Call me lazy, but using photo editing software saves a lot of time and can produce some very interesting results, when compared to traditional darkroom techniques.
It also makes photography much easier to use and more appealing to more people.
Why do we use such software in nature photography? Because a camera cannot see the range of light we see, nor see it correctly all the time; therefore, we sometimes need a computer to “clean up” an image.
Or, we can use the computer as a paintbrush and make a new image from the original. What you can do here is only limited by your imagination and skill.
What software do you want to use? Here are the more well known options.
- Photoshop CS5– for ultimate creative control with a heavy learning curve and an empty wallet – $1,168 @ May 2010
- Photoshop Lightroom – for serious photographers with neat cataloging and creative controls most used by photographers. (I use this a lot) – $535
- Photoshop Elements – if you don’t know what you are doing and don’t want to have to learn much, with good organising ability – $137
There are now online editing options.. eg you upload to Flickr or Picasa and link to http://www.picnik.com and use their online software to do it for free. Similar in approach to Photoshop Elements.
For those who want to go to the effort of becoming a “Digital Artist” and want to get it for free there is – www.gimp.org. Similar to Photoshop but is based on open source software – which means it is free and people keep improving it, free of charge. This software you download and install on your computer. It does not have the latest “bells and whistles” of Photoshop and takes a while to understand but all learning requires effort, eh?