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Old Jan 24, 2012, 4:03 PM   #1
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I am looking for photo editing possibilities, and my needs are simple. It needs to be very user friendly (I do not want anything that is very much like PhotoShop, because every time I have tried that it has been too overwhelming for what I need). I want to be able to take my nice digital photos from my Canon T3i and do basic fixes, like lighting, saturation, over/under exposure, and some touch-ups. Also would like to be able to do some nice things with very old photos for heritage album (like clean up, repair, sharpen, fix color, etc.). Don't care about RAW, extracting, or creating strange effects. Also should add I want to be able to add text to a photo.

Any recommendations, or have I been too limiting or not descriptive enough?
Barbara

Last edited by bkford; Jan 24, 2012 at 4:14 PM. Reason: forgot something
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 4:16 PM   #2
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Well... there are many products available at a variety of price points.

You may even want to try some of the free products for starters and see if they do what you need. For example, Google's Picasa is a popular choice:

http://picasa.google.com
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 4:21 PM   #3
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Thank you, Jim. I have used Picasa and do okay with it, really, but unless I just don't know all the ins and outs (quite possible), I didn't know it could do touch-ups. For example, the old free Picnik, being discontinued, would allow me to use airbrush on my grandson's face to help soften the look of his acne (acne all gone now, so not needed for him anymore, but that's just an example of the touch-up features--also for old photos, maybe needing to blend out or correct a torn place in the photo, etc. Will Picasa do those things? Honestly, I don't mind price. But almost always price equates to difficulty in use. So, even if there is a fairly pricey software that is user friendly (for a beginner at photo editing) and does all the things I need, that would be good.
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 5:22 PM   #4
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Most of the major photo editing software manufacturers (Adobe, Corel, etc.) have free trial versions of their products. It might be worth trying out a few to see what might fit your needs.

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Old Jan 24, 2012, 5:40 PM   #5
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I was coming around to that same thought--have just downloaded trials of PaintShop Pro 4, ACDSee 14 and PhotoImpact. They may all be too difficult for me. I really shouldn't say difficult--I like to learn new programs, but am not motivated if it is to accomplish things that I don't need to accomplish!
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 11:02 PM   #6
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As a longtime user of Photoimpact, I would have to say that I don't think you will find anything much easier to use. If you set the workspace to Basic, you lose the distractions of the advanced tools, and have a pretty uncluttered program.

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Old Jan 29, 2012, 6:15 PM   #7
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This is doing it backwards, but check the major manufactureres (Adobe, Corel, etc) for online video tutorials. See which ones MIGHT be for you before doing a 30 day trial. That said, you may want to stat with Lightroom with v4 in Beta release through March giving more than a month's trial. It is a very powerful program that combines both organizing and editing features, along with batch processing.

Also, try a few RAW - which are ultimately saved in jpg. You will be amazed at the flexability it provides. Lightroom really makes it simple because you can batch process the same adjustments on a series of files before saving, while the other editors are one file at a time.
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Old Jan 29, 2012, 8:30 PM   #8
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The difficult requirement is touch-up brushes. Adobe's Elements has those, but most of the freebie editors that you can download do not. Elements is a little easier to deal with if you put it in the Guided Edit Mode and just leave it there -

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/learn-phot...ded-edit-mode/

ACDSee 14 has a very basic "Repair" tool for brush work. ACDSee 14 can also add text labels. I use both ADCSee 14 and Elements 9. If you put Elements in its Guided Edit Mode then the differences in ease of learning and use are moot. Unfortunately Elements defaults to its Full edit mode when launched (instead of the Guided mode), which puts some beginners off.

As for editing multiple images in one go, Canon's own Digital Photo Professional can also do that. But it lacks any brushes for touch-up.

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Old Jan 31, 2012, 2:28 AM   #9
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Hi for an easy option google picasa is right up there. As for photoshop elements it should not be discounted as it does have an auto fix function and will also allow you to do more if you ever want to
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 4:03 PM   #10
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Download some trial versions of software.

For most photographers needs, I suspect applications like Corel Aftershot Pro (formerly Bibble Pro) or Adobe Lightroom would be better choices, offering an easy way to manage images and make basic corrections, with a user interface that can save a lot of time compared to using some of the "heavier" image editing programs.

Adobe recently released a public beta of Lightroom 4. So, you may want to give it a test drive. Get it here:

http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom4/

Or, you could also download a trial version of Lightroom 3 (full release versus beta):

https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/tdrc/i...shop_lightroom

Go here to get a trial version of the new Corel AfterShot Pro (Corel purchased Bibble Labs and has released a new product based on Bibble 5 Pro):

http://www.corel.com/corel/product/i...d=catalog20038

Here's a recent "Webinar" that goes into some of it's features:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i633ZBya9Fc

Quote:
Don't care about RAW
I would keep an open mind and give it a go using one of the programs above. They make it just as easy to work with RAW files as they do with JPEG files (very fast conversion, able to use the camera settings for the initial rendering, with RAW allowing more flexibility for you to make changes later).

I used to shoot raw+jpeg more often. That way, if the jpeg file left something to be desired, I could always use the raw file with more control and flexibility. But, given how good today's software is, I don't even bother to shoot jpeg at all anymore, since working with raw files is fast and simple.

Here's a recent thread with some discussion about these products (Lightroom, Aftershot Pro):

Loving lightroom!
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