We've all seen it: a great photo with terrible red-eye. The solution? Editing, of course! Today's latest computers come pre-installed with some sort of photo editing software, such as iPhoto, catering to the casual photographer. If you happen to have an older computer or you simply want to beef up the existing software that you already own, there are plenty of options to choose from to fit your needs and budget.
If you are somewhat interested in editing photos, then check out the free downloads on the web that offer basic functions such as red-eye removal or cropping. Try Irfan View, The GIMP, Photoyoda or Picasa. If you are an enthusiast and you want to take your photos a step further and get creative with fun frames, color adjustment, air brushing, making layouts, and more, then you will want advanced editing software at your disposal. Basic software costs under $100. If you like having perfect pictures, then definitely look into the pro editing editions. These can range from $100 up to several hundreds of dollars.
Features: Basic and Beyond
* Red-eye removal
* Color, contrast, and brightness adjustments
* Compound (i.e. multi-image) editing/organization
* Organizing capability
* Special color effects: sepia, black and white, fun effects
* 16-bit color support
* Batch processing
* Slide shows
* Special effects and filters
* Air brushing tools
'''How to Choose '''
* '''Compatibility''': Always verify that the software you buy runs on your computer. That means:
** Get the operating system right. Make sure that it supports whatever OS you run, whether it be Windows XP, Mac OS X, etc.
** Get the size right. Check your computer's free hard drive space to make sure that it has room for a new program.
** Make sure that the software supports a wide range of file formats, from BMP, to JPEG, to TIF, JIF, EPS, and PICT. You may also need RAW file support depending on your expertise and digital camera's file support.
* '''Support''': This is especially important for those who have never used photo editing software before.
** Check for software that suits your level of expertise. If you are an expert, you can bypass the help functions by choosing software geared towards pros. If you are a beginner, make sure that the program can walk you through the different processes step by step until you can move on to the advanced mode. Many software programs offer the option of switching between beginner and advanced.
** See if the software offers an online guide as well as a standard user's manual. Sometimes online support can get you answers to problems that you can't find otherwise.
* '''Internet''': Some software allows easy uploading to the web to share photos and albums with friends and family.
* "'''Web 2.0'''" software that is Operating System independent (browser based) permitting the user to access photos anywhere they have access to a web browser
* '''Tools and Templates''': All the extras can be helpful if you are really looking to get creative but if you just want the basics you don't have to go overboard. A simple way of enhancing photos and giving them an artistic touch is having the option of using pre-made templates.