Moving On Up

For this post, I thought it worthwhile to write about my move up to Photoshop CS6.  Considering how I’ve had time to use it for a few months and get into my rhythm of how I use it, I could write briefly about how I’ve used it so far, and a few opinions on it.

Before moving up to CS6, I was using Gimp.  While using Gimp, it wasn’t meeting my needs as far as options available to me, at least as far as pure photo editing power was concerned.  I either didn’t have a raw converter with it, or didn’t find one I liked.  Don’t ask me what raw converters I’ve tried with Gimp, because I abandoned them long ago and have since forgotten their names.  I was pretty much stuck shooting jpeg until recently.  I’ve shot jpeg since starting digital photography my junior year of high school (2006-07) up until July 2012, when I switched permanently to shooting raw.  Even when using Photoshop in high school (they had CS3 on some of their machines at the time), inexplicably I wasn’t shooting raw.  (Likely, it was due to just getting started, and learning how everything else worked.)

Anyway, when I was finally able to shell out the change to get Photoshop, I felt like it was a godsend.  Luckily, I got the student discount on it, saving a ton (something like 80% off the original price, if I’m remembering correctly).  Sidenote, if you’re still a student, I’d highly recommend you get Photoshop while you can, if only just for the discount.  I now have so much more control over the look of the image.  During my transition into Photoshop, I had a few photos I took shooting raw+jpeg, so I could see how my photos look after doing my edits on each file type.

One important idea I learned from shooting jpeg was to get as much right in-camera as I could.  This idea holds regardless of whether I’m shooting jpeg or raw.  There are, though, a few things I do adjust, even when I get my photos mostly right.  Let’s take white balance as an example.  Let’s say I set it on daylight white balance when I’m walking around outside taking photos (or tungsten or fluorescent, depending on the lights when I’m inside).  The white balance will be pretty close, but still wouldn’t quite there yet.  I could adjust the jpeg to get that white balance looking closer, but it still wouldn’t look right.  With raw, I just move two sliders around until it looks right.  (One is color temperature, such as 3200K, 5400K, etc. and affects the image by making it look either more reddish or more blueish.  The other slider is tint, which affects whether the photo looks either more magenta or more green.)  When shooting raw, for me it makes my processing easier to handle, so I don’t have to do as much to make it look the way I want it to.

On that note, I’ll end my post here.  In the next couple of posts, I’ll cover the comparison between how I’d process a photo from raw compared to from jpeg.

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