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shantell Apple Dumpling Designs
Willamette Valley Oregon
Posts: 3,128

I'm considering buying a photoediting software...looking at Photoshop...there seems to be alot of versions and I don't want anything too fancy...I mean it's not like I'm going to be doing any digital imaging graphic design or anything.  For those of you who use or are familiar with this program, can you recommend a version that will give me some basic tools and not overwhelm my little mind.

I'm currently running on Windows 98SE and don't want to have to upgrade to like XP or 2000 in order to run a new program.

Thanks!!!

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
Website

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

I've only ever used the full version and am on XP so I can't be of much help except to say that it's a difficult program to learn, but one of the most powerful image editing software packages, even in the scaled down versions (Elements, etc.) you can find. I have zero training and it's taken a lot of hours to muddle through, and I still have a lot of empty pockets where "real" designers have knowledge and training, but it's certainly do-able if you have passion and some free time, to learn it.  I am amazed every day by the things it can do. 

I make a habit of reading PhotoShop magazines -- yes, they have them, just like we have our trade mags in the bear world -- and of checking out the newest releases in the Computers section at Barnes & Noble, whenever I land there.  Every bit helps! 

Ask Laura Lynn about Elements; she knows!

Laura Lynn Teddies by Laura Lynn
Lexington, KY
Posts: 3,649
Website

Laura Lynn Banner Sponsor

Hi Shantell,

Yes, I use Photoshop Elements (I have the original one... I think they're onto version 3 now.)  NOt sure how it will work in Windows 98 though.  You'd have to check the specs (they should be on Adobe's site)  Although Elements IS a smaller program than the full version... it STILL took me a bit to figure stuff out... it's got a lot of stuff!  I bought a book on the program at the bookstore for $30... very good investment!

If you want to try playing with a FREE photo editing program... Nancy Tillberg has a link to one that is pretty nice!  I use this quite a bit myself now.  In fact... hubby was just complaining that "why should have he paid for the Photoshop when I'm using this free program bear_grin )  I DO still use Elements cause I really like playing with my photos.... BUT if you are just looking to start out... I'd certainly recommend downloading this free program!  It's called PhotoFiltre and here's where Nancy has a link to it...:  http://www.northcountryteddybears.com/4 … s4sale.htm
Click on:  Download Products

Photo Editing Program   

HTH!

shantell Apple Dumpling Designs
Willamette Valley Oregon
Posts: 3,128

Thank Laura Lynn, Shelli...I'll go check out Nancy's site and see what she has.

I'm actually a very quick study...show me once and I usually have it.  I'm just lazy bear_happy I use to do alot of graphic design stuff with Pagemaker when I was still working...designing brochures, flyers, workshop materials, etc.  I actually enjoyed it alot...but since I can't spend much time on the computer anymore I am just very hesitant to spend a lot of money on something I really won't use very much even if I wanted to.

That, Nancy Tillberg, she's thought of everything hasn't she?  bear_original

Deb Upstate New York
Posts: 1,650

Paint Shop Pro ... they have a trial offer.

Deb

teddy_bears_org USA - Florida
Posts: 72

You can try the Gimp which is free. http://www.gimp.org. Gimp is a program very similar to photoshop and it is Open Source, meaning free if you are not famaliar with the term, little bit of a learning curve, but so does photoshop. It does almost everything photoshop does.

This is a new one by microsoft and it is free at the moment codenamed Acrylic.
http://www.microsoft.com/products/expression/

The gimp is really worth looking and learning though, it will always be free.

shantell Apple Dumpling Designs
Willamette Valley Oregon
Posts: 3,128

Thanks...I'll check them out too...free is a very good thing!!!

Jill West Palm Beach, FL
Posts: 184

Laura Lynn and Shelli,

I just purchased PhotoShop Elements 3.0 last week but have not even installed it yet.  It was on sale at Staples so I picked it up.  Laura, you mentioned you also purchased a book that was very helpful, do you mind telling me what the name of it is?  It is something like PhotoShop for dummies because that is probably what I am going to need.
My daughter in law is a grahics designer but she is proficient on MAC's not so much on PC's.  I know she will help me, but if I can learn to do it myself, I would rather.

Thanks,
Jill

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
Website

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Jill, there are a gajillion books out there to aid learning PhotoShop.  I think the "best" one is a personal choice; some people learn differently than others.  For example, I have an Adobe PhotoShop book put out by Adobe.  It contains everything I'd ever need to know about using the program they, themselves, designed.  But I find it dry and difficult to read, and don't really consult it at all.

