| By Ian “Gizmo” Richards |
High-end digital image editors such as Adobe Photoshop and the free GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) are overkill for someone who simply wants to enhance digital snapshots.
Two less-complex photo editors, targeted at average snapshooters, are much easier to use and produce outstanding results — for free!
Looking for a simple, free image editor
The digital-image editors rated highest by computer magazines and review sites are usually the programs with the most features. That’s fine for imaging professionals but quite inappropriate for average users with very little need for most of the advanced features found in these complex photo-editing applications.
Using top-of-the-line image editors can be quite overwhelming. I’ve worked with Adobe Photoshop since 1995 and will candidly admit that I don’t know how to use the vast majority of features added to the program in the past ten years. Even the features I do know how to use leave me scratching my head as I attempt to recall the best way to apply them.
Some years back, Adobe brought out Photoshop Elements, a cut-down version of Photoshop that was somewhat simpler and much less expensive. However, combining power with simplicity proved to be a challenge for Adobe, a company not noted for user-interface design. Early versions of Photoshop Elements did not succeed in providing a simple image editor, but the latest version 8 does come close to achieving that goal.
Still, with a list price of $100, Photoshop Elements costs more than the average digital snapshooter probably wants to pay.