I had the chance to use Photoshop proper as part of my IT course earlier this year. Above is a screenshot from class, where we were multiplying, rotating and resizing ducks. I tried Photoshop trial some time before that, and I was unimpressed. The second try cemented my impression that Photoshop ducks. I mean, sucks.
For the purpose of editing my hobby snaps, what I need is not the admittedly most powerful photo editing programme but a programme that will do the basic tricks with minimum bother. I’m a sucker for a nice user interface. Photoshop’s is decisively not nice. It’s almost shockingly ugly and unfriendly. (So is the price.)
Instead of coveting Photoshop, I finally decided to purchase Corel PaintShop, which I’ve been using forever. It achieves most of what Photoshop does, and my impression is that it achieves it more elegantly (that is, more easily). There’s also a rather convenient in-built help palette, which I keep permanently activated.
My only major complaint about Corel PaintShop was the limited number of preset filters, or instant effects, as they are called here. The problem was solved surprisingly: with my purchase, I was offered to download for free the full version of Perfect Effects. This stand-alone programme does filters—lots of filters.
Filters make me (almost) happy. While the programme’s user interface is the ugliest ever, using it is a one-click business. There can be a hundred or so filters to choose from, including the ones known from Instagram. The filters have poetic, offbeat and weird names, which adds extra fun. Below is a bunch of my filtering experiments.
Should you desire to have some fun with filters, here’s a link to download Perfect Effects free version (I haven’t tested the link, but it looks legit). Corel PaintShop is available for testing in a thirty-day free trial version.
I’ve found that many bloggers use Lightroom, which I tried as well, but the appeal of which I never got. Besides an unpleasant user interface, it requires that you upload your photos in the programme’s library before you can start working on them. That’s an extra step I find impractical.
What do you use for photo editing? Any comments on any of the programmes above? Any explanations of the mysteries of Lightroom and Photoshop or others? While I’ve made my choice and am rather pleased with it, I’m still curious about your decisions (and reasons for them).