On the other hand, I purchased a book called, "PhotoShop Elements 3 DOWN & DIRTY TRICKS" by Scott Kelby, which is photo-rich and very easy (for me) to follow because it's absolutely visual-learner oriented, and I'm a decidedly visual learner.  It showcases some of the neatest little tricks and twists you'd ever want to do with PhotoShop, too.  So I love this book, and consult it all the time!  (Note:  Elements is a scaled down version of PhotoShop 7.0, so the tuturials in this book assist PhotoShop learners, too.)

But then... that book is a significantly more advanced than a newcomer might want or need; which would be a resource that explains the most basic aspects of photo/image editing, such as saving, file types, sizing, etc.

So it's hard to recommend a "good book for beginners" because people learn in different ways, and start from different points.

My suggestion would be that you install the program and the just give it a look-see.  If it feels familiar, or you can plink your way through it, figuring out as you go how to do the basic stuff,  you can move ahead quickly to the interesting stuff, and I would in that case recommend a more advanced resource book. 

If you're totally puzzled (as I was, at first) about where to even BEGIN (how to create a new document; how to size; etc.), though, then -- since you've got a graphic designer at your fingertips! -- use her as a first resource. 

I can tell you I saved myself a hundred hours of reading and trial-and-error efforts by checking out the program; deciding what I wanted to know RIGHT NOW, what was needed just to begin; and then asking my friend, Andrea, to run me through a quick tutorial on the telephone.  Quick meaning... about an hour. 

Once you've got the very basics down, you can pick and choose where to build knowledge next, based on what, exactly, it is that you plan to DO with this program, and your understanding of it.  You might want to create text logos with special effects... or you might simply want to know how to color adjust a photograph.  Those goals absolutely determine where you should look first, in terms of acquiring a how-to resource book.

Whatever the case, though, pretty soon, you'll find you can do all sorts of cool things with your new toy!  If you have a passion for and interest in it, you will absolutely fly through the learning curve.

Have fun and good luck!

NancyAndFriends Posts: 1,153

HiShantell,
I just purchased Photoshop Elements 3  ( you can see my past posts labeled HELP!!)
Anyway, I can tell you about a couple of my experiences.

I purchased the book called "Photoshop Elements, The Missing Manual" by Barbara Brundage...because I had read that this was the 'to die for book for Elements'...  It is a 500 page 'phone book', if you know what I mean...almost all verbiage with a few small pictures.  Pictures work for me, but if you are good with 'reading manuals' this is the one for you.
Now, the other day I went to the library and I just picked up a book that looked interesting to me, called Digital  Photography by Michael Wright.  As I started to glance thru it, it has a whole section on Elements 2.0 (which is pretty much like my version 3) and it is just page after page of pictures showing how to do wonderful things.  I wish I owned this book instead of, The Missing Manual.
I have also found a number of sites that have on-line training for Elements, which I am considering.  So if you decide to try Elements, I would be happy to supply the url's for these sites to you.
I am currently still using my "Picture It" which I used on my other computer that had Win98. bear_grin  so much for progress.
Nanc......

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
Website

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Nancy recommended:  Digital  Photography by Michael Wright.  I own this book and also have found it a useful resource.

As a reminder... there are ten billion tutorials, some better, some worse, availble on the web.  This morning, for example, I was investigating some ideas for a client of mine ,and wanted to find out how to place text around a circle.  I FOR SURE didn't want to spend two hours searching through books on hand, or buying a new one, to get to this information.

So I went to Google and typed in, "photoshop text circle" and *POW*... Google came back with many, many references, each of them different, so I had lots of places to check out to find my "best" option as a tutorial.

Here's just one of many sites that offer comprehensive tutorials on lots of interesting PhotoShop stuff.  Some of it applies only to the full version(s)... other stuff you will be able to do on Elements.  If you're really clever, you can look at these tutorials and figure out how to apply the CONCEPTS behind them to ANY image editing program.  Or just Google for your particular program, period, and I'm sure you'll find similar stuff.

