to how you process those digital files.
The truth is all roads lead to Adobe Photoshop CS6
It’s the Ferrari of all digital imaging software, and like the internet, you will probably never get to the end of it.
With every basic tool for editing you RAW image ( exposure,color, size ) you get the most extensive toolkit, including what is called content aware fill.
Want to see some magic?
you see, Adobe also has massive amount of video teaching available.
You’re never far from help.
For the serious enthusiast to the pro, this is the gold standard.
Adobe PhotoshopCost about $600 for the basic; under $900 for Adobe Photoshop Extended CS6 giving you addition 3 D graphics capabilities,utilizes your CPU a bit better.
But here is the best part for the Adobe family and buying late gifts: the introduced the Creative Cloud recently and you can now share, have a full suite of tools with whatever computer you’re using and always be upgraded to the latest tech.
Want to work in the cloud? Starting at $50 a month, with discounts for previous users, Adobe Creative Cloud you can gift this or move into the new world yourself.
Of course Lightroom is part of this package.
As we said, all roads lead to Photoshop, so the best developers have created some plug-ins that will enhance anyone digital imagers life.
Our favorite package is the OnOne software Perfect Photo 7
“Perfect Photo Suite 7 includes the new Perfect B&W to develop stunning black and white images, Perfect Portrait for simply easy portrait retouching, Perfect Effects and FocalPoint for creative effects, Perfect Layers for a layered workflow without Photoshop, Perfect Mask for replacing backgrounds and Perfect Resize for image enlargement. In Perfect Photo Suite 7, these seven products work together seamlessly as integrated modules and also support your workflow however you work. Perfect Photo Suite is a perfect companion to Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Apple, Aperture—or it can be used as a standalone application.”
Yes, it can work as a standalone or within Lightroom, Photoshop, or Photoshop Elements.
Some very cool tools have been simplified.
Like this Portrait tool:
Those lines around the eyes and mouth were a built in template, easily moved to fit the image. that way you can soften skin, whiten teeth, and other options, easily. And make it a custom pre-set if you are doing additional work.
Or if sloppy borders are your thing, check this easy function:
We know selective focus has become all the rage, with Lensbaby at the head of the charge. Many compact cameras now have it as a built-in scene selection.
Call us old school, but we like to start with a pristine image before we start any manipulation.
PerfectPhoto has a “Focus Bug” tool which let’s you easily pick and confirm your filed of focus.
Some people say you should make the decision on set.
We like to have a choice in post.
To each their own.
From $80-$300 for new users. And you can get a free trial to see if it’s right for your “friend”.
This is a gift list, after all.
OK, just for the pro’s : you probably already use this but Photo Mechanic is hands down, the fastest batch editor. You know how much you are shooting and you want to, if you have the time, do a pre-edit for your editor. they will love you for this.
Pick your selects, send em into Photoshop, do a batch adjust, bring em back into Photo Mechanic, upload, and you’re off.
“Photo Mechanic is a standalone image browser and workflow accelerator that lets you view your digital photos with convenience and speed. Photo Mechanic’s super fast browsing and its ability to quickly Ingest, Edit, and Export your photos, takes the hard work out of your workflow. Its powerful batch processing, full support of IPTC and Exif metadata, and innovative use of image variables and code replacements, make Photo Mechanic an indispensable tool for digital photographers.”
Of course Lightroom
is the edit/management program, and Adobe Photoshop & Premiere Elements 11
is your simpler edit/ effect program. plus you get a great little video editing program for a short stroke cost.
Now you can do a free trial download for any of these. Just click to their home page and you can have a look under the hood for usually 30 days.
Ok, we know there are tons of software programs out there, and we respect them. All great in their own right.
We just use and recommend these.