*Official* Digital Photography Advice Thread Page 2

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  • Blaketown 12 Jan 2010 15:57:52 4,636 posts
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    I have a question. What software should I be using?

    Firstly for organising my photos. And then for processing the RAW files.

    Are there any free options or am I looking at shelling out a fortune?

    Brap, brap, old chap.

  • smoothpete 12 Jan 2010 15:59:53 31,357 posts
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    I use Canon's free ones that came with the camera
  • otto Moderator 12 Jan 2010 16:04:18 49,298 posts
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    I have heard it said that there are some people who, ahem, choose a middle route.

    Software you should be considering:

    For cataloguing:
    Picasa
    Flickr
    iPhoto
    Lightroom
    Aperture
    Adobe Bridge
    Microsoft Expression Media (formerly iView Media Pro)
    Extensis Portfolio

    For editing:
    Lightroom
    Aperture
    Photoshop
    iPhoto

    Lightroom seems to have become the application of choice these days, I recently switched to it myself from an iView Media Pro and Photoshop workflow and (bar a few niggles) I like it very very much. It more or less replaces Photoshop for post processing and it really speeds things up.

    Picasa/iPhoto is strictly for casual use I'd say (/prepares to be shot down)

    say no to Eurogamer sigs

  • Nth 12 Jan 2010 16:09:20 3,119 posts
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    Anyone who uses Bridge wants their bloody head reading.
  • Nth 12 Jan 2010 16:09:45 3,119 posts
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    iPhoto does everything I need :)
  • mal 12 Jan 2010 16:10:16 22,341 posts
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    I'm on Linux so I use F-spot for organising my photos, GIMP+UFRAW for processing my RAWs and the wavelet-denoise plugin for noise reduction if needed.

    Works well, except for a couple of things:
    - You can't click on a RAW in f-spot to launch GIMP. Instead you have to right click it, select 'copy photo location' then go to GIMP, select 'open location' and paste the location in. Not a massive hassle, but it could be nicer.
    - I've not found a way to link RAW and derived JPEGs in f-spot. It has a feature for tagging edited versions of the same photo as being a different version of the same, but it only does them if you edit them via f-spot.
    - wavelet-denoise isn't quite as good as Nikon's own noise reduction code I suspect, but then I don't need to use it very often.

    Edit: All of this software is available on Windows (and probably Mac) as well.

    Edit: Except f-spot, possibly. That'd be a pain.

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • Nth 12 Jan 2010 16:12:10 3,119 posts
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    Surely nobody uses just Flickr?
  • Neverness 12 Jan 2010 16:18:16 1,186 posts
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    Depth of field stuff
  • Neverness 12 Jan 2010 16:20:19 1,186 posts
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    Nth wrote:
    Surely nobody uses just Flickr?

    You could I suppose. Pro account, tag lots and use Picknic to edit.
  • PhoenixFlames 12 Jan 2010 16:40:59 8,899 posts
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    Anyone know which is the video podcast for digital photography?

    PSN - phoenix1flames

  • Nth 12 Jan 2010 16:43:05 3,119 posts
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    Neverness wrote:
    Nth wrote:
    Surely nobody uses just Flickr?

    You could I suppose. Pro account, tag lots and use Picknic to edit.
    I only asked as otto listed it as an application.
  • otto Moderator 12 Jan 2010 16:46:34 49,298 posts
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    Cataloguing application, not editing. I think you could probably do all your cataloguing with it, though I wouldn't recommend it.

    say no to Eurogamer sigs

  • Nth 12 Jan 2010 16:47:45 3,119 posts
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    I'd rather go down on Anne Widdecombe.
  • Neverness 12 Jan 2010 17:02:09 1,186 posts
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    Nth wrote:
    Neverness wrote:
    Nth wrote:
    Surely nobody uses just Flickr?

    You could I suppose. Pro account, tag lots and use Picknic to edit.
    I only asked as otto listed it as an application.

    I know, it just made me think thats all.
  • Neverness 12 Jan 2010 17:02:57 1,186 posts
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    PhoenixFlames wrote:
    Anyone know which is the video podcast for digital photography?

    In what respect?
  • PhoenixFlames 12 Jan 2010 17:06:08 8,899 posts
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    Neverness wrote:
    PhoenixFlames wrote:
    Anyone know which is the video podcast for digital photography?

    In what respect?

    Learning techniques really.

