When I began to get more and more into photography, I asked my husband for some photo editing software for my birthday, off we went to future shop to look, and bewildered by the choice, asked one of the fresh faced staff for input. I am thankful that I got talking to someone who was also a photo- enthusiast and who told me there was no choice, it had to be photoshop! At the time I was only willing to invest in the elements version – which still seemed expensive at $100. And so I began my relationship with the most complex, versatile and mind boggling photo editing software out there. There is a mount-everst-like learning curve attached to using this PS, but after watching many online tutorials, reading books from the library, hours of experimentation, trial and failure, I am way more comfortable with it and can mostly get it to do what I want it to do. Once I started photography as a business, I upgraded to Cs3, and recently upgraded to cs5, when I bought my mac. I have also started using lightroom to streamline my workflow, and I have found that it has sped up post-production enormously.
A few editing tips.
1. Shoot Raw.
When you shoot in raw format, your editing potential goes way up. There is just more information for your computer to work with.
2. Use actions
If there are certain things you do to every photo, then make an action for it, this automates the entire process and saves you hours of your life. I even automate saving photos into folders, because it turns 3 or 4 steps into 1.
3 . Less is more
The tendancy when you are getting into photoshop is to really overdo the editing and make your photos look natural. When I am editing, I usually take it to what looks ‘cool’ to me, then I back it off a level or two, because inevitably in a few years dramatic or trendy looks are going to look dated and weird.