I do a lot of photography, and I also do a lot of work in different editing programs. Currently I use the GIMP and Microsoft Office Picture Manager, but I have always dreamed of using Adobe Photoshop. I had this idea that it would be better and easier to use than what I do now in GIMP, so I decided to download a free trial version of CS5.
CS5 is like a good bit of GIMP, and after the learning curve I could use it okay, and it could do a few things not currently in GIMP and some actions were easier to perform (like 2 things different), but it lacked many of the things I like using such as easy frames and and quick edits. For the amazing amount of money the program costs that was unacceptable.
After fiddling with CS5 for a day I removed it and downloaded Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 free trial. That one was supposed to have all the easy stuff. Well, MS Picture Manager and GIMP do all those functions too, plus being able to perform more actions like CS5 anytime I want to with GIMP. Not to mention, if you want ALL the stuff available in Photoshop, you have to pay the yearly fee for the “Plus” version. Yeah, right. Like I want to do that when MS Picture Manager is already included on my computer and GIMP is free!
I haven’t tried Lightroom yet, and don’t think it’s worth taking the hour or two to download. If I need a good photo library I can use Picassa (free), and while you can do edits and work with the other Adobe programs, why spend the money when what I have will do it all? Frankly, I was amazed at how little I liked the programs after seeing so much hype about them. Guess that shows what advertising can do!
So, I’m much more satisfied with what I have now and not drooling over the greener side of the fence since now I know it’s not really greener. GIMP is basically CS5 and Elements combined, and is freeware created by a group of people that like what Adobe products can do but want to make the same things work better. I had to buy a book on how to use the program, but I would need a book on each of Adobe’s programs too. None of them are THAT simple! Also, my current programs work much faster than the ones from Adobe, something else that shocked me. I am running them on a lap-top, and the Adobe programs took minutes for each action, where in GIMP the same action would take seconds.
So, to end this blog post, here is a photograph I edited in GIMP in under 2 minutes (I made a copy, opened in GIMP, cropped, added a black layer, re-sized the top layer flower which I had adjusted the brightness and contrast on slightly, added a text layer of the font, size and style I wanted, then re-sized the whole image for the web). I could have played more with color and effects, but I like this picture as-is.