What photo software do you use?

I am looking to purchase new photo software (what I have is over 4 years old!) and would like to know which software is rather easy to use, yet has good features. I bought a Canon Digital SLR last fall and just starting to get use to it, but want to be able to edit mistakes like exposure, etc. Any ideas or comments are appreciated.
Of course Adobe Photoshop CS is the Gold Standard. It also commands a VERY high price.

Here's a couple of alternatives:

Adobe Photoshop Elements, about $100 though it can be found for less, Basically a watered down version of Photoshop and somewhat more user friendly.

Paint Shop Pro, Very nice program that lists out around $130 (again, can be found for less). Has most of the features of Photoshop and is priced much better. It also has support for Photoshop Plug In filters.

GIMP (GNu Image Manipulation Program). Best as it's free. Built originally for LINUX but has been ported over to Windows and MAC.

Those would be my recommendations. I use Photoshop 7.0 and though there is a steep learning curve (no way have I scratched the surface of what can be done) it IS very good. There's a reason why Adobe is considered the "standard". I've used Elements in a pich and for the folks just starting out, it's a pretty fair option. I've also used older versions of Paint Shop Pro and really did like it. However, it wasn't up to par with Photoshop and I eventually invested in that.

I've heard good things about GIMP, but I've never used it. Looking at the web site and the various things out there about, it looks to be adecent image editing program. I might have to download and try it.

Hope that helps!

John Diel
Have you considered Broderbund?

Fred slaps knee and doubles over with laughter.. then falls and rolls on the floor laughing..

If your looking for something not so high end then I recommend photoshop.. Its the standard for serious image manipulation
My vote is for Paint Shop Pro. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of Photoshop... but it does have most. I also find the interface much easier to get around. I use it for all of my storm chasing photos. It has a nice edge preserving smooth which is great for taking noise out. The automatic contrast enhance is nice too. But it also has layer support and a suite of brushes and tools to actually make a composition.
I've gotta go with Adobe's line of products. Photoshop is without a doubt the best program I have used for graphic editing. Most of the graphics on my website were edited together with some version of Photoshop. I currently use Photoshop 7.0, which I received a license from the school to use on my computers. Not only does it have an exceptional amount of things to do (and like mentioned, I probably barely have even scratched the surface), but it also works very well together with Premiere and After Effects, both of which are other great Adobe Products. Since I have licensed copies of all three, I can easily work them together when creating digital media productions. Even standing alone, Photoshop gives you all sorts of wonderful options and tools. There are endless amounts of plug-ins; some free, others not. The obvious drawback is the price of this software, but I know through student discounts and such, you can pick up the products for quite a bit less than the retail! Definately worth looking into!
You're killing me Fred! :lol:

To reiterate, Photoshop CS or 7.0 (depending on your Windows version) is simply the best. Be prepared to spend $500 to $700 bucks for it though.

Paint Shop Pro is running a very close second and can do most of the stuff PS can at a much better price.

It really depends on how involved you plan on getting and what you plan to do with the photos as well. If you plan on enlarging photos to the nth degree and selling them, I would recommend using PS. It's an investment that's well worth it.

If you're looking to post on the web or send a few via e-mail and maybe print one or two out on your home printer, then the others will work out just fine.
What did the software CD come with?

My Canon scanner came with Photoshop 5 LE. I've never used it, but understand it's easily good enough for basic image tweaking.

Dang! PS 5.5 cost something like $500 way back when, then the upgrades to PS 7. I finally gave up with CS and will wait a while and see where it goes.

Picking up PS7 for a pittence like that is pretty good.
I use CS. My parents bought Photoshop Elements for themselves, and after using both, I was surprised how much of Photoshop is left intact for the cheaper package. The only big thing that struck me as 'missing' was that Elements did not give the user control of the color channels individually. The menus are a little different, but most of the best tools are still there.

p.s. There's student discounts out there for just about everything. Back when I was a student, the discount for Photoshop was pretty nice.