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Photographers and Artists

Graphics software

Looks like we have a few photographers and artists in our midst so here's a place to talk about all photography, art, and related subjects.

Graphics software

Postby Kay » Wed 23 Jul 2003 04:46 GMT

What graphics software do you use and why?

Does anyone use Fireworks?

BTW - any other webmasters here who use Dreamweaver?

Yeah, it's a load of questions - but I haven't learned enough to have any answers yet. :?

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Postby CustomStrat » Wed 23 Jul 2003 05:47 GMT

I use Adobe Photoshop 6, Adobe Illustrator 8, Jasc Paint Shop Pro 6, Ulead PhotoImpact 6 and an old one called Meta Creations Painter Classic. And, yes, I use them all... I find PhotoImpact to be the most user-friendly and usually start off in that before copying into the others. Photoshop is, of course, the industry standard and it has more effects and flexibility than the others. Paint Shop Pro is a bit simplistic and is really not a whole lot more than Microsoft Photo Editor. Painter Classic is more of a painting application but it has some nice unique effects. I like to have a lot of tools in the bag because, as a photographer, I've always believed that the real creativity is in the "darkroom."

Haven't used Fireworks or Dreamweaver. I wouldn't mind downloading the demos but I'm running a poxy dial-up and they're something like 26MB and 46MB respectively... For web work I use FrontPage 2002.
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Postby Savannah_Alan » Wed 23 Jul 2003 15:41 GMT

Hi Kay,
I use mostly photoshop now (version 6.0).
Yes, I have used Fireworks a lot. I think it's a great piece of software. Not quite as powerful as Photoshop, but sure is less of a learning curve.

Unlike Photoshop, Fireworks was developed specifically for the web and it shows. It works in a similar way to photoshop and can even deal with photoshop files.
Photoshop contains a product called "ImageReady", which is their answer to the web graphics issue.

I use most of the Macromedia products on a daily basis (Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash). Because most of the web sites I develop are database-driven, I used to be a bit of a snob and dismissed Dreamweaver for the "eye candy" brigade. Then, one weeked, I decided I had better have a good look at this thing that I had been dismissing for so long.
Well, come Monday morning, I was converted and now use Dreamweaver almost exclusively - even for the heavy data access coding (I use the built in server behaviours until it gets too tough for them, which doesn't take long at all :? , and then just code it by hand).

For page design, I think Dreamweaver is just amazing and beats anything else I have used hands down. It also allows seamless integration with Fireworks and Flash.
It certainly shows Frontpage up to be the joke that it is. (Sorry, frontpage people, but really Microsoft - get rid of the damn thing! - Yuk). Ooh, somebody stop me... :?

So, to sum up my ramblings: despite being a serious Microsoft person (MCSD), I think the Macromedia products are GREAT, especially Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Flash.
For graphics though, the big daddy is still Photoshop - if you've got a few months to spare to learn it! Do a search on the internet though and see the things people have produced with Fireworks and you'll see it's no slouch either!

Alan.
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Postby CustomStrat » Wed 23 Jul 2003 17:46 GMT

C'mon Alan; FrontPage is just soooo easy. :wink: Although I do sometimes wonder what's the point since you can do just about as much in Word and then tweak the code in NotePad...
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Postby Savannah_Alan » Wed 23 Jul 2003 18:04 GMT

Yeah, it is easy Mike, but just look at the bloated HTML nonsense it puts in.
And don't get me going on FrontPage extensions... :x

Word is also guilty of putting in reams of unnecessary code. Whenever I have to work on a site that has been done in Frontpage, my first step is to cut it in half in terms of size by getting rid of all the drivel that FrontPage (or Word) puts in.

This is not only an aesthetic issue. All the unnecessary stuff dramatically reduces your keyword weight and will have a negative impact on your search engine positioning. It makes the page slower to load and makes futher editing more difficult.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Microsoft basher at all. They put out some amazing products and I think they sure are the best we have, but as far as WYSIWYG HTML editors go - what were they thinking???

But maybe I'm over analysing it. For quick and dirty work - FrontPage will do - at a push :wink: ...

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Postby Kay » Wed 23 Jul 2003 18:19 GMT

My fingers are itching to type in a reply to this Frontpage debate but it's getting late and I know I won't do it justice now.

We've gone off the subject of photography a bit though. Do we need a board for webmasters? I did start a group a while back elsewhere but it died a death when most of us involved were more active on another bigger group.

There are loads of good resources around for webmasters but many of the other boards are a bit specialised and some have such exalted or experienced people on them that sometimes it's a bit intimidating to ask a question in case the others think it's stupid. If you think there's a demand for a webmasters' board on here I'll make one.

BTW, we used to have stuff on this site about web building for beginners but I scrapped it because it was out of date. I'm planning to make a new Channel on the website for business and technology and am currently rewriting the "getting started" series of web building. I hope to get on to providing more advanced stuff eventually. If anyone wants to have any input into this, then please let me know.

Now, if only I could get on with improving the website instead of hanging out on the forum... :D

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Postby chabrenas » Thu 24 Jul 2003 19:37 GMT

I guess I sit in the middle somehwere - partly because a lot of my software is scrounged from people who moved onward and upward. My website is FrontPage (in principle, but a lot of the time I end up recoding the HTML - I use FP as a way of automating uploads of changed pages, but even that has gone wrong a couple of times), but I've installed Dreamweaver and will learn real soon now. Or so I tell myself. I used to use a French product called Ace Expert.

I have Photoshop 5.5 at the moment, and I'm collecting books on digital editing.

- Dorling Kindersley/Tom Ang Digital Photographer's Handbook
- Piatkus/Simon Joinson Digital Photography Workbook ( companion to a different Digital Photography Handbook, which I haven't bothered to buy)
- I've got my eye on 'Down & Dirty', but have never seen a copy.

I got PhotoImpact recently, so I haven't had time to learn it yet.

I also have ACDSee, which is not only good, but has some good tutorials.
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