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  1. #1
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    Best photo editing software?

    Hiya all. I'm new to this forum.

    I'm thinking of buying some photo editing software but I have no idea what to get!
    I can't really afford photoshop so I was wondering if there was anything cheaper (and maybe easier to use) that you would recommend?

    I'd like something that I could edit people on (blemishes, teeth...) but to also improve general pictures (colour, add lighting...). Basically an all round, simple, easy to use editting programme that isn't too expensive (I know I'm asking a lot!!)

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    They call me P-Wac JETA's Avatar
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    Re: Best photo editing software?

    What about Photoshop Elements?
    http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshopel/
    It's not blurry. It's bokeh.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Medley's Avatar
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    Re: Best photo editing software?

    Gimp is the most sophisticated freeware out there for your purposes- but it has almost as steep a learning curve as Photoshop.

    http://www.gimp.org/

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  4. #4
    Senior Member jetrim's Avatar
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    Re: Best photo editing software?

    If you want something nearly as robust as photoshop, with a lot of automated features that do a really nice job (teeth whitening, skin smoothing, exposure, etc) try Corel's Paint Shop Pro X3 photo. It's easy to start with, and as your skills progress it offers all the same manual adjustments as photoshop at a fraction of the cost. It goes on sale regularly for $59 from Corel's website and there's a thirty day free trial to see if it's really something you want to invest in. The learning curve isn't nearly as steep as gimp either, though gimp is the best free choice.

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  5. #5
    Formerly Michael Fanelli, mwfanelli, mfa mwfanelli2's Avatar
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    Re: Best photo editing software?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gemherr View Post
    Hiya all. I'm new to this forum.

    I'm thinking of buying some photo editing software but I have no idea what to get!
    I can't really afford photoshop so I was wondering if there was anything cheaper (and maybe easier to use) that you would recommend?

    I'd like something that I could edit people on (blemishes, teeth...) but to also improve general pictures (colour, add lighting...). Basically an all round, simple, easy to use editting programme that isn't too expensive (I know I'm asking a lot!!)

    Thank you.
    Elements is probably best. It has the look and feel of Photoshop without the stuff you will never use.

    The Gimp is free but many people hate the convoluted and bizarre interface. I know I do!
    “Men never do evil so cheerfully and completely as when they do so from religious conviction.” — Blaise Pascal

  6. #6
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    Re: Best photo editing software?

    I use Photoshop and Lightroonm for me those are the most compelling and complete software's in the market.

  7. #7
    Seasoned Amateur WesternGuy's Avatar
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    Re: Best photo editing software?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gemherr View Post
    Hiya all. I'm new to this forum.

    I'm thinking of buying some photo editing software but I have no idea what to get!
    I can't really afford photoshop so I was wondering if there was anything cheaper (and maybe easier to use) that you would recommend?

    I'd like something that I could edit people on (blemishes, teeth...) but to also improve general pictures (colour, add lighting...). Basically an all round, simple, easy to use editting programme that isn't too expensive (I know I'm asking a lot!!)

    Thank you.
    If I were you, I would go with Photoshop Elements (PSE). If you try to start out with Photoshop itself, e.g., Photoshop CS5, you will find the learning curve very long and very steep, after all, it has over 500 menu commands alone. For the simple types of editing that you want to do, then PSE is the more user friendly product. You can download the latest version of PSE from Adobe's website and try it for 30 days for free. Go here:http://www.adobe.com/downloads/

    You can get a lot of help from the web and can start here:http://www.photoshopelementsuser.com/ - if you go to the "Community" tab, you can join the "Elements Village" for free, but some of the other parts of the site require a subscription to their magazine "Adobe Photoshop Elements Techniques" - it's not bad, but it is a little dear, but then you do get access to all sorts of video tutorials and similar things as well as the magazine - your call - for me it was value for my $$ when I started out. When I started with PSE, I joined "the Village" and used PSE starting with version 4, moved to 6 and 8, before migrating to Lightroom and Photoshop CS5 about a year ago. I moved because of the Data Asset Management (DAM) capabilities of Lightroom and also Elements is still 32 bit and I needed to work in a 64 bit environment, thus Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS5.

    If you decide to go with PSE, then I would shop around a bit, as you can often get it at a lower price than you can get it off the Adobe site, although they sometimes have specials. You might also consider taking a short course in PSE at a community college, if that type of facility is available to you - this is what I did when I started out and it was extremely helpful.

    Rest assured that there are hundreds of web sites that have some form of support for PSE, some of it requires subscription, some don't. As well, some of these support sites have all kinds of add-ins for PSE that provide additional functionality that does not come with the basic product - again some are free, some are shareware and some require a small fee to use, but you often get support with the latter. These probably won't interest you unless you get into some of the more "advanced" post-processing with PSE.

