It's time to abandon PhotoShop

Started Jan 9, 2013 | Discussions
Chester S Parks
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It's time to abandon PhotoShop
Jan 9, 2013

Every since Adobe came out with LightRoom, I have using it and it along with DxO. These have now become my main photo cataloging and photo optimizing tools. I find that I want to use PhotoShop about once every month or so. As a result, I have held off paying Adobe's high upgrade prices for PS and reduced my upgrade cycle to every other version. Since CS4 is getting a little behind now, I need to think about what I'm going to do.

Now that Adobe has decided to go to the monthly rental fee and eliminated upgrades, I am reluctant to part with that much money for occasional use.

My computers are all APPLE and running the latest OS X 10.8. Can anyone recommend an alternate more economical editor that will do layers and "near PS" capabilities?

Leon Wittwer
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Re: It's time to abandon PhotoShop
In reply to Chester S Parks, Jan 9, 2013

Times do change.  I don't have a good answer for you.  I'm using CS6 and have found that each upgrade over the years provided some new or better tools for what I do.  As you note, there are still things that PS does that are useful.  Regarding the costs, the upgrade costs are relatively small compared to what I pay for cameras, lenses, printers, ink, paper, etc.

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hjr13
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Re: It's time to abandon PhotoShop
In reply to Chester S Parks, Jan 9, 2013

The obvious choice would be ps elements. It does layers, and is not that different from ps itself. One of my friends uses elements 11 for most stuff, but has cs4 for the things elements can't do.

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Dave Thompson
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Re: It's time to abandon PhotoShop
In reply to hjr13, Jan 9, 2013

Hi, I have Lightroom and use along side Perfect photosuite 7 which gives you the option of working with layers. I'm finding I'm using Photoshop less and less.

Regards, Dave

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Tom Axford
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Gimp is a free alternative to Photoshop
In reply to Chester S Parks, Jan 9, 2013

I use the Gimp as it is free, works on both Macs and PCs (I have used it on both), and is very good in its capabilities. The fact that it is free is both an advantage (for the obvious reason) and a disadvantage (if something goes wrong, you can't go back to the supplier and demand that it is fixed).

Another disadvantage is that it has an entirely different user interface to PS and fewer tutorials are available to guide you through learning it. I found it quite frustrating at times when I was first learning it.

However, I now use it frequently and I am very impressed with its range of capabilities (in some respects possibly better than PS). I also find it easy and convenient now that I am used to it.

It is worth mentioning that for some operations Gimp runs more slowly that PS, but I don't find it a problem with the current iMacs - it rarely takes more than a second or two for normal operations. If you're running OS X 10.8, then presumably you have a fairly recent machine and it should have plenty of processor power.

The Gimp website is www.gimp.org

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Doug R
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Re: It's time to abandon PhotoShop
In reply to Chester S Parks, Jan 9, 2013

You may well not need Photoshop any more but you shouldn't need lies or have truths to justify your decision. "Now that Adobe has decided to go to the monthly rental fee and eliminated upgrades" just is not true and if you have to use it as an excuse to dump Photoshop than it must mean you still need Photoshop. Dump Photoshop or not just don't lie to yourself or others to do it.

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Terrance Vacha
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Re: It's time to abandon PhotoShop
In reply to Chester S Parks, Jan 9, 2013

I have wondered this myself at each upgrade. I use CS5 mainly for the plug-ins and layers. I also use Aperture. I tend to prefer to use CS5 as an external editor even when I don't need to, primarily because, although Aperture can handle a lot of plug-ins, it doesn't handle them all. I like to have all of my plug-ins available when I start to do more creative type stuff with my photos.

Bottom line for me = when I can really do without photoshop I will, but I don't find that other software is yet compensating for what I want to do with plug-ins, etc. in CS5. I much rather use NIK products in CS5 rather than in Aperture, for example.

Its tough with the upgrades. Although I prefer to have continued enhancements in the software, I find that one just about has to upgrade everything just to stay at the same level. Software upgrades, then a new computer is needed, then software bumps up to the more sophisticated machines, and again you have to keep up -- especially when the computer keeps bugging you that there is a newer version of this or that.

