There are more pictures being taken and shown in the whole history of picture making. And, we have more choices than ever before in how we create those images. .
We can create images using something as simple as the phone that slips into our pocket, a Polaroid or Fuji Instax instant camera, or a dSLR or mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses. However, what we use to create an image does not matter as much as the image.
Current cameras and lenses and even those from several years ago are never guilty of making bad pictures. If you were to simply leave all the controls on your camera at their default setting, your camera is going to make very well exposed and sharp images.Everything else is up to the photographer.
It is your job, as the photographer, to compose the image and tell a story. The camera gear can do the rest.
So what is next? Image processing software has never been better and the choices of what to use has grown by leaps and bounds as has the quality. Even better prices for superb software has left the multiple hundreds of dollars level and you can now get great packages for between $40 and $150.
I know that some of you who are reading this have done some incredible work by working on an image for hours and have developed a technique that uses every feature of your processing software. You have created “works of art” that have more than likely taken you to such extreme heights that even you can no longer recognize what the original image looked like.
But for me, after years of pounding the keyboards and sliding every slider available in the programs, I am happy I spend no more than 5 minutes on an image. Because my camera has done such a wonderful job on exposure and color there is very little left for me to adjust except the occasional crop and maybe a minor tweak here and there.
I have been pretty stubborn about shoving files into “cloud based storage.” But as long as I can also combine that with hard drive backups, I can work with it and I have given in. :)
Most who know me are very much aware how anti-Adobe I am. That has not changed. While I do not like the subscription concept that Adobe is shoving down everyones throat I am beginning to think that with the new plans there is a solution for me.
Instead of having to buy Lightroom Classic and Photoshop for $19.95 (Adobe's new higher price) a month, I can get Lightroom CC for my Macintosh and Lightroom Mobile for my ipad pro and iPhone, which has enough functionality to stand alone, and includes one terabytes of cloud storage. If I didn’t want the terabyte of cloud storage, I could subscribe to the $9.99 a month plan. And, if I did not want the program on my Mac at all, I can go to the iTunes store and pay $4.00 a month for Lightroom Mobile CC and then be able to sync all my images in 100 Gigabytes of cloud storage. One of the options should work for most people.
But how about some down to earth hair pulling image editing? What am I using? I am pretty sure that I have settled on Skylum’s (formerly known as. MacPhun) Luminar 2018 which will soon add DAM to it’s extensive set of options. It is $69.00 dollars and works great for people who do not want to do anything but push a “do it all for me” button that gets them a pretty darn good finished image in a few seconds. The nice part about this software is that it allows a user to have a very simple workspace for processing but the workspaces can be adjusted and saved even for the pickiest professional image creator. Very smart developers. I am directing you to their web site so you can learn more if you so desire.
I could go on and on about other softwares but I won’t because they are either too expensive or overly complicated. The only software I would not use, ever, is On1 Photo Raw. It is a software that is forever in beta. Buy or try at your own risk and don’t process any images that are important to you.
Your incredible cameras, if left to their own devices, will provide you with outstanding images. Software for the most part can be as simple or difficult and it all depends how you want to work. But in the end getting a great image today comes down to you, the rest is done for you.
Good luck. EPS & BJZ