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This digital malarky
Old 04-08-2018   #1
Dralowid
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This digital malarky

For years I have been using film. For a few years I have been using digital for recording purposes. Everything is jpeg.

I use film for high days and holidays...

I use a Mac and an increasingly infuriating bit of free software called Picasa. For corrections it does all I need and has a very simple methods of making adjustments but its filing system is a real struggle for me at least. I believe it is no longer supported and it is starting to struggle (freeze) as more and more pics are loaded.

What is the current free flavour of the month when it comes applications that are good for filing, adjustments and printing etc?
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Old 04-08-2018   #2
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IF you have a Mac why not just use Photos? Free from Apple and would work fine to catalog your files.

You can add a $14 plug in to give Aperture like RAW processing options.

Shawn
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Old 04-08-2018   #3
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I use GIMP. Pretty darn good for free.
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Old 04-08-2018   #4
Larry Cloetta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn View Post
IF you have a Mac why not just use Photos? Free from Apple and would work fine to catalog your files.

You can add a $14 plug in to give Aperture like RAW processing options.

Shawn
If has to be free, this is the best answer.
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Old 04-08-2018   #5
02Pilot
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GIMP is fantastic, but the learning curve is steep. If you were on any other OS, I'd suggest Darktable, but it's not easily installed on Mac.
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Old 04-08-2018   #6
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I use ImageJ for simple editing.
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Old 04-08-2018   #7
willie_901
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Without knowing what version of OS X you are using or whether or not you are willing to update to a more recent version of OS X, it's hard to answer your question.

I would say GIMP is the best free package. Without knowing anything about Picassa's filing system issue(s), it's hard to know how you would respond to GIMP in terms of overall ease of use.

If your Mac is new enough, or if you only use JPEGs, then Apple's iPhoto or Photos apps would be your best bet. The former was free with older Macs and the latter is free if your Mac can run OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 or newer OS X.

Apple uses OS X for raw file rendering. So the most recent version of OS X is required to support the newest cameras. If you can see a raw photo in Apple's Preview App, they are supported by your version of OS X.

In my opinion the most cost effective OS X photo package is Pixelmator ($30, non-subscription license, Apple App Store. Pixelmator's workflow is a much friendlier implementation of Photoshop's. Photoshop can do anything. Pixelmator can do 95% of what most of us need to do.
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Old 04-08-2018   #8
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I also use GIMP. Similar interface to Photoshop and plenty of tutorials online.
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Old 04-08-2018   #9
Tompas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn View Post
IF you have a Mac why not just use Photos? Free from Apple and would work fine to catalog your files. (...)
+1

It gets better with every Mac OS update, too.
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Old 04-08-2018   #10
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First, if your computer is slowing down you need an external hard drive and move all those files off the main drive. This applies to Windows and Mac computers by the way.

Gimp is like old-school Photoshop. My main issue with it is you can’t do levels and histogram simultaneously.
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Old 04-08-2018   #11
Dralowid
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I'm on 10.13.4

To be completely honest I have never really looked at Apple Photos. I will do so now!
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Old 04-08-2018   #12
shawn
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The way I read it the OP is looking for cataloging software. GIMP does not do that at all.

Shawn
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Old 04-08-2018   #13
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I'm a Mac user and I was also Picasa user several years back. Personally, I loved it because it was simple and it did all the editing I needed to do. But it is no longer being updated by Google and Picasa doesn't support all my Raw files these days. When Picasa started becoming unusable, I bought Photoshop Elements and did not like it much at all. Then I bit the bullet and bought Lightroom, which after a lot of muddling through, I actually enjoy using and find easier to use than Picasa. Results are better as well. But new Lightroom software is now rental only (thanks for nothin', Adobe) and, of course, it's not free.

For free, I tried Gimp for a while but it was too involved for my simple uses. Still it was free and it's worth a look if you're willing to muddle through and learn how to use those features you will use. Apple Photos came free with my current iMac (iPhoto came with my previous Mac) and I've fiddled with it a little bit but it hasn't captured my attention. But, again, it's free software and it might suit you fine.

Another thought is the software that came with your camera(s) if software was provided by them. I've used the software supplied free with Canon, Olympus and Panasonic cameras over the years and it's all pretty decent. Some of it is actually quite good for free software. You can probably download the software for free from the camera maker's websites if you didn't get a disc with your camera.
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Old 04-08-2018   #14
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I read your statement and I gather the last word in your title says alot about your view toward digital photography.

Something for nothing is usually worth what you pay for it.

Iím aways, even tho Iím retired, Am looking for ways to improve my photography. My program consists of several parts, including friendships with other photographers, attending workshops and classes, challenging myself to make better and better photographs, even tho now I mostly make photographs of my family. The tools donít matter as much anymore to me as Iím tooled up. Iím having fun with my iPhone, most always itís in my pocket, always on and ready.

Hope you consider your photography skills as an investment, ready to learn how to better make photographs of the world as you see it.
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Old 04-08-2018   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dralowid View Post
For years I have been using film. For a few years I have been using digital for recording purposes. Everything is jpeg.

I use film for high days and holidays...

I use a Mac and an increasingly infuriating bit of free software called Picasa. For corrections it does all I need and has a very simple methods of making adjustments but its filing system is a real struggle for me at least. I believe it is no longer supported and it is starting to struggle (freeze) as more and more pics are loaded.

