I say, photographers all... who shoots in RAW? If so, any tips? I have downloaded Adobe DNG Converter and I'm currently learning GIMP. (Since I upgraded my OS, my trusty Photoshop doesn't work and I'm not interested - as a recent OAP - in springing for the monthly rental of Adobe Creative Suite.
Yes Gary, RAW for me as well. As I've said here a few times, for amateur or pro, I see little point in shooting or doing anything that doesn't maximize the potential of any image. There's little to no time nor money to be saved doing less, and many potential tears will flow when discovering that fact when it's too late.
For digital captures it's Lightroom all the way for me. It does things Photoshop can't touch, amazingly so (!), and Photoshop degrades digital captures in several ways. Originally I thought Lightroom was just another profit center for Adobe, (edited for clarity >) so I tested a few images by processing each as RAW in Lightroom before exporting as a corrected (unsharpened) tiff, then duplicated the uncorrected RAW file, imported it into Lightroom, exported it as uncorrected tiff, and corrected in Photoshop to match the Lightroom file. If your color management is synchronized in all apps, a Lightroom file regardless of corrections will be identical in look to its exported Photoshop tiff, and saving as LZW compressed tiff saves about a third in size and is completely non-destructive to the file. (< end edit)
When comparing the corrected and exported file from LR to the uncorrected and exported file from LR that was then corrected in PS, what became clear straight away was the handling of color gradations from midtone to shadow in LR were nice and smooth. Those same gradations in Photoshop had enough bitmapped chunks to pave a highway.
But, Lightroom's catalog structure is spooky until you get cozy with it, one can make one false move and lose all corrections to all
images! The way I get around that potential horror is to export every image I correct in LR as full-res tiffs as a backup. Yes, this does take backup space, but with backup drives approaching a nickel per gigabyte it's an expense I'm okay with. And even with large files from a 36.2 gigapixel Nikon D800E, it's "cheaper" than losing it all from one error we dumb humans are prone to make.
That said, I know nothing about the other software other adept shooters here have recommended. If cheap or free, it's worth a try for sure.
People don't like paying the Adobe monthly fees for software, and I couldn't agree more! I bought Creative Suite because my work requires Lightroom, Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and Acrobat. For those lucky souls not needing all that, Lightroom's still out there at USD $149 or so. If you use it for five years as I tend to do, that's like $2.50 a month. Many prefer the monthly charge route to get updates and stuff, but for me, life's too short to keep re-inventing methods and constantly learning new things… unless one loves staring at a radiation screen and not doing much of anything else.
Something worth adding is I've never imported a single scanned film image into Lightroom. Considering I'm about to wrap up a 3,000+ hour Print Folio (Thanks Again, Elrosso) of 1,027 scanned 4x5s at 50" minimum length, I will weep profusely if it turned out that LR is better at correcting scanned film than Photoshop. On this, I'm sticking with ignorant bliss.
Edited by E1pix, 09 September 2015 - 04:45.