Thanks to the Adjust panel, iPhoto’s editing tools have come a long, long way. There’s a lot less reason now to invest in a dedicated editing program like Photoshop.
But that doesn’t mean that there are no reasons left. The Auto Levels command (in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements) is still a better overall color-fixer than iPhoto’s Enhance button. Photoshop-type programs are also necessary if you want to scale a photo up or down to specific pixel dimensions, superimpose text on a photo, combine several photos into one (a collage or montage), apply special-effect filters like Stained Glass or Watercolor, or adjust the colors in just a portion of the photo.
In all of these situations and more, you still have to spring for a more full-featured image-editing program.
Photoshop is by far the most popular tool for the job, but at about $600, it’s also one of the most expensive. Fortunately, you can save yourself some money by buying Photoshop Elements instead. It’s a trimmed-down version of Photoshop with all the basic image-editing stuff and just enough of the high-end features. It costs less than $100, and a free trial version is available online. (Your digital camera may even have come with Photoshop Elements right in the box.)
Before you go software shopping, though, check out your own hard drive. If you bought your Mac recently, you may already have the image-editing software you need. Apple includes Graphic Converter—a simple but powerful editing program with Photoshop-like ...