good photo editing software/programs for amateur?

Discussion in 'Graphics Programs and Photo Gallery' started by mommyfran, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. mommyfran
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    mommyfran New Member

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    I'm just starting my journey photography. So I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice in what the best editing program would be for me to start with? It would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!​
  2. 480sparky
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    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator

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  3. MTVision
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    MTVision New Member

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    Photoshop elements 9 is good and under 100.00! If you are a student or teacher you can get Photoshop for 200.00
  4. cgipson1
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    cgipson1 New Member

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    I agree with Sparky... GIMP is probably your best bet.. works well and lots of features. Photoshop is awesome, but very expensive. CorelDraw is an option too.. but it is not the standard, and is rather expensive also. You can get the Corel Paintshop Photo for like $29 or so.. Corel - Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3 Ultimatebut I think GIMP is better, and totally free.
  5. Peano
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    Peano New Member

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    Any version of Photoshop Elements -- even back to 3.0 or 4.0 -- is fine for learning the basics
    and would be very inexpensive. I started on Elements 3.0 when it wasn't current.

    If you go that route, get the free layer mask add-on and, as early as convenient, begin learning
    about (and working with) layers and masks. One of the biggest mistakes beginners make is
    destructive editing directly on image pixels rather than working with adjustment layers and masks.
    Not working with adjustment layers is the dead giveaway of a novice.
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  6. skieur
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    skieur New Member

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    Paintshop Pro Photo X3 Ultimate is better than Photoshop Elements, is photoshop-like in features and runs Photoshop Plug-Ins. Express Lab is the equivalent of Lightroom but built-in to the program rather than an extra cost. I have Photoshop CS5 as well, but for speed, Paintshop Pro Photo X3 is excellent.

    skieur
  7. usayit
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    usayit Well-Known Member

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    In my experience, most of what a photobeginner has in mind when they think photo editing falls well into the capabiliies of Lightroom.

    Those that think more along the lines of photomanipulation, will be fine with Elements and or GIMP.

    If you really get hooked, start saving and the purchase price of Photoshop will seem like a bargain.... There is a reason why some wouldnt blink twice on spending $1500 on a lens but have a problem spending $630 on Photoshop. Its a lack of understanding ofnthe capabilities of the later. Just like outside this circle would not understand nor spend $1500 on a lens.

    I personally use lightroom 3 with GIMP amd an outdated version of PS. My wife loves Picassa but isnt interested in photography as much as simply capturing moments.
  8. JohnPAtl
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    JohnPAtl New Member

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    +1 to usayit.. Elements is a good program however Lightroom is a great one and has good features, lots of great books that go along with it.
    look up Scott Kelby's books on Elements and Lightroom, Lightroom is designed with a photographer in mind.. if you need layout, art type things then elements is fine
  9. mommyfran
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    mommyfran New Member

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    thanks to all! ya'll have been very helpful, i will be checking all these out & weighing my options!
  10. bigheadkyle2
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    bigheadkyle2 New Member

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    If you like to keep things legal then GIMP is your best bet. If you know someone that is a teacher or student you can get them to get the discount from Adobe and Photoshop is $199. If you don't care about being legal then there may or may not be certain ways to get photoshop free ;)
  11. cgipson1
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    cgipson1 New Member

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    yea.. and viruses to boot... most torrents have backdoors, and other nasty stuff built into them... but hey, do what you want.
  12. 480sparky
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    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator

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    Who said anything about torrents? Besides, I've never had any virus issues.
  13. cgipson1
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    cgipson1 New Member

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    I think " If you don't care about being legal then there may or may not be certain ways to get photoshop free ;-)" makes it pretty obvious what he was talking about. I work in IT.. with a slant on security. There are a lot of torrent users don't know what they have, and their antivirus may or may not catch it :) . All I will say on the subject.. don't want to hijack the thread.
  14. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    Advocating copyright infringement on a forum frequented by creatives that have a vested interst in protecting their own intellectual property is not cool.

    On many photography forums it would be grounds for being bannished.
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  15. Mike K
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    Mike K New Member

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    If you own a Canon, don't overlook Digital Photo Professional which came free with your camera on CD. It's the only program I've used and I was surprised at the things you can do with it.
  16. WesternGuy
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    WesternGuy Well-Known Member

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    You can download any Adobe product, Lightroom, Photoshop Elements, etc., and use it free for 30 days here: Adobe - Downloads , so if you are interested in trying either or both then you might want to think about the free (for 30 days) downloads. If you decide to go with either product, then I would buy a good book and work through the examples in the book. Most "good" books will have a web site where you can download a lot of the images in the book for your convenience, to work with as you read through the book itself. Not only that, but there are a number of sites on the web which have tutorials and such for you to follow through as well as a number of discussion forums for each relevant product. For example, a good one for Photoshop Elements can be found here: Elements Village - Powered by vBulletin and for Lightroom, you can find one here: Lightroom Forums There are, of course others, as well as many "learning sites" as I have indicated.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers,

    WesternGuy
  17. PerfectShotPhoto
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    PerfectShotPhoto New Member

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    Great tip from WesternGuy. I agree. Trying them out is the best way. Do keep in mind that certain programs have higher learning curves than others so you'll have to be patient. Youtube is also a great place to find tutorials on software.
  18. trizzo
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    trizzo New Member

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    If you shoot with Nikon take a look at Nikon View NX2. It has a lot of options how to edit your shots.

    Sent from my GT-I9000 using Tapatalk
  19. dec11ad
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    dec11ad New Member

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    or google "gimp" and give that a shot.

    it's free....
  20. shootermcgavin
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    shootermcgavin New Member

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    Photoshop elements 9 has tons of features, I can't really see needing more than that for editing photos... Unless you're looking to make them fake and have lazer beams shooting out of eyes and stuff like that. I'd say it'd take about 40hours on youtube to learn elements 9 and feel comfortable

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