Who bought more photo junk? Film photographers or digital photographers?
I may be among the minority here, but I think the introduction of digital photography introduced more junk for folks to buy.
In the software end alone, you probably don’t need to look hard to see for example, the number of plug-ins and Photoshop Actions and Lightroom presets that are being sold today.
But before you buy, Mac users please check to see if your software is compatible with your operating system.
Basically anything to make it a one-click sells.
The popular ones are plug-ins or standalone applications for creating fancy borders, frames, sepia tones and super quick portrait retouching software.
There’s nothing wrong with using those especially when it will make things faster.
For the beginner though, it’s best to learn some rudimentary photoshop skills, it’s cheaper to invest some of your time.
In the old days of film, your temptation might take the form of a nice glossy ad in a prominent magazine.
These days so many photographers, both pro and hobbyists, are sharing behind-the-scene videos of their photo shoots.
It’s daunting for the beginner to sift through the pretty faces, the bikini clad girls and distill it down to the technique used to take the picture if there’s even an identifiable one.
Regardless, all these feed the fantasies of many hobbyists that if they get the same kind of gear, they will be able to get the same results.
Never mind if they have never heard the terms lighting ratios and shadow and highlights.
This incessant pitching is streaming on youtube and other video portals 24/7, so that’s where a lot of photographers turned entrepreneurs pitch their wares.
Try to approach these videos with this in mind: can I do this shot with the gear I have?
Most of the time, you can.
You just need to break it down and figure out the technique.
What software do you have that’s taking up space on your hard drive that hasn’t been launched in 6 months?
In my mind, most photographers really only need Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop Elements if they are hobbyists.
If they do a lot of landscapes, then they might consider Photomatix.
Those who dislike noisy images produced by their older camera bodies and have no budget to upgrade might want to consider Noise Ninja if the built-in noise reduction in Lightroom is insufficient.
As usual, if you have suggestions of essential software, please let me know under comments.