I do a LOT of photo editing. On average, I probably spend 5 hours a week resizing, lightening, cropping and troubleshooting pictures. I don’t try for artistic results, just clean, serviceable photos.
Since I haven’t had the patience to learn anything difficult, I use a combination of three utilities/programs. They are: MS Paint, PicMonkey and Photoscape. Between the three of them, I can accomplish just about any fixes I care to do.
Why three programs? Because each of them have good and bad points.
MS Paint is a very beginner level program. It has only a few features and the results are frequently pixely. On the other hand, MS Paint is extremely fast.
I use MS Paint primarily for resizing photographs, making quick and simple line borders and for occasional fix-ups that only require drawing in a few pixels. It works very efficiently for those adjustments and it only takes a few seconds to open, save and close.
For more complicated photo repairs I use my free Photoscape program. Photoscape is a lot harder to use, but it has a lot of useful features. It includes Bloom, Backlight, White Balance, Color Balance and tons more.
The features I use most are often are Contrast Enhancement, Deepen, Brighten, Darken. None of these features require any real knowledge of digital art, because they each have three pre-programmed levels to choose from. Plus, a very useful undo button.
When I want to get a bit artsy, I use PicMonkey. Picmonkey is fun to use and has lots of special effects, fonts, overlays and more.
I have purchased the upgraded plan, in order to get a few more tools. The plan is about $30-$40 dollars a year and you get the addition of collage plus some other extras. However, the program is quite usable, even without the upgrade.
I use PicMonkey for the nice frame selection, the collage feature and some really cool special effects. PicMonkey is easy to learn and very enjoyable to use. I sometimes play with it for hours, just for the pure pleasure.
Is it difficult to switch between three programs?
I don’t think so. 85% of my editing is done just using MS Paint. I then switch to one of the other programs only if I need to. So far, I’m quite satisfied.
Nonetheless, satisfied or not, I am considering trying out other programs. My choices are Lightroom, or the free versions of Pixeluvo or TwistedBrush Pro Studio. If I do start using something new, I’ll post an update to let you know how I incorporate it into my workflow.