I know a very professional (and extremely successful) photographer who swears by GIMP, I haven't used it myself, but I've watched video tutorials that she has created and it looks fairly complex in terms of tools available. Photoshop elements is a cheaper alternative to the full photoshop (not entirely sure of cost as mine came with my Wacom tablet) but it is a much simpler version and easier to use
Thanks everyone for the suggestions! And yes, I am using a Nikon D5100 and have the basic supplies. IE: External flash, tripod, extra memory card, etc...
I guess just another quick question, as I already mentioned, I'm not that terribly skilled at the technical side of editing pictures. I usually just hit the "auto" settings and then just basically f*** with settings it until something I like happens or I get too annoyed and decided the original image was better.
So far I use Photoscape, just because it was some random free program I came across on the internet. GIMP sounds interesting and free (always a plus) and this actually isn't the first time I've heard good things about Lightroom 4.
Anyway, back to the point, what's a good beginner-friendly photo-editing program that can be purchased for under $100? The focus being on "dumb it down for me, program, please."
You might like this blog, he likes to talk about crazy things you can do with a camera: [link]
Also, you don't really need photoshop (although it can be very helpful), but I would strongly suggest getting Lightroom 4 when your budget allows, for the price it gives you a LOT of control over your images and can be really helpful.
I’m guessing that, since you’re using a DSLR, you’ve probably got a copy of the RAW processing software that came with it. There’s actually quite a bit you should be able to do with that if you shoot in RAW rather than JPEG.
As for other things you can do with your camera that don’t necessarily require photoshop, give cross-balancing a try. Set your white balance for incandescent, for instance, and shoot outdoors under an open sky (but in the shade). Another good one is to set your white balance for green flourescent, then go and shoot a sunset.
Try ridiculously long exposures, with your camera set up on a tripod. It might take you a few tries to get it right, and unless you have a neutral density filter you’ll likely need to do it after sunset, but you can turn water into mist, turn people into ghosts, etc.
FacingThePlasticLifeFeatured By OwnerNov 10, 2012Student General Artist
Aside from painting with the light and ghosting I can't really think of anything else that's like a trick to pull off. XD Just depends how well you've set up the shot that your wanting, such as where shadows fall where the light source is and all that. Though if you want something odd to do, leave the shutter speed open for about 2 seconds on something, and after you've pressed the button to capture the image, manually zoom the lens in and out to get like a speed look to whatever it is. XD
Doesn't work with everything but it's a weird little trick to do. xP