Photo Editing On the Cheap

It’s spring time which means, the snow is gone the birds are out and the flowers are starting to bloom. This to me only means one thing, it’s time to take the camera out and start taking photos of everything. I don’t have a DSLR, I have a Samsung Digimax A503 it’s a 5 mega pixel camera. It’s a great little camera and takes very good photos. It just can’t get the detail that a DSLR could get when I take photos. I try to make up for this by editing the photos colors. I use 3 photo editing programs… well some times 4 photo editing programs and I would like to share them with you all.

The first program I use is Windows Live Photo Gallery. I use this to keep all my photos organized; import new photos form my camera and do quick edits to photos and to upload the photos to Flickr and Facebook. Gallery is a simple and straight forward. It’s nice for when you want to throw a quick slide show of your photos as well. Windows live gallery is part of the Windows live Essential suit that Microsoft offers at get.live.com and it is only for Windows XP, Vista, and 7 users only (sorry mac people).

Now, almost every time I take photos I normally have a few where I say to myself, “I bet I could do something with that.” That is when I fire up GIMP. GIMP is an advance photo editor it’s really for the people that want to get Photoshop but just don’t want to use it or can’t justify spending the cash for Photoshop. The only thing that worries me is I have not seen any kind of updates for GIMP in the last year or so. I’m worried that it is going to stand still and at some point I’m going to have go out and actually purchase Photoshop. Until that day comes, I have GIMP and it is more then I will ever need. As a word of warning if you already use Photoshop don’t use GIMP because most people that are used to Photoshop hate the UI of GIMP.

Maybe GIMP is too much for you. You want to do some edits but what you want to do isn’t in Windows Live Gallery, well you could always try Photoshop Express. This is an online application to edit your photos. You just have to go to photosho.com and make an account. It’s easy to use, you just have to upload the photo or photos you want to edit and hit edit to edit the photo. Give it a try the next time you are editing photos. You can share and organize your photos on there as well. With a free account you can keep up to 2 GB of photos but you can buy more storage as needed. There is a mobile app for this as well for the iPhone called Photoshop mobile. This has some nice filters and quick edits fetchers for when you take photos on your iPhone.

There is one thing I forgot to talk about in this, and that is the price off all these programs. You might be thinking $19.99, or maybe $9.99, I’m here to say everything I talked about in this is all free and with the exception of Windows Live Gallery these applications all work on Windows, Mac and also Linux. If you were thinking of getting Photoshop so you could fix some of the photos you took Mothers Day, save your money and try some of these free programs instead.

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