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  #1  
Old 02-25-2008, 10:11 PM
Texian Texian is offline
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Default Beginner Software Question

Is there a decent freebee photo editing program out there? Not liking the Windows (Vista) or Nikon stuff so far. Am used to Corel Photo House 5 (on old computer). Assume it is fairly basic, but at least it would do what I wanted without screwing up the color. Thanks in advance.
Richard in Wimberley
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:31 PM
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The best free image editor that I know of is The Gimp.

I, personally haven't used it much but I have downloaded and played around with it. Since I have Photoshop I had no need to fully test it.

There is also a free video tutorial podcast out there - Meet the Gimp that may be of value to you. I haven't watched it so I can't comment on it's quality.

If you want to spend some money but not a lot (ie Photoshop CS3) have a look at Photoshop Elements. It's a very powerful program that has 90% of the functionality of Photoshop CS3 for a lot less money. I used it for several years before I upgraded to the full version of Photoshop.
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Old 02-26-2008, 01:22 AM
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I'm still using Photoshop elements 5. It is little better than version 4, and probably almost as good as the latest version 6. Thus, you might find an earlier version for little money now. Another program that is handy for some image managing tasks is http://irfanview.com/. It is more of an image viewer than editor, but the editing it can do it does very fast. Most commands can be made with one or two keystrokes as well as by mouse. I use it a lot. It is a free download. The plug-ins are worth downloading, too, Google for Irfanview tutorial for instructions.
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Old 02-26-2008, 02:18 AM
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i've tested both gimp and irfanview, gimp is the better program, but irfanview is much easier to learn. gimp has a very steep learning curve, moreso than photoshop imo, but that could have just been that i was used to photoshop...
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Old 02-26-2008, 03:08 AM
Texian Texian is offline
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Thank you for the speedy replies! Wow. Will try them both and try to learn some stuff. Dunno about that steep learning curve, as not very good at going uphill these days, but will give it a try. Thanks again. Y'all good folks.
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Old 02-26-2008, 05:14 AM
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I've only heard good things about the latest version of Photoshop Elements--definitely a bargain compared to the cost of PSCS3 and worth the modest investment. If you're looking for something free and easy to use (although it's pretty limited in what it can do compared to Elements), you might consider giving Picasa a try. Here's a review: Picasa
Picasa can be downloaded here.
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Old 02-27-2008, 04:20 AM
Texian Texian is offline
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Thanks Barbara,
Looked at the previous two, and maybe a bit over my head for now. Got Picasa and will try it in next few days. Just really need to do the very basic stuff, but not be limited by "choose from a, b, or c". Appreciate the help as always.
Richard in Wimberley
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Old 02-27-2008, 04:36 PM
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Picasa is a good choice. I've used it a few times.

The GIMP is a nice program. I use it quite a bit and only make use of a few functions. Aside from the usual suspects ("Crop" and "Scale Image") the best functions to know are:

"Colors / Levels"
"Colors / Brightness-Contrast"
"Filters / Enhance / Unsharp Mask"
"Filters / Enhance / Sharpen"

With just these functions you can usually get a pretty decent pic (provided your white balance and exposure are correct in the shot to begin with).
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Old 02-28-2008, 12:27 AM
Texian Texian is offline
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Thanks Neal. Have not tried Picasa yet, but need a picture of some practice finials (tried to blatantly copy one of yours), so will try it there.
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