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Software Photoshop, Lightroom, Paintshop Pro, Painter, etc., and all their various plugins. Of course, you can also discuss all other programs, as well.

Looking for an easy to learn program for retouchin

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Old 02-13-2010, 04:47 PM
april4us april4us is offline
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Looking for an easy to learn program for retouchin

My daughter is doing pageants and the enchancements prices are out of the world. I would like to learn to do touch ups myself as well as for others to offset pageant prices. What program is the easiest to learn and the best to work with for a beginner?
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:44 PM
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TommyO TommyO is offline
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Re: Looking for an easy to learn program for retou

Welcome to RetouchPro and we hope you do find some resources to help. You'll likely find many opinions on a software program. And, they will all work fine. It really comes down to your skills, not the softwares'. An obvious choice may be Adobe's Photoshop Elements. Often it is bundled with other computer gear, like scanners or cameras. The user interface is a bit more intuitive than the full-blown Photoshop suite.

A few other things to consider:

- ease of use;
- low cost;
- good support from vendor;
- good support from forums;
- available plug-in's;

The plug-in's are simply add-on's that can consolidate many tedious tasks into a much simpler, single screen interface. While they may not result in high-end professional results, they do offer an affordable alternative with very professional looking results. They are most often used for correcting skin problems, lighting, replacing backgrounds, adding a little pop to an image, etc. Most plug-in's are developed for the full-blown Photoshop suite. So, if you know that your main focus will be to do skin retouching, then look on the internet and see what plug-in's may be available in that category for your software of choice.

Another consideration... keep your retouching to a minimum by starting with good photography. Go ahead and pay for a good photographer, good equipment, good setup (lighting, backdrop, etc.) Advise him/her in advance that you wish to do your own retouching for most images; possibly using him/her for the special occasions only. Ask for rights to all the images, and for him/her to turn over high quality TIFF or RAW images to you, to use as you like. More than likely, you won't have to do much retouching, and you can spend your time and money on other tasks.

It's difficult if not impossible for anyone (let alone a beginner retoucher) to retouch poor photographs with good results. Retouching should be just that, touching up the photo. Otherwise, you'll pull your own hair out.
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:54 PM
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skydog skydog is offline
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Re: Looking for an easy to learn program for retou

I agree with Tommy. What he recommends will get you started to determine how futher you wish to go. It is on going...takes a lot of time, patience, and practice. I started out with Corel Paintshop Pro, but looking back, I'd now go with Adobe elements.
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Old 02-14-2010, 03:05 PM
april4us april4us is offline
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Re: Looking for an easy to learn program for retou

Thanks for the advice. I just talked to a photographer we use and she uses photoshop as well for light retouches. Nothing glitz though. I am still poking around here and so I am sure the help will come in spurts. Thanks again
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Old 02-14-2010, 03:28 PM
pellepiano pellepiano is offline
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Re: Looking for an easy to learn program for retou

Gimp is a lot like Photoshop and is Free. There are also free online editors like Phoenix from that loads right in your web browser. very convenient on some ways.
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Old 02-16-2010, 12:07 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Looking for an easy to learn program for retou

i've had paint shop pro for years. it's good, has power and simple to use (relative to some others). it's also cheaper than photoshop by a good bit.

i had elements 4. didnt like it. too many things missing. but, it's up to version 8 or 9 now, i think and so my version 4 experience may not be important when considering 4 or 5 versions later.

the gimp is free. it's also pretty good. several folks here use it. i didnt like a couple features and it was a little problematic with using .8bf plugins, or used to be. that may have changed now too. it's been a while.

another i've heard folks use here is photoimpact, but i know almost nothing about that one.

you can also try the Serif site, but i dont know much of them, either.
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Old 02-21-2010, 12:06 PM
byjimbo byjimbo is offline
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Re: Looking for an easy to learn program for retou

A good, easy to use program that is relatively cheap is serif photoplus X3 Digtal studio - has support for RAW built in and uses photoshop compatible plugins. Also you can work with photoishop's psd files. For your purposes for pageant photography it has a makeover studio and auto redeye removal. IMHO it will be well worth a look at (I'm a long term user so managed to secure it for about 30 pounds. You could try downloading the latest free version at and there may be a cheap upgrade path to X3.
Hope this helps.
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