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The best user-friendly photo editing program

Napoleon, OH

I hope I'm on the correct thread; I am asking for information on the best user-friendly photo editing program.
I have taken senior photos of my niece and want to work with them before printing.
Two years ago I did her older sisters' pictures by using Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 with limited success.
My new computer has Vista and I'm not sure if this 4.0 program is compatible or will be able to install/upgrade to my system -- have't tried yet.
Any advice, suggestions, insights, recommendations, etc... would be greatly appreciated!!!

Thanks,
~Dawn

**disclaimer** this is just one of her goofy shots!
/ / / / /

Thumbnail by DaysDawning
Lebanon, OR

First I have a newer adobe and do not like it...way to complicated for me, more like a pro's use.

I love Paint Shop Pro...

D

Napoleon, OH

D - Thanks ... I was the same way with the Adobe - I was able to fix some blemishes but couldn't figure out much more.

I'll look into PaintShop Pro.

Thanks again!
~Dawn

Greenville, SC(Zone 7a)

I love Paint Shop Pro too, Easy to learn, Great for working on photos! ( I have the older psp version 7, But, there are other versions)

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Dawn, your niece is lovely! I popped into this thread to recommend Paint Shop Pro too... seems to be the tool of choice, LOL.

Santa Fe, NM

Could you tell me about Paint Shop Pro? Can it work with a mac? I'm leaning toward photoshop and spending the rest of my life in frustration because it is supposed to be so difficult.

Alamogordo, NM(Zone 7b)

I tried Photoshop Elements 4 and found it a bit difficult. Although to be fair I didn't work with it long. So I am a bit skiddish about buying Photoshop, it is more expensive too. I like the Fugi and Canon software that came with my cameras but have also found Picasa (free download) to be simple and easy.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Starting with Picasa is a good suggestion... if you decide you want more capabilities, then check out Jasc Paint Shop Pro. I found it a lot easier to use than Photoshop (which a friend installed one time for me on a previous computer)... I don't half use all its capacities, but it did come with a well written instruction book. :-)

I don't know whether it works on a Mac, but it works fine with both Windows & Vista on a PC. I've got version 9, and I may upgrade to a later version at some point, mostly because they seem to come bundled now with album software that seems promising.

Santa Fe, NM

I think Picasa is just for PC's. I have the Canon Image Browser stuff and Preview. Both work well but seem clumsy to me; not very subtle. I'll have to check it out. I'm just leaning toward Photoshop because it seems like the most commonly used. Just wish it was easier. I can't seem to find Photoshop Elements for Mac in Santa Fe. May need a trip to Albuquerque!

Clinton, MD(Zone 7a)

If you get Photoshop it is a must/necessity that you buy a book on how to use it. Don't rely on the instructions that came with the software. The book I have is: Photoshop Elements 6 Book for Digital Photographers by Kelby/Kloskowski. This book shows you how to do things and doesn't get into the boring (at least for me) theories. I just want to know how to do things when it comes to photo editing - point blank. Go to one of the books stores or even a library and give it a test drive. There's a learning curve but like anything else you get better over time of usage.

Just One Man's Opinion

This message was edited Nov 22, 2008 6:31 AM

Santa Fe, NM

Methodical, thanks. That was a timely suggestion as I am probably going to get Photoshop Elements 6 for macs. It isn't nearly as expensive as the Big photoshop ( of course doesn't do as much either ) and it comes with a free trial offer so you can check it out. I suspect they will have a new one for 2009 but I just have a G-4 which is about right for it. I bought a book about my digital camera and it has been much more help than the camera manual that came with it.

Clinton, MD(Zone 7a)

Yeah Roybird you're lucky they still have the PSE6 for Mac. They no longer sell it for PC - only the PSE7. But the book is still useable for PSE7 as there's only a few changes between the 2. I have the 30 day trial version and am giving it a go. I most likely will purchase it.

