Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Image editing

I use Photoshop everyday at work to process my digital photo files. It is the industry standard for newspaper photographers and can crop, size, color-correct and enhance image files. I know enough to get my pictures processed but I haven’t scratched the surface of the program’s artistic abilities.

For all it strengths it does have drawbacks. It is not designed for storage of files, cataloging or archiving. The new CS2 version of Photoshop has RAW file import ability but it is chunky to use at best. So what is a photographer to do?

Two new entries are challenging Photoshop’s dominance in the image editing field. Apple Computer’s Aperture program and Adobe’s Lightroom both offer a slimmed-down photo program with an emphasis and storage, editing, and RAW file support. Aperture is available now while Lightroom is still in beta development but both offer free trial downloads.

Which one would I choose? Apple’s offer puts an emphasis on RAW file support while Lightroom sounds like it is trying to make the editing process easier with comparison previews and contact sheet views of files.

I am going to keep an eye on reviews on both programs before I decide which one to add to my computer for the bulk of my image editing work.

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