Digital Picture Question.

I hope one of you Dopers out there can help me on this -

Is there any type of program (free to download???) that I can use to alter the colors of a digital photo?

I am planning on remodeling my kitchen and have taken digital photos of it. What I want to do is play with the pictures (change some colors, cut and paste cabinets, etc) to look at possible ways I want to re-arrange and remodel.

I tried just turning the JPEG’s into bitmaps but the quality is MUCH too low to attempt anything that would be recognizable.

FYI: I have a Gateway computer LE500, Windows 98 w/ basic office software and a HP photosmart 318 digital camera.

Any suggestions???

Download a trial version of Paintshop Pro. You’ve got 30 days to play with it before it goes belly up. Everything you need to do, as well as want to do, you can do with Paintshop Pro. Besides, if you like it, buy it. It will do everything an overpriced Adobe Photoshop does.

The key with digital images is to take the raw camera image and save it in your graphics program native file format (In the case of PSP in the .psp format). You then manipulate this .psp image to your hert’s content – you will not lose image quality. Once you have the image just the way you like it, save it as your PSP master. You then create afinal .jpg from that copy.

I certainly agree that Paintshop Pro is better value for money than Adobe’s products, but you can get 30 day try-outs of Photoshop 7.0 and Photoshop Elements 2.0 from the Adobe website. However, they are big files and if you haven’t got high speed internet (DSL, Cable, etc.) then it will take a loooooong time to download. PS7 is the full-bells-and-whistles version, while PS Elements is a more basic version that still should allow you to do everything that you want to do. PS Elements has been very reasonably priced of late; you can currently get it for about $50 after rebates on Amazon, and for about $70 after rebates at Best Buy - although i don’t trust rebates too much - and a few weeks ago it was even cheaper.

One thing you might want to do if you’re going to be comparing colors with a view to actually changing your home’s decor is calibrate your monitor so that the colors you see on the screen are as close as possible to what you will see when you remodel your kitchen. You can find a tutorial on monitor calibration here; it’s actually not too difficult to do, especially if you have Photoshop, which has a Gamma setting that allows easier calibration. Virtually every digital photography site on the web says that monitor calibration is essential, not optional, if you want realistic and consistent color reproduction. It was the first thing i did after buying my digital camera. After all, there’s not much point finding a color combination that looks great on the screen, only to find out too late that it looks terrible in real life.

I’d look at Paintshop Pro. It has some pretty good and easy to use color correction tools, where you can just move a slider and autoadjust it, with preview. Give it a shot… I find it a lot easier to use for some things than Photoshop.

Great. Thanks all!

My vote is for paintshop pro but you’ll have a somewhat steep learning curve. FWIW it actually works 60 days on the demo. You have to download about 30mb.

I used one of those 3D Home programs and modeled my kitchen. The program let me change the wood on the cabinets, the flooring, the countertops, wall color, etc.

It was inexpensive & pretty easy to do after a couple of false starts.

-B has programs of any type, freeware & shareware & then some. Easy to search it too for the software you need.