Digital Photo Editing

  AJ25 15:39 16 Dec 2005

I am a complete novice in Digital Photography. I have the Canon EOS 300D nad have been merrily snaping away without ever being really pleased with the results. Before I buy a better lens, I want to get the hang of editing the pictures.

Bearing these points in mind, what is the best software package for me. I have the standard one that come with the camera. MS say their Digital Image Suite is perfect for me at around £50

Please advise

  Belatucadrus 16:47 16 Dec 2005

click here

For a variety of comprehensive tools, free to the non profit home user.

  exdragon 18:45 16 Dec 2005

Have a look at reviews for Photoshop Elements, it has most of the tools included in Photoshop CS, but at around £60. Brilliant for beginners, very user friendly and will give you a good grounding should you in the future decide to go the whole hog and invest in CS

  phil 19:47 16 Dec 2005

You buy a £700 camera and you don't know how to use it?

Now you're going to buy a new lens probably costing another couple of hundred pounds!

Get yourself onto a photography course at college before you do that and save yourself the cost of that lens.

Sorry about the terse reply but it just makes me wonder if you'd be able to cope with digital software if you can't even cope with an advanced camera.

  ROYSTERO 19:47 16 Dec 2005

Go to Google and download "Picasa" which I believe is their own Photo Editor.It's free and simple to use.Excellent results.Wait until you are more proficient, then buy.

  exdragon 21:39 16 Dec 2005

Don't be put off by Phil's reply - last year I bought a Nikon D70 as my first ever SLR, having only used a compact on and off over the years.

Best thing about digital is that you can practice until you get it right: I used to sit with a magazine in one hand, taking umpteen pictures of 3 spice jars until I could get depth of field in to my head.... I have improved since then, I hasten to add!

  phil 23:31 16 Dec 2005


Well done. You mastered your camera because you were prepared to sit down and understand how to get the best results from it.

AJ25's answer is accept that he gets crap pictures so will try to improve them with Paint Shop Pro etc.

He might get something that looks different than he first intended but it still won't be a good photograph.

I first learnt how to use a camera many years ago with a Canon AE1 and then went onto freelancing sports and natural history for twenty years with 3 Canons and a load of lenses.

I stick with my Canon A40 now and still get cracking pics. These are mine on Holiday Truths click here (not the first one though)

I hope AJ25 does learn to master his camera but going the route of changing poor pictures with software is not the answer to the problem.

Having the skill, flair and understanding is.

  jack 08:58 17 Dec 2005

Because your early results seem dissapointing is nothing to worry about persevere. dont be tempted to throw more money at new kit before you have got the first bit under your belt.
Decent Editing program any of those mentioned is also a learning curve.
I have been taking picutre these last 60 years and no my 3rd digi cam and have tried several aditing programs and have settled on PSP for my sins - but its the toone the suits me.
When you come to print your master pieces and a dedicated photoprinter- you will hit another can of worms and wallet emptier for paper and ink.

Initially perhaps whilst getting used to the camers it might pay to have the image printed commercially
by a firm of your choice and stick with them because you will have a standard to go by.

Good shooting

  Bebee 09:28 17 Dec 2005

I mostly use Adobe Elements 3 and it is a very powerful program. The basic programs that come with the camera should be able to produce satisfying shots, but they are probably not the best. You should be able to produce well exposed shots with good colour balance and levels without a great deal of manipulation (for all its features I mostly do a few tweaks and remove dust spots and the odd distracting item with it).

There is a lot to learn with digital. A lot of film techniques cross over to using the camera, but you then become responsible for all the processing as well. If you want to try shooting in RAW try out the free RawShooter program click here - it's better than the Canon program with the camera.

I would recommend a decent program like Elements (Paintshop Pro is also popular) and I use Serif's PhotoPlus as well - you can get older versions free click here

If you are not satisfied with your photos you need to explore your photography as well as the software - the 300D is a superb camera and should give excellent results. With lenses, decide what sort of photographs you are into and explore the options accordingly.

There are some good photography sites My favourites are listed here click here lower down the page. Ephotozine is my favourite and you can look at lots of pictures and comments by photographers at all levels. There are good techniques pages too. You can learn a lot.

Enjoy you photography and good luck with finding what you need.

  Forum Editor 10:01 17 Dec 2005

you have acquired an excellent camera - one that is capapble of producing superb results entirely without any manual intervention in terms of settings.

The fact that you're not really pleased with the results may be due to a variety of reasons - one of which might be that you're particularly discerning. Whatever the circumstances, persevere; you'll gain in confidence as you experiment, and I certainly hope you aren't discouraged by the negative comments posted here - you can produce pictures that are as good, if not better than the examples some people have cited - it wouldn't be too difficult for you to do.

There will always be people who seem to think that they were never complete beginners themselves, but of course that's not the case - everyone started from exactly the same point. I'm sure you'll soon be happier with your images if you keep practicing. Some of the world's greatest photographers had no formal training whatsoever, and they didn't have the advantage of digital imaging - you can take thousands of practice images at virtually no cost.

  Bebee 10:15 17 Dec 2005

I fully support FE's comments. You've been prepared to buy a good quality camera and want to make the best of it - I don't think many good photographers are ever completely satisfied with what they produce. None of us have seen your pictures so none of us are in a position to criticise what may already be excellent images. That you want to improve on them is to your credit. I want my pictures to be better as well.

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