Great PhotoShop tutorials available at: http://home.zonnet.nl/epragt/tutorials/ … ex.jsp.htm

Jill West Palm Beach, FL
Posts: 184

Thanks to everyone - all good advice.  I work on a computer for the most part of my work day at BellSouth, but it is with our programs, data bases, languages, etc.  Though I feel like I am knowledgeable at work, let me sit at my own PC at home and I become like a deer in the headlights.  It is pitiful and so time consuming just to navigate the "easiest tasks."  But the elation is great when I master said task.  Again, thanks for the advice and insight.

Jill

Amanda Pandy Potter Bears
Staffordshire, UK
Posts: 1,864

Just downloaded the free one that North country bears have. The link is above from Laura Lynn. Not bad at all. Better than the one I have. I would get to grips with that one first and there is even a tutorial although its easy to use. Thanks everyone.

shantell Apple Dumpling Designs
Willamette Valley Oregon
Posts: 3,128

I also downloaded the freebie from Nancy's site...thanks for the recommendation Laura Lynn.  I have yet to really play with it.   I checked out the "gimp" recommendation but got overwhelmed just reading their site... bear_original so I need to go back to it when I can take the time to actually digest the information.  Just having too many vision problems lately...AUGH!!!

Laura Lynn Teddies by Laura Lynn
Lexington, KY
Posts: 3,649
Website

Laura Lynn Banner Sponsor

Hi Jill!

Sorry, been out playing this weekend.... :D

I agree with Shelli that "the right help book" is certainly a personal thing!   Although I now buy most of my books online... for this one I went to a real bookstore and looked thru the books.

For me I chose "The Digital Photographers Guide to Photoshop Elements" by Barry Beckham.

It was there I finally understood about working in layers :)

The nice thing about this book is that you do NOT have to read it from cover to cover.  You can look in the contents and just read about one subject to learn about.

Hope that helps!

Deb Upstate New York
Posts: 1,650

Scott (teddy_bears_org ) ~

It's Scott, right?  I think that's what I heard; please forgive if not.  Anyway ... in 100 years I couldn't figure out how to get Gimp installed on my pc.  You must be a genious.  I'm going to check out the Acrylic tho!  Thanks for the links.

Deb (NY)

Jill West Palm Beach, FL
Posts: 184

Hi Laura Lynn,

Thanks for the book title - I purchase most of my books online also, but I think this time I will graze the bookstore shelves.

Jill

shantell Apple Dumpling Designs
Willamette Valley Oregon
Posts: 3,128

So...I just played with the freebie from Nancy's site and updated my avatar...took me a whopping 2.5 second...okay maybe not quite that fast...but less then 5 minutes...I think it took longer to log into Teddy Talk and upload...simple, fast, easy as mud pie...

So if you don't want anything fancy...it's FREE!!!

But, I'm still considering Photoshop...

Donna Donna's Duin Bruins
Burbank, CA
Posts: 900

Is it just my computer or is Shantell's avatar fuzzy?
Donna

Donna Donna's Duin Bruins
Burbank, CA
Posts: 900

Never mind, it looks like she got it fixed!
Donna

Laura Lynn Teddies by Laura Lynn
Lexington, KY
Posts: 3,649
Website

Laura Lynn Banner Sponsor

Hi Donna,

I think it's your computer....

I've checked out my own website on public computers in the past and found some of my own images fuzzy there... and crystal clear on my own computer.

Any suggestions as to why? 

bear_original

teddy_bears_org USA - Florida
Posts: 72

I never said it was going to be easy! bear_original I actually visited the site again and took another look at it, they really go out of their way to make it hard it seems. But, here is the starting point.

http://gimp-win.sourceforge.net/stable.html

Download This (GTK) and install
http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/gimp … p?download

Then this (Gimp) and install
http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/gimp … p?download

You need to select a download location.

Gimp is allot like Photoshop, it is an advanced image application. If you are looking for something simple, Photoshop Elements? Never used it, but heard it is easier.

What is it that most artists want out of a Image Application? Crop, Scale Images, add text? Anything beyond that? I am a programmer, one of the reasons why I ask. Maybe it could be an app I could write later and offer on the site.

minkbears Vintage Mink Bears by Kathy Myers
Lakewood CA
Posts: 1,387
Website

I have  Photoshop 7 .... more than I will ever need and so far I've just used the basics but I wanted to recommend the book that I found the most useful. Since most artists are visual I found the Teach Yourself Visually series of books the most helpful. They have one for Photoshop. Instead of reading a lot of words they show you how to do things visually...all pictures, few words...works for me!

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