Christmas gift help-photo editing software

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Forum topic by Wayne posted 11-18-2011 06:36 AM 1739 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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196 posts in 2832 days

11-18-2011 06:36 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Ladies and Gents,
I’m in need of assistant of your brains again. My wife is a hobbiest photographer, and she has been hinting that she has outgrown her software. Ive been trying to research online, and at the local outlets (bestbuy, wolf…etc.)
All Ive come up with is a headache. I dont want to just hand her a card with money. I want her to feel Im involved in her hobby as well.
She does mostly portraits and landscape shots (occasionally for spending money). Her camera is a Nikon D3000.
Any help at all would be greatly appreciated!!!

10 replies so far

View Lifesaver2000's profile


556 posts in 3351 days

#1 posted 11-18-2011 07:00 AM

What software is she using now? Photoshop seems to be the unofficial standard, but I understand it is pretty expensive. I use a program called GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program) that is free and open source, and available at but that wouldn’t make for much of a Christmas present.

I have used GIMP to retouch and restore thousands of images, and it works well, but it is a little techie oriented. Various versions of Photoshop run anywhere from $70 to almost $500. (I just did a quick check on

To know what would be an upgrade though, we really need to know what your bride currently uses.

View Wayne's profile


196 posts in 2832 days

#2 posted 11-18-2011 07:04 AM

sorry.- picnik (sp?) is what she uses now.

View Lifesaver2000's profile


556 posts in 3351 days

#3 posted 11-18-2011 07:13 AM

Ok, did a google search on Picnik, and it looks like it is a web/browser based editor. On a quick look I would guess that any of the software I mention above would probably be an upgrade.

Since I have never used Photoshop myself, I’ll leave it to others that have to chime in about the different versions and what might be best for hobbiest/light professional work. In the meantime, you might want to check the reviews on Amazon for the various versions.

I don’t want to give the impression that Photoshop is the only game in town, but most of the software I’ve used is open source or otherwise free (yes, I admit I am very cheap), or older software that is less capable than what your wife is already using, so that won’t help you much in the realm of a Christmas gift.

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 2743 days

#4 posted 11-18-2011 08:11 AM and GIMP are both free programs that can meet the needs of most semi-pro hobbyists. is easier to learn and was originally a grad student project that has taken on a life of its own. I recommend you download it and play with it. I think it will meet your needs.

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View jonathanm's profile


6 posts in 2621 days

#5 posted 11-18-2011 12:55 PM

Photoshop is the gold standard but it is expensive, especially when GIMP can do most of the same stuff for free. Both have a steep learning curve. Don’s recommendation of is more user friendly, for sure.

My recommendation would probably be to go for GIMP, and make a gift of a couple of good books that can walk her through using it properly.

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3303 days

#6 posted 11-18-2011 01:26 PM

I always use Photoshop. It has a lot of effects that are fun to mess with. It can be a little bit of intimidating. But the more you use it the better it gets.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View Wayne's profile


196 posts in 2832 days

#7 posted 11-19-2011 02:01 AM

Thank you all for your suggestions! As I attempted reading through reviews, I realize how little I know about editing photos. So many features and versions of just photoshop alone….It truly is confusing to an inexperienced buyer… they offer classes to comprehend these reviews? (J/K)
Thanks again! Your generosity is one of the most beautiful parts of this community!

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 3674 days

#8 posted 11-19-2011 02:26 AM

Photoshop is the top software in this category but there are others that are almost as good at a much cheaper price. You might want to look at Paint Shop Pro from Corel for about $50, or, a public domain free software that is really good.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 4004 days

#9 posted 11-19-2011 02:32 AM

I think your wife should be more involved on this decision. There’s no way you will be able to research and find what “she” wants. Do it together. But if she’s the one who will be using the software, she needs to choose it.

View derosa's profile


1590 posts in 3074 days

#10 posted 11-19-2011 07:09 AM

Photoshop for certain and it usually comes bundled with a photo editing software as well which I’ve never used. I’ve used regular photoshop to scan old slides, enhance them and turn them into digital slides and found it easy. It should also handle any sized picture she needs to deal with. My biggest was a 1000dpi greyscale that measured 3’x12’ which is what forced an upgrade to CS2. Newest I believe is CS5. Always buy the newest unless your computer is old.

-- A posse ad esse

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