Dwight Watt Georgia Kiwanian Article

January 2009

Photo editing software

There are a number of photo editing software programs available. They range in price from free to hundreds of dollars. These can have lots of options to edit your pictures to limited abilities. If you have not done photo editing or very little, start with the lower end and grow to the more features products.

On the top end is Adobe Photoshop CS. This program allows you to edit the pictures in numerous ways from shadow removal, color alteration, exposure, red eye removal, brightness and many more. You have to know something about photo editing to use it or it will probably overwhelm you. Cost is about $400. I currently use it.

In the $100 range is a good median package called Adobe Photoshop Elements. It has less editing abilities than Photoshop CS but many wizards (automatic routines) to do some real good editing. It is a friendlier program than Photoshop CS but has many abilities of it. I used it for a number of years and still use as a quick editing tool occasionally.

In the free range are the photo editors that come with Picassa (a Google tool), Photoworks.com, Microsoft Photo Editor (not actually free but included with most office suites) and others that do a good basic job. They mostly all will change brightness, contrast, color matching, red eye removal, some will do shadow removal, changing to other formats and usually have a quick auto editor. They do your basic editing, but not advanced skills. Some come with photo printing/storage sites (such as Shutterfly and Photoworks (Some of you may remember the predecessor company call Seattle Filmworks in the 1970s that sold film that you could get slides and prints from).

The newest ine in the free editors is Adobe Photoshop Express. It is listed as still a beta program, but beta programs are no longer test programs but name seem to stick. G-mail is still beta after so many years. Photoshop express is available at www.photoshop.com. It requires you to register just as the other storage/editing sites do. It does give limited storage (but is a fairly good size) as opposed to Shutterfly and Photoworks that have unlimited space (and I have enough stored at both locations to conclude they mean unlimited). Photoshop Express is a friendly program with few extra features I have not seen elsewhere on free. It uses previews for you to decide many settings. I used it one evening and was impressed with the quality. It is not as good as Elements or CS, but for most people I suspect it will work fine. It is not designed for the professional (CS is) but for the amateur beginner.


Copyright 2009 by Dwight Watt