Attack of the Clones

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If you’ve read the latest copy of our newsletter, The Point, then you may have perused the article outlining some basic photo edits that can improve the overall look of listing photos, or any photos for that matter.I wanted to further expand on that article in two ways:

What types of image editors exist out there, and what one is right for you?

How do you get started learning how to use an image editor?

First off, let’s talk about the industry leader in image editing: Adobe Photoshop.Photoshop has been available to consumers since 1990, and was first released for Macintosh users only.Since then, the Photoshop image has grown so large that the term is now synonymous with image manipulation in general.For instance, the phrase; “Has that been photoshopped?” is now fair game.

Adobe has solidified itself as the industry leader by being intuitive, receptive and innovative and that remains true with their newest release: Photoshop CS4.It was just over a year ago when I first watched a video outlining a new approach to scaling images, and I thought to myself: Adobe’s going to want this.It was no surprise when “content-aware scaling” was highlighted as one of the many new features in the latest package.

As with all success stories, there’s bound to be a few “clones” that emerge and attempt to reap some of the rewards.For Photoshop the clones are many, and some are good, while others are something worse than awful.If you can afford the $999 US price tag for Adobe CS4 Extended, then go for it; if not, you might want to seek an alternative.

Clones of Photoshop

My Alternative Suggestions (in order of price):

1) Adobe CS4 (not Extended) – $699 US
2) Adobe Photoshop Elements– $139.99 US
3) The Gimp – Free
4) Gimpshop (The same as The Gimp, but modified to appear more like Photoshop) – Free

As for how to use image editing software, I suggest to learn bit by bit.Start with some basic tutorials, learn how to perform the edits you need to make, and move on from there.Google lists 4,420,000 results for the phrase “Photoshop Tutorials” and 466,000 for “The Gimp tutorials” so I’m sure with some refined wording and perseverance you can learn how to do anything your heart desires.  You might even have fun.

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