Tips & Techniques – Which Software?

When I first started scrapping I was definitely a beginner when it came to photo editing. About the only thing I could do was to recolour an image in black and white or sepia using the processors at Harvey Norman!

I was given a copy of Photoshop 6.0 (which I am still using) and a copy of Photoshop Elements 5.0 (also still using) and I have to say that I am now hooked on the Digi processes of enhancing photos and blurring, gaussian, diffuse glow, filters, actions and all that other good stuff.

It was a steep learning curve and one that I don’t think I would recommend doing on your own. So this post is to help you decide which Photo Enhancing Software is the right one for you.

Ask yourself these questions:

1. Do you take a lot of portrait shots?

2. Are you familiar with general computer terminology?

3. Do you fear new technology?

4. What is your budget? Would you spend more in order to use the software more?

5. Are you prepared to sit for a few hours learning about how to use this new stuff?


Here are the answers explained:

1. If you take lots of portrait shots, then you definitely need some photo enhancing software. Unless you are a brilliant photographer and every photo turns out perfectly, then a simple photo enhancing program will help you iron out the wrinkles in your photos.

2. Being familiar with general computer terminology can help immensely when you are starting to learn about photo editing. Terms such as “crop”, “filter”, “diffuse” and ” action” are all used often in photo imaging software and it would be a good idea to get used to them before you bite into a big apple.

3. If you feel afraid or “overwhelmed” at the thought of using one of these programs, that fear is going to cloud your mind AND your judgement. Just take a breath and think of it as just something else you can learn to do, like knit or sew or…..scrapbook. I bet when you first started scrapping you wouldn’t have known how to Matte a photo, hey? Baby steps, ok? We are just going to start with a small bit of photo editing.

4. Your budget can obviously effect which photo editing software you can afford. The new Adobe Photoshop CS3 Master Suite retails for around $1400 AUD, which, I have to say, is a huge amount for a private hobby user like myself. Unlike other software, is does come down in price BUT not as quickly as most. And the problem is, if you wait too long before getting a copy, it will have grown bigger and better before your eyes and the old stuff will be obsolete.

The best thing to do is RESEARCH. Go to Harvey Norman, Bing Lee, etc etc – anywhere that stores the stuff. Get the sales people to give you their spiel and then walk away saying, “I’ll just have to get hubby’s approval”. That is your first lesson in what the program can do. Collect every brochure too.

If you are a basic, absolute beginner user then all you need to start with is Adobe Photoshop Elements. The version is up to your budget. At the time I write this, Photoshop Elements 6.0 (the latest version) is available for around $160 AUD. That means that the older versions will be cheaper – I recommend getting Elements 5.0 cheaply to have a play and learn on – then upgrade to a more recent model.

5. Finally, are you prepared to sit for a few hours and learn and play? Playing on these things is probably the best way to learn in your own way and in your own time. Find a time when the kids aren’t banging down the door and sit with a cuppa. My suggestion is to open up a photo and then just play with the filters – add them on top of the photo and then take them off (Edit – Undo).


Here are a few links to help you get started in your search:


2 Responses

  1. Great advice as I have been meaning to get something as I do take a lot of photos and wish sometimes I could do better. I thought having an SLR would make life a lot easier but sometimes the photos I take need some work. Tx

  2. Easily, this article is really the most informative on this deserving topic. I agree with your conclusions and am eagerly look forward to your future updates. Just saying thanks will not just be enough, for the extraordinary clarity in your views and writing. I’m signing up to

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