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Bonvilston 3 61 8 United Kingdom
8 Jan 2013 9:52AM
I have started this new thread because I got frustrated at having spent a lot of money buying Photoshop some time ago, I am already several versions out of date. New versions appear all the time and all the training videos etc are geared to that. It is just too expensive for an amateur like me to keep up with. Yet when i looked on the web there seemed to be thousands of apps or full programmes that were available for FREE.

Surely they can't be any good at that price ?

Well some are very limited. They do a good job, but they do a specific job. To do all you want you would have to use quite a few of these specific apps. others are aimed at people who just want to push one button and turn their rubbish snapshots into a work of art. These have little control and the effects get very boring after a short time.

There are others,however, that really do offer a lot. Classsic amongst these is GIMP, the open source rival to Photoshop. If you know what you are doing with this one you can do most of the things the typical amateur might want to do in photoshop. It does, however have quite a steep learning curve.

In the first example that I will go through on here, though, is one that has many of the features of something like GIMP, but which has a user interface that makes it enjpoyable to use, without losing the amount of control that you have. This app is called iPiccy and is the subject of the next feature on this thread.

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robthecamman 3 1.4k United Kingdom
8 Jan 2013 10:08AM
iv not used any photo software tho iv a mac.id like a free version to learn on any suggestions? tho id rather get right in camera.
Bonvilston 3 61 8 United Kingdom
8 Jan 2013 10:26AM
iPiccy

IPiccy is a photo editing app from iPiccy.com. It is free to use. It gives lots of control. It allows for many one button effects. It is easy to use. All the editing is done one line so no downloading of software needed....and did I mention it was FREE !

Go to the website and click on "start editing". Upload an image to work on and you are away!. Simple as that - no registering, no subscribing, no contact details given out. just start working on the photo.

When you have uploaded an image you are taken to the editing page.....

screenhunter-02-jan--08-09-59.jpg



You can see that the menu down the left contains all the sort of editing tools that you might want to use for straightforward editing of things such as exposure, levels, colour balance and so on. Click on any of these and you will get a further dialogue box with options for control. This is the one for levels.....

screenhunter-03-jan--08-10-03.jpg



At the top there are other types of editing tools. The second one along ( with the magic wand icon ) includes wholesale changes to the image - such as converting to black and white or sepia, as well as a range of effects such as creating grain, vignettes,making it into a cartoon, adding textures ( you can use theirs or upload your own ), HDR style and much much more. Each of them has their own menu for greater control of the effect.

screenhunter-04-jan--08-10-05.jpg



The next tab is for editing images including people - the usual red eye removal and cloning, but also the ability to add red to lips, put mascara around the eyes and so on. Here I used the "sun tan" effect to give my silver pipes a tan and give them a hint of gold ! .....

screenhunter-05-jan--08-10-10.jpg



The next tab takes you to the layers options. This creates new layers for you to add text, put stickers on the image, merge with a textured background and apply the effects to all or a selection of the image....

screenhunter-06-jan--08-10-15.jpg



On the next tab you can add all sorts of frames to your image. I have added a mirror style frame and also given it a vignette. There are simpler black and white ; metal and wooden frames for those with more taste !......

screenhunter-07-jan--08-10-17.jpg



The next tab is for adding textures. You can use your own or the ones provided. I have chosen an extreme example of rays of light coming from the centre of the image. I used the layer style of "overlay" to keep it light, but all the other normal styles are at your disposal. There are plenty of built in textures to use.....

screenhunter-08-jan--08-10-21.jpg



Finally you just save the image back to your computer.

Nothing could be much simpler than this software to use. The range of effects and controls is very wide.It is great for playing around with, nothing can go wrong as you have to accept each change individually for it to be permanent and even then you have the power to go back and undo the change. The biggest safeguard of all is that you are working on line and not on your original image - so long as you save the product of your work on iPiccy with a new name then your original will always still be on your hard drive.

Have fun and enjoy !

Peter
robthecamman 3 1.4k United Kingdom
8 Jan 2013 10:50AM
it looks like windows software iv a macbook
Bonvilston 3 61 8 United Kingdom
8 Jan 2013 11:14AM
No Rob - it is a web app so you can use it in safari if that's your browser.
robthecamman 3 1.4k United Kingdom
8 Jan 2013 11:16AM
ohhh ok
Mototaur 2 26 England
8 Jan 2013 12:31PM
Wow great forum post Peter. Will have a play and post a image . I just love trying new apps especially if free Smile Smile Smile Smile
Dukatum 1 2 United Kingdom
8 Jan 2013 1:46PM
As a Linux user, I am a big advocate of Open Source Software (OSS). I have only recently got into photography and one of the toughest jobs was finding good, alternatives to the over-popular Photoshop (which is more powerful than most users need) and Lightroom (which is great for management and post editing).

As mentioned above, GIMP is your alternative to Photoshop. If you are familiar with the latter, then the former should be easy for you to pick up. Youtube has lots of guides for GIMP.

DarkTable ( http://www.darktable.org/ ) is an outstanding bit of kit, and I would say is on par with Lightroom or certainly near. It's actively being developed and updated with improvements happening on each update.

Delaboratory : Not for the faint hearted as it's in early days, the software it self is great though. http://code.google.com/p/delaboratory/

If you are looking for something that has a bit more polished feel, and happy to still pay a bit of money then I would recommend Corel Aftershot Pro.
Cheaper than Adobe, and better than Lightroom (much faster!) Aftershot pro was original a software developed by Bibble, so good it was, that Corel brought them out and got the dedicated team to continue working on the product with a new name. This works on Linux/Mac and even windows.... Smile
Bonvilston 3 61 8 United Kingdom
8 Jan 2013 2:21PM
Thanks for this info Dukatum. This is just the sort of information that we need. Grin Grin Grin
Mototaur 2 26 England
8 Jan 2013 9:14PM
I have had a play in ipiccy.com it is great for those who want to be creative but do not know where to start. basically you upload your photograph then press which ever buttons you wish to make your photo as your wish.
I like the effects , there are some pretty neat ones to play with.
I think I could use some of these in my abstracts.
I tend to use different programs when I make a abstract if the main program I am using does not give me the look I want.
Mototaur 2 26 England
8 Jan 2013 9:16PM
Dukatum
Thanks for the tips on the other websites. these are downloadable programs . I will download and have a play and let you know how I get on.

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