Digital photo editing has become such a mainstream hobby and profession for many over the past several years. There was time, however, when the capability and knowledge was specific only to those with know-how in the field. Now, with an increase in accessibility to software and knowledge, and advancements in technologies, computer photo editing is just about as mainstream as using the phone. Here are some great (and popular) photo editing software packages to consider for any creative needs.
There is no doubt, that if the question of what photo editing software is the best to use comes up, the answer would most likely be Adobe Photoshop. The photo editing giant has been around for quite some time, yet it isn’t the easiest to acquire or learn, especially for the entry level photo editing enthusiast. Yet, most professional hopefuls should aspire to learn and use Photoshop at some point in their career, as it is certainly the default software application found in the workplace. Although the application’s seemingly endless number of features may seem daunting, the payoff in professionalism pays-off in the long run.
An alternative to Adobe’s Photoshop is Adobe Photoshop Elements. This photo editing software packaging can simply be considered as Photoshop’s little brother. At a fraction of the cost, this software also offers a fraction of the features. The good news is that any basic features, and quite advanced actually, that are required for photo editing are included in the package. Also support plug-ins, the software can be extended for additional photo effects. Aimed at the home user and enthusiast, Elements offers a slightly similar interface as its older sibling, so the learning curve when moving up isn’t as harsh. Adobe Photoshop Elements can usually found for a suggested retail of $99.99, hundreds less than Photoshop CS5.
Simply put, Paint Shop Pro has been around for a very long time. Without a doubt, it was the default photo software editing applications outside of Photoshop for Years. Owned by Corel for sometime now, Paint Shop Pro lives on. Paint Shop Pro includes a built-in photo organizer, a large library of effects, and quick and easy tools to use such as noise removal, sharpen, smart photo fix and more. Corel’s Paint Shop Pro Photo X3 has a suggested retail price of $69.99.
Ulead’s PhotoImpact was without question a great product during its long and successful lifetime. Also having been acquired by Corel some time ago, this title is a runner up to Paint Shop Pro (of which Corel has set focus on) in the world of shareware graphics and photo editing. The seemingly last version of PhotoImpact – X3 put out by ULead/Corel (distrubution/repackaging now handled by Nova Development), features a wide array of tools and effects that are easily accessible to the new user through a library that contains visual previews. Downloadable content available to the program such as buttons, frames and other goodies also bring an extra breath of life to the title that has been reduced to a bargain bin price of $29.99.
If there is absolutely no budget available for image manipulation software, a freeware solution may just be in order. GIMP, is a very popular free graphics editing software application that is continuously updated and improved upon. Features include a customizable interface, a wide array of touch-up tools, and built-in hardware support for a number of input devices. GIMP is also freely available for a number of platforms including Windows, Mac, Linux, and FreeBSD.
Adobe: Photoshop CS5
TopTenREVIEWS: Adobe Photoshop Elements 8
TopTenREVIEWS: Paint Shop Pro X3
TopTenREVIEWS: PhotoImpact X3