Which Photo Processing Software Should I Buy?

Peggy Farren 2014-07-26

Here is a question that came in today: "I would love to get an educated opinion on software available for processing my pics. I currently use Picasa.....mostly because its free and easy. I am very computer literate, but don't need a lot of fluff and.....gadgetry."

Peggy's answer:

A combination of Photoshop CC and Lightroom is the industry standard for professionals and advanced amateurs , although there is a pretty big learning curve for sure. Adobe now leases a package of Lightroom and Photoshop together for $9.99 per month. It's part of Adobe's Creative Cloud. There is some confusion on that. You actually download each software package and use it on your computer. You don't even need to be online once the software packages are downloaded to your computer.
For non-pros and people who like to keep it simple, but still want a more powerful editor than Picasa or Gimp:
Photoshop Elements is the best selling photo editing software in the world for a reason. It is fabulous for editing and not too tough to learn. It will process RAW files using the same Adobe Camera Raw program as Photoshop CC uses. Adobe-Elements-11-logo-400px_contentfullwidth
Elements sells for $50-100 depending on how clever a shopper you are.Unfortunately, Elements has a terrible sorting part to it. We recommend staying away from the Organizer part of Elements. Just use the Editor."
In the Editor part of PS Elements, you'll see three tabs at the top:
Three tabs in elements 11
If you are computer savvy, you can truly learn PS Elements on your own, starting in the Quick tab, graduate to Guided and then you'll be able to figure out the Expert tab, where you will have the most control (I'm a control freak!).
I have used regular Photoshop for years but in 2009 decided to learn Elements. Now I teach Elements so I force myself to use only Elements for editing for a month or two, then back to Photoshop. As a professional photographer, I really don't need Photoshop. Elements does everything I need. There are only two tools that I use regularly in Photoshop that Elements doesn't have. And there are many ways to do the same thing with different tools.
I highly recommend PS Elements to new photographers. It's inexpensive, easy to learn and extremely powerful!
And of course we offer a Photoshop Elements cram course - locally for now, and soon to be an online class. It's designed to give you a working knowledge of PS Elements in just a couple hours. It's easy to build on your skills once you have a strong foundation.Our next Photoshop Elements cram course will be held in our Naples studio on August 16, 2014: http://www.meetup.com/UnderstandPhotography/events/194520352/Photo in Elements
~Peggy Farren has been a professional photographer for over 16 years and is the founder of Understand Photography Training Center.
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About Peggy

Peggy Farren is an award winning, professional photographer, instructor, writer and speaker.

With over 17 years as a full-time professional photographer, Peggy offers photography training through her training center, “Understand Photography”.

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