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Magazine articles and photo software


KatieR 17 6.2k 6
19 Oct 2005 12:42AM
Should I be surprised that the image manipulation software used in magazines for their "how to" articles is nearly always Photoshop CS rather than Elements? Sometimes articles refer to such very basic tasks that they are clearly aimed at the beginner - but surely CS is a top-end program? I am not a beginner anymore, but I don't have CS - the cost is prohibitive alone, and I am not sure the PC could take it, anyway!
Do most people get CS rather than Elements even when they start out in digital imaging or are the magazines basically in a deal to encourage people to buy software which is not necessarily appropriate for them? I have bought many of the commonly available photo mags during the last few months and find this to be a common problem for me using only Elements.
Just thought it might be an interesting area for discussion.
KatieR 17 6.2k 6
19 Oct 2005 12:52AM
Perhaps I should try and clarify - I find that those articles which cover the kinds of things I would like to be able to do always seems to use CS. While some magazines refer to Elements, the tasks they use it for don't seem to be those I am interested in. Why am I finding this? Am I just at a funny age?
conrad 17 10.9k 116
19 Oct 2005 12:52AM
I thought I'd never be able to get and use CS for the same reasons you mention, but I was proven wrong on both counts - you can get it cheaper than most people think, completely legitimately, have a look here , for instance. And the system requirements are not as bad as I thought (also found when you follow that link).

Conrad

Edit: At the moment Im using PhotoShop 6 when my wife's pc is free, and Elements on another. And yes, Elements is a lot more limited in it's possibilities. So that must be the reason.
SteveCharles 18 2.3k 18 England
19 Oct 2005 12:58AM
The only magazine I read regularly now is AP, and they often use Elements for their 'how to' bits, presumably knowing that most readers are using this.

But I do see a lot of comments from people who say they use CS, and wonder they really shelled out all that money or bought a cheapo version on ebay :o)

I personally find it a little frustrating that all articles are written on the assumption that some version of Photoshop is being used; I don't use PS, Elements or otherwise, and always have to 'translate' instructions for other programs.

I am aware that PS is the industry standard and most photographers use it, but I'd like to see a little more generic instruction as opposed to specific PS instructions.

Steve
KatieR 17 6.2k 6
19 Oct 2005 1:01AM
Thanks, Conrad. I'll look at that.
Perhaps for photographers CS is more applicable than Elements and that is why they normally use it. Do you think that is true?
Pete 20 18.8k 97 England
19 Oct 2005 1:06AM
I think most of it is down to convenience Katie. If you are a Photoshop CS user, Elements misses some of the features out and has a few slightly different menu structures. So for a writer to create an article he/she's going to use what they know well rather than dip back to a lesser product. Unless they are commissioned to do differently. In most cases you can read the article and work out how to do a similar job in Elements.
Barry Beckham and Philip Andrews have both done much to correct this by using Elements for more complex tasks.
KatieR 17 6.2k 6
19 Oct 2005 1:27AM
Thanks, Steve & Pete
Yes, it is clearly tricky to refer to multiple software in an article and I do try interpreting when I can. It does seem that Curves and the Healing Brush are used at some point in many tasks, so that is what I miss - although I believe the latter is now included in Elements 3.

I am aware that much of my concern is about the cost of CS - I guess that I am surprised that so many people have it - but yes, maybe it is "acquired". It frightens me that investing in a digi cam to do the kinds of things I am currently doing with film also requires investing in appropriate computer hardware and software ... and keeping it all running smoothly! I don't seem to be able to get onto the ladder for fear of all these additional costs.

I should stop buying magazines, save my money, and stop dreaming ... :o)
Doclassie 16 1.1k England
19 Oct 2005 2:28AM
Interesting thread....

I think mags use photoshop CS because it is the industry standard and they have ready access to it. But I also think its laziness on their part as it is proffesional software and the price reflects this. Elements is aimed at the enthusiast and as such mags would benefit their readers more by sticking to what elements can do (at least) or demonstrating using elements instead of CS. If people feel they need CS to get anywhere with digital photography they'll be encouraged to get hold of cracked software, or like Kyd, be put off getting into digital at all.

I'm lucky, I have CS at work as its part of my job to use it. I've just bought a PC for home and considered buying CS until I reaslised that Elements provides all the tools I need for photo enhancing and editing. The main thing that is missing (for what I need) is curves, but a hokey way around this is to use the free Gimp software. Not only does gimp have curves (including split channel) but it has layers and lots of other stuff photoshop has. Its not an ideal workflow, but using elements and gimp has saved me 400 quid!
SteveCharles 18 2.3k 18 England
19 Oct 2005 2:44AM
I use Gimp. It's a very capable piece of software, does everything I would want to do to a photograph and more, and it's absolutely free. People say it's difficult to use, but as someone not 'brought up' on PS, there's really no issue.

But I don't actually use it as much as the Photosuite software supplied with my scanner. I have quite a 'purist' approach to my photography, and rarely do little more than basic saturation / contrast adjustments, dust removal and cropping - and I'm certainly not forking out for CS for that! I can't even see the point in buying Elements, given the software I have already.
Doclassie 16 1.1k England
19 Oct 2005 2:50AM
Yup. True

And Gimp has channel mixer too....... which is cool.

I only use Elements because I want to do 2D artwork aswell as the photography stuff, so things like the smudge tool and some of the filters are useful. Plus I want premier too so the bundle is appealing.

But yeah, Gimp is simple to use and really powerful. I'd deffinitely look at it before forking out for CS.
ahollowa 17 1.1k England
19 Oct 2005 3:08AM
Remaining nameless to prevent law suites I have recentlt down graded from CS to elements (I'm sure you can work out why!!) I find that most things that can be done in CS can be done in elements either through actions written by someone who has full PS (like the hidden elements book). I tried a merge photo technique using adjustment layers which is about 2 key strokes in CS it took abaout half an hour in elements. My feeling is if time is money use CS as the workflow is quicker and more slick for pro's. However if you have more time to search the web and read arcticle and work out how to "fiddle" it in elements the save yourself the cash.

cheers

Al.

PS I have the number of Pirates Anonymous for any one else who feels the urge to "downgrade" their software
KatieR 17 6.2k 6
19 Oct 2005 3:16AM
I've looked at Gimp before - I'll have another look.
I really can't fork out for CS - the PC I use would need to be upgraded to a new OS and the monitor needs replacing, etc etc.

There are worn out lenses that need replacing first, otherwise there won't be any photos to fiddle with anyway.

Like so many "hobbies" you are often made to feel that you should buy the best you can afford (which, once you've had a go and established you like something is no bad idea), but then you discover that to make the most of it you need to buy the best you can afford of something else... and so it continues. By the time you've saved enough for one thing the world has moved on!
conrad 17 10.9k 116
19 Oct 2005 3:19AM
Reminds me of that Slippery Slope thread of a while back. That's exactly what it is, isn't it?

Personally I just blame Pete. I never spent so much money on photography before I discovered EPZ... Wink

Conrad
KatieR 17 6.2k 6
19 Oct 2005 3:30AM
Yeah! Good plan, Conrad!
I blame him too.
For everything.
Weapons of mass destruction in particular.

:oD
Just Jas 19 26.3k 1 England
19 Oct 2005 5:35AM
I have to admit, as well, that my photographic spending has vastly increased since joining epz.

Who said epz was free? LOL

jas

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