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Photo editing programs come in many different forms; professional photo editing programs have far more capabilities than amateur programs, but if you are simply a casual photographer, you may not need many of those features. Determining which photo editing program to use is an important step toward becoming a good photographer. It is important to research many different photo editing programs before making your final choice. This article will review four popular photo editing programs and help you to determine which is right for you.

Photo Editing Program for Beginners: Picasa

Picasa is a free photo editing program available from Google. This program includes many basic photo editing features, and may be all a casual photographer needs. With Picasa you will be able to crop images, make pictures black and white, zoom in, and remove red eye. Picasa also lets you make some light and color adjustments. With this photo editing program, you can easily import pictures from either a digital camera or a memory card. Picasa will also instantly locate and organize all the pictures on your computer into one library for easy editing. If this sounds like what you need in a photo editing program, then you should download Picasa from Google’s website. However, if you’re looking for something more in your photo editing program, you should read about the next three programs.

Professional Photo Editing Program: Paint.NET

Paint.NET is a free photo editing program that is used as an alternative to the expensive Adobe Photoshop. Paint.NET is organized similarly to Photoshop, so users familiar with Photoshop will find Paint.NET easy to use. Even if you are not familiar with Photoshop, this is a very user-friendly photo editing program that does not take much time to get used to. Paint.NET can do most things that Photoshop can do, including layering, blurring, sharpening, and using the many different photo effects. Paint.NET also uses the clone stamp and gradient tool. Unlike Photoshop, Paint.NET also has an unlimited picture history, allowing you to undo any steps that you have done. Unfortunately, Paint.NET does not offer the selective blur, burn, and dodge tools offered by Photoshop. At times this is frustrating, but it’s easy to overlook when you consider the money you’re saving by using a free photo editing program.

Professional Photo Editing Program: GIMP

GIMP is another free photo editing program used as an alternative to Photoshop. GIMP offers the clone stamp, healing brush, and gradient tool. Unlike Paint.NET, it also offers the blur, burn, and dodge tools. GIMP doesn’t offer the many different photo effects of Photoshop and Paint.NET, however, and this takes away from its appeal. Also, GIMP’s user interface is very different from that of Photoshop, and it is something that I never got used to. That said, it does seem to be a user friendly interface, and it might be perfect for somebody without Photoshop experience. I personally prefer Paint.NET to GIMP, but if this sounds like the better program for you, then I encourage you to download it.

Professional Photo Editing Program: Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is the most well known photo editing program, and it is the most used program among professional photographers. It offers all the features of the previous programs, as well as many more. Photoshop lets the user control every detail of a photograph, from the color balance to blurring to light effects. If you are really serious about photography, you may want to consider purchasing Adobe Photoshop. Unfortunately, Photoshop isn’t a program that comes cheap. You’re looking at spending a few hundred dollars to take this photo editing program home. As the two previous programs are almost as good as Photoshop, you should really think before buying this photo editing program. If you’re convinced that Photoshop is right for you, it is a great photo editing program and can easily be worth the money if you use it frequently

I hope this article has helped, and good luck choosing a photo editing program!

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