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As a very beginner, I would like to ask for your professional advice in choosing a photo editing & processing software for a beginner with a limited budget.
From your own perspective, what is the one worthy of using? Or should I begin learning Illustrator or Photoshop instead?
 

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I have always just used the photo editor that comes with my device to do the simple tasks of straightening or cropping. If you have good photographs to start with this usually will do almost everything you need.

If you want to create images you might try a free editor until you reach the program limits and need more.
 

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As a very beginner, I would like to ask for your professional advice in choosing a photo editing & processing software for a beginner with a limited budget.
From your own perspective, what is the one worthy of using? Or should I begin learning Illustrator or Photoshop instead?
Hi @Arlo , well, as someone who uses photo editing software to do all sorts of cool stuff, if you are on a budget, and want something close to Adobe PS ect. I use a program called : GIMP .
Really easy to learn, lots of cool features ect. Been using it for many many years now. Best of all, its FREE.
 

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I don't use any photo editing software other than what's on my Mac. I use the Preview/Tools features to crop and adjust the exposure and color. The important thing is to take good pictures so that you don't have to edit them too much.
 

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Arlo, I'm with K.I.T.T, I have started to use GIMP on occasion and the more you use it, the better you get with it. The only problem is having time to use it. I often only have time to use the basic editor on Flickr now, lol.
 

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Time is the biggest factor for me as well.

I have both GIMP and Adobes Photoshop Express (also free) available to me and if you are editing one photo or creating something from an existing photo you cant beat either system.

But if you are dealing with more than one photo at a time - let alone 100's at the time - the extra time it takes to access, process, save and knowing each higher end system makes another image to save and store somewhere else again can be a trade off over the cameras (device) editor, your computor system editor or even a web host editor like flikr.
 

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I learned photo editing on Adobe Photoshop back in the '90s and used it for years both in my work and at home. It's pretty much the benchmark for editing software, but, as often happens in the software world, Adobe has tinkered with a good thing far too much for my liking and it's become absurdly expensive as well. On my computer these days I keep three free viewing and editing programs that suit my needs well enough. One is IrfanView, which I set to open common image file formats. I can use it for minor editing, such as crops and minimal brightness adjustment. The next is Paint.NET, which is a bit like a very early version of Photoshop. It features layers and basic light level adjustments. I often use it for fast and simple adjustments. Finally, I keep Gimp around for more advanced adjustment, but, to be honest I avoid unless really necessary. You can set Gimp up to look and function close to Photoshop, but it's basically a photo editor designed for Linux and lacks some of the user amenities Windows users are used to. It does do a great histogram adjustment of light levels, though, and I used it often for that.
 

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i've kept using Photoshop. the older versions are free for students. I'm still using CS2, which is 15 years old at this point (and still works on windows 10).
 
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