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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 01-08-2009, 01:59 PM
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Default Re: Digital Darkroom help

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Originally Posted by joraft View Post
My brother took a class on Lightroom and he's become pretty good with it. There's far more there than first meets the eye. The teacher of this class wrote a book and my brother recommended it, so I bought it. I now think it's a must read for learning this program:

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Photoshop Workflow Bible
Thanks for the timely information! Amazon just sent me a $25 gift certificate, and you have now supplied me with a 'must-have' purchase.

Thanks, again.

Charles
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2009, 09:20 AM
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Default Re: Digital Darkroom help

I down loaded the Lightroom after reading about it here. I have spent about 20 min. with it until I had to go to work. I love it compared to the Silkypix. There is a lot of info to learn yet, but it has more features than the other.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2009, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: Digital Darkroom help

I've have and love Lightroom. It's a great product for managing pics, but not particularly good for editing pics. Photoshop (all versions) and other image editing programs do a much better job of image editing.

I have about 16,000 images in my catalog. I was using PhotoShop Elements Album to manage the pics, but found that it simply couldn't handle the load. Lightroom manages this volume without breathing hard.

I use Photoshop CS2 for editing pics. It's a great tool. That said, for 99.9% of what I do, Photoshop Elements (I have V6.0) will do an equally good job and is easier to use. Further, the Photoshop Elements Album does a great job of managing an image load of up to say 10,000 pics. I HIGHLY recommend Photoshop Elements!

Regarding 'puter specs for image editing... First, try to get a system with at least 2Gb of memory (32bit WinXP will use up to about 3.3Gb). The choose a system with a fast CPU...

I haven't done any research lately, but I've found that your best bang for the buck is to get a system with a CPU this is just below the top of the line. That will give you 90-95% of the performance of the top of the line CPU for 1/2 to 1/3 of the cost.

Make sure that the system has a decent system disk and preferably a second data disk (two separate disks). Maybe a 150Gb Western Digital VelociRaptor 10K RPM system disk and a good quality high capacity (.5 to 1.0 TB) data disk for media and other files.

Regarding the video card, most decent video cards will do fine. The higher end cards are optimized for gaming and 3D graphics. You don't need a $500 graphics card for image editing. My cards cost about $90 each (I have two).

A lot of the canned systems rave about their fast CPUs. Then they cripple them with integrated sound and video, too little memory, and cheap, slow disk drives. Try to get system with balanced components.

I've had lots of luck with a couple local computer stores that build my systems to my specs. They sell canned systems too, but they will swap out some of the components for better quality ones.

I've found Tom's Hardware provides good information about hardware. At the end of the reviews, they have a summary section. Check out the summary section for their recomendations. Linkies:
Components CPU Reviews
Storage Reviews

Good luck,

Dan.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2009, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: Digital Darkroom help

Well, I'm still not sure about the Apple vs. PC. It seems that it is easier to find PCs discounted than macs. I use PCs now, one '97 and one '02, and have not had any major problems with them. Neither of them have the power or memory to even run a dvd burner, so storing a large number of photos and running a large photo editing program isn't going to happen.

I don't believe I'll need the power of Photoshop, but maybe Lightroom or Capture NX2 (I've seen this on ebay for around $120).

What size monitors are you guys using? I would like one large enough that with the software tools on the screen the photo isn't so small I can't tell what changes I'm making.:p

Tom.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 01-10-2009, 04:03 AM
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Default Re: Digital Darkroom help

Tom,

Hi. Photoshop Elements is the least expensive of the bunch. You listed the price for Capture NX at $120. Lightroom is $272 on Amazon: Amazon.com: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2: SoftwareAmazon.com: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2: Software . Photoshop Elements is $60 after discounts: Amazon.com: Adobe Photoshop Elements 7: SoftwareAmazon.com: Adobe Photoshop Elements 7: Software .

I have two 20" monitors on my workstation running at 1200 X 1600.

Regards,

Dan.
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Old 01-10-2009, 09:10 AM
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Default Re: Digital Darkroom help

I have a 22 in Dell. I like the size. Adobe offers a 30 day trial on their products. Thats what I have done for now to see if I'd like them. I still need to learn the Photoshop CS4, and Adobe Bridge. I hope I can get an opinion in 30 days, but so far I think I'm in over my head. However I love the Lightroom 2.2, and plan on purchasing that.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 01-10-2009, 02:44 PM
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Default Re: Digital Darkroom help

Rob,
I have used Photoshop for years, currently CS3 it has a steep learning curve at the beginning and to be honest I don't think you ever stop learning but it is an awesome program but really comes into it own when using it in conjunction with other Adobe products. I regularly use Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver and fireworks together, they are part of Adobes master collection suite, the only downfall for these great programs is the price.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 01-10-2009, 04:36 PM
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Default Re: Digital Darkroom help

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Originally Posted by ColinWhite View Post

... I have used Photoshop for years, currently CS3 it has a steep learning curve at the beginning and to be honest I don't think you ever stop learning ...
I agree, Photoshop has so many features and tools that it could take a lifetime to learn it all. I started with Version 2.5 back in 1993, and I'm currently using CS3. I would say that I still probably know only about 70% of what the software can do.

It's also much more than just a digital photo editing program. It has very powerful tools for creating graphic art and doing "pre-press" work. That is, doing color separations and other prep work to get it ready for the print shop.

It's also great for scanning in documents for restoration and/or alteration.

As for my current computer setup, I'm running a 2.6 gig quad core Intel, with 2 gig of memory. I have a 22" widescreen LCD monitor for my primary, and a 20" standard LCD to the left. I have two 640 gig internal SATA hard drives.

Most graphics software has a lot of pop-up tool bars, and this especially true of Photoshop. Back in the "olden" days, when I had only one (big fat CRT) monitor, the screen would quickly fill up with so many tools bars I could hardly see the image I was working on. It was a pain to keep toggling the toolbars on and off to get some working room. Now I work with only the image on the widescreen, and all the toolbars on the other monitor. And if I'm working on a particularly long document, the widescreen swivels so I can work on it the long way.

As Dan mentioned earlier, it is good to have a second hard drive when working in Photoshop. The "history" feature of Photoshop allows you to make an almost infinite number of changes to an image, and then travel back and forth through every change, right from the time you first started with it. To do this, the software must save every iteration of the image to what is called a "scratch disk". Even the fastest hard drives have some level of seek time (finding the right spot) as the drive must go through all these reads and writes. It's more efficient to have the scratch disk separate from the disk that's actually running the software because it reduces the number of seeks for both drives.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 01-10-2009, 09:12 PM
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Default Re: Digital Darkroom help

I have dual 19 inch monitors which come in useful for Photoshop, usually opening my image on the left hand screen and detaching the menu bars and pallets and moving them to the right hand screen so I'm not continuously opening and closing stuff so much, or some times running Photoshop on one and Illustrator one the other as I prefer Illustrator for text as it produces vectors rather than bitmaps.
Another good thing about using Photoshop is that it interfaces extremely well with other adobe products.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 01-10-2009, 10:56 PM
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Default Re: Digital Darkroom help

Here is what I have learned to do in a few minutes. I must say what an improvement on my picture. I'm starting to enjoy this Photoshop CS4.
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