25 Oct 2018

Recommended Software For Your Photography Course

by Anthony Griffin (Course Tutor)

When it comes to storing the photographs you take during your course, having them on the memory card inside your camera is only a short term solution. To get the most out of your images you will need to save and store them on a laptop or PC (Windows or OSX); a tablet will not be sufficient.

Let’s take a look at where to store your images and the best software programs available to get the most out of your images.


Consider an external hard drive

It’s worth considering investing in an external hard drive to store your images and it’s also recommended that you always back these up to at least one other drive.

‘Backing up’ means to have multiple copies of your images on different storage devices. Unfortunately, it is not a case of if a drive will fail but rather when it will fail, resulting in the loss of your photographs. So make sure you regularly back up by making it a part of your workflow.

It may also be more convenient to use a memory card reader instead of connecting your camera to your laptop/PC as you upload your images.


Industry standard software

Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom are amongst the industry standard software programs. Adobe’s subscription model means it works out more cost effective than paying for software outright. Older, standalone versions will be sufficient to complete your course but Adobe will not update previous releases of this software.

At the time of writing, Adobe offer three monthly plans:

  1. Lightroom plan
  2. Photography plan, which includes Photoshop but offers less cloud storage
  3. Photography plan at a higher cost but with larger cloud storage

All Adobe products offer a limited free-trial period. While any of these plans will be sufficient, we would suggest the second plan, Photography Plan with Photoshop, but this will depend on your budget.


Benefits of Lightroom

Lightroom offers the ability to view, organise and edit large numbers of digital photographs, with its edits described as ‘non-destructive’. This means you will always be able to revert back to the original file.

To work on files within Lightroom, you first need to import them into its database. Then you’ll be able to add keywords, rate the files and create photobooks, slideshows, prepare images for print, create and share webpages of your images.

As your photo collection grows into thousands or tens of thousands of images, Lightroom offers the ability to be able to catalogue and manage them in a way that makes sense for you. This will help you to easily find a particular image or group of images and develop an efficient workflow.

Lightroom offers Tethered Capture Support for many DSLRs which means that you may be able to shoot while connected to your laptop so that you can instantly review, edit and back up your images.


Benefits of Photoshop

Photoshop differs in that it can remove, add or dramatically change the appearance of individual images, work with text and 3D objects and even modify individual video frames.

Photoshop is ideal for detailed adjustments and working with layers, so it is a great piece of software to have, in addition to Lightroom.


The recommended software to complete your course

While there are a number of alternative software options available, we would strongly recommend that you use Lightroom and Photoshop which are now available as part of a monthly plan with Adobe. In particular, Lightroom will be referenced throughout your course material and assignments and should be considered a vital part of your photographic equipment.

You can find out more information about these software solutions on the website www.adobe.com.


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