What is the current free flavour of the month when it comes applications that are good for filing, adjustments and printing etc?
if all you want is free software,
the odds are against you getting the best out of your digital pics

it's like you deciding you will only shoot with free film,
only develop with free developer,
and only print on free paper
and only work in a free darkoom
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Old 04-08-2018   #16
Larry Cloetta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CameraQuest View Post
if all you want is free software,
the odds are against you getting the best out of your digital pics

it like you deciding you will only shoot with free film,
only develop with free developer,
and only print on free paper
and only work in a free darkoom
LOL. Good point, but I expect you will get some blowback on this.
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Old 04-08-2018   #17
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Photos is fine but I wouldn't want to work with it regularly for serious images. Lightroom is worth the investment if you are shooting regularly.

I keep separate catalogs for digital and film images. Helps me keep track of my negatives and I can tag images as I upload them so I can look back on all the shots I've made with my Canon F1 or Leica CL, or the 35mm f/2.8 lens, etc even though there is no EXIF data like a digital camera would provide.
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Old 04-08-2018   #18
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As other have mentioned, forget Gimp for photo organizing. The built in Photos is your best bet on Mac.

Do you use lots of keywords? If not, a you could just read up on a ideas for folder structure and file naming organization.
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Old 04-08-2018   #19
Doug
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I'm concerned about becoming dependent on specific software which may be discontinued in a few years. So I like to separate the functions of file management, cataloging, and photo editing.

So I can switch from CaptureOne, for instance, to Lightroom with no re-cataloging issues, though the file editing info is lost. From my photographic beginnings, back in the 1960s, I documented my shooting on 3x5 file cards, one for each roll of film. I assigned a roll number and added info on equipment, subject, developing, printing etc. I later transcribed the info to a computer database program. This data can easily be exported as a tab-delimited text file to be imported into a different database software as needed, so I wasn't dependent on using Microsoft File, for instance, and could change to Filemaker.

I use the Finder for file management. With digital shooting (and scans of film), I put all files relating to one "roll" in a folder on the computer. Each batch gets named, as with film rolls, with a code for the date of the last exposure, year, month, day. Then these folders automatically sort in date sequence. Yes, the files in these folders get their names changed to the same date code plus a frame number, using a handy little program called "A Better Finder Rename", though there are alternatives too. I like to be able to put my hands on what I'm looking for, so I can search the database info to identify a batch containing the photo I'm looking for, then go to the folder of that name and locate the specific photo file easily. This convenience makes it worth the trouble to do the organizing from the start.

Long ago I tried iPhoto, and became discouraged when I found that all the photos were imported and contained in one computer file, growing as photos were added. Not accessible except through iPhoto. Maybe Picasa does the same? And maybe Photos is now different in this respect, I'm sure there've been useful changes over the years since.
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Old 04-08-2018   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug View Post

Long ago I tried iPhoto, and became discouraged when I found that all the photos were imported and contained in one computer file, growing as photos were added. Not accessible except through iPhoto. Maybe Picasa does the same? And maybe Photos is now different in this respect, I'm sure there've been useful changes over the years since.
Sorta kinda... but not exactly. Yes, if you just look at the top level you would just see a iPhoto (or Photos) library but all you have to do is alternative click on that and "Show Package Contents" to see everything. Your photos will be in the Master folder and then sorted into additional photos by year->month->day.

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Old 04-08-2018   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn View Post
Sorta kinda... but not exactly. Yes, if you just look at the top level you would just see a iPhoto (or Photos) library but all you have to do is alternative click on that and "Show Package Contents" to see everything. Your photos will be in the Master folder and then sorted into additional photos by year->month->day.

Shawn
And if you mess with anything in hose folders, you risk losing everything in its entirety.

You can also set Photos to work "by reference"... where it becomes similar to Lightroom in terms of how it accesses the originals.

The real problem is that both these apps are parametric editors. Until you export a completed image from them, the changes and edits you make sure not in the files, they're only in the apps' records about the image. So if you want to protect against loss of data, after you finish a rendering, you must export the file out of the app's environment to create an image with all your edits and metadata embedded in them.

My question is, why does the OP consider this "malarkey"?
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Old 04-08-2018   #22
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Lightroom is the best cataloging application.

The best free image editor is Hasselblad's Phocus.
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Old 04-08-2018   #23
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Interesting about Photos, Godfrey, thanks. And as a matter of convenience in addition to file safety, I export from Lightroom as a full-res TiFF file, and other uses derive from that TIFF. For final sharpening, scaling, and jpeg conversion I take the TIFF into a shareware app called GraphicConverter, surprisingly competent tool.
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Old 04-09-2018   #24
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Well, you've had a lot of free* advice and I reckon some of it is priceless and some is worthless. Anyway, that will be a pound, I mean a guinea, please pay my secretary on the way out...

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Old 04-09-2018   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug View Post
...
I use the Finder for file management...
So I do. It is an easy way to keep overview and find my pictures. No additional software needed here.
What "malarkey"?
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Old 04-09-2018   #26
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Perhaps I shouldn't have asked.

I'm not precious, if I just chuck a few thousand files into the bin all will be much clearer.
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Old 04-11-2018   #27
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I suppose I'd better say it; there are some excellent free programs out there. Some are big and rival expensive ones and some are tiny and extremely usefull.

Best of all, if you don't like them you can move on without having wasted your hard earned cash on them. The test is, of course, using them. F'instance, if you asked my opinion of a wine I'd suggest a test involving some glasses and a corkscrew; others would have an opinion using reading glasses and the price list. I know which test is best...

More to the point, I have never seen a link between prices and quality that is consistent across the range of whatever we are discussing at the time, be it cars, cameras or cakes...

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Old 04-11-2018   #28
Ko.Fe.
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I searched it as Media Asset Management free software.
Scroll down in this article. Two freebies are mentioned:
https://photography.tutsplus.com/tut...ion--cms-24660
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