Getting into photography

I’ve been playing around with the D60 and some digital editing.  Nothing much, just minor adjustments and cropping.

Walking to Penn Station

Since I’m doing such minor editing I don’t bother purchasing any photo applications like Adobe Photoshop Elements.  The freely available Paint.NET is more than enough for me so far and the more I look at it, the more impressed I get.

Per Stefan’s recommendation I’m shooting photos in RAW. I was using JPEG normal but even I noticed defects in images that I’m taking, so RAW seems to make sense for now.

In order to start using NEF files (Nikon RAW format) I have done the following:

  1. Install the Nikon NEF codec.  For my Vista 64 bit system I had installed this one.  The 64 bit one is beta, so check that web site often for updates. Installing the codec is for ease of use.  All it buys me is the ability to see a thumbnail in windows so I can find the file I really want to edit.
  2. Install this plugin for Paint.NET.  It lets me import RAW files.  I can’t save them in the same format but TIFF works out well for that.  When you install the plugin on a 64 bit system, make sure it installs in the correct directory.  For faster processing you can get optimized dcraw binaries here at the dcraw web site. Update: Per Benni’s comment, also see the Dave’s dcraw web page here.  Dave is the author of dcraw and has a good FAQ about the program and the portable source code.
  3. Install this plugin WordPress Media Flickr.  Okay, not for editing exactly but I use it to link images on Flickr into my blog posting. I had to make a change to my PHP5 installation but no big deal.  I can select my photos easily and if I wanted to I could search other peoples Flickr photos.

Now I can load up images and just work on then pretty easily.  I plan to check out Paint.NET’s forums and work on some goofy edits.

3 thoughts on “Getting into photography

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