Tarquin

FREE Alternative to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.0

10 posts in this topic

I've a student friend who doesn't want to buy the Adobe, so Any ideas?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends what they want to do. There is no other program which does everything that Lightroom does, so what precisely does your student friend want to do (e.g. RAW workflow, batch processing, digital image manipulation/editing, image cataloguing etc)?

(I use Lightroom extensively but haven't yet taken the plunge to upgrade to version 3. But that's just me being lazy. :D)

B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Depends what they want to do. There is no other program which does everything that Lightroom does, so what precisely does your student friend want to do (e.g. RAW workflow, batch processing, digital image manipulation/editing, image cataloguing etc)?

(I use Lightroom extensively but haven't yet taken the plunge to upgrade to version 3. But that's just me being lazy. :D)

B

I've actually no idea, but I'll ask him and get back to you. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Depends what they want to do. There is no other program which does everything that Lightroom does, so what precisely does your student friend want to do (e.g. RAW workflow, batch processing, digital image manipulation/editing, image cataloguing etc)?

(I use Lightroom extensively but haven't yet taken the plunge to upgrade to version 3. But that's just me being lazy. :D)

B

Yes you are right, it's to do with RAW files mainly involving underwater shots.

Just spoken to him and there's been an interesting development which I'm about to check out myself and I will PM you the result.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes you are right, it's to do with RAW files mainly involving underwater shots.

Just spoken to him and there's been an interesting development which I'm about to check out myself and I will PM you the result.

RawTherapee is an open source RAW image converter.

Produced very good results when I played with it some time ago (and several versions ago), although it was a lot slower and considerably less intuitive than RawShooter Pro which is what I was using at the time.

(For serious, comprehensive RAW workflow and cataloguing I don't think you can beat Lightroom, especially in version 3 when allegedly all editing can be done within Lightroom without needing to export images to Photoshop or similar.)

B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gimp is a free alternative to Photoshop. Don't know much about it though, but it's probably worth a look.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My understanding (see recent PC Pro review) is that the two stengths of Lightroom are handling the complete workflow from raw image to print or published web picture in one programme and the fact that it is fast. I'm not aware of any open source programme covering the complete workflow and it isunlikely that there is one.

GIMP is a reasonable graphics programme - a bit like older versions of CorelDraw Suite, but has an interface that takes some getting used to! Its not a particularly a photo editting tool. There are more focussed free editors. I occasionally use Pos Pro Photo(http://www.photopos.com).

If your friend is a student,worth checking with the college or student union as whether he can get a student license - often at very reasonable rates.

The other approach is to keep an eye on computer magazines with cover DVDs - you often get reasonable software but one or two versions back. If you register you often get upgrade offers at a reasonable price(£10 - £20), particularly when an even newer version is launched. Serif and Ashampooparticularly do this, both of which have photo editting/organising programmes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My understanding (see recent PC Pro review) is that the two stengths of Lightroom are handling the complete workflow from raw image to print or published web picture in one programme and the fact that it is fast. I'm not aware of any open source programme covering the complete workflow and it isunlikely that there is one.

GIMP is a reasonable graphics programme - a bit like older versions of CorelDraw Suite, but has an interface that takes some getting used to! Its not a particularly a photo editting tool. There are more focussed free editors. I occasionally use Pos Pro Photo(http://www.photopos.com).

If your friend is a student,worth checking with the college or student union as whether he can get a student license - often at very reasonable rates.

The other approach is to keep an eye on computer magazines with cover DVDs - you often get reasonable software but one or two versions back. If you register you often get upgrade offers at a reasonable price(£10 - £20), particularly when an even newer version is launched. Serif and Ashampooparticularly do this, both of which have photo editting/organising programmes.

This is about the only review of Lightroom that I would trust:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/AdobeLightroom3/

You also won't get the best out of any RAW images without the use of some form of grey card to use when taking images, and colour management hardware/software to calibrate your monitor, which, if it's a TFT should really be an IPS panel rather than TN etc. (Colour management is especially important if you've got a wide gamut display which tend to over-saturate reds which are the hardest colours to get right during RAW conversion.)

B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In spite of the OP's request there seems to be contributions both on that very specifically and also on what software people use generally for photography.

Adding to the thoughts on the use of RAW images and underwater photography, it's a bit ambitious to think you can make high end specialist photos with freebie software. :P However, obtaining either educational rate copies or finding a computer at the Uni where he/she is studying that already has it would seem the most obvious course. If not at the current one, obtaining a tutor's pass perhaps to use it at another institution.

Older versions of top software would seem to have limited usefulness, and OEM versions probably near impossible to obtain. As far as I understand, even relatively recent versions of the relevant Photoshop don't have RAW converters built in do they? However, no-one seems to have mentioned Phase One and Capture One. Although exorbitantly expensive you can download an unrestricted version for 30days (haven't tried it - it's an enormous file).

Good luck.

On general photo handling (ie stuff that has already had its light source data heavily processed by the camera and is less manipulable than massive RAW files), old or OEM versions of Photoshop are fairly easy to obtain and useful for general purposes. If people are reading this thread and wondering what they can get to posh up their pictures without spending the money on a Photoshop that will have many features they will neither need or use, an old version is fine and dandy.

For fast editing, I just check the photo out with M$ Office Picture Manager in the first instance. For the next step up (slightly fiddlier and longer to load), I use an old (ie now free) version of Paint Shop Pro. That's maybe about as far as you can go and still have an easy intuitive interface. For anything more serious I load up my old Photoshop (an OEM). But for people lusting after Photoshop without any knowledge of the program, it is a bit deceiving. Phtoshop Elements has slimmed down, basic and easy-to-use features. The new Serif Software is clunky as hell (IMHO) and uses unfamiliar menus. But Serif generally is good not for photo manipulation but for graphics, designing stuff that involves photos.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now