Photoshop is definitely the gold standard of photo editing but not the only excellent program on the market today. People are somewhat frustrated with its difficulty of use, expense, and now, the need for a monthly cloud subscription fee. There are alternatives. Before you decide to download or buy another editing alternative, I’d suggest a few things you need to consider:
- What are the program’s specifications and system requirements?
- Compatibility: Determine if it is MAC, PC based, or both
- Editing apps generally require/recommend the following space and memory…do you have it?
- 128MB to 4GB of available hard-disk space
- 100MB to 4GB of RAM for installation and use
- Hard Drive:
- If you don’t have enough space, or if your drive almost reached its capacity, the program won’t run properly
- Solution: Empty files/programs from your drive
Editing programs should offer some form of technical support be it via email, phone assistance, FAQs, video tutorials—some type of online tech support. Most also offer plug-ins either from the manufacturer or from third parties. Plug-ins can take your software to an even higher level of editing. There are many products available and this site gives some great ideas as to some of the better ones on the market:
Photo Editing Applications generally contain the following options:
- Photo editor
- Photo viewer
- Organizer type database
- File sharing ability (importing from various devices and exporting)
- Ability to read different types of data files
- Save in a variety of file formats
- Advanced image search tools
- Ability to create albums/slideshows
- Access to EXIF data
- Automatic keyword tagging
- Facial recognition
- Color management– to adjust color and tone for all or part of a photo
- Red-eye removal
- Text (multiple font types)
- Auto straightening
- Object removal/cloning/patch type tool
- Border and frame designs
- Batch processing
- Skin touch-up tools
- Blemish & wrinkle removal tools
- Teeth whitening tool
One program for MACs to check out is Affinity Photo. It is fully compatible with all Photoshop formats and has unlimited un-dos, edits RAW photos, works in RGBW, CMYK, LAB and Grayscale color space. It has filters for lighting, distortions, shadows, glows, blurs, etc. and you see results in real time preview. There’s also 28 layer blend modes, a great selection refinement tools, and supports unlimited layers.
Editing is easy and you have a step by step process to get the perfect image. You can Adjust exposure, blackpoint, clarity, vibrance, white balance, shadows, highlights and much more, and accomplish the task quickly. For more info, check out the site:
Another sure winner for MACs is Pixelmator. You can enhance and touch up photos, sketch, draw and paint, add text and shapes, apply effects and– it is very easy to use. It has a great repair tool called Dynamic Touch and you can export your finished images to both Facebook and Flickr. Templates include:
- Six different collages
- seven frame effects
- seven card designs
- six posters
- 12 popular photo treatments ranging from super-slick lighting effects to various vintage looks
Another old but much improved standby for your Windows 10 PC is Corel PaintShop Pro:
If you are looking for some free editing apps you won’t be disappointed with Picasa for on the fly editing or organizing of your photos. It does lack in depth editing tools but it does have speed and simplicity.
GIMP http://www.gimp.org/ is free and can be used on Linux, Windows, and MACs. It works with all file formats, tools include painting tools, color correction, cloning, selection, and enhancements as well as paint and drawing tools, a photo re-touch tool, and batch processing and conversion tools–plus features like layers, filters, and effects.
IRFANVIEW has been around for some time but it is a compact image viewer and converter which allows you to create slideshows, batch edit and convert images, scan both single photos and batch, cut, crop, capture and perform many special effects. It has a watermark image option, countless plug-ins, and ability to do IPTC edits on your images. http://www.irfanview.com/
Next month’s Graphics Meeting will discuss editing apps for your device. Mark it on your calendar : Thurs., Dec 10, 3 pm, Maricopa Room, Adobe Center.