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Elements 7 versus Corel Paintshop Pro X2 Ultimate?

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    ckristoff
    ckristoff  9936 forum posts Wales
    31 Aug 2009 - 11:32 AM

    Friends,

    inyour opinion, which would be a suitable editing programme for a numbskull such as I?

    I have Photoshop CS, but it's over the top for me. I've visited the Corel website and apparently, their Ultimate version does HDR. Does Elements 7 have this facility?

    Of course I'm not going to suddenly go over-board with such a feature, I'd like to have a go. I'd like to be able to merge 2 or 3 photos together, using my 450d's AEB function. I have upgraded my camera with the current firmware.




    Frank.

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    31 Aug 2009 - 11:32 AM

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    ckristoff
    ckristoff  9936 forum posts Wales
    31 Aug 2009 - 12:20 PM

    Hello everyone,

    I've just noticed the same question on a diiferent section, my apologies.

    My grey hair must be penetrating my brain! Smile


    Frank.

    cameracat
    cameracat  108578 forum posts Norfolk Island61 Constructive Critique Points
    31 Aug 2009 - 12:55 PM

    Paintshop pro, Used to be a great little software....!!!

    Before Corel bought it...Smile

    CS & Elements are very similar, Personally I'd stick with CS and add something like " Photomatix " to the mix, For HDR & image merging.

    That said you can do it in CS, Why not get a free trial version of Photomatix, Have a play and see how you go.....Same applies to Painshop pro.....!

    Helpful Post! This post was flagged as helpful
    Just Jas
    Just Jas  1225727 forum posts England1 Constructive Critique Points
    31 Aug 2009 - 1:09 PM

    Paint Shop Pro v8.10 does what I want. Never bothered with the upgrades.

    Helpful Post! This post was flagged as helpful
    ckristoff
    ckristoff  9936 forum posts Wales
    31 Aug 2009 - 2:15 PM

    Cameracat and JestJas,

    thank you for taking the time to comment, I really do appreciate it.

    If I was to use a product like Photomatix, how do I use it with CS.

    I'm sorry for being dim, I just am! Smile



    Frank.

    cameracat
    cameracat  108578 forum posts Norfolk Island61 Constructive Critique Points
    31 Aug 2009 - 2:52 PM


    Quote: how do I use it with CS

    Photomatix is a stand alone program, ie: it works all by itself...Smile

    It works with most RAW files, But generally Tiffs ( 8bit & 16bit ) and JPEG if need be.

    The latest version has a plugin feature that can integrate with Lightroom 2, Not tried it myself, Although its on my list of things to do....LOL....Smile

    So how to best use Photomatix....?

    For HDR or Exposure fusion as its now called ( old name was exposure blending ) You need to have shot several images of the same subject, But at different exposure values.....!

    Sorry if thats a bit simplistic, But I have to start at the begining...Sad

    For best results you need at least 3 frames ( 5 can be better ) all shot at around 1 stop + 0 - , Thats one at 1 stop under, One at 0 (spot on ) and one at 1 stop over.

    I tend to use " Exposure Bracketing " options on the camera, When I'm shooting something, That I might later run through Photomatix.

    So basically you need to have it in mind, At the point of shooting.Wink

    So lets say you have your 3 bracketed frames, You open them from Photomatix, Then choose to HDR them or Exposure fuse them.

    There are other options during the process, Most are self explanatory, Choose the ones that you think you need, Or just go with the default options ( my personal favourite....LOL...Smile )

    The Exposure Fusion option will then blend the images together, Once done it offers you several ways of changing the blend method.....!!!

    Here its play time....Smile So you can change the image to suit your taste, The interface is very simple, Something I like about Photomatix....Smile

    When your happy with the image fusion, Hit the process button, Photomatix does the rest, It even names the image with a mix of the file name from the originals.

    Here you can save the modified image as a TIFF ( 8 or 16bit, I tend to use 16bit, But then I have a computer that NASA would be proud of...Smile )

    Next close Photomatix, Then open your Fused Photomatix image into CS, Here you can alter it some more, With lets say Curves or Levels......Whatever tools you like...!

    That about wraps up Exposure Fusion ( Blending ) in Photomatix.

    For HDR the process is similar, Except that you hit the " Generate HDR image " button instead.

    The interface for the resultant HDR image is quite different to the Exposure Fusion item, But basically you use sliders to adjust the image to you taste.

    One thing to remember with HDR work, Less is more....Smile Only make small adjustments at a time, Take note of the default settings, So you can get back to where you started.

    Don't worry if you get lost in the myriad of sliders & options, At the bottom you can retrun to default settings at any time....Smile

    Best way is to download a free trial version, Have a good stock of images ready to play with, And just have a bash at it....Wink

    Its a good way to learn, Can be fun too, If all else fails ask for some advice on Photomatix via the forum as you go.....!

    Good luck

    EDIT: Apart from Psuedo HDR images ( Jury is out on these ) All images shot for HDR or Exposure Blending, Should be done using a " Tripod " and cable or wireless release......Or you will curse for ever....Sad

    Last Modified By cameracat at 31 Aug 2009 - 2:58 PM Helpful Post! This post was flagged as helpful
    ckristoff
    ckristoff  9936 forum posts Wales
    31 Aug 2009 - 6:50 PM

    Cameracat,

    thank you so very much for your post above!!

    I'm sorry I didn't reply sooner - bank holiday monday, visit family and friends etc. Smile Still it's raining, so camera stays home.

    I've downloaded a free version to mess with, basic 2.1 or something.
    I also have some images ready to play with. It might be fun, as I stupidly set my camera to iso 1600 in broad daylight! Ha ha! Smile

    I'm working at 6am tomorrow, so it'll take some time for me to pluck up courage, to actually get on with it!


    THank you my friend,


    Frank.

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