My bleg for recommendations about image-processing software brought more than a dozen responses, many of them with considerable detail. I continue to be amazed (and of course grateful) to see how many knowledgeable people are prepared to respond to a bleg.
The consensus seems to be that Photoshop Elements (available to academics for about $60) will allow me to do most or all of what I’d want to do/be capable of doing in Photoshop proper (more like $300).
The majority view is that only professionals who need to do thinks such as color separation need the full capability of Photoshop proper. On the other hand, two readers thought that Photoshop proper wouldn’t be much harder to learn; one recommended looking for a second-hand version.
Adobe also has a program called Lightroom, (about $100), designed to manage photo collections edited in Photoshop but with its own limited-but-apparently-adequate editing capability; one reader thought it a better option for someone at my level than Photoshop Elements.
Two readers recommended a GNU (freeware) program called GIMP, though another was critical of its “rough edges.”
[Academic prices seem to be about half of commercial prices.]
As long as I’m blegging, here’s what ought to be a simple question: Canon images tend to run about 3MB, far too large for uploading. Picasa has a “web album” feature that allows uploading, and one of the settings slims the files down to around 60KB, which the blog can handle. But there must be some more efficient process than uploading the image in Picasa, downloading it in slimmed-down form to my hard drive, and then re-uploading using Moveable Type. What’s the quick way to go from a 3MB image file to a 60MB .jpg suitable for posting?