FOTD – January 17 – Amaryllis

I have been using Photoshop for a really, really long time. Like, 30 years, give or take. I’ve watched it “grow” over the years. My son bought me — as a “permanent birthday gift” — the online version which i didn’t want because I prefer owning software to renting it. I had been using CS 5.5 (DVD) which I own. When I changed to the “new” Photoshop, I assumed that it would be new since the DVD I have is 12, maybe 15 years old.

Four blooms

Much to my surprise, there is almost nothing new in the “new” more expensive version, and what is new is is not interesting.

The only reason I have stuck with Photoshop is I didn’t want to learn a whole new application. It’s laziness, I know — but I think I’d rather learn something new than keep paying Adobe and getting nothing more than I already own. Learning a new application will take time and will slow down my ability to process photos which I do pretty fast. On the other hand, I’m not thrilled with Photoshop and even when I installed it, I wasn’t very happy about it. Most of the bells and whistles it offers aren’t things in which I’m interested.

So – if you do NOT use Photoshop, which software do you use? Mac or PC? I’m okay with both.

I’m not going to be updating to Windows 11 either as my PC can’t and I’m not ready to buy a new one. I don’t think I’ve paid off this one yet. I also have a Mac which after three years, I’ve (finally) begun using. If I can find a photo application that will run on a Mac, I’d like to hear about it. I’ve had a lot of trouble finding applications that run on the Mac which is odd since the Mac was the original machine for doing graphics. Somewhere, developers seem to have lost interest in building Mac-based systems or maybe I just haven’t found the right software.

I need software that does typical stuff. Straightening, brightening, sharpening, denoising, cropping — really, nothing fancy. I need to be able to reduce the size of photos so I won’t “break the bank” on WordPress and isn’t absurdly complicated. You photographers out there are incredible, so if you’ve found software that works for you, it will probably work for me, too. Since I have both a PC and a Mac, I can go either way.

Tell me about your graphics software and change my world for the better!

Categories: Cee's Photo Challenge, Flower of the day, Flowers, FOTD, Gallery, lily, Photography

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43 replies

  1. Marilyn,

    As a published photographer and former color photography teacher, I use Picasa. Its free, can still be downloaded from the web, and perfectly adequate for 90% of the minor work we do. It’s not as powerful as photoshop, or elements, but who needs all that power, and when? Gimp has a steep learning curve but if there are some things you need to use it for learn those and ignore the rest.

    By the way, Adobe CS 1 – the last time I checked – is now considered legacy and can be downloaded for free from the web.


  2. Photopaint by Corel.
    I’m sure it’s not as good as Photoshop, but it still does what I need.


  3. I quit using Photoshop when they went to subscriptions. The current Photoshop Elements is far more powerful than early versions of Photoshop. Gimp is available for MACs and is very similar to Photoshop Elements, which I love. Great freeware.


    • Tried Gimp several times. Nope. I can’t use Elements on this computer because this is Win 10 PRO OS and it doesn’t work on this operating system. That was my first choice because it really has pretty much everything I actually use. But it doesn’t work here. I have a few other ideas, though. One of them will work. Or that’s what I think, anyway.


  4. I do my basic editing on Picasa. I also use In Pixio which is paid software. Neither of them is perfect but they do most of what I want. I used to have PhotoShop Elements too and I really liked that. I’ve read that Gimp is supposed to be good but when I downloaded it, I also found it too complicated. Most of what I do is cropping, straightening brightening dull photos and things like that.


    • Which is also what I do — with some color tweaking too. And frankly, I don’t think I’m getting value for the money in Photoshop. They haven’t substantially improved the product in a dozen years. They’ve added bells and whistles, none of which I use and made it such a memory hog, it has literally brought my computer to it’s virtual knees. There has to be a better way.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. There are several photo processing apps for Mac and PC. ON1Raw, Affinity, Lightroom 6 (DVD version if you can find a copy?), Photoshop Elements, Olympus Workspace (good for Oly firmware updates and quick touch ups, and will read Oly Raw files), Gimp (which you already mentioned), Photos (Mac only I think, new version, which, like Workspace, is good for quick touch ups). Picasa ( discontinued I think). There’s more if you Google it, and there are a bunch of YouTubes on this as well. I too am against subscription versions.


    • Photoshop Elements doesn’t work on my PC because it’s a Windows 10 Pro OS and there is currently no version for the Mac. I’m not even sure it’s for sale anymore. Lightroom is a rental and I’ve never been able to figure out how it works, though I’ve tried. The Oly product doesn’t do enough of what I need to do. It’s a good secondary product, but not first run. ON1RAW won’t work on jpg files — and I don’t shoot RAW. Otherwise, ON1 are filters, not an application.

      In theory, Topaz makes an application, but it’s a work in progress. I keep hoping they’ll make it REALLY work, but as of right now, it doesn’t quite get the job done. I didn’t like Affinity and REALLY hated Gimp. Photos for Mac was useless. I know because I bought it. I also bought Affinity. And Corel. I need something that doesn’t require a year of study that will do the basics SIMPLY: straightening, size reduction/cropping, brightening, darkening, some occasional color tweaking. That’s not a huge list and pretty much ANY photo application should be able to do it — but it has to work on jpg files because I do not have the capacity to store RAW files. They are GIGANTIC. Since I don’t print pictures, I don’t need RAW.

      I’ve been using Photoshop since before Windows — when it ran a green and black screen. Essentially, they stopped improving it in the late 1990s and haven’t done a single useful thing since. It is more expensive and even MORE bloated than it used to be — and that is VERY VERY bloated. But this is one of Adobe’s problems. They never take their apps apart and clean out the old programming, so their stuff just gets bigger and bigger. My machine has 16 GB of memory — but it’s not enough. I need 32 — and I’m not spending another couple of grand so I can use Adobe’s bloated software. Just NOT happening. I’ll have to find something else.

