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Recommendation for Photo-Editing Software


TNWNGR

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Recommendation for Photo-Editing Software

I’ve been shopping for a photo-editing software package and have been reading the reviews. Before I make a purchase I’d like to see if any of you have good recommendations with pro’s and con’s on them. What I’m looking for is a onetime purchase without monthly fees that’s comparably simple to use. I’ve used some free software and would prefer something more stable with better features.

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That leaves most of my stuff out. I am still holding off upgrading to 10.  

I do have copies of Adobe Photoshop 8 that Adobe gave away free to download a few years ago. It is the full legal copy with unlimited key. I would be happy to send you a CD if you want to try and make it work. I have not tried it myself on Win 10. 

Might be a little heftier than you are looking for though.

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GIMP is free or used to be. I've never used it so I don't know much about it.

 

I have only ever used subscription or out right bought photoshop. Subscription isn't that bad. Pay 20/30 bucks for a month and do all your editing that month and cancel. You have the most up to date product. This is for photoshop and lightroom. I think you can still buy Lightroom out right, but I think it's 2-300. Photoshop I think is subscription only. 

Edited by C.lunn
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I've used irfanview (freeware) for years.  It's simple and does most things reasonably well. Photoshop is more powerful, but it's necessarily more complicated and slower for simple stuff. If you're getting into photography, Lightroom seems to be the best. 

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I have debated on whether or not to get involved in this, I decided that I should probably put forth my input. Ok, first, let me comment on Photoshop vs. Lightroom. It isn't about "which one is better", but rather "which one fits what I'm doing".

Lightroom - Commonly referred as "used to adjust pixels". Technically, more so a DAM (Digital Asset Management) than an image editor. This is always my first step in "editing photos". I may shoot 1000 - 2000 photos in assignment, Lightroom is the catalog that I dump them into, tag, sort through, flag, etc. It is excellent at "adjusting pixels". What this means is that you go and shoot a photo of your family and then you can very easily adjust the colors, exposure, sharpness, etc. Yes, more recent versions have added in "photo editing tools" such as blemish removal, etc, but it typically is not the best suited for that sort of thing. Lightroom is my overall favorite photo related program. You can apply adjustments to a batch of photos (if you shoot 100 photos in the same room with the same lighting, you can adjust the white balance on a single photo and them "copy" it to the rest. Would you rather do this or adjust the white balance in all the photos manually? Also, it is the bee's knees for exporting; You can set all sorts of presets for exporting and then export 1 photo or 10,000 photos and have it generate certain file size, types, etc.

Photoshop - Commonly referred as "used to move pixels". Instead of adjusting pixels, think of Photoshop as what you use when you want to move them. What I'm talking about here is generally things like blemish removal, cloning, liquefy, dodge/burn, etc. If you want to take a photo of your grandmother and make her look 20 again, here is where you would do it. While I might be able to "speed edit" a photo in Lightroom in under a minute, you might spend hours on a single photo in Photoshop depending on what you wish to do. It is immeasurably multitudes more powerful than Lightroom for manipulating photos.

 

Now, personally I hate that direction that Adobe is going. I bought Lighroom 6 outright and still use it. I haven't touched Photoshop in a while. However, in my opinion the monthly $9.99 "Photographer's Bundle" that gives you Photoshop and Lightroom is an excellent deal.

 

Now, let me speak on alternatives.

GIMP - Cross Platform (Windows, Mac, Linux), FOSS (Free Open Source Software). I used this for years when I exclusively ran a Linux machine. GIMP is very powerful. It isn't exactly easy. It attempts to be a Photoshop replacement and does mostly a decent job. Like I said, not necessarily easy but it is free. I'd say it is worth installing regardless of what you plan on using long term.

Pixelmator/Pixelmator Pro - Excellent entry level editor on Mac OS. Does not do anything DAM related, strictly for editing. I believe only the "Pro" version handles RAW files. Wonderful lightweight program that I sometimes have used for performing very quick tasks. Worth a look.

Affinity Photo - Very nice editor on Mac OS/Windows. Currently, I'm trying to make this work for me as a full replacement for Photoshop. I do all the quick adjustments in Lightroom and then export the image to Affinity Photo and then save it back to Lightroom for cataloging (automatically happens, no big deal). In my opinion, much speedier than Photoshop as it is a newer program from the ground up. Takes advantage of a lot of Mac OS technologies (Metal, for example). Free trial available, I'd save give it a go.

 

My advice? Either $9.99/month Photoshop + Lightroom from Adobe OR Lightroom 6 (standalone purchase) + Affinity or Pixelmator/GIMP depending on platform.

 

Now, Affinity is supposed to release a DAM sometime upcoming. Although I love Lightroom, I'll get rid of it in an instant as soon as a true alternative pops up. Overall, in my opinion, Adobe has lost direction and releases updates way too slowly and is riddled with bugs. It's become too bloated. I yearn for a true alternative but at the moment no true alternative to Lightroom exists in my opinion.

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About every year or so I buy Photoshop Elements & Premiere Elements bundled together. I think full retail is about $150, I usually find them on sale for around $50 or $60 (The bundle is $99 right now at Best Buy or Adobe.com).

PhotoShop Elements is going to do about anything most people want to do, and there is a ton of support and information available.

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What @CZ9mm said.

20-years in the print-biz as a Prepress Operator. Photoshop _is_ the standard, and Adobe sucks dead Moose Balls, but that's another thread.

If you are a casual image manipulator that wants slightly more than just crop, rotate, lighten, I use GIMP on my laptop at home.

 

- K

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1 hour ago, ReeferMac said:

What @CZ9mm said.

20-years in the print-biz as a Prepress Operator. Photoshop _is_ the standard, and Adobe sucks dead Moose Balls, but that's another thread.

If you are a casual image manipulator that wants slightly more than just crop, rotate, lighten, I use GIMP on my laptop at home.

 

- K

Generally if it is the standard it sucks sooner or later. Microsoft Office, Adobe Anything, AutoCAD, etc. I think they figure when everyone is hooked they can do whatever and still rake in cash. 

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