Imagine not knowing how to fly or having a pilot’s license yet having the money to buy a $30,000 airplane and doing so. And then, trying to learn it on your own because you won’t spend $3,000 on lessons – eventually becoming a ‘statistic’.
Photography is not quite as risky as flying, but how about buying $1,000 to $3,000 worth of digital camera gear and then not taking the time to learn to process the images. This is more common than not and there is one recurring theme applicable here – Slow Down, Read, and Understand what you are doing.
Many people are using Picassa or other such basic software to “Digital Darkroom” their images. For the average point-&-shoot snapshot shooter, this is fine as most pictures will be only viewed as low resolution on a computer or the web, or printed at Walgreens as 4x6’s. But if you are more serious about photography, then it is time to learn and use more advanced Digital Darkroom tools.
At around $100, Adobe Elements 8 is an incredible program. With it, you can upload images to your computer, rename them, and organize your files. Elements has a Guided Edit section that will take you through a “workflow” sequence of potential adjustments that produce excellent results and also teach you to the names of these adjustments. You can quick edit, then do more advanced edits as you learn.
Once you get it, though, you’ll have to take the time to learn. Buy a book, such as the Philip Andrews one listed below, watch some tutorial videos at Adobe TV, or take a class down at the Palm Beach Photographic Center. It may take a few months to learn, but you’ll be rewarded with years of producing images the way you imagine.
Resources to learn more include:
Philip Andrews, Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 for Photographers.
http://www.photoshopessentials.com/ for advanced use of tools
Vero Beach Photographer