Easiest editing programs for beginners

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by richard_kriz, May 31, 2013.

  1. I am an absolute beginner with editing software. I have never edited an image with any program. I've always tried to get it right in the camera. Fine art photos that I've framed and hung at home have not been altered.
    What is the easiest editing software or program for me? I plan to make only simple enhancements...nothing fancy.
    I mainly shoot fine art stuff. I've got a Canon 40D with two lenses: Canon 10-20mm and Tamron 90mm Macro.
    Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
  2. SCL


    In my opinion, easiest isn't necessarily the best for you, as it may not accomplish what you want. First - did you get any free software with your camera...if so try that, usually the bundled packages are pretty elementary and easy to use...that gives you time to determine exactly what features you might value (or not). GIMP is free to download, but not really intuitive. Photoshop elements works fine for lots of people...and there's lots of others, but those come to my mind first.
  3. Lightroom. Not editing software perse but great for simple edits. Also helps organizing your pictures.
  4. Easy? Google Picasa - it is free and great for organizing your photos as well.
  5. Picasa, Photofiltre are great free options. I personally like Paint.NET as well, but it might have a bit more of a learning curve to it.
    If you're OK to spend a bit of money, Photoshop Elements is a very well-rounded toolbox, and has more online tutorials, books and courses for it. Well worth the money.
  6. It seems to me it would be just as easy/difficult to just start with whatever you consider "the best" and just put all your effort into learning that program. For example, if you would like to get photoshop down just open it up and start using it. There's a learning curve but it's not that hard. I think a lot of us photographer's (maybe most) learned photoshop back when there wasn't access to so many online tutorials. If you start with something "easy" and then hope to move on to something more "difficult" you have to re-adjust or adapt to a whole new method approach, which seems like more work than just starting with the program you thought was best in the first place.
  7. +1 for Google's Picasa:
    A feature filled program that does many many things and its all non-destructive to the originals.
    Try the facemovie feature, after you've tagged some faces.
    Did I mention that Picasa has face recognition?
  8. Start with the Canon DPP software that came with your camera. It's actually quite good and pretty easy to use. If you want to do more then you can move on to Adobe Photoshop Elements.
  9. +2 for Google's Picasa:
    Very good and easy for beginners.
  10. Thanks all! I just purchased Photoshop Elements 11 and the "guide for dummies" book that I'll read. I've seen some online things as well that will help me learn.
    Thanks again!
  11. I'd suggest Lightroom too. Fairly intuitive, you can figure it easily enough to do basic work and is actually growing more powerful as it develops for editing allowing both general and local adjustments. Good probably for 95 % of everything you will probably need. You can also get elements if you need to work in layers and for finer re-touching, cloning etc. You will not get out of having to learn something to use any of these programs but LR will very quickly give you the basic tools you need to work and also is good for organizing your photos.
  12. I recommend Picassa. It is easy and free, works great with Google, and is very simple to use. If you make a mistake while editing, or just do not like the result, or just want to see what a particular edit does, it is very easy to revert to your original image.

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