    So now that you are totally confused by all the suggestions here - what's a guy to do? Part of it comes down to your own computer skills - if you have reasonably developed skills (not sure what "reasonably developed skills are -see below), then PSE may be the way to go, and, even if you don't, it may still be the way to go. As far as the freebies are concerned, I would encourage you to go ahead and look into them, but think about this - once you start loading images onto your computer, you will need some way to organize them and PSE does provide an "Organizer" that allows basic keywording and retrieval by keywording, etc. - programs that are pure editors do not, so that leaves any sort of DAM processes up to you - me, I am basically lazy and just like having the application look after this type of housekeeping for me.

    If you are comfortable with a computer, then PSE should be something that you will find easy to use - don't forget - like any other application there is a learning curve. With PSE, it has probably a few platforms along the way - you can learn the basics very easily and they will take you to the first platform/plateau, then some things beyond this require a little more effort to learn, and so on. My suggestion, get a good basic book on PSE 9, e.g. Kelby and Kloskowski - The Photoshop Elements 9 Book for Digital Photographers (Voices That Matter) , or one of the "Dummies" books. I am assuming that you are the type of person who can learn things from a book - not everyone is.

    Having said all this, you didn't tell us what type of camera you have. The reason I ask, is that a lot of the manufacturers provide their own software to process images. It usually comes in the box with the camera. If you have this, it may be the easier way to start and it is definitely cheaper. You may have to install the software that came with your camera and then go to the manufacturer's web site to download any updates.

    Hope this helps a bit. Any further questions, post back here and I am sure someone will be able to help you out.

    Cheers,

    WesternGuy
    ================================================== ======================
    "Reasonably developed computer skills" (assuming a PC environment) - 1) I can boot the computer up and know how to shut it down - not always a given. 2) I feel comfortable creating and deleting files and folders within Windows Explorer. 3) I can create, edit, update, save, rename etc., basic documents in word processing, spreadsheet and other applications. 4) I can access the Internet and have an e-mail application and can send and receive e-mails. 5) I can attach basic documents, e.g., text, spreadsheets, images, etc. to my e-mail and can also receive and download similar types of documents and can download them to the appropriate folder within Windows. 6) I can download images from my camera (I am assuming it is is a given in your case.) 7) I can install basic applications from a CD or a web download. 8) I feel comfortable downloading files from the web.

    NOTE: Not everyone will necessarily agree with this "list" and other may wish to add to this list, but it is a least a place to start. As I said, if you are comfortable with a computer, then PSE should be something that you will find easy to use.
    Last edited by WesternGuy; 06-05-2011 at 01:49 AM.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Best photo editing software?

    I am using adobe photoshop in long time. It having a lot of features. Its all tool is sufficient for edit any picture. Really ultimate software.

  9. #9
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    Re: Best photo editing software?

    Paint Shop Pro. You can do most of the things you can with Photoshop (full version) but sometimes you have to hunt around to find out how. Paint Shop Pro also has a large number of tools to do things simply that Photoshop doesn't have.

    Photoshop Elements is too cut-down for me. Many essential features have been removed compared with the full version (though I think some are being put back).

    The Gimp is just too difficult to learn for me.

    If you're thinking of turning professional then I would stick with Photoshop because it's the standard.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Best photo editing software?

    Paint Shop Pro has taught me well enough for now. Might go elsewhere, not sure yet.

  11. #11
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    Re: Best photo editing software?

    Hi, Davekyn!
    I have used both Photoshop and Elements, and if you have a limited budget Elements has everything you need for working with layers and masks, as well as all the standard tools. However, if you are just starting out, I've heard great reports on Picassa, which is freeware. I'm not really familiar with the software myself, since I already have Photoshop, but I've seen some great editing results from other folks. And free is always good! I tried to post a link for you, but apparently since I'm a new member I can't even post an address. If you just Google Picasa you'll find it.

  12. #12
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    Cool Re: Best photo editing software?

    Wow lot of good tips here re: Photo editing SW. I'm a quick learner and tried some watered down versions of various freeware, supposed-freeware, gimp, latest Corel Draw 30d trial and Photoshop CS5 Extended which hands down is incredible. That said I'm an artist, acrylics, oils, sea & skyscapes are my forteit, but photography has me hooked. Aside from that I quickly got accustomed to CS5 and it's capabilities, especially the 3D toolsets. I'm also a hardcore gamer and have made several signatures for various friends and even with Photoshop Elements, it was just too watered down. Too be able to make a 3D military dogtag for fellow gaming U.S. Military Veterans was pretty doggone cool using CS5-E.

    There is a learning curve, but once you get going it's not bad, just depends on you the end-user and what you're open to learning, etc. I've found tons of online intel to help me do anything (so-far) that I've wanted to accomplish with CS5. Downside is it's ridiculous price @$999, my Son's a college student so I can get it for $200 which I plan on next payday.

    I'm re-downloading the 30d trial on a new laptop just to hold me over until my full version arrives.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Don Schaeffer's Avatar
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    Re: Best photo editing software?

    I'm no role model, but I have been using Paintshop Pro for years. It's now in version 5. It includes full raw processing and a very wide range of features. For around $75.
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  14. #14
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    Re: Best photo editing software?

    ReaConverter a Simple and user-friendly basic image editor. It has many features. Good for beginners who doesn't know much about image editing and dislike to spend too much time learning about new things like batch image converter

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  15. #15
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    Re: Best photo editing software?