    PSN - phoenix1flames

  • otto Moderator 12 Jan 2010 17:08:07 49,298 posts
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    Just immerse yourself in the Luminous Landscape tutorials and guides (think they have some video ones too). That is a great place to learn stuff.

    say no to Eurogamer sigs

  • smoothpete 12 Jan 2010 17:13:08 31,357 posts
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    smoothpete wrote:
    Just point it at stuff and press the button a lot
  • henro_ben 12 Jan 2010 17:17:51 2,211 posts
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    smoothpete wrote:
    Just point it at stuff and press the button a lot

    I'm stealing this, it will do nicely for answering the 'advice for our readers' question from the magazine.

    Don't worry, I'll be sure to quote my sources... ;-)
  • mal 12 Jan 2010 17:24:11 22,341 posts
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    Neverness wrote:
    Depth of field stuff
    Good link, ta.

    Blimey, this stuff gets complicated quickly, but perspective at different focal lengths is something I really need to learn.

    So in short it seems that longer lenses appear to have a smaller DoF because they enlarge everything including the out-of-focus areas - but actually they have a larger Dof (that is, parts of the image actually in focus). But Dof also changes with focus distance - the same object taken to fill the viewfinder at different focal lengths (by moving closer or further away from the object) have roughly the same DoF. Which must mean DoF decreases with focus distance.

    Hmm, that doesn't seem right. I need to go and read that link again.

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • terminalterror 12 Jan 2010 17:24:25 18,937 posts
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    mal wrote:
    Okay, a question from me. Does the depth of field vary with focal length?

    As far as I know, DoF range is a multiple of the focus distance e.g. from 0.8x to 1.1x the focus distance things will be sharp. So as the focus distance increases the actual range in focus will increase. And longer lenses tend to be used from greater distance - but is that the only factor at play?

    e.g. will a 28mm lens focusing at a point 1m away get the same amount in focus at f/2.8 as a 105mm lens also at f2.8 or is there a difference?

    with example photos
  • otto Moderator 12 Jan 2010 17:59:27 49,298 posts
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    Brilliant, well that answers the question and teaches me something I didn't know.

    say no to Eurogamer sigs

  • mal 12 Jan 2010 18:00:24 22,341 posts
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    Yeah, cheers TT!

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • Deleted user 12 January 2010 19:08:47
    otto wrote:
    terminalterror wrote:

    jpegs store settings data too (aperture, shutter speed, iso at the very least).

    But he should still take raws.

    The only reason to shoot jpegs is if you're a photo journalist working to deadlines. Hobbyists like us should always shoot raw and keep maximum creative control over our final images.
    I strongly disagree. Learn how to use the camera and stick with JPG if you want an easy life. Shooting everything in RAW is a fucking ballache, you simply have to convert them to JPG at some point. The only thing I ever shoot RAW is a professional paid job where I want to be absolutely certain I can fix a poor white balance or tweak an exposure non-destructively.
  • smoothpete 12 Jan 2010 19:21:51 31,357 posts
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    I shoot RAW now but only for the white balance tweaking which I've actually found pretty useful. But that's only since last year, before that it was jpg all the way. If I had one where the WB looked off I just B&W'ed it which is easy enough with jpgs
  • Jeepers 12 Jan 2010 19:25:46 13,173 posts
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    I shoot everything in RAW if only because storage is cheap; the additional time spent converting from RAW - JPEG is only ever one extra step (choose File Format on Save as... or Export). Also, as Otto says, why let the shitty processor in your camera decide what sharpening, saturation or noise reduction to use? Chances are, you can make a better decision than a small wafer of silicon.

    + RAW sounds waaaay more manly than JPEG.
  • otto Moderator 12 Jan 2010 19:26:50 49,298 posts
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    Why's it a ballache MrEd? What software are you using? Most cataloguing/editing software will automatically convert raws for you on the fly, you never have to do any more work than you want to. No difference to converting in camera except you have a digital negative to fall back on should you want to. And which serious hobbyist photographer would not want to?

    say no to Eurogamer sigs

  • otto Moderator 12 Jan 2010 19:29:18 49,298 posts
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    In any case, Owen, I can't remember ever seeing a shot from you that hasn't been heavily post processed. (And that's not a criticism, on the contrary.)

    say no to Eurogamer sigs

  • henro_ben 12 Jan 2010 19:29:19 2,211 posts
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    RAW all the way for me. Jpeg is an output format as far as I'm concerned, not an archiving one, so everything is saved as the RAW, plus a PSD of any I actually like enough to convert.
  • Neverness 13 Jan 2010 10:04:45 1,186 posts
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    RAW for me to, though I never had a problem changing white balance on JPEGS back in the day.

    If anyone is interested, I do have a stack of Digital Camera Magazine CDs that are just sitting in a draw. I am happy to give them away if anyone wants them.
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