Recommend a good, basic photo editor ?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by James, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. James

    Peter N Guest

    Yup! It's the end result and whether you get enjoyment from its creation.
    Most of us suffer from that, or a variation of the syndrome, to some
    degree. I will sometimes stare at an image for quite some time and do
    nothing. I know it is a frustrating problem and very real.

    Here's something that may help.
    CS5 makes it almost trivial to remove unwanted objects. Simply circle
    the object with the lasso tool, Press edit | fill | content aware. The
    unwanted image is gone.

    Moving objects seamlessly is a lot harder
    Peter N, Feb 15, 2011
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  2. James

    tony cooper Guest

    Gimp has the steepest learning curve of any editing program and is far
    less intuitive, and Picasa takes over your image files. I wouldn't
    touch Picasa again with a 10 ft pole.

    I don't understand why anyone would say that Elements has a steep
    learning curve. Ninety percent of what you do in editing with
    Elements is dead simple. In Quick Fix, you have two side-by-side
    views of the image - before adjustments and with adjustments - and
    some sliders to play with. You see what each slider does to the
    image. You can revert to pre-adjustments at any time. The other 10%
    of what can be done in Elements takes some time working with
    tutorials, but few photos need what's involved with the 10%.

    There are how-to books available for using Elements, but they're a
    waste of money. You don't need one. The program's too simple to
    justify the expense of a book.

    I've used, at one time, every program you've mentioned. I currently
    use Adobe Photoshop CS4, but that's because I've become an advanced
    user over the years. Most of my shots, though, could be processed
    equally well in Elements 5.0 (which I still have) in .jpg format, but
    I'm so used to CS4 that I automatically use that. Also, I shoot in
    RAW and Elements 5.0 doesn't accept RAW. The current version of
    Elements (9.0) does.
    tony cooper, Feb 15, 2011
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  3. James

    ray Guest

    OTOH, I've found GIMP to be quite easy to use - especially for 'basic'
    operations. I think most of the folks who say it is 'difficult' find it
    that way because they are accustomed to PS and GIMP is different. There
    are books and online tutorials available for GIMP, but again, I'd say
    they are not necessary at all unless you get into more advanced topics.
    I've also found that UFRAW does a decent job of reading RAW files and
    doing basic photo editing - a big plus: both of them are free - won't
    cost you a nickel to check out the fully featured products to see if they
    meet your needs. And won't cost any more if you find they do meet your
    ray, Feb 15, 2011
  4. James

    Savageduck Guest

    The learning curve for Photoshop Elements is not steep at all. It has a
    whole set of "auto" fixes and adjustments which require you to learn
    how to click you mouse button. The rest is easily picked up as you use
    For more there are plenty of tutorials online and available on DVD.
    There is a truly steep learning curve with GIMP, and it is far more
    arcane than PSE or CS5. Its major feature is its price.
    Maybe, however it is lacking in many respects, and is awkward in a
    different way.
    My recommendation for you remains Photoshop Elements 9.
    Savageduck, Feb 15, 2011
  5. James

    Peter N Guest

    Try a free trial of Corel Paint Shop Pro. It's highly intuitive and does
    a great job. I have tried both Picassa and Gimp and totally agree with
    Tony Cooper's comments.
    Peter N, Feb 15, 2011
  6. James

    Ofnuts Guest

    Uh? Picasa doesn't take over your ilages files. It leaves them where you
    put them. Actually it even avoids messing with the originals as much as
    possible, by recording separately changes to apply, and by making a
    backup when you ask to apply the changes to the file. A very civilized
    program IMHO from that point of view.

    People who like to keep their private lives to themselves may shun the
    face recognition feature of recent versions and the associated
    inquisitive questions.
    Ofnuts, Feb 15, 2011
  7. James

    tony cooper Guest

    I used the old Jasik(?)PSP program before Corel bought it out. I
    haven't used the newer versions brought out under Corel.

    I have a grudge against Corel over Word Perfect. They don't support
    older versions and insist you upgrade to get support. The upgrades
    contain feature that I have no interest in.

    I do use CorelDraw 9, but I'll dump that if circumstances force me to
    tony cooper, Feb 15, 2011
  8. James

    tony cooper Guest

    It takes over files in that it wants to import all image files into
    the Picasa database. If you open an external hard drive with images
    on it, Picasa will start to absorb those files.
    tony cooper, Feb 15, 2011
  9. James

    PeterN Guest

    Corel has made many marketing errors with WP coupled with serious
    management errors, which caused it to dramatically lose user confidence
    and market share. I don't think withdrawal of support for older products
    is one of them.