    I'm using GIMP from long time. This is another best photo editing software. GIMP – which stands for the GNU Image Manipulation Program – is a feature-packed and powerful open source image editor that can be used in all major operating systems (Linux, Mac, and Windows). It has a customizable interface so that you can easily set the view and behavior of GIMP.

  16. #16
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    Re: Best photo editing software?

    If you are starting out with "serious" photo software I recommend buying Lightroom before PSE. Lightroom has solid editing capabilities, but much greater breadth. The Library module is a joy for managing your images and deciding WHICH images you want to concentrate on editing. The learning curve - even for the edit module - is much easier than Photoshop (but still check out the excellent introductory videos on the Adobe website). And when you are ready to step up to PSE or full PS, you can use it right from Lightroom (and it will be easier to step into if you've gotten comfortable editing in Lightroom first).

  17. #17
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    Re: Best photo editing software?

    PhotoScape was launced just 3 years back and it has gained a lot of popularity as a freeware photo editing program among (tech) users and critics for many good reasons. It supports RAW and almost all common image formats, i.e JPEG, PNG, and GIF for animated images.Loads fast and is good for moderate level use. Not for very advanced photo editing. PhotScape is really good software to try as free image editing software.

  18. #18
    Junior Member chuckdee's Avatar
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    Re: Best photo editing software?

    Since I've acquired Lightroom, several years ago, I rarely use photoshop unless I need to do some extensive retouching. It's sped up my post production time immensely.


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  19. #19
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    Re: Best photo editing software?

    Quote Originally Posted by chuckdee View Post
    Since I've acquired Lightroom, several years ago, I rarely use photoshop unless I need to do some extensive retouching. It's sped up my post production time immensely.
    Yes, soooo many people say this it's got to be true. Maybe I should break down and get it one of these days. Photoshop is like driving a tank to fetch the mail - slow, bulky, more than you need for many things.........
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    Junior Member chuckdee's Avatar
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    Re: Best photo editing software?

    Quote Originally Posted by GB1 View Post
    Yes, soooo many people say this it's got to be true. Maybe I should break down and get it one of these days. Photoshop is like driving a tank to fetch the mail - slow, bulky, more than you need for many things.........

    I'm tellin ya....bite the bullet. You won't regret it.



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  21. #21
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    Re: Best photo editing software?

    Quote Originally Posted by GB1 View Post
    Yes, soooo many people say this it's got to be true. Maybe I should break down and get it one of these days. Photoshop is like driving a tank to fetch the mail - slow, bulky, more than you need for many things.........

    I know I'm late to the party, especially since the OP is from a loooooong time ago, but yeah I agree with chuckdee, give LR4 a shot. About the only time I use my old PS CS3 now is if I want to quickly resize a random photo that isn't imported into my LR catalog. I only keep it around really in case I have a need to do some layers work or needed to be able to remove/replace parts of a photo or merge photos into one. However, being an amateur photographer and not doing it for a living, I highly doubt that will ever happen. With LR4's targeted adjustment tool it's nearly like being able to do layers for adjustments.

  22. #22
    GB1
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    Re: Best photo editing software?

    Thanks Flyinion, Chuckdee. I'm in the process of getting a new computer and once I get all that straightened out maybe I'll give LR a go. A million loyal followers can't be wrong, right? Actually, I don't know the number of users, but everything I've heard is positive. That's a good sign.

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  23. #23
    Junior Member chuckdee's Avatar
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    Re: Best photo editing software?

    Quote Originally Posted by GB1 View Post
    Thanks Flyinion, Chuckdee. I'm in the process of getting a new computer and once I get all that straightened out maybe I'll give LR a go. A million loyal followers can't be wrong, right? Actually, I don't know the number of users, but everything I've heard is positive. That's a good sign.

    G

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  24. #24
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    Re: Best photo editing software?

    There are a few things to consider when choosing an image editor to own or learn.

    First: Will you be working for yourself at home, or will you be doing image editing commercially at a place of employment? If at home, you can choose just about anything that works for you (from free to expensive), so long as it gets the job done. If at work, chances are high you'll be using an Adobe product (PS or LR or the entire suite).

    If you don't know Photoshop specifically, that will hurt you in terms of outside employment. Of course all image editors operate on the same basic principles with similar tools, but their interfaces are all different.

    Second, what type of image editing do you want to do? For example, I love using plug-ins and layer effects. Lightroom supports plug-ins but not layers, so that doesn't work for me. But if I were a wedding photographer cranking out batches of image adjustments, LR might be a better choice since it's designed for that sort of thing.

    The OP seems to want an editor that does basic personal tasks, so the choices are many, from GIMP on up. It's just a matter of researching and downloading free and trial versions and trying them all out until one "clicks".
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  25. #25
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    Re: Best photo editing software?

    I totally agree with plugsnpixels. For me, there's no such thing as perfect, you choose the software based on what editing work you want to do. Photoshop is super, but it's just not that easy for beginners to edit photos. Well, i use PhotoStudio, easy and satisfy my demands.

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