View Full Version : Will Photoshop Fix This?
May 18th, 2006, 09:38 AM
I'm closing in on purchasing Photoshop, either an older version or the current CS2. I don't know much about it, and I'm intending to (soon) download the 30 day trial. Although I don't want to do this until school lets out because the last week or so of school will be kinda crazy 'round the house and I won't have much time to play with it. I would like a 30 trial and not a 20 or 15 day trial.
So, I'm going to attach a couple of photos here, and can you experts tell me whether photoshop can fix these issues? Also, what is the learning curve on the software? It's a $650 program, so it had better be able to fix this stuff. If it can't then why buy it? And what would be able to fix it?
Now, the first problem is that I'm shooting jpg. I know, I know about the jpg format, lossy files, etc. but what's done is done, and until I can demonstrate a need for a better camera, Nikon or Canon or similar, it'll be a while before I can go RAW. I can always pray for some sort of update to by issued by Minolta-now-Sony, but until then will Photoshop help me with the JPGs?
Here are a couple of "near misses." These could have been good shots, except that I goofed them somehow. They are crooked, and a little underexposed. I thought that they looked ok when I reviewed them on the camera that day so I stuck with my exposure settings. When I got them on the computer I was disappointed.
Take a look and tell me what you think:
May 18th, 2006, 09:47 AM
Have you looked into photoshop elements, the the things you need to fix that you mentioned can be done in that for a cost of like $90 i think.
It's not as robust as the true photoshop, but if all you need is cropping, color correction, rotating, removing redeye etc you might wanna check it out.
also, once you master some of those basics, maybe you can see if you want to extend your skills and learn some advanced by moving to cs2
I'm pretty sure it doesn't have a raw plugin, but you said your not there yet.
May 18th, 2006, 10:02 AM
Yeah, but man, I wanna go all out! My goals do include fixing some basic mistakes I made when exposing the images, but also to gain some sophisticated skills in sophisticated software. I figure that that way I can at least put down on my resume that I'm "proficient with photoshop."
In my line of work that kind of thing can be a plus, so I'm already certain that I want to have that expanded set of skills. That's why I'm not too shy to spend a little extra cash on the bigger package, although I'll try to spend as little as possible to get it. I figure that it'll pay off in the end.
May 18th, 2006, 10:14 AM
It took me about 15 seconds to do a quick correction on one of the images. But you should know that PS has a very steep learning curve:
May 18th, 2006, 10:20 AM
Irfanview and about ten seconds get this. It's a bit noisy, so it could probably do with a bit of neat-image or some such, but it certainly brings it a whole lot closer to acceptable [and spending another few minutes, and using PhotoShop, rather than a free-ware, would probably make it better yet].
All I did on this was bring the Gamma value to around 2.1 instead of 1.0 to lighten the whole image up.
May 18th, 2006, 10:32 AM
As as student, you can buy Photoshop or Photoshop Elements at greatly reduced rates. PSCS2 is $290 for students at www.academicsuperstore.com
May 18th, 2006, 10:34 AM
django made a great point. ps is expensive and you can expect a nice upgrade fee every year and a half or so (ouch). and although it can do everything i possibly need i only use a tiny percentage of its huge feature set. there are plenty of alternatives out there these days for photographers that you can get a lot done with for a lot less money. It's definitely worth a look. If you're going into the job market that's a different story because it's an industry standard, but if you're a hobbyist or submit finished work to publishers, you've got choices. good luck. later, kevin
May 18th, 2006, 10:43 AM
I think they'd both clean up pretty well in photoshop especially the first shot.
Jeff, I would take a look at Ebay where you find a licensed version for much less than $650. Probably about 1/2 that cost.
Regarding the learning curve...It is steep and it is also an ongoing learning process as you may discover but a process well worth it as you become more skilled. It is to me, in essence, my digital darkroom and as important to me as my gear.
May 18th, 2006, 11:17 AM
I tried working with both of these in Paintshop Pro and didn't get a result as good as Mats posted above. Now Paintshop Pro ain't Photoshop, but it isn't all that slouchy. Since I couldn't get that great a result I started thinking about whether or not Photoshop would be worth the trouble.
My job is as a technical trainer, and as such I have a lot of technical writing to do. Anything that I can do to improve my presentation to my students is worth going into for me. That's a big part of my interest in CS2, not just my photography hobby. Proficiency with CS2 gets me a foot in the door toward proficiency with the entire Adobe suite of products, and I'd like to convince my boss to buy Studio 8.
So if I can show him some value added with the printed page when I create student manuals and training guides, then maybe he'll see value in some better tools for us to create on line training, etc. CS2 is just my overlap application, I can use it for my hobby at home, but I would definately take some work home too if it can help. And maybe I find another job as a technical trainer where they do want that kind of proficiency. This way I can claim it.
