I have been taking pictures for years. When they closed the local community darkroom a few years ago I switched to digital. For the most part I gave up on printing images because they were to dark. After reading some of the potential fixes for this problem, I have decided to buy a new computer/monitor and try again. I have been using Photoshop Album and Photoshop 7. I am trying to decide what to replace these programs with. My main goal is to make photographic images with accurate color and density. I am especially interested in high dynamic range imaging. I take a lot of ocean and landscape photos. My plan has been to buy CS4 (or wait a few months and buy CS5). However I wonder if for the about same amount of money it would be better to buy a combination of programs. I need photo management, photo manipulation and HDR capacity. Any suggestions on what programs to purchase would be appreciated.
You might take a look at Lasersoft SilverFast HDR for image editing and processing at: www.silverfast.com
Photoshop CS4 for HDR does not make it, and CS5 may be a long way off. So take a look at the many plug-ins for HDR, as well as at the HDR capability of Corel's PaintShop Pro application if you are running Windows.
Also I mentioned in another forum that Adobe LightRoom 3 public beta is available for free download.