I need to get a book for my 50d but they don't have one yet, at least I did not see in Barnes and Noble. I guess the 40d book will have to do as they are pretty similar.

Take care

Santa Fe, NM

Well. Got the 30 day trial installed and now I have to figure out how to use it! I am going to see if I can get the book you suggested A.S.A.P. because the "Help" stuff isn't basic enough for me. We'll see how it goes.

Greenville, SC(Zone 7a)

Good Luck roybird, I think when you get the book it will help alot as photoshop has a bit of a learning curve.

Santa Fe, NM

Thank you. I had fun playing with PE-6 last night but am not sure how to do what I want to do with it yet! l.o.l.

Greenville, SC(Zone 7a)

lol! Takes a while, But I'm sure you will learn. I pretty sure there are free classes on the web somewhere to help you learn photoshop, If I come across them, I'll post a link for you.

Santa Fe, NM

I did get the book George suggested and will try to learn this stuff! It seems pretty complex to me and this is the simplified version!

Alamogordo, NM(Zone 7b)

That is what I thought about PE 4. But with me it is that I need to find more time to work with it. And I have to "unlearn" the old software I am using. I bet you will do very well, just keep on plugging--now to take my own advice!

Brockton, MA(Zone 6a)

My first photo editor was Adobe PhotoShop 7. I had no manual and struggled with it for 2 years.
Then I got Corel (no longer Jasc) PaintShop Pro X. I was overjoyed with the ease of use. It even has a built in Help Center to get you going fast. I started doing layers and frames in the first week.
I now have PSP Photo Plus from www.corel.com it's often on sale for under $50.
Which ever program you buy ~ order the disk not just the download. If you ever crash or upgrade your PC it will be there for you.
PSP does not work on MACs.
Andy P

Greenville, SC(Zone 7a)

I love my psp too! I have an older version, Very easy to use, think I'm going to upgrade eventually and get the newer version, And I totally agree...Much better to get the disk then the download!

Santa Fe, NM

More good advice but I already have the download on a trial basis. I wonder if they can sell me a disk instead? I am progressing with it but have no idea of what I'm doing.

Greenville, SC(Zone 7a)

Awww roybird, I know exactly how you feel! I have had other programs that I have tried where I was totally lost on what I was trying to learn and when I finally did figure a few things out, When I got back to it, I forgot how I did it to begin with!!!
Very Frustrating!
I don't know how if you could get the disk seeing as it's a trial basis, But it doesn't hurt to ask...I wish you luck on whatever you decide!

Santa Fe, NM

Thanks, Iris. I meant if I do decide to get it. On the other hand, it is already downloaded so easy to get online.

Clinton, MD(Zone 7a)

If you are talking about PSE, you can get the disk even if you downloaded the trial version. You will just have to input the codes into the software. Plus with the disk you can load the program onto 2 computers. If you have to remove and reload the program without a disk Adobe will charge you for a replacement disk. So get the disk if you decide to go with the program.

Santa Fe, NM

Thanks. I appreciate the good advice. I hoped I might be able to do that. I have plenty of time left on the trial. I think I will go with it as I am starting to get used to it.

Talihina, OK

I think the easiest to use is Picasa and HP photosmart with the quality nod going to picasa and they are both free..i say if it is free that is my choice...

Santa Fe, NM

No Picasa for Mac's.

Alamogordo, NM(Zone 7b)

I just reloaded my PSE 4 and decided I would read the book and try one thing each day. It is easier than I remember. I think I just didn't have the time to focus on it and now that we have cold weather again I can learn it. It is more difficult than my simple camera software or Picasa--but not too difficult. And the things one can do are amazing. I especially like how I can lighten just a bit. This photo was too dark, the Picasa auto made it too light, and with PSE I got it just right! Yeah, sounds like Goldilocks huh? LOL! I ordered this book
http://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Photoshop-Elements-Digital-Photographers/dp/0240519906/ref=cm_cr_pr_sims_t to keep me enthused!

