Image editing software provides a full set of photographic, image, and graphic tools for a digital image. If you want to make major modifications in your photographs, image editing software is essential.
Much of the free software listed under the earlier section of photo management software will also do basic editing. If you need more capabilities, however, there are many free and commercial programs.
PhotoPlus Image Editing
This full-featured image editor is completely free.
GIMP (Windows and Macintosh)
GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program (GNU is the name of the organization that creates the free software). An open source volunteer-created program, it is often called the free Photoshop.
Originally put together by a bunch of college undergraduates, this program has grown into a sophisticated photo enhancer and image manipulator, ranked in the top twenty programs for 2007 by
Image editing software can be broken up by the experience of the user. Someone who is new to image editing should start out with a basic program and progress to the more complicated programs as she gains experience.
Adobe Elements (Windows and Macintosh)
Cost = about $100
Corel Paint Shop Pro
Cost = about $80
Cost = about $90
Do you need total image editing power?
If you're an amateur digital photographer who looks to do only occasional retouching of images, you may not need — or want — all the power that Photoshop delivers. Check out some of the less complicated and less expensive programs listed in this chapter.
Adobe Photoshop (Windows and Macintosh)
Cost = about $650
If you want the Mercedes-Benz of photography software, Photoshop is it. The program will do just about anything you want, and there are thousands of plug-ins available. However, the cost is high. This program takes a long time to learn and many people will only use a handful of its features.