"Best" photo manipulation program?

MC Fujiwara Apr 3, 2011

  1. MC Fujiwara

    MC Fujiwara TrainBoard Member

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    Seems there are a few different versions of Photoshop, as well as some freeware (GIMP, Paint.NET, etc.).
    Basically I want to edit photos to include backgrounds, add smoke / haze, etc.
    Any suggestions on the "best" program that won't brake my bank?
    Thanks!
     
  2. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have used various versions of Photoshop since 1990, when the first Mac-only version came about. I still use Photoshop sometimes, but since GIMP does basically all I ever need and does it without the expense of a license and an upgrade I have been using that one much more often.
     
  3. chuckc

    chuckc TrainBoard Member

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    I use Coral's Paintshop Pro. Works great
     
  4. Candy_Streeter

    Candy_Streeter TrainBoard Member

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    I do too and it's alot cheaper then photoshop
     
  5. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    We've used Photoshop Elements for years and like it very much. The current version is 9, selling for $79.99 on the Adobe website.
     
  6. Mike Sheridan

    Mike Sheridan TrainBoard Member

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    GIMP is a little quirky, though less so in it's latest version, and has a lot of gizmos.
    As it's free you can't really go far wrong by trying it.

    You may find a combination of software works for you - some actions you may find GIMP does well for you, whereas others might be easier in a different package. (Eg. Some may do photo editing best whereas others may do 'original' work (like adding smoke) better.)
     
  7. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Argh. I've not updated since Photoshop Elements 4. It still does enough. I also used IrfanView for many basics...

    I've seen GIMP mentioned so many times, one of these days I should take a look...

    Boxcab E50
     
  8. Mike C

    Mike C TrainBoard Member

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    I tried Gimp, but its way smarter than I am. Ended up deleating it.....Mike
     
  9. COverton

    COverton TrainBoard Member

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    http://www.sagelighteditor.com/

    About this time last year, the gentleman who compiled the programme had a promo. Name your price, even if it's a buck. I used if for the 30 day trial and ended up sending him half his MSRP listed at the time. He was very grateful, and gave me a life-time subscription. Oddly, his new price is about what I sent him.

    It is all I use. My photos depend on my skill, which is still developing. However, I used sagelight's cloning brush to eliminate all sorts of artifacts that were undesirable in this photo, and I made the smoke and steam effects.

    [​IMG]

    Here is another example:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Wings & Strings

    Wings & Strings TrainBoard Member

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    I use Photoshop Elements 7.0, but I guess there really is no "best" option. It all depends on personal preferences for complexity, layout, and brush/color tools. As far as simplicity goes, I actually use Windows Paint for cropping and adding a background just because I've used that basic program for years.

    I've been doing some trial and error for smoke effects with the brush tool and the spot-healing brush used to create the texture. These are my better examples:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Member

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    I have a Photoshop LE (limited edition) I got almost 9 years ago with my custom computer built for video work. It is the fewer frills versions of a Photoshop I used when working in television so I am used to it.
    20 year old photo recently scanned and background added-
    [​IMG]

    I also use Photoshop LE for drawing layout plans-
    [​IMG]

    and I use it for drawing elements to glue onto my backgrounds.
    [​IMG]


    And here's a low-relief structure you can print, cut out and build.
    [​IMG]
     

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