Do You Need Adobe Photoshop?

This is a question a budding photographer would eventually ask himself. Photography and photo editing are two different forms of art. Does processing your photo make you less of a photographer? Or is it a must for all photographers to post-process pictures? Is Photoshop necessary?

While many people can download Photoshop free of charge, the rest would have to spend around 700 dollars to get a copy. The legit version is expensive. If you have photography as a temporary hobby, then purchasing the full version is not a practical option. If you do not do much photo processing on editing software, then you really do not need to spend that much.

The question is: is it possible to create a masterpiece; a perfect photograph without using Photoshop?

The answer depends on what type of photographer you are. But it is possible to come up with a great image without doing post-processing. A good photographer should be able to capture their desired photo by setting the camera settings right and taking into account ambient conditions, before taking a snap. Important settings to consider when taking a shot are:

• ISO

• Exposure Compensation

• White balance

• Aperture

• Shutter speed

• Composition

So if you get things right in the camera in the first place, your chances of getting the perfect photo is so high, that you would not need to post process it later. If you set the ISO right, you may not have to go through aggressive noise reduction on software. The right exposure compensation ensures the photo looks just right-neither dark, nor bright. White balance ensures colors come right. Proper composition eliminates the need for unnecessary cropping or image rotation on the software.

However, there are many cases where even professional and seasoned photographers have to edit their photos. These are some of the cases:

• When there is time constraint in photography – You can get the settings right, as long as your subject can wait for you to set the camera and get the right composition. In so many cases, this is impossible. Outdoor, travel, street, sports, and wildlife photography involves taking photos continuously, without much time to tinker the settings. It is during these crucial moments when you have to prefer capturing the picture and just making adjustments on the image later. Setting the camera each time would mean missing precious moments.

• When the photo needs to be enhanced – There are those that already look right, but can still look better through post-processing. Portrait, wedding, and fashion photographers are heavy users of post-processing techniques. For instance, you have a nice portrait; everything is set right, but your subject’s face has blemishes. You see, no in-camera setting can remove these facial blemishes. You have to resort to the removal of these imperfections on Adobe Photoshop. This is a usual trick many professional photographers do.

• When a photo needs to be altered artistically – Advanced photographers usually do not settle with just a snap straight from the camera. There are several ways to change the image to make it look entirely different from the original photo. For instance, the background can be blurred significantly, or the subject can be made to retain its color to make the background recede into grayness. Photographers can also add elements to a photo or change the background entirely, or clip photographs together to form a panorama.

Boost Your Knowledge with Photoshop Tutorials

When it comes to digital photography applications then none can beat the features and quality of Adobe Photoshop. Over the years, this software has enjoyed the number one position both in terms of popularity as well as design options when it comes to photo editing. The main functionality of Photoshop is to edit the normal photos to make them look more artistic and stylish, using various kinds of effects such as color lines, color saturation and shadows etc.

Even though it is a commonly used application, not everyone has got the desired knowledge when it comes to Photoshop and a lot of people look for various sources of information to gather more knowledge on this application. Well, if you want to learn about the various Photoshop tricks and tips then you should read Photoshop tutorials. A large section of people rely on the use of these tutorials as they help the user to learn many new things about the software. Since these tutorials are comprehensive, you need not look for information from other sources.

Photoshop tutorials are aimed at enhancing the knowledge of the user about the various tools and features of this software. You will find plenty so such tutorials online. They are divided into various categories so as to provide a better understanding of the subject. You also need not buy them as many of these tutorials are available for free. Since there are plenty of websites that are offering you free tutorials, you need to find the one that offers you quality and informative content. These tutorials are more beneficial for the beginners such as they help you to learn about the basics of Photoshop like red-eye removal, importance of layers, changing hair colors, retouching picture etc.

In order to make the best use of Adobe Photoshop, it is a must that you learn about all the important features of this application, if not all. It has plenty of benefits. It’s not only used merely for fun but also can help you in web designing, animation etc. Many web designers make use of Photoshop tutorials for designing the web pages as well as navigation bars. Instead of reading multiple tutorials, you need to focus on just one or two which you feel are informative and easy to read. This way you will be easily able to learn this great application in a slow, gradual and understanding manner.

Free Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop is an amazing piece of software, but it comes at quite a high cost.  If you’re a hobbyist or freelancer on a budget, there are several free alternatives image editors out there that might be right for your needs.  Here are several of the options available to you:

GIMP

Often hailed as the cream of the crop, GIMP has amassed a loyal and large user base.  There are those out there that actually prefer GIMP to Photoshop, and its feature set is amazingly robust for a free piece of software.  GIMP is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, and a few other operating systems.  

Photoscape

This editor is not as feature rich as GIMP, but arguably has an easier to digest interface and tailors itself to making fun enhancements to photos a snap to execute.  Worth a look if you’re into adding simple effects to your images.

Paint.NET

This is a favorite of pixel artists, as its interface and feature set lend itself well to creating art used in video games and the like.  Far from its only use though, the software includes many commonly used features in Photoshop.  I’ll often open up Paint.NET to perform simple operations such as resizing when I wish to avoid the overhead of opening the resource hungry Photoshop.  

Pixia

Originally developed for a Japanese audience, Pixia shows its roots by offering an impressive array of tools for the graphic artist.  This application is ideal for manga, cartooning, and digital sketching.  The windowed interface similar to GIMP, and is a breeze to use after a moderate intital learning curve.

Those are four of the best free image editing applications available, but there are many more offerings floating around out there.  Some of them may be more specialized to your specific needs, so don’t be afraid to search around and try as many as you want.