New to digital photography...software question

Started Jan 5, 2013 | Questions thread
Oilman
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Post processing is part of the game andpart of the fun
In reply to davepic, Jan 6, 2013

Ansel Adams once said; "The picture is the score, the processing is the performance".

ALL DIGITAL PICTURES ARE PROCESSED!!!!  A digital camera does not take a picture. It takes a whole bunch of voltage readings. If you shoot JPG's the processing is done within the camera, using a lossy 1983 algorithm that removes much of the detail of the picture. If you shoot RAW and use your far more powerful computer and one of a variety of programs to process the photo, the detail can be retained.

Here is an example I shot very early in my photograpy journey to teach myself about RAW and processing. I have reprinted it several times on this forum.

This is a picture of my backyard shot as a JPG. Note that the foilage is under-exposed and the sky is blown out.

Here is the same picture shot a few minutes later using RAW and processed in Photoshop Elements. Notice that foilage is correctly exposed and the detail in the sky is retained.

I agree that you need to learn about your camera. But you need to learn how to process at the same time. You have already made the decision, by buying a DSLR, to take your photography to the next level. Why compromise the quality of photos you may never get a chance to take again by shooting JPG's and not processing?

I am a fan of Adobe products. I currently use both Lightroom and Photoshop. But Photoshop Elements provides 85% of the functionality of Photoshop at 1/10th the cost. You can get free plug-ins on the web that make that 90%  It is an incredible deal. Many people on this forum do very good work with DPP. But it will not give you that same level of versatility as PS Elements

I highly recommend that you read Ron Bigelow's articles on processing, particularly those on RAW. They were of great help to me when I was starting out. They still are and I still refer to them

www.ronbigelow.com

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