    BTW there is lots of excellent support for older versions of WP at the
    Universe. The Universe is a privately run support group which requires
    registration to post and requests a modest contribution. There are
    really nice helpful people over there.
    PeterN, Feb 15, 2011
  10. James

    tony cooper Guest

    It depends on how much older. My version was the next-to-last most
    current. That's cutting it too close. I needed to download a
    replacement program.
    tony cooper, Feb 15, 2011
  11. James

    Guest Guest

    15/02/2011 21:46
    IPhoto? Basic and free.
    Guest, Feb 16, 2011
  12. James

    Savageduck Guest

    However, not that free if you have to buy the Mac iPhoto is package in,
    and I don't believe James uses a Mac. Apparently his kids do.
    Savageduck, Feb 16, 2011
  13. James

    PeterN Guest

    Which version did you have?
    PeterN, Feb 16, 2011
  14. James

    tony cooper Guest

    I don't remember. I made the change several years ago, and have a new
    computer now. I'm using Open Office and am mostly pleased with it.

    I do miss the Reveal and ability to set one line flush right.
    tony cooper, Feb 16, 2011
  15. James

    James Guest

    With Tony Cooper's and others' comments tonight, I feel better about giving
    Elements a try. It sounds like most of the basics are pretty well cut and

    Thanks again to all !!

    James, Feb 16, 2011
  16. James

    Ofnuts Guest

    Well, this isn't Picasa, this is Windows that insists in looking into
    any storage media you connect to the computer, and thinks Picasa is the
    right utility for that if the media contains images. This is easy enough
    to change and/or disable. But it is also a good option to keep for the
    drives that are flash cards because Picasa will help import the pictures
    to your hard disk, and it will politely ask you first where and when.

    I have used Picasa for 3 or 4 years (I stopped using it when I moved to
    Linux) and it never moved a picture file behind my back. And, by the
    way, there is no such thing as a Picasa "database". The files are kept
    in regular directories, under one or several main directories that you
    specify, and you get to name the subdirectories. And the files keep
    their original names. Picasa's presence is also completely transparent:
    you can access your files with other software and if you edit/move files
    outside of Picasa it won't complain and just refresh the thumbnails.

    In summary, good at hand-holding beginners without getting in the way of
    advanced users...
    Ofnuts, Feb 16, 2011
  17. James

    tony cooper Guest

    Picasa thinks there is. They refer to rebuilding "your Picasa
    database" at their own page at:
    tony cooper, Feb 16, 2011
  18. You might wanna post your question to alt.comp.freeware as well!

    @[email protected] Might, Courage, Vision, SINCERITY.
    / v \ Simplicity is Beauty! May the Force and Farce be with you!
    /( _ )\ (x86_64 Ubuntu 9.10) Linux 2.6.37
    ^ ^ 00:29:01 up 2 days 10:39 0 users load average: 1.07 1.08 1.12
    ¤£­É¶U! ¤£¶BÄF! ¤£´©¥æ! ¤£¥´¥æ! ¤£¥´§T! ¤£¦Û±þ! ½Ð¦Ò¼{ºî´© (CSSA):
    Man-wai Chang, Feb 16, 2011

  19. Freeware viewers like Irfanview can do sharpness, brightness, contrast
    etc but really this is not enough.

    To do precise adjustments quickly and easily you need at minimum a
    proper levels control where you set sliders against a histogram of
    brightness values. Once you start using a levels control you'll probably
    never use a brightness/contrast control again, since a levels control
    does the same job (and more) much more precisely and with less hassle.

    In addition to this you really also want a curves control, this lets you
    tweak different parts of the brightness range differently, e.g. you
    could just lift the shadows a bit without affecting the midtones and
    highlights, or just make the midtones more contrasty, etc. It's a bit
    more fiddly than a levels control but you can see the results as you
    tweak the brightness curve so it's not very hard to master.

    Any serious program like photoshop or gimp will have these two controls
    but beware that some cut-down versions of programs may not have them,
    e.g last time I checked Photoshop Elements didn't have a curves control
    which made it a non-starter IMHO, so if going for a "budget" version of
    a program check the features carefully or you could end up with
    something that's not much more use than Irfanview!


    Living in LA is like not having a date on Saturday night.
    -- Candice Bergen
    Gordon Freeman, Feb 17, 2011
  20. James

    tony cooper Guest

    You really should check before you make a statement. Elements 9.0
    *does* have Curves. All you had to do was Google>Photoshop Elements
    9.0 Curves and it would take you to

    Curves in Elements 9.0 is a bit different from Curves in the full
    version of Photoshop CSx, but the ability to adjust is there.

    The OP specifically said that he didn't want a steep learning curves.
    I've been working with the full Photoshop versions for years. Curves
    is one of the most complex adjustments to master in Photoshop.

    Even in Elements 5.0 (which I have), I can adjust highlights, midtones
    and shadows with the sliders (5.0 doesn't have the Curves feature that
    9.0 has) just about as well as I can in CS4 using Curves.

    I use CS4 because I've been using the full Photoshop since the early
    versions, and because I shoot RAW, but I have Elements 5.0 because it
    came bundled with something else. I've worked with Elements 5.0
    because my daughter has Elements and not the full Photoshop. She
    shoots just .jpgs, so Elements works fine for her.

    The difference between Elements 9.0 and Irfanview is significant for
    edits beyond the basics.
    tony cooper, Feb 17, 2011
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