      I don’t have complicated needs. I’ve also started to use Cee’s five minute rule: if after working with a picture for more than five minutes you still aren’t happy with it? Dump it and and work on a different photo. It’s amazing what a relief it is knowing when to give up and move on.


      • I have both Elements 2019, and 2020, Mac (V10.12 thru v10.14 and PC (V.8.1 and v10). So I’m not sure what you have?


        • I had the regular windows version. It turned out it SAID it wouldn’t work with Win10 Pro — and it didn’t. Dell had to refund my money. I haven’t tried using it on the Mac and in fact, didn’t even know they made a Mac version. I will have to see. If they are still making it AND they make a version for the Mac, I might use it for that. I’m trying to switch from this weighty machine to the Mac.

          The version of Elements I had would have been from 2018. I have not been able to get any more information about whether it will run on the many times updated version of Win10 PRO. There doesn’t seem to be anyone I can ask.


  6. I actually use Camera RAW which is a part of Bridge which comes with Photoshop. Camera RAW is so easy to use. It’s all non-destructive editing. Only if I want to add text, do I open Photoshop. 😀 😀


    • I can try it. I think it is part of the same package. Maybe it won’t eat my memory. Of course, I suppose (sigh) I would have to start shooting RAW. I don’t only because of the amount of space RAW photos take and while I’ve done a lot of culling, a TB — which once was an unimaginably huge amount of storage — isn’t so big anymore. I remember my first Mac (I started a Mac, one of those weird boxy ones with the tiny screen) and feeling like a hot ticket because I had a (gasp!!) 40 MB hard drive.

      People were impressed!


  7. I used Ribbet for a few years. It is quite good and simple to use and there are some advanced features.


  8. Someone told me about GIMP, which, I think, is free. Darn if I could figure it out, though. Whatever you do in Photoshop is beautiful, Marilyn.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I still use my old Photoshop Elements, like your original version on a DVD. I’ve never seen the need to update to the subscription one! I acquired the Nik Efex Pro plug-ins a few years ago when they bought out by Google and offered for a period for free (I believe you now have to pay for them?) Of those I use Silver Efex for my black and white conversions, which has lots of presets and/or full manipulation. And I use some of the Color Efex filters – the vintage looks, the tonal contrast setting, the vignettes etc.

    I recently paid a one-off fee for Luminar AI because a lot of photography friends seem to like it. I’m still getting to grips with it, it feels very different to Photoshop. Again there are lots of pre-sets which I find tend to need toning down as they look too artificial, but there are also some clever options to boost structure, improve skies and so on. I’m not sure it will ever replace PS for me (old dog new tricks and all that!) but as I only paid once I’m happy to keep it as an occasional experimental tool and I suspect will use it a bit more over time 🙂

    Hope that helps?!


    • Elements won’t work on this computer because that WAS my first choice. But I run Window 10 Pro. It doesn’t. I wish it did because it’s got everything I need.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I run Windows 10 Home and Elements works fine. Do you need to have the Pro version?


        • I probably didn’t, but the Pro version is usually a bit more stable than the home version. In any case, I can’t do anything about it now. Win 10 Pro IS the operating system and to change it would be a massive project which frankly, I don’t feel like doing. I’m especially not going to change my operating system just so I can use an Adobe product. They have finally annoyed me enough to get annoyed with them. They’ve been annoying for years, but they are even MORE annoying now.


  10. My lack of techno skill has sadly prevented me from enjoying photoshop… so I get by with PicMonkey.com, which is almost as good but a darn sight less complicated…


  11. Gorgeous and elegant shots, Marilyn! ❤️

    I don’t use Photoshop because I’m not into professional photography, and like you I prefer owning software to renting it.

    You might like to try PhotoScape X for Windows 10. I’ve been using it for a few years now. PhotoScape X is free, but you can upgrade to a paid version of the software. I find it easier to use.

    But I think the CS 5.5 you’ve been using is way better than PhotoScape X.


    • My concern is that my old version of Photoshop is going to stop working. I’ve been hoping I could find something that would do the basic stuff I do, but this isn’t a standard PC and some products don’t work. I’ll keep looking, but if I don’t find anything, I’m going to re-install 5.5 and hope it doesn’t up and die. This new version, mostly what it does is lock up my computer. What a memory hog Adobe products are! They always were and each year they get worse. Good product, bad development. They need to clean the application and get rid of the dead wood.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I can’t help you. I take pictures with my iPhone and I blog from my iPhone. There are some post-processing (is that the right word?) apps that I can use on my iPhone to enhance the images or filters that I experiment with, like Prisma, to apply “artistic touches” to my photos, but that’s about the limit of what I can do. Sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I want to know too. For some bizarre reason, I cannot rent photoshop online from Pakistan! And nobody sells it as it is very expensive. There are pirated versions available that I don’t want.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you can get someone you know and trust to cut you a version, that can be okay especially when the actual company won’t sell you the product — so what do they expect? But it has to be someone you know. I had a friend — he died during the lockdown (though not from COVID — it was a stroke) — and he was brilliant at cutting software, especially if there wasn’t any other way to get it. But I’ve lost touch with most of the people I knew who were guru geeks and the remainder have gotten old too and don’t want to be bothered. It’s just a thought.

      Adobe probably does not have a business office in Pakistan, so they won’t offer the product if they can’t service it.

      Liked by 1 person

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