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Editing Software

Adobe PhotoshopI use Photoshop CS2 for most of my photo editing. But with a list price of $649, this is an expensive solution with many graphic artist features that aren't needed for photo editing.

So, unless you already have a recent version of Photoshop, I strongly recommend Photoshop's little brother, Photoshop Elements. It's relatively easy to learn to use, feature rich, and fast. And if all you intend to do is edit photos, it's probably all you need. And finally, at less than $99 for a PC or Mac version, it's a steal.

Note 1: There are numerous alternative software editing programs, many of which come packaged free with the purchase of  a camera. And some of them do a good job. But for beginners, the real advantage of Photoshop Elements is that there are many people who use it, so if you need help in learning to use it, or you get stuck, help is not far away. And, if you ever decide to move up to Photoshop CS2 or CS3, the move will be easy because the look and feel of the programs is similar.

Note 2: You need a modern computer, either a PC or a Mac that is less than 4 years old, to productively use contemporary photo editing software. This is true for two reasons.

  • First, today's cameras have a lot of mega pixels that need to be manipulated by the software programs and then stored on your hard drive.
     
  • Second, contemporary photo editing software is feature rich and requires a lot of horsepower to run it.

All of this means that, unless you want to drink coffee until it comes out your ears waiting on your computer, you need the power and storage of a contemporary computer.

Note 3: If you are particular about how your pictures will look when printed or displayed on other monitors, you should calibrate your monitor. My favorite hardware/software combo for calibrating displays is the Spyder2express by ColorVision.

Note 4: You need high speed Internet access to view photo sites on the internet and to share your pictures with others via email. Either Cable or DSL is fine and you can get by with the slowest of the high speed offerings if you are on a tight budget. But dial up service is not an option. It's just too slow!

  

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