Thumbnail by cactuspatch
Alamogordo, NM(Zone 7b)

Oh yes, another way I have learned from others is by joining flickr. They have groups that do challenges in PSE, all the softwares cameras etc. It is free membership but I did the paid one, only $25 a year and you can store all your photos there, plus get great feedback.

Santa Fe, NM

Very pretty! The editing functions on P.E.6 are fun and not difficult. What I am having more trouble learning is Adobe Bridge functions. So the organization and storage of pictures is not as easy as Preview. The editing functions are far better. On the other hand, I don't want to get in to the habit of thinking,"Oh, I can fix it in Photoshop." It's a slippery slope! I removed a power line from a picture the other day and although the picture was better it wasn't quite as real. I still feel guilty! Of course some shots are fun to make as crazy as possible and the manipulation is part of what's good about the picture. So, we each have to be own "decider".

Alamogordo, NM(Zone 7b)

Yes, I want to use it to remove things like lines and spots but not do the "unreal" manipulations. Well, of course I will try them. I think I will still try to take the best photos, I have been into photography a long time and the less time spent on computer, more with camera is what works for me. I know what you mean about viewing as it is the same with PSE 4. I do like the side by side view to compare photos. I have just started though and you are farther into it. Check out flickr, I would love to see your photos and viewing there is so much easier than here at DG!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/quiltdiva/

Santa Fe, NM

flickr looks very nice, as do your pictures! I just gave it a quick glance but will check it out more later. I like the side by side view, too. And no, I am not further in to it! I got my first camera in March 2008. So, I am a newbie on all this stuff. I have, however, been a painter/printmaker artist for many years so that is somewhat helpful.

Brockton, MA(Zone 6a)

Cactus, are you saying you don't want to do stuff like this?

Thumbnail by Sarahskeeper
Brockton, MA(Zone 6a)

Or this?

Thumbnail by Sarahskeeper
Brockton, MA(Zone 6a)

These were all fine images to start with that became fodder for the editor, lol.
Try doing a five in one melange like this with a free editor.
Sorry, I love my PaintShop.
Andy P

Thumbnail by Sarahskeeper
Santa Fe, NM

To each his own! l.o.l.

Tremont, IL(Zone 5b)

Sarahskeeper, do you have the Adobe or Jasc PaintShop Pro? I had Jasc Paintshop Pro on my old pc that got zapped by lightening 5 or more years ago, but I struggled to use it.... seemed too techy for me.
Jan

Brockton, MA(Zone 6a)

Roybird, you're absolutely right. Sorry, I got carried away last night. But editing is fun for me.
Jan, Adobe PhotoShop came with my first PC. I never could figure it out. I found Corel (no longer Jasc) PaintShop easy in comparison. Different tools for different folks. I understand the flow of PSP, somehow.
"Techy" is up for discussion, lol. PSP is looked down on by Adobe users. "Second rate, limited". The best program is useless if you don't understand it. The more I use it, the more I learn and winter is coming up fast. That's when I'm stuck indoors and 'play' in PSP.
I know most people just want to do basic editing, cropping, red-eye and maybe leveling the horizon. Fine. Learning a new editor takes time which is in short supply. I get bored with TV, work gets slow in winter, social web sites are repetitive. Editing is a distraction and I'm not all that good, yet. Step by step, inch by inch.
I have a fledgling on-line gift store that needs imaginative products. PSP helps.
Here is my Twisted Amaryllis as a T shirt.

Andy P

Thumbnail by Sarahskeeper
Brockton, MA(Zone 6a)

Looks like I got carried away again.
There is an editing discussion going on in Photos if anyone is interested. http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/908336/

Santa Fe, NM

Oh, I don't know. I think its good to see different kinds of photos. I like the T-shirt very much. I also thought that the more manipulated photos could be great for commercial applications. It all depends on intent. Nice work, Sarah'skeeper!

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