May 18th, 2006, 12:13 PM
cool then cs2 is your choice. regarding the learning curve E.L. is right it is steep. i had a pile of books about 3 feet high and was still lost until i went to a photoshop users (NAPP) conference about 4 years ago. after 3 days of sessions "it" finally got through my thick skull. it probably cost less than what i had already spent on books. :)
May 18th, 2006, 12:21 PM
Remember too that Adobe is in beta with Lightroom (mac only for now). Early reviews seem good. I'm anxious to get my hands on a PC version. That may possibly be the way of the future instead of PS. I'm wondering if PSCS2 is the last integrated version we'll see from Adobe. ie, will they unbundle raw conversion from future versions of PS? May make good sense from a marketing point of view. Lots of unknowns right now. May want to hold off spending $ til Adobe puts its new line in the sand (presumably later this year).
May 18th, 2006, 12:47 PM
Regarding the learning curve.
Remember the 20% rule, it goes something like: 20% of something is used to do 80% of the work. Very true for photoshop like Kevin said, I use ps every day and use 5 functions to do what i need done, once in a while I use more. The learning curve comes from wanting to know every aspect of what it can do.
The other amazing thing about photoshop is there are 20 ways to get the same result which makes learning confusing too.
The best way I learned ps was from tutorials, either from magazine, books or online. It's good to read about it, but so much better I found if you can follow along and make your own.
May 18th, 2006, 05:38 PM
I purchased several "how-to" tapes/CD's over the years and picked up a lot that way. I also went to several NAPP (http://www.photoshopuser.com/) seminars which I felt were well worth the time and money.
May 18th, 2006, 06:11 PM
II also went to several NAPP (http://www.photoshopuser.com/) seminars which I felt were well worth the time and money.
Thanks for the link Fred. I wonder if these are the same as the seminars Kevin mentioned in an earlier post. In any case the $99 seminar fee looks attractive. How many folks attend these Fred? Any idea?
May 18th, 2006, 06:53 PM
How many folks attend these Fred? Any idea?I attended either 3 or 4 in Houston. They attracted well over 100 people each. Format here was teacher on stage with computer and 2 huge screens so all could see everything. Plenty of table space for everyone. Some attendees had laptops, others wrote in books. Very well executed. Lasted all day. They also had many items for sale w/o sales tax before, during, and after seminar.
May 18th, 2006, 06:59 PM
I tried it also and my result is similar to Matt's, only it took me about 15 minutes and I did run it through Noiseware also. I agree with most others here that the learning curve is pretty steep. I use Photoshop because I do a lot of print work. My son, who does only web work, uses only PSP. I started with PSP, then migrated to Photoshop for reasons similar to yours. As far as seminars go, I've never been to one. Almost all of what I've learned is through internet tutorials and trial and error. I was fortunate enough to be able to use it at work, which accelerated the learning process for me. I still have PSP, but it's been so long since I've used it, I don't know what kind of results I could obtain. I think we have a few PSP users on the site though that might be able to give it a go.
May 18th, 2006, 09:40 PM
I have benefited immensely by subscribing to NAPP
May 18th, 2006, 10:48 PM
Here's my shot at it...Worked it for about 15-20 mins...Used shadow/highlight tools, several adjustments in exposure (in smaller increments, some level adjustments and noise ninja'd slightly then pulled in back about 50% to reduce the softness and add a hint of noise. From the original I cut and pasted out the hair of the alter-person in the foreground and dragged it to the revised image and reduced opacity to about 70%. Otherwise the hair of the person would have been washed out way too much. I wouldnt minded have going back in to strengthen the colors within the robes as they washed out a bit as well.
probably the easier way would have been to cut out the face and worked on that only then bring it back into the picture later on. just a guess tho..I'm tired and I'm babbling *lol*
May 19th, 2006, 05:49 AM
Ok, I can't be the only one who noticed this...the recent post by Salty of BB king and now this guy!
May 19th, 2006, 08:32 AM
Well, they're both in the "soul business."
May 19th, 2006, 08:38 AM
Well, they're both in the "soul business."
May 19th, 2006, 12:33 PM
You guys are too funny!
May 20th, 2006, 12:07 AM
that is hystericle. i tried a bit of fixing this image as well. although it made them look better i think the images are to dark and as jpegs they just dont do well
May 20th, 2006, 09:27 PM
Being an Elements 4.0 user myself, I would highly recommend it for getting you to that first plateau in the learning curve. It actually is quite a poweful tool. After a year of use, I still have found relatively few times when I need something more robust at the prosumer level. At any rate, the price difference of $90 compared to $680 or so for CS2 is not necessarily indicative of the difference in functionality between the two products. It actually takes a fair amount of time to get fully up to speed with Elements, but may well give you a step up before diving in to CS2.