We highly recommend the use of the latest version of Adobe's Photoshop Lightroom, available in free,
one-time, 30-day trial once you establish an account, in
our workshops and work flow, as it is based on Adobe Photoshop,
the standard for the industry.
It also makes it easy for us to
show you, the workshop participant, how easily you can tweak your
photographs on your own computer. Lightroom CC and 6 use quite a bit of memory, so if you have an older computer with less than 4GB of memory, you may be safer to stick to Lightroom 3 or your own imaging program. That said, and as
you can imagine, we cannot know all imaging programs out there,
and we do demonstrations on different participant images in Lightroom on their own computers, so you can watch and apply those same techniques using your own imaging program. We will, however, look over your shoulder and make suggestions of what you might do to strengthen your photograph.
We find Lightroom to be a really great, intuitive tool for editing,
removing those dust motes that plague digital sensors, and for
finer tweaks that can be made easily in this great program without
actually changing the digital negative file. The new parameters
and adjustments for the histograms and color and tone adjustments
are terrific, and the radial filter is superb. and there are numerous other features that make
imaging so much easier.
Photoshop was conceived and
designed by techie-steroid engineers
who developed the program for graphic artists. While
photographers started using it, it was never particularly intuitive
or easy to use, especially for beginners, in spite of vast improvements
over the years.
Lightroom, on the other hand, was actually designed by photographers
for photographers — what a concept — and now that it has so many more tweaks
and features than its first version, most professionals and amateurs who use it agree
that it is a dream come true.
For more on Lightroom, check out our Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures' blog using this search.
These are obviously not required, but plug-ins can make your life a lot easier and produce better results than using your straight imaging program. Many are available for a discount if you are a member of ASMP, NANPA, and NAPP, to name several organizations. Some of the plug-ins I have used for years and are for Lightroom and/or Photoshop, including:
Dfine, by nik Software/Google (excellent noise reduction when Lightroom doesn't quite do it)
Digimarc, (invisible watermarking for your images, may need to be manually installed)
Perfect Resize, by OnOne Software (for upsizing/downsizing photographs without losing sharpness)
If the links don't work, they have probably been changed, so just use the base of the link address and go from there.
Stitching Programs for Panoramas
The first digital pano I did, all hand held.
For those who want to do stitching, however, we recommend Autopano Pro, by Kolor, even over Photoshop and definitely over Lightrom, although both are ever improving. Stitching, for those who are
not familiar with this term outside the sewing room, is the process
by which you put together several individual photographs to make
a larger one. Panoramas are probably the most common application
for this technique, but remember, panoramas can be verticals,
too. Autopano Pro has a demonstration
version. It is unlikely that you will want or need Autopano Giga.
Before every workshop, we send our participants a list of what they
Digital Asset Management
Digital Asset Management, for those who don't know, is the hopefully-efficient
process that takes your digital images from your camera to your computer,
processes them, and catalogues them. There is a four-part
series on this at the Barefoot
Contessa Photo Adventures' blog. Check out and start at the bottom for
the first (oldest) article in the series.