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Looking For Free Or Very Cheap Software


johnp 10 141 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2013 11:53PM
My local community education centre is looking to run classes on photography for "snap shooters". They have asked me for advice on a number of aspects including software. It's a far cry from all the fancy stuff I do every day!

I'm looking for software to enable people to make simple improvements to their photographs. I'm thinking features like Crop, brighten/darken for under/overexposed images, raise/lower contrast, convert to b&w. Whatever we go for must be free or cheap and simple to use. We are more interested in simple editing rather than cataloguing solutions, although the latter might be a useful addition.

Please can anyone suggest a suitable product - ideally one already being used successfully in a similar context. Thanks for reading this.

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Sooty_1 4 1.2k 202 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2013 11:57PM
Have a look at Gimp...pretty good considering its free.

Nick
Jestertheclown 6 6.4k 241 England
18 Feb 2013 11:58PM
FastStone

Picasa

Pixlr.

Photoscape

GIMP

Any or any combination of the above should do the trick.
All are free and all have their strengths and weaknesses.
Fogey 1 70 13 United Kingdom
19 Feb 2013 12:00AM
I see Adobe have got some of their earlier software for free.

OK, it might be CS2, but it is free and will do all that you want.

http://www.adobe.com/downloads/cs2_downloads/index.html
Jestertheclown 6 6.4k 241 England
19 Feb 2013 12:47AM
Yes. I'd forgotten about CS2.
That has to be the best of the lot.
GlennH 9 1.9k 1 France
19 Feb 2013 12:53AM

Quote:I see Adobe have got some of their earlier software for free.

OK, it might be CS2, but it is free and will do all that you want.

http://www.adobe.com/downloads/cs2_downloads/index.html



Strictly speaking it's not free, as Adobe themselves say at the top of the link, and several of their employees have said elsewhere. You can no more legitimately run that than you could a cracked version of CS6. That said, the Adobe quest for world domination always seemed to include getting people hopelessly addicted by any means.
Paul Morgan e2
13 15.7k 6 England
19 Feb 2013 2:34AM
Basic and free

http://pixlr.com/editor/
Jestertheclown 6 6.4k 241 England
19 Feb 2013 8:09AM
There's been quite some debate over this CS2 thing.
That blurb at the top of the download page wasn't there to begin with and subsequent articles written about it have been altered.
My feeling is that if Adobe didn't want us to have it, they'd have pulled the plug weeks ago, when they discovered their "mistake."
Why else would they put the installation files and working serial on a public forum?
lobsterboy e2
10 14.2k 13 United Kingdom
19 Feb 2013 8:25AM

Quote:Why else would they put the installation files and working serial on a public forum?

Because they wanted to get rid of the activation servers and they didn't think it through...
it's a ****-up Wink
Fogey 1 70 13 United Kingdom
19 Feb 2013 8:34AM
Adobe are following the lead of Serif. Offer the earlier versions, get people hooked on their software and sell them later versions.
Jestertheclown 6 6.4k 241 England
19 Feb 2013 8:42AM
We'll never know, will we . . .?

In the meatime, anyone looking for a powerful editor, for nothing, would be foolish not to make the most of it.
User_Removed 4 48 1 United Kingdom
19 Feb 2013 4:01PM
Photoscape is free, i use nothing else.
Alf.
rhol2 e2
3 311 1 United Kingdom
19 Feb 2013 4:19PM
Apart from the ethical question about whether CS2 is genuinely free or not, I would think it might be a bit OTT, bearing in mind the intended use..for beginners making basic improvements.

Of the other suggestions, my own favourite of the free ones is FastStone for its useful range of features and ease of use.
Paul Morgan e2
13 15.7k 6 England
19 Feb 2013 5:33PM
I think CS would be a poor choice.

I`ve used it for years and it still gets me stomped at times.

Would have thought elements or paint shop would have been a better choice.
Ewanneil 4 1.1k 2 Scotland
19 Feb 2013 5:45PM
I have to say I agree with both of the last posts. Having run such classes I would think that CS2 would scare the living daylights out of most beginners. A much more basic package such as FastStone would be all that was needed at this stage.

The package I had to use when I taught was PSP8. It had been installed before I took up the post. Brilliant though the old JASC versions of PSP were they were too much for people still trying to master the complexities of their cameras. All they wanted to do was the stuff the OP mentioned and FastStone will do all of those. And it's free.

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