Photo editing software

I see amazing looking photos on here all the time! I was just wondering what type of software you use for editing them. I know a lot of people mention Photoshop as one, but there are so many to choose from. And also, how to you go about installing them? Are they apps that you download, or are they actually software that you purchase from somewhere?
Sorry for all the questions. I’m trying to get prepared to make my own amazing Disney photos coming up in November! :slight_smile:


I like Photoshop Elements, as it does most of what I want to do. I also have Corel Paintshop, but I really only use it for special things that aren’t as easy in Elements. I also have a couple of Topaz plug-ins, although the ones I have work as stand-alones or as plug-ins to either Elements or Paintshop.

I would pick one software and stick with that, not get 2, as I have. Go on youtube and look at some ‘how to’ videos and see which one makes more intuitive sense to you.

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I am a dedicated PhotoShop user on my PC; I have been for the last 16 years. It’s the “industry standard” and IMHO, it’s the best out there. PhotoShop has switched from distributed to subscription based software. They have a special “Photographer’s Package” that gives you PhotoShop and LightRoom for $10/month. This includes free upgrades any time that they are released. Seeing as how PhotoShop, alone, used to cost $700 for an initial buy and about $300 for annual updates, this is a really good deal. And you can get a 30 day free trial.

It’s very easy to install. All you have to do is go to the website, locate the photographers package, and hit download; it does everything from there. They are very large programs, so depending on your internet speed, expect it to take 30-45 minutes for the process. For the 30 day trial, every time you open the program, you’ll get a countdown of days left, and a button to hit if you want to start your subscription. I’m in my second year of the subscription, and I have nothing to say but positive things about the new subscription process. It’s easy, and it WORKS.

A note of caution. PhotoShop is a VERY capable program designed for professional users; it definitely has a steep learning curve. If you take this option, you’ll probably want to pick up an intro to PhotoShop book to help you get started. There are dozens available. There are also countless on-line tutorials. My personal favorite PS book is “Adobe PhotoShop for Photographers” by Martin Evening - but it might be too much for someone just starting. “The Visual Guide to PhotoShop” may be a better place to start (especially if you’re a visual learner).

For a long time I would recommend PhotoShop Elements to beginners, but I’m not sure if they make it anymore. If you can find it, it’s outstanding, and I would definitely go in that direction vice the full version of PhotoShop - unless you plan on becoming a “serious” photographer or graphic designer.

There is a very powerful FREE program that does almost as much as PhotoShop called Gimp. Google it and you’ll find a download site. It came out of the Linux world, and if you meet a dedicated Linux user, they will provide you with a long list of why it’s “better” than PS. It’s kind of like the whole Canon vs. Nikon argument. I’ve played around with it and it’s very good, but I just have no need to learn another (equally complex but different) program. Books are also available for learning this program, but I don’t have any specific recommendations.

Adobe makes a number of high quality apps for the iPhone/iPad (probably for Android too, but I don’t have one of those). Adobe Fix, and LightRoom are especially good; for basic photo editing (exposure, saturation, tone, cropping, etc.) I can do much of what I can do with PhotoShop. Pixelmator (NOT by Adobe) is also a very good phone app, although I find it to be a bit more difficult to use than the Adobe apps.

As you said in your OP, there are certainly many more options, and others will likely chime in on their favorites, but the above are what I use.


Topaz makes some awesome plug-ins

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Elements is still around. They’re up to 14, now.

Good to know :slight_smile:

I have apple stuff, I liked Iphoto but unfortunately they have got rid of that. The current photo thing they have is awful, I gave up. What would you recomend for someone who wants to keep it ultra simple please?

I’m not sure what “Apple Stuff” means. For iPhone and iPad, I stand by my recommendations above. If you’re referring to an Apple PC, then I can say that Adobe makes all of it’s products for both Windows and Mac OSs.

I actually like the apple “Photos” app - took a bit of getting used to but like it. If you want to do some pretty cool stuff - Lightroom is good.

Photoshop is a great editing program for sure. It an be a little intimidating as it’s not super user-friendly if you aren’t familiar so Lightroom is also a great option!

LightRoom IS a very powerful editing tool, but I don’t like the library system it uses. I had a situation where my library file got corrupted, and although I still had all of my original pictures, I lost MANY hours of editing. If I was a high-volume professional who could benefit from the file management and meta-data tagging tools I think I would like it a lot more, but now that the camera RAW engine is fully incorporated into PhotoShop, I don’t see LR as a lot of “value added”.

Conversely, if I had to choose just one iPhone photo editing app, it would probably be the LightRoom app…

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I agree about the library system- don’t love it!