Don't overlook the new MacPhun "Luminar". Presently only for Macs but soon for Windows.
Easy to learn and fun to use.
As usual, the contrarians will speak on this quest... (
Good points, all!
I subscribe. I used Photoshop 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, CS2, CS3, and jumped from there to subscribing. I was part of the Lightroom Beta Test, over a decade ago. Like Gene, above, I feel like I've barely scratched the surface of the power in Photoshop, but Lightroom has most of what I need and use for photography, and I use most of it. Photoshop is a pixel editor, and a "black hole time sucker."
That said, there are many other packages available, and some of them are undoubtedly better-suited for some tasks and some individuals' circumstances. I am very impressed with Affinity Photo 1.5.x, which is available on Mac, Windows, and now iPad Pro. For under $50, it has a lot of bang for the buck.
Photoshop and Lightroom are best in class by a good margin. Some functions like the PS content aware crop and fill seem like magic. If you PS users out there have not checked out this feature, it is just amazing.
For $9.95/month the Adobe Creative Cloud is a steal. And as a Photographer, spend time learning Lightroom; it takes much more than a weekend to realize its full potential.
As both this poster and Gene51 have said, Lr CC, which includes Photoshop, for $ 10 per month is one of the best deals on the planet. Don't know how long I've been using Photoshop, but I'm still learning. About 2 years ago, I made the decision to learn Lightroom, which was relatively easy, but does take some effort. The best advice I can give is to learn what the Library Module does and how it does it BEFORE you really start to use Lr. I bought 2 DVDs from Laura Shoe (About $ 50 each, one for input, one for output) and learned a ton from them. I also have Kelby's book and I believe both are essential for new users. Once you learn Lightroom, you will never want to go back. It has been a big help in my process which is now a better, faster and more efficient workflow. Best of luck.
I like the first sentence of this quote, "if I have a potential jewel of a photo"...Launch Photoshop. That'a all I do. I don't waste time with just good shots. Life is too short for just good shots. I just go for the great ones. Go for the great ones by using Photoshop and file the other ones away with Lightroom.
For me, if I have a potential jewel of a photo I m... (
I have used PS for years and use PS6 which gives me all the power I need. But I started using ON1 about a year ago and now use PS less & less as I get more skillful with ON1 RAW 2017.5. I use PS primarily for Jimmy McIntyre's outstanding Raya Pro luminosity masking panel. www.shutterevolve.com
. The majority of my pp is done in ON1. Great tutorials, easier to use and great support.
Luminar is easy to use and does a great job! Macphun has very good customer support, also! There are a few FaceBook pages dedicated to Macphun and Luminar where you can get questions answered by knowledgable folks. I also highly recommend Aurora by Macphun for HDR work!
I've never been able to install Jimmy McIntyre's Raya Pro luminosity panel so I still make my luminosity masks manually in Photoshop.
Thanks for the link to phocus. I checked it out and watched the video. Very impressive for a free program. It reminds me of Capture One.
I am considering purchasing a post production software. I have a Mac with i Photo, is ok. I would like to know if the Adobe Photoshop, at $9.99 a month is a good choice? How complicated it the learning curve on Photoshop. Comments would be greatly appreciated.
I think you should ask yourself what you will want to do with your photos and how many photos you are likely to shoot and process in a year. If the answer is only a few, then you can devise a simple system to keep track of your photos so that you can find them later. Affinity is a good post-processing app, but is not really a DAM (Digital Asset Manager). If your shoot hundreds of photos a year, then you should take a look at Lightroom, which for the $9.95 a month comes with the Photoshop package in Adobe CC. With Apple removing support from Aperture, LR is the best at cataloging and retrieving images the Mac. It can also do most photo adjustments that you would want AND you get PS along with it if you later want to do editing requiring layers or more sophisticated editing.
Since you use a Mac, you might also look into Luminar, which is often on sale and is quite sophisticated and has easy to use presets.
I have used Elements before and I found LR a lot easier to use. Also, my catalog is large enough that I need the cataloging features of LR.
Photoshop is time consuming to learn simpky because of the breadth of image editing options it affords. The main tricks to learn which editing tools to use and when and how to make 'selections' effectively. Some of the best books to consult are Scott Kelby's series on Photoshop for the Digital Photographer. One of the hardest moves for me have been making selections around hair. Early PS versions did not facilitate this well, but later versions did better. Which PS version you go after depends on what you want to do. If a camera image is just a template on which to impose artistic expressions, then the latest and greatest CC is for you. But if routine image corrections, like blemis removal, lighting color cast correction, etc, then an earlier version would suffice. Were I shopping for PS I would go for CS6, but I am not as CS3 & 4 are good enough for me.
Photoshop has provisions to hide the tools you don't think you will need, greatly simplifying the interface. Photoshop CC is Not fundamentally different than previous CS versions. I still use CS6 and I teach Photoshop. As a Photoshop user for over 19 years I can pretty much do anything in CS6 that can be done in CC by using workarounds that may take me an extra few minutes in time.
As usual, the contrarians will speak on this question.
Sometimes it is better to be a contrarian than a lemming.
The thing everyone needs to keep in mind is that if/when you decide you no longer want to use Adobe you will have to buy something else. Even though you never actually own most software, once you pay for it you get to use it as long as you like. Although I'm finding On1 pretty comprehensive I still use PhotoShop CS5. I don't have to keep paying to use it. And, to Adobe's credit, I can use my newest cameras through the use of the free DNG converter.
Just like having the latest, most expensive camera doesn't make you a better photographer, don't be fooled into thinking that having the latest and greatest version of PhotoShop will do much either.
I moved a number of years ago from JASC Paintshop Pro to Lightroom because the former was removing the GPS data from the EXIF that I had gone to the trouble of adding, and LR does allow turning that function off. I am now using PS/LR CC. I've not tried the Photoshop part--LR does what I need and I know how to do it. The $10 a month doesn't bother me.
Sometimes it is better to be a contrarian than a l... (
Eventually, Apple will do something with MacOS that will break older versions of Adobe software when you upgrade your OS. Microsoft does that less often, but they still do it. The solution is to keep an older computer around until it croaks and you have no access to repair parts.
I have a 1999 PowerMac G4 running Mac OS 9.2.2, just so I can still run PageMaker 6.5! But I don't DARE connect it to the Internet... It's a security risk, even behind a firewall. I also have a Parallels Desktop partition with Windows XP Service Pack 3, so I can use FileMaker Pro Advanced 11. I don't put it on the Internet, either.
There is a divide between hobbyists and pros that many don't understand. Working professionally, one cannot afford to be without the latest tools, or at least recent ones. Adobe keeps PS and LR up to date on about a quarterly basis, if not sooner. If you subscribe, you always get the latest bug fixes and features AND WHOLE VERSION UPGRADES as they are available. With most other software, you pay for upgrades. Affinity Photo, so far, is the only exception I've seen.
Software is called software for a reason. It changes.