I certainly wished that Aperture 4.0 would come out, but at least I can always pop over to CS5 for what I need. Anyway, I sympathize.

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kb2zuz
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PhotoShop Elements
In reply to Chester S Parks, Jan 9, 2013

I'd say one of a two options...

First is do nothing. What is wrong with CS4 besides the fact that it is "old." On a mac it might be a little slow as it is limited to 32 bit an cannot use more than 4GB of RAM which can make it a little slower if you have big files and a computer with a lot of RAM that isn't being utilized, but for most people it's fine.

Second is look at Photoshop Elements. What do you do with Photoshop that isn't offered in Elements? CMYK or multi-channel conversions? Channel calculations? 32 bit image editing? 3D rendering?

What do you really need? Layers, adjustment layers, masks, blending modes, cloning/healing, photomerge? They're all there in Photoshop elements.

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TheEye
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Elements has now Adjustment Layers?
In reply to kb2zuz, Jan 9, 2013

kb2zuz wrote:

What do you really need? Layers, adjustment layers, masks, blending modes, cloning/healing, photomerge? They're all there in Photoshop elements.

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\~K

Are you sure? Last time I checked, Elements did not have Adjustement Layers, which I absolutely want and need.

What about editing 16-bit images?

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graybalanced
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Re: It's time to abandon PhotoShop
In reply to Chester S Parks, Jan 9, 2013

Chester S Parks wrote:

Since CS4 is getting a little behind now, I need to think about what I'm going to do...Can anyone recommend an alternate more economical editor that will do layers and "near PS" capabilities?

I think your answer is keep using CS4. The photo editing applications that cost significantly less than Photoshop generally do not approach the CS4 set of features.

If you do want to try alternatives, it seems like Pixelmator and the GIMP are the ones to check out. But again, CS4 will probably still be more productive. It might be different if you had like CS2 or older, but CS4 is still better than most other software out there.

A current version of Lightroom plus CS4 for the occasional touch-up is nothing to sneeze at.

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deep7
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Re: It's time to abandon PhotoShop
In reply to Terrance Vacha, Jan 9, 2013

It could pay to check out Pixelmator.  It doesn't do everything and takes some learning but it is quite powerful, very quick and cheap.  Since the purchase of a newer Mac forced me to use Lion (now Mountain Lion), I can't use my earlier version of Photoshop.  I do have a trial version of Elements 10 which never seems to expire but virtually never use it as Pixelmator is good enough (especially now I've managed to add a high pass filter) and seems a good bit faster.

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Conchita
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Re: Elements has now Adjustment Layers?
In reply to TheEye, Jan 10, 2013

Huh? PSE has had adjustment layers since version 1, but not all the ones currently available in PS. The biggest problem is curves. You can download a free adjustment layer addon (PSE has a rudimentary curves tool that uses sliders instead of the graph), but the code in PSE for some reason restricts curves to the combined RGB channel. There's a windows plugin that works around this, but nothing for mac right now.

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TheEye
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Re: Elements has now Adjustment Layers?
In reply to Conchita, Jan 10, 2013

Conchita wrote:

Huh? PSE has had adjustment layers since version 1, but not all the ones currently available in PS.

That's the problem.

The biggest problem is curves. You can download a free adjustment layer addon (PSE has a rudimentary curves tool that uses sliders instead of the graph)

That's pretty useless.

, but the code in PSE for some reason restricts curves to the combined RGB channel.

Not exactly useful.

There's a windows plugin that works around this, but nothing for mac right now.

Since Adjustment Layers in Elements still does not feature the most basic of all Adjustment Layer options (curves), I wonder why you wrote "Huh?"  

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Conchita
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Re: Elements has now Adjustment Layers?
In reply to TheEye, Jan 10, 2013

Because PSE does have adjustment layers. It has levels, brightness/contrast, hue/saturation, gradient map, photo filter, invert, posterize, and threshold, and more that can be added from other sources.

