We at School of Photography are often asked the question: Do I need the latest version of Adobe Photoshop in order to get the best quality from my photos?
Our answer is usually in short; no. Adobe Photoshop is a professional program that has a wide range of uses, not just still photography. Therefore it has many features, a good proportion of which the still photographer would never use. This versatility makes the software popular but complicated and expensive.
There are a good number of digital image editing programs that are directed at the still photographer at a fraction of the cost. The difference between the results achieved from the full Photoshop program and others is usually not noticeable (depending on the particular program) in the final result of image editing.
Most features from one program to the next are similar as well. Once the user is familiar with the features within a given program, the exact same results can be achieved, possibly in just a different manner, in another program.
Just one example of an alternative to the full Photoshop software would be from Adobe themselves: Adobe Photoshop Elements.
Photoshop Elements is aimed directly at the still photographer and can even be used on a professional basis for some photographic practices. It may be deemed as a beginners image editing software, but this is mainly due to the beginners options that are in the program. In fact the full editing option within the program is very similar to Photoshop. The difference between this program and the full Photoshop program is a lot of options that would not be a concern to the still photographer have been removed. This makes the program more user friendly and competitively priced.
Learn how to use and get the most from your image editing program, in particular Adobe Photoshop Elements with our Digital Imaging Course.