Monday, March 01, 2010

What's your favourite software for editing digital images?

The Making A Mark Opinion Poll for March asks you to identify your favourite software for editing digital images.

Scarlet Charlotte
7.5" x 11.5", coloured pencils on Arches HP

copyright Katherine Tyrrell

With the potential need to buy new software on my mind at present, I thought the Making A Mark Opinion Poll for March could focus on software for editing digital images. This was after I realised that having photo editing software was more important to me than Microsoft Word!

So - I trawled through Amazon to see what seems to be the most popular software and came up with this list. They are of varying degrees of sophistication and I haven't bothered to identify different versions as the list would have gone on forever. Also note that this is NOT about software for creating digital artwork per see - just about manipulating digital images derived from cameras or scanners to get a good image for posting on the internet to represent your art in the best way possible within your budget.

The options for manipulating digital images are:
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements (for PCs)
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements (for Macs)
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
  • Apple Aperture
  • Apple iphoto
  • Corel PaintShop Photo Pro
  • Corel PaintShop Photo Express
  • Corel Graphics Suite
  • Photoplus
  • Picasa
  • Windows Photo Gallery
  • Another priced software
  • Another free software
You can find the poll in the right hand column below the Blogger Followers widget (lots of faces!)

The poll closes on 31st March and the results will be posted later the same day.

Do please leave comments saying why you choose to use your preferred software

You can see other Making A Mark Polls - oriented towards art media, art practice and the art business - in The Making A Mark Poll - Resources for Artists. Alternatively check out the category label 'opinion poll' towards the bottom of the right hand column.

Note: The picture is the completed version of the one that didn't make it to the SBA submission. I think this one is going to be going to Southern California for an exhibition late this year.


Elisabeth said...

This is a great poll! I was just trying to decide between a few that you named so this will be helpful. Thanks! Elisabeth

Lorna said...

I voted for Photoshop but for someone who does only a limited amount, usually with photos, I would say that i have been impress with Photoshop Elements.

Kay Murphys Studio said...

I have used Photoshop 7 for ages and Elements 5, I just recently upgraded to Elements 8 I love it. I also use Corel Painter X a lot with my Wacom tablet. My hubby just bought me a Bamboo pen for my computer upstairs, nice little tablet to use. Hope this helps.K

Zsu said...

This is a really difficult choice because I use several different programs and it's hard to pick any as favourite...

For minor adjustments before Flickr uploads I use Windows Live Photo Gallery. It's my main photo organizer and it's convenient and simple.

For slightly more advanced editing of photos and scanning/adjusting my traditional works I use the ancient Photoshop Elements that came with my tablet. It knows most of the tricks that the big bro knows and it doesn't need as much disk space as the later versions.

When I'm not using my own PC, I usually install Paint.NET (with permission of course!) It's just as fine as Elements for quick editing, and completely free. I only prefer Elements for the better tablet support.

For creating digital artworks I use openCanvas, but also often Photoshop, Painter, Alchemy, myPaint, Gimp, and whatever else feels fit for the task. I love the brush handling of openCanvas but I also like experimenting with less familiar software; the unknown helps creativity!

I have also tried Lightroom; but I still haven't decided whether I want to buy it...

Sophie said...

If I had the money it would be Photoshop, but since I don't, my favourite is Photoshop Elements.
(I've just transferred from the old Photoshop 7 to PS Elements 8 for Mac....)
I found Photoshop the most comprehensive program and most easy to understand.

Dreama Tolle Perry said...

I am not a computer savy person, although I have grown tons wiser in the past year just through my pit bull determination of needing to know (thank God for google...:) I purchased Adobe Photoshop Elements PC 6.o version. I bought through Ebay (good price) and also purchased a Photoshop Missing Manual for figuring out how to use what I had purchased. For me, it has been simple to apply what I needed for adjusting photos for web. I also just did a self publish book through and used photoshop on all 26 paintings that are in it and was very pleased. Also, I use a photo cube for photograhping the paintings--I posted about it on my blog if you want more info (also bought it through EBay) and it is a great tool for photographing artwork. That's my 2 cents worth...:)

vivien said...

Photoshop every time.

At various colleges I've used Photoshop, Corel Paint Shop Pro, Adobe Elements and I've helped a friend download Artweaver (freeware)

Photoshop, full version, not Elements, expensive-though-it-is, is by far the best IMO

For manipulating/improving photographs and for experimenting with art work it's great. I don't want to do entire paintings on line with oil/watercolour etc equivalents - if you do then you'd need a Painting programme as well.

Making A Mark said...

One point Vivien - if it were you paying and not the college - would it be photoshop or photoshop elements?

For me Elements does most everything I need it to do and I'm not sure whether the finesse of Photoshop is worth the extra cash - and there's no getting away from it, it's a very significant price differential!

Ross Bowns said...

I use Photoshop. Though it is way more software than I need for getting images ready to post online. So I don't think I would go out and buy it for just that.
I like to use Photoshop because that is what I learned to use in school and am familiar with it.


vivien said...

well, it would depend on financial situation. Mine is an elderly version (5)secondhand. Worth looking for?

it is better than Elements and you'd be able to experiment more?