So I still say that it's huh-worthy when someone says the program doesn't have any. It does and always has had.

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probert500
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Re: It's time to abandon PhotoShop
In reply to graybalanced, Jan 10, 2013

graybalanced wrote:

Chester S Parks wrote:

Since CS4 is getting a little behind now, I need to think about what I'm going to do...Can anyone recommend an alternate more economical editor that will do layers and "near PS" capabilities?

I think your answer is keep using CS4. The photo editing applications that cost significantly less than Photoshop generally do not approach the CS4 set of features.

If you do want to try alternatives, it seems like Pixelmator and the GIMP are the ones to check out. But again, CS4 will probably still be more productive. It might be different if you had like CS2 or older, but CS4 is still better than most other software out there.

A current version of Lightroom plus CS4 for the occasional touch-up is nothing to sneeze at.

I concur.

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TheEye
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Re: Elements has now Adjustment Layers?
In reply to Conchita, Jan 10, 2013

Conchita wrote:

Because PSE does have adjustment layers. It has levels, brightness/contrast, hue/saturation, gradient map, photo filter, invert, posterize, and threshold, and more that can be added from other sources.

So I still say that it's huh-worthy when someone says the program doesn't have any. It does and always has had.

I didn't say "any." I didn't specify. With the most important of all Adjustment Layers missing, the existence of some of the other ALs is to me irrelevant. Do you consider the lack of the curves AL trivial?

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Hen3ry
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Have a look at PhotoLine
In reply to Chester S Parks, Jan 10, 2013

Costs about $100, very mature program that runs on both Mac and Windows, and a very capable editor with some interesting other capabilities.

Some people on the PhotoLine forum also use Elements for a couple of the most recent tools in the PS bag of tricks.

Have a look: http://pl32.com

I'm a happy user.

Cheers, geoff

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Chester S Parks
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Re: Have a look at PhotoLine
In reply to Hen3ry, Jan 10, 2013

Thanks for the suggestions. I think I'll definately have a look at Pixelmator. This was the suggestion I was looking for. I just wish they had a few more english tutorials.  And I'll continue to use CS4 until APPLE makes an operating system change that renders it inoperable.

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Jack Frazier
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Re: Elements has now Adjustment Layers?
In reply to TheEye, Jan 10, 2013

TheEye wrote:

Conchita wrote:

Because PSE does have adjustment layers. It has levels, brightness/contrast, hue/saturation, gradient map, photo filter, invert, posterize, and threshold, and more that can be added from other sources.

So I still say that it's huh-worthy when someone says the program doesn't have any. It does and always has had.

I didn't say "any." I didn't specify. With the most important of all Adjustment Layers missing, the existence of some of the other ALs is to me irrelevant. Do you consider the lack of the curves AL trivial?

Curves is not a big deal anymore, with the power of LR4 and Camera Raw 7 Curves is hardly ever needed. I can get the look I want without touching curves and it's easier.

If you are still using Curves in PS to adjust your images your missing out on the power and ease of the above Editing spaces.

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noirdesir
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Re: Elements has now Adjustment Layers?
In reply to TheEye, Jan 10, 2013

TheEye wrote:

Conchita wrote:

Because PSE does have adjustment layers. It has levels, brightness/contrast, hue/saturation, gradient map, photo filter, invert, posterize, and threshold, and more that can be added from other sources.

So I still say that it's huh-worthy when someone says the program doesn't have any. It does and always has had.

I didn't say "any." I didn't specify.

Oh yes, you did. Your precise words were:

> " Last time I checked, Elements did not have Adjustement Layers."

A statement without any qualifiers is by definition a general statement.

With the most important of all Adjustment Layers missing, the existence of some of the other ALs is to me irrelevant. Do you consider the lack of the curves AL trivial?

Well, you were lying to make the insult you hurled at Adobe more powerful. For you not having certain adjustment layers was equivalent to having no layers at all. That might be true for you but it is a factually incorrect statement to say that the lack of certain adjustment layers is the same as no adjustment layers, at all.

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