This might be a verboten question, but I found myself wanting to contract out some post process work on some images that I wanted to really look their best.
I work mostly in a Linux environment, so I get by with UFRaw and Gimp for a lot of what I do in PP, but my candid assessment of my skills is that I'm really on the basic end of the learning curve.
Since I didn't have the time to sit on said pictures, I did some googling of contract photoshop sites. Most would do the basics of what I wanted in working over the colors/whitebalances, etc for a pretty wide range of fees. All the sites looked like they could deliver the goods, but I'm a pretty cynical guy and want to limit the number of times I light a $20 bill on fire!
Has anyone used a service like that? Good/bad? What sort of rates should be expected? Any concerns with those sites being off-shore?
While I have never used the services of such from what I have seen most outfits charge by the hour for Photoshop processing. While I share Barry's concerns about payment and identification theft, I have a more basic issue. How will you be assured that the processing they apply is in keeping with your tastes and style?
I agree. I don't like floating payment information out to anyone that isn't reputable. Hard thing here is that I have no idea who is. Do printing labs do that sort of work?
The question of style, I agree that I would lose control, but there were some basic things of manipulation that I wanted to shift the work to. I am so slow at these things to get to my satisfaction, I would have been happy to trade time for artistic control.
At this stage, I don't have a well developed style or voice, so that wasn't something that was a big deal for me at the moment.
It's been a while, but I knew of some PPA members that subcontracted image processing. It's not a bad strategy.
Some of the top printers offer reasonable editing and post processing services. I don't have a name handy, but would look for companies that support PPA. That's probably a better indication of reliability since true low end operations would probably not advertise.
Photo post-processing was what pushed me back into Windows and Mac platforms from Linux. You could spend a lot of money to let somebody else exercise their creative judgment on your work. Have you considered using Wine or Crossover to stay in Linux yet still run an application like View NX or Lightroom? That would make it far easier to make basic adjustments on a series of images than trying to do it with Gimp.
Yeah, I actually run Windows 7 inside of a virtual machine on the linux box so that facility is there for me.
I had considered lightroom as a replacement for what I'm doing, and I already use ViewNX, but it seems a little clunky on the controls. In fact, ViewNX is what I used to figure out that I had an older version of DCRaw that wasn't completely compatible with my Nikon 1 V2 NEF files.
With Adobe moving to the creative cloud, should I start thinking more in those terms?
>Yeah, I actually run Windows 7 inside of a virtual machine on >the linux box so that facility is there for me. > >I had considered lightroom as a replacement for what I'm >doing, and I already use ViewNX, but it seems a little clunky >on the controls. In fact, ViewNX is what I used to figure out >that I had an older version of DCRaw that wasn't completely >compatible with my Nikon 1 V2 NEF files. > >With Adobe moving to the creative cloud, should I start >thinking more in those terms?
Since you've not mastered any particular editor, you might want to think about focusing on a good one - there is really none better for the money than LR. You start understanding it's power, you might find it is not as clunky as you stated.
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