You Say Potayto - I Say Potahto...
Of course this is perfectly legal - you don't have to use every steak knife in the drawer every meal - but sometimes I wonder if some of the digital photographers are trying to eat a wonderfully elegant electronic meal with the equivalent of a hatchet and a coffee stirrer.
I was like this at the first - my old government-surplus PC ran a Windows program that was so old that the registration code was in Roman numerals and the word processing program in it still used Liquid Paper to correct errors. I installed a free copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements 3 and commenced my digital adolescence. It was remarkably like real adolescence - I broke out in pimples and girls wouldn't talk to me.
Times have changed. I run two Apple products - an iMac and a MacBook pro - and there are a bevy of high-powered programs in there churning the electrons to good effect. I have selected the Apple Aperture program and the Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 as my image handling tools and am awaiting some plug-ins from Alien Skin to fiddle with the black and white conversion and art effects.
So apparently do a number of the club people - they run a mixture of Photoshop CS products of all numbers, some Elements, a few Apertures and a number of versions of Lightroom. But they sadly confess that while these competent programs sit dormant on their computers, they still just wipe the backsides of their jpegs and slap them onto discs - they are afraid to use the capabilities that exist in the electronics.
People, take heart. Get in there and poke those buttons. You will get some dreadful results, and some of your images will go to electronic heaven and never come back, and occasionally your screen will go blue - as will your language - but all you have to do is turn it off and on again and generally things come right. All that the image programs do is fiddle with red, blue, and green pixels and you can't kill the computer if you get the saturation wrong. The Aperture and Lightroom programs will adjust most of the pictures that you'll want to show off, and if you need to lie shamelessly you can bounce the file over to a PS product and it will abet you in your sin - then bounce it back to Aperture or Lightroom. The chiefest thing to remember is either to admit to everything - like Christian Fletcher and I do - or deny it absolutely.
Try it. You'll like it.