I simply couldn't pay out for the new version - but if I could then I certainly would. I love it.

Justin Miller said...

I keep Photoshop open almost all day. I use it for just what you are describing. correcting, manipulating, improving photos for promotion and documentation of my artwork. My work pays for the latest version, but if I was buying my own it would still be photoshop, I would just be using CS2 and probably not buy the entire suite.

Richard Klekociuk said...

I always use Photoshop. It's especially good for the digital art I sometimes do.

Susan D said...

I learnt to use Photoshop at an Adult Education class over 5 years ago so when I became a student of the OU on a Digital photography course I took the opportunity to upgrade to Photoshop CS3 at student price as long as I don't use it for profit.

Malcolm Cudmore said...

I use Photoshop 7 which I purchased when it was the latest version available! Mostly I use it for preparing photos for other purposes - such as desktop publishing, resizing for the web and creating digital prints. I also sometimes use it as a composition tool prior to painting. I am also a fan of Serif software and use PagePlus for dtp. PhotoPlus is a very economical photo/bitmap editor which will do everything you're likely to want to do. Photoshop is a bit of a familiar programme now - so I stick with it. I also use Zoombrowser (which comes with Canon digital cameras) for organising digital image files - including Photostitch which is great for joining panoramic photos or multiple scans.

Making A Mark said...

Wouldn't you just know - 1st March turns out to be the day that Google decides to announce that it's acquired Picnik - AFTER I'd worked out my poll options!

Debbie Drechsler said...

Hi Katherine, I use Photoshop because I've been using the program since 1996 (when I used it to paint with). I just keep upgrading when necessary (i.e. when I buy a new computer and am forced to) and have never seen a reason to try anything else. Occasionally, if I'm on my laptop without it, I've used the picture editor in the Mac program, Preview. It's clunky but does the job in a pinch.

Troy said...

has anyone tried GIMP. free photo manipulation software , powerful and can get add on brushes and such

Regula Scheifele said...

Good poll, Katherine!
I’ve used a lot of different software in the office, at home (desktop) and on the road (laptop). For what I usually need them to do – editing photos and graphics, doing some layout – I don’t mind which software to use. Photoshop, PaintShop, Gimp, Photoplus, Artweaver… they all do their job. Switching between those programs can be a bit confusing since they don’t apply the same logic regarding the placement of tasks, and they do have different strength and weaknesses, but I get along with all of them.
If it wasn’t for the money aspect I’d definitely go with Adobe Photoshop, full version. Everything you’ll ever need and more, and easy to use. I love it.
My other recommendation has to be Gimp – it is a free software that offers a lot! Layers, raster graphics, extensive file support, plugins… and did I mention that it’s free?

And here's a link to Wikipedia's 'Comparison of raster graphics editors':

Unknown said...

I was surprised to see that GIMP is left out from the poll list, but after the first results I can see why. I thought it is much more known and used. I guess most of Photoshop users can't use more than a few basic tools and in that case Photoshop is not worth the money. Why people don't use free open source SW like GIMP?

Anonymous said...

I use iPhoto for editing digital images on a regular basis and PS only if layers changing of background colour or other such trickery is required. iPhoto is quick, simple to use and gives splendid results for posting to flickr, blogs etc.

Unknown said...

I use a combination of Photoshop and Lightroom. I've been using (and teaching) Photoshop since version 3 and currently use CS3. However, since going digital in Dec 2005, I've used Lightroom for all my cataloguing. I now find I use Lightroom to do most of my tweaking of images, switching into Photoshop for the heavier stuff that Lightroom can't do. So I voted for Lightroom, but it really does depend on what I need to do. I really ought to vote for both!

black bear cabin said...

i voted for photoshop, but thats because i do a lot of things there, including painting :) however, for doing basic work on photos, etc...and not needing all the hoops and get photoshop elements. It has everything you are going to need and more...and the cost is WAYYYYY more appropriate for what you are looking for :)

Unknown said...

great poll.
I voted for photoshop. when I got my mac, someone gave me photoshop CS4. I had photoshop 7 on windows. the upgrade sent me into a tail spin since there was so much new stuff to learn. I'm still not that good at either of them. I would also recommend iphoto (mac) for basic editing. photoshop elements 8 would also be good. helps with your editing and enhancing as well as gives you more tools in the event you want to eventually explore digital art.
good luck.

Anonymous said...

sending this once more coz my comment doesn’t seem to have gone through. I voted for iPhoto and used it for 90% of my photo editing work. For me PS comes into play only when the work needs layers or some serious editing like changing the background and other effects and that doesn’t happen often.

Lorna said...


I found this web designer blog which lists '10 Online Photoshop Alternatives for Simple Photo Editing'

Groupdmt said...

Really i appreciate the effort you made to share the knowledge.The topic here i found was really effective
Clipping Path Service

Post a Comment

COMMENTS HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED AGAIN due to very silly ignorant people who leave spam comments without realising they have no benefit for them.

Please feel free to comment on my Facebook Page as my blog posts are always posted there (but please note anonymous comments are not published and I block and report spammers to Google and on Facebook)

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.