Thursday, March 10, 2016

Choosing Photo Retouching Software–Eric Basir, guest blogger

Choosing Photo Retouching Software
Eric Curtis M. Basir
Photo Grafix


After gathering and doing whatever you can to preserve your originals and purchasing a high quality scanner, you need to choose software with which to edit the scans. Without a doubt, the best product available is Adobe Photoshop Elements. That includes any version going way back to version 4.

Some of you may wonder: Should I buy the Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud? Unless you are just getting in to the professional graphic arts industry, you should stay clear of it. The features can be absolutely overwhelming and you must rent it monthly. This can make things very complicated if you want to open certain files should you decide to stop renting it. For genealogy purposes, Elements is more than sufficient.

Adobe is not the only heavyweight for photo editing software. If you insist on having access to all of the professional features of Photoshop Creative Cloud, but you don’t want to rent, I suggest Corel’s PaintShop Pro or PhotoLine. For open source (free) professional level software, Gimp is the choice of champions. Another very nice alternative to Adobe products is Pixelmator.

The biggest mistakes anyone can make is to buy new software and try to learn it on their own. Manuals are typically inadequate. Manuals are for reference. So find a class at your local community college or adult continuing education program.

There are also excellent online only resources. However, be careful. You don’t want to make your photo editing education curriculum based on random sets of videos on YouTube. I’ll be the first to admit that my YouTube channel is not a comprehensive learning platform (that’s why I created the course listed below). Like most photo editing videos on YouTube, mine address specific problems you might encounter with your photos.

A month or two of time for a class or online course with access to an experienced teacher who can answer your questions will reap great dividends! If going to a class or purchasing an online course is not feasible, I highly recommend the Teach Yourself Visually series of books. They are essentially the manual, but written in a fun, easy-to-understand manner.

Photo Restoration and Retouching Foundations Course
Teach Yourself Visually Adobe Photoshop Elements books

You can Email Eric Basir with any questions you might have during this series.
You can read Eric’s bio HERE.

Copyright © 2016 Eric Curtis M. Basir

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