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gregm1948 Jan 30, 2007 6:26 PM

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Just wondering what other folks are using for digital editing software. I've found one that works great for my purposes: Corel Paint Shop Pro XXI. It has the usual tools for correcting exposure, contrast, B&W conversion, special effects, etc. It can do many (if not all) of the things Photoshop can do, but to me, it's easier to use. I especially like the 'background remover tool'. I use it for taking subjects from their original background and placing them into others. In this pic, the basement wall in back of my subjects was pretty blah, so I cut them out of the original and placed them in a background jpeg which was included in the program.

I downloaded a trial version from Corel, but I bought the full program for a lot less on ebay. If you're looking for a comprehensive editing program, you might look into and try this one.


mtclimber Jan 30, 2007 8:08 PM


The simple answer is this: the best editing software is the one you like best. As you progress and want to do more in editing you will change programs and extend your skills. That is a nice job that you have done on your sample photo.


gregm1948 Jan 30, 2007 8:35 PM

You're right, Sarah. I just wondered what other programs people like you use (if any), and why they like them. I started the ball rolling with explaining what I am using. Even though I own and use the Corel (at the moment), maybe there's something out there that would serve me even better!


bigdawg Jan 31, 2007 12:58 AM

You asked so I'll tell...

1. I use PhotoFiltre to do quick and easy post processing of photos to post online. It is Free and very easy to use. Takes up almost no disc space and loads in 1/10 th the time that it takes for Photoshop to load.

2. I use Photoshop 7.0. I use this mostly to post process the ones I plan on archiving!I have so many plugins it takes up lots of hard drive space and loads quite slowly!

3. I also have Helicon filter...another free but limited in the free version program.

4. I have Picasa2 which is very good with straightening photos that are a little tilted! Lots more it can do as well!

5. I can also recommend OptikVerve Labs Virtual Photographer. This is a great plugin for any Adobe product! Lots and Lots of filters! Oh,,, And did I mention it's free!!!! LOL

6. I also use the Media Chance DCE tools set. The auto enhance is a great feature. Free again! Also an Adobe type plugin for any Adobe processing program!

7. I have also the nik Color Efex Pro 2.0 stylizing filters and the traditional filters.

8. I also use the Opanda filters from Opanda .com. Got to download these freebies. It is a stand alone program that simulates most Hoya, Kodak and other filters. You need to try this if you do much B&W photos. Free download here and it doesn't need photoshop or any other program to work. Like PhotoFiltre it is a stand alone program.

Whgile there get their IEXIF viewer as well. It is the very best way to view the EXIF data of photos you've taken or others have posted in a forum!

9. For noise I use Neat Image. A great free program that filters the noise better than standard programs such as photoshop or paint shop pro!

10. I have but don't use much Adobe Photoshop Elements and Adobe Image Ready that all the plugins and filters will work with!

Hope this answers your question!


mtclimber Jan 31, 2007 7:38 AM


As for software I use Photoshop CS2, Photoshop Elements 5.0, MS Digital Image Pro 11.0, and Paint Shop Pro Version 8.0, just because it has perspective control.


gregm1948 Jan 31, 2007 9:22 AM

Thanks for the input, guys. That's just what I wanted to find out. Dawg, you sure have given me a lot to work with. I've downloaded some of the progs and can't wait to try 'em out.


dan279 Jan 31, 2007 12:55 PM

Heres my list.. in order of how much I use them:
PS elements 3
XP Powertoys resizer
Neat Image
MS Picture it 10
as well as the Opanda programs Dawg mentioned( the're good ones)


dr_spock Feb 1, 2007 8:06 PM

I use Gimp.

slipe Feb 1, 2007 8:44 PM

I don't think you can do better than PSP XI. And I don't think you will outgrow it for a long time. I probably got mine the same place you got yours really cheap – in the CD-only version from Ebay. At that price I don't think you can touch it for capability.

I just got it for the vector integration and to mess with it a little. I have used Photoshop since version 3 and can do most things I want to do with it. I doubt I will ever really master it, but there are usually tutorials for things I have problems with. I takes me longer to do things in PSP due to unfamiliarity, but it has really good capability.

You would probably get proficient a lot faster if you would forget about other programs until you learned to use PSP. Noise plug-ins like Noise Ninja and Neat Image work in PSP, and using a plug-in is far superior to using a stand-alone noise reduction program. Other than noise reduction, PSP will do most tasks very well if you take the time to learn to use it. It has decent color management missing in most programs other than the full Photoshop. And has vector capabilities missing even in Photoshop. If I couldn't have the full Photoshop, PSP would be my next choice. Elements is extremely limited – I have no idea how you do advanced work if you can't make an action.

gregm1948 Feb 1, 2007 9:36 PM

Thanks, Slipe, for your input. I tend to agree that sticking to PSp and mastering that makes the most sense, as opposed to screwing around with several different progs.
I do have a question about the 'vector integration' you mentioned. I've heard the term vector before, but I'm not sure what it means in terms of photos. Maybe you can sum up the idea here for us.


slipe Feb 1, 2007 10:52 PM

There are twobasic kinds of graphics – raster and vector. Raster is made of individual pixels, which you can see if you blow them up enough. Vector graphics are just mathematical points, curves, lines etc that a program will draw out into an image. You can take a little vector graphic and blow it up to enormous size and it is still sharp as a tack.

Logos and such are often vector graphics. You have probably heard of programs like Illustrator, FreeHand and Corel Draw that work in vector. There are also vector animation programs like Flash. Photoshop works only in raster because they want you to buy Illustrator. Photoshop will rasterize stuff from Illustrator to work in raster, but you can't keep the image in vector. It also works with text in vector, but you have to rasterize it before doing anything with it except regular text editing.

PSP will import vector formats and let you work with them in vector or convert them to raster. Photoshop won't even open most vector formats.

FaciaBrut Feb 1, 2007 11:34 PM

I'm currently using the Photoshop CS3 Beta at home and my office. It's fast and powerful. I use a few plug-ins but mostly one called PTLens. When I get cockeyed photos from our field photographers it makes it easy to adjust the orientation of the photo and correct things like barrel distortion and vignetting.

I also use something called AlienSkin Blow Up. I use it to enlarge small low resolution photos up to a size and pixel resolution good enough for magazine printing without significant loss of quality. Both of these plug-ins work from right within Photoshop.

At home I have been mainly using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. It takes the best parts of Photoshop, Adobe Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw and integrates them, making Lightroom much faster and more powerful, especially for Raw editing. I attended a meeting of a local photography club tonight and talks were given by a prominent professional photographer ( and factory reps from Canon. They all swear by Lightroom. It has just hit the stores and until March 31 it is $199 ($100 rebate). After that it goes up to its normal $299 price. BTW... This photographer also asked for a show of hands to see what most people were using and it was about 90% some version of Photoshop.

Between Photoshop CS3 with some key plugins and Lightroom, I don't need any other photo editing software.

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