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Cardiff Camera Club

Software Options

Software Guide for Photographers

Increasingly photographers are turning to software programmes in order to catalogue, edit or enhance their images.Some can be costly others can be free of charge.

Orange Drop taken by Jeff Howe

Generally speaking it is better to steer clear of free programmes largely because they have a habit of being disconnected after a while, have limited scope and may not offer any support.

In this guide we recommend 5 programmes one of which is only available for MAC users. The rest are available to Mac and Window users. Some are costly to buy or subscribe to

The main players are …

  • Photoshop Elements (Windows and Mac)
  • Photo Shop (Windows and Mac)
  • Lightroom (Windows and Mac). Available as a stand alone production or by monthly subscription
  • MacPhun Creative Kit 2016 (Mac only)
  • Nik Collection (Windows and Mac) Now free, previously $149

 (Currently discounted)

Elements is a well developed, competitively priced photo editing and file management programme that has a deserved reputation as being the best entry level programme for photographers who want to be more organised and to learn creative techniques.

In some respects it feels like a cut down version of Photoshop which is no bad things as it means that the learning curve for those who eventually wish to upgrade is not to steep.

The only negative against Elements is that it does not accommodate RAW files as well as it doesn’t have the full version (Adobe Camera Raw) that Photoshop and Lightroom use, and also it operates mainly as an 8-bit processing, whereas the equivalent in Photoshop is 16-bit, so images are not quite as sharp (although it is sometimes difficult to see any difference.)

For more information read the following reviews

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For tutorials/tuition see the following 

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Photoshop is a image editing software developed and manufactured by Adobe Systems Inc. It is currently available as a cutdown version for photographers for a monthly fee of £8:57p which also includes Lightroom 

Photoshop is universally considered to the market leader in photo editing software and is particularly popular among seasoned amateurs, professional photographers and on the camera club circuit. The software allows users to manipulate images in both traditional and creative ways.

For more information see …

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  • (Tutorial: highly recommended)

Lightroom (Windows and Mac).

Available by monthly subscription (which Includes Photoshop) or as a standalone product from for just under £100.

There are two versions of Lightroom,  Lightroom CC and Lightroom 6, the latest versions of its professional photo cataloguing and editing software. They’re actually the same program, but Lightroom CC is the version that’s integrated into Adobe’s subscription-based Photography Plan, part of its Creative Cloud service, while Lightroom 6 is the ‘perpetual licence’ version which you pay for and use in the old-fashioned way.

As a product Lightroom is highly recommended for club members firstly because it is an image organiser and, secondly because it is a photo processor   The programme allows for viewing, organizing and retouching a large numbers of digital images and to make are non-destructive edits to an image leaving the source file intact.

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For more information read the following reviews
  • (highly recommended)
    (highly recommended)

MacPhun: 2016 is six powerful photography apps with over 500 creative tools inside a single, easy-to-use pack. Its strength is its simplicity and that it encompasses a

For more information read the following reviews

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The Nik Collection is comprised of seven desktop plug-ins that provide a powerful range of photo editing capabilities — from filter applications that improve color correction, to retouching and creative effects, to image sharpening that brings out all the hidden details, to the ability to make adjustments to the color and tonality of images.

Starting March 24, 2016, the latest Nik Collection will be freely available to download: Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro and Dfine.

Silver Efex pro has a deserved reputation for being among the best for use with mono images.

For more information read the following reviews

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Other contenders also worth considering …

  • (currently £54) Windows Only. Works with RAW files.
  • For MAC see
  • (currently £79). Works with RAW files (Windows)
  • ((Windows and Mac)
  • Photo Mechanic.  is a very fast workflow accelerator often used by professional
  • – An On-line photo editor which allows you to do most of the basic editing tasks that you will need, including resizing images for monthly competitions.

 

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