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With cameras being fitted to nearly all electronic devices these days there has been a surge in popularity in image editing software. If it’s not touching up your snaps to give them that David Bailey look then it’s letting your creative juices boil through creating your own images, designs and graphics from scratch; image editing software offers you a wealth of possibilities. In this post we look at some of our favourite tools and what makes them so good.
It is pretty much industry standard these days, being used by photographers, web designers and graphic designers. Packed with a huge number of features to tweak, manipulate and bend images to your will as well as some excellent tools for making your own graphics, Photoshop is probably the most complete package, especially when used alongside its CS (Adobes Creative Suite package) comrades.
The most recently released version was CS5, with features like Content Aware are the digital equivalent of magic, being so advanced when used properly they will blow your socks of on your first use. Adobe has also given a sneak peak at Adobe Photoshop CS6, so we won’t have to wait long to see what more wizardry they have crammed into it.
Responsible for many awkward conversations, the catchy named GNU Image Manipulation Program, or Gimp for short, is an open source image editing program which offers a stripped back Photoshop-style experience. The free software allows you to achieve impressive results on even low power machines such as netbooks, however if you are looking for more functionality then you can bulk up the program with a wide array of plug-ins offering a host of new functionality and toys to play with.
While not strictly a photo editor, CoralDRAW is a graphics suite which has grown over time from its vector graphics roots to a collection of complementary pieces of graphics software. Now only available on Windows, it is still a popular vector design and illustration package for making lightweight, scalable images which are great for web design and graphics. It also comes with a built in content finder, so you can source images for your designs from sites such as Flickr and iStockPhoto.
Zoner Photo Studio
Designed with photographers in mind, Zoner is an all in one solution for editing, managing and sharing your pictures. The free version of the latest Studio 14 allows you import photos directly from your camera and get editing, allowing you to remove objects and edit the surrounding of your images as well as create HDR effects. There is a PRO version which is available for sale, opening up the programs functionality even more, giving you control of even more advance features.
Similar to Zoner, Picasa is a great way of organising your photos as well as editing them. People with large collections of pictures can keep easily create photo albums and share them with friends and family, compressing images for optimal transfer via email in the process. Its Google+ integration makes it even easier to upload your images, tag and share with your circles, even letting you sync albums to be automatically uploaded. You are also given a selection of effects you can apply to your images to get them up to your high standards.
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