Adobe Photoshop this, Premiere that, Lightroom, Aperture…blaa, blaa…
Most computers these days, whether PC or MAC, come with bundled software which normally includes some form of digital photo editing program. Sometimes it is just trial software and you will need to cough up some £££’s or $$$’s if you want to keep it but at least you have had a chance to try it.
Note: In fact, whatever software you are looking to buy, there is normally a trial version you can download for up to 30 days, look out for that on their websites.
Before you start shelling out hundreds of Dollars, Pounds, Euros etc on expensive software, have a think about what you really need it for. All most images need is…
- Colour Saturation
- Levels, curves and contrast
- Cloning and healing (removing blemishes, stains etc).
- Black and white conversion
- Making composites or montages
- Resizing for web, email and phone
- Adding borders
- Correcting distortion
…and most software programs have the features to do all this. Also look out for the ability to add funky additions such as Photoshop Actions.
Adobe Photoshop (6, 7, CS, CS2, CS3, CS4, CS5, CS6…and now CC)
One of the most pricey software bundles on the market and you should only really consider this if you are going pro or like to get seriously involved in digital imaging. Photoshop has long been the choice of professional photographers and it just gets better and better.
Photoshop has a huge learning curve and there are very few people on the planet who know all there is to know about Photoshop.
You can use Photoshop to enhance your images in just about every way imaginable but if you are just starting out and want to ease yourself into digital imaging, it may be worth checking out the Elements version below.
After years of Adobe being plagued with dodgy copies of Photoshop, they came up with a simple solution for everyone to be able to afford their software.
Rent it through the cloud with prices starting at less than £10 per month…about time!
Adobe Photoshop Elements
A fantastic program which features a lot of the functionality of the full Photoshop at about 1/10th of the price! It has all you need for every day alterations and processes to get your images looking great:
- Organise and categorize
- Find files using keywords, tags and dates
- Edit files to your heart and imaginations’ content
- Create photo books, scrapbook pages, slide shows, photo e-mail and more
- Share albums and maps on the web, and show them off on your TV, iPhone etc
If you buy, use and enjoy Photoshop Elements to the point where you feel you need to progress, the step up from Elements to full Photoshop is a piece of cake as the layout, tools and menus are the same (just about).
Adobe Lightroom was a revelation when it first appeared a few years ago as it came in well under the cost of Photoshop, had a huge array of features and many photographers switched to this program. It just lacked a bit in creativity but with the release of later versions, those features were upgraded to even include video, added to and enhanced making Lightroom the choice for many new and old photographers alike.
I have used this software as a viewing platform ever since I bought my first PC. It is fast, well laid out with tons of features especially organising as we mentioned earlier. Very reasonably priced too.
I mainly use ACDSee Pro for viewing images and batch processing (changing file names, resizing for web etc).
Others to look out for
There are many other to choose from and it all boils down to what YOU like and feel comfortable with. At the end of the day, it is important to remember that you should try to get the photo correct at the time of exposure and not to rely on correcting mistakes later.
Also, don’t feel as though you HAVE to manipulate each and every image you take…there is nothing better than loading a photo into Photoshop, looking at it and doing a “Fonzie” (heyyyy!) when you realise it is already perfect!
Next Page – Processing