So not everyone has the time or money to buy and learn Adobe Photoshop and that's alright. Who does (besides artists, graphic designers and anyone who works in the photography/imaging world)? What about the people that just want to brighten up some colors or take out the red eye or just clean up an image?
Well I have a few solutions that come in the shape of open source and Web 2.0 format.
The first option is the online, Web 2.0 format called Picnik. This particular program is a lightweight, easy to use program that requires no download and offers the basic picture editing options. Do you need to make some adjustments to a photo or image but you aren't at home with your normal software? Use Picnik.
I've used this program recently and I've found it to be great for the basics. It really is easy to use and offers a lot when you are on a computer that you are unable to download to (university or public terminals). Give it a try!
The other option that I have in mind is the product known as GIMP. It's an open source solution to Photoshop and really offers everything that Photoshop offers but without all the costs of purchasing and upgrading Photoshop.
I've also tried this software recently and it will do the basics but it has the capability to do some very advanced procedures if you are interested. This program is completely customizable and works really well. Because it is open source, it is constantly being updated at no cost to the user and if you find an error, you can have it fixed in no time! Definately worth a look!
The final option that has yet to be released but is receiving a lot of hype in the blogosphere is a product called Adobe Photoshop Elements Express. I won't even attempt to express my thoughts on this one because it hasn't been released but looks to be a great competitor for Picnik. Here is a link to another blog opinion at Digital Inspiration.
This was a pretty basic overview, but the products are there for you to try and use.
Personally, I think they are fulfill all the possible requirements that most users could ask for out of photo editing software. I could be wrong though so PROVE IT!
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Have a great day!