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"You only need Elements and color..."

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by zpuskas, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. zpuskas

    zpuskas Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2011
    Santa Barbara, CA
    I went to a photography "commercial" for lack of a better term (it was an introduction to an upcoming 2-day workshop).
    One of the workshop leaders said "you only need Elements and shoot in color and convert to B&W." He does recommend using RAW, though. Comments?
  2. BrianK

    BrianK Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 20, 2011
    Lansing MI
    I think Elements iPhoto/picasa combo will work for 99% of folks, yes. my 2 cents.

  3. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    At an introductory level he's right. Especially about shooting in colour and raw, to get the best possible black and whites later on. But thats based on need not desire. Many photographers desire to do more or do it more easily and will add more tools to the kit. Using Elements is like anything else, a matter of taste. I agree that it is all MOST photographers need, but others will disagree.

  4. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    this may seem like beating a dead horse, but that's more than enough for most folks. If it's not enough for you, you'll soon find out. Heck, for a lot of people....they shoot and drop off their card at the pharmacy and pick up the photos and are quite happy. Amount of time spent in post is mainly for pixel peepers, perfectionists and people who enjoy the process.

    that's my 2 cents worth.
  5. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    I use Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS5, but I think Elements will serve very well in place of full blown Photoshop for almost all photographer's needs. And I think Lightroom is even more important than Elements. Having LR and Elements and you're really well squared away, software-wise, to develop wonderful images. The Develop tools in LR3 are so powerful you may only rarely even open Elements. But these two applications really compliment each other well. Lightroom alone can do fantastic B&W conversions, but if you're into making really outstanding B&W images, consider adding SilverEfex Pro2 as well... it's got some amazingly powerful B&W tools and can create looks that I think would be very difficult to duplicate otherwise.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. scotth

    scotth Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 3, 2011
    Something else to keep in mind; with most cameras if you shoot RAW in black and white, the picture will come up on the camera lcd in black and white, but the colour information will still be in the RAW file. I find working that way helps me visualize the results better when I am shooting, but still gives me a lot of flexibility.

    If you shoot in black and white in jpg, all you have is the camera's black and white interpretation. It is not nearly as flexible.
  7. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    If you want the most development potential at maximized quality from your capture, then capture in RAW. With Lightroom or Aperture, working with RAW captures is as easy as clicking the "Import from camera card" button.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I used Photoshop Elements as my primary editor from Version 1 in 2000 through all releases up to and including Version 6 (they're on 9 now). Around Version 3 I took advantage of an Adobe promotion to acquire full Photoshop as well, but it never has replaced Elements for my relatively simple needs.

    The game-changer for me was Lightroom, as Don has eloquently described. I was an early adopter (1.0), then settled in with Version 2.x where I am now. (I have 3.0 sitting in a box waiting for a new computer to run it.) Lightroom displaced Elements for 95% of my editing tasks, leaving some local cloning and exposure adjustments to Elements 6.

    As a hobbyist and family photographer, I see myself continuing to use the latest versions of Lightroom with an occasional upgrade of Elements (~tc~ has me seriously considering PSE9). It's as much power as I need; more, really. It would be very difficult to drop Lightroom, though; the batch processes, slider adjustments and presets are really great!
  9. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
  10. iliakoltsov

    iliakoltsov Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 7, 2010
    I never used elements , but i can certify to you that without shooting in raw i would have difficulties to produces the same image quality. Raw gives flexibility and or error correction sometimes your exposition is a bit off pump it up , lower it that is hardly possible with Jpeg ( yes you can control the brightness but it is not the same) by converting a raw to a Jpeg it is destructive conversion where you loose a lot of information.

    The other fact that you can choose what demosaicing algorithm to use depends on your needs what you want to show , raw gives you a total freedom of choice and not being attached to what panasonic or olympus has done in terms of algorithms.

    My steps:


    Use a software that will allow you to convert a Raw to a more standard Tiff ( i use Darktable)

    Converting to B & W

    I advocate the use of Gimp with Fx foundry scripts it really is quick and delivers very good quality.
  11. Brianetta

    Brianetta Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 5, 2010
    North East England
    Brian Ronald
    I find that the raw editor in the E-P1 suits me. I used to do my black & white conversion in the Gimp, breaking down the image in to red, green and blue monotone images, and re-combining them for best effect.

    Now I find that the coloured filters the E-P1 lets you use in black and white are good enough for me, and the raw editor lets you try different filters afterwards (assuming you saved a raw file).
  12. zpuskas

    zpuskas Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2011
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Thanks to everyone for their comments; it's much appreciated!

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