I have looked into buying a copy of photoshop but there are different versions and I am unsure which one is the best for book blogging?? What version do you use?
This was not the first “book bloggers + Photoshop” question I received, so I thought it would be great to do an entire post on whether or not book bloggers need Photoshop.
If you’re only using it for your blog, you don’t need it!
If you’d only use Photoshop for your blog (making slider images, making meme banners, making graphics to go with posts, etc.) then you don’t need it. Photoshop is really expensive and it’s not worth the money if you’re only going to use it for a few simple graphics. There are free alternative programs out there that will do the same job just fine, but don’t cost a shit load.
Note: I haven’t actually used any of the above programs, but I’ve heard from friends and fellow bloggers that they are decent alternatives.
Do you have another reason to use Photoshop?
If you have another reason to use Photoshop, or if the above three programs prove inadequate, then you should consider purchasing it. Here are some good reasons:
- You will be using the program on a daily basis.
- You want to use the program as part of your job or some service that you get paid for.
- You want to do hardcore digital painting.
- You want to do more advanced photo editing/touch ups.
- You need content aware fill like you need your mother.
Obviously some people may still choose to buy Photoshop without any of those reasons. Ultimately, it’s up to you. If you don’t fit into any of the above categories but the price tag isn’t a concern, then go for it!
So, with that in mind, which version should you get? Here are some options:
- $62.35* – Photoshop Elements
- $595.66* – Photoshop CS6
- $19.99 per month – Photoshop CC (single app)
* Price based on Amazon.com
I don’t recommend that you buy Photoshop Elements
You may be thinking “Only $62! That looks like a great deal!” But Photoshop Elements is an extremely watered down version of Photoshop. In my opinion, it’s not worth buying. Period. It’s probably about the equivalent of those free alternatives in terms of features. So if you don’t think you need “the whole package” then just stick with a free alternative.
Photoshop CS6 versus Creative Cloud
I think the difference between Photoshop CS6 and Photoshop CC is all about price. There are a few extra features in Photoshop CC, but I don’t think they’re worth mentioning. They’re mostly about photography, 3D features, and small enhancements. Most book bloggers wouldn’t utilize those features anyway.
Whether or not you should buy Photoshop CS6 for $600 or pay the $20 per month subscription fee of Photoshop CC will vary from person to person. If you’d be happy using the same program (without upgrading to a newer version) for 5 years, then Photoshop CS6 is the better deal. (Price difference for 5 years: $600 for CS6 vs. $1200 for CC).
But, if you value your upgrades (which I believe Photoshop CC would have access to), then Photoshop CC is the better option.
Photoshop and Me
I’ve been using Photoshop for like.. probably at least 10 years now. And I LOVE it! Photoshop is one of the applications that I have permanently open. I never close it because I know I’ll use it at least once a day.
I have gone through many version of Photoshop, including: Elements, CS2, CS5, and now I use CS6.
However, I use Photoshop for more than just book blogging. Here are some of the things I use it for:
- Blog graphics (meme banners, slider images, web elements, etc.).
- Web designing (part of my job).
- Photo editing/touch ups.
- Print work. (i.e. I create a calendar for my family every year and use Photoshop to put it together.)
- Digital painting.
Photoshop is worth it to me because I use it every day and for more than just my blog. Those digital paintings I made wouldn’t be possible in a program like GIMP.
Another free option is Inkscape. I highly recommend it, especially for blog graphics. I make all my graphics (like my blog header and meme flags) on that, and it is fabulous.
I’m lucky enough to have Photoshop and Illustrator on my laptop (since the laptop was a hand-me-down from my sister who had to get the programs for a graphic design class). I haven’t figured out how to use it yet since it’s extremely intimidating. But one day, I will be Photoshop/Illustrator savvy! ;D
I know it’s expensive but… even though it’s probably not as good, you can download Photoshop CS2 now for free on the Adobe website. I did it and it’s just as good. 🙂
You just need to make an account and then you can download it. The serial number is next to the download link.
Before that I always used Photofiltre Studio X
How often to you buy a new version? I am thinking of getting the Dreamweaver CC because I am taking a Dreamweaver class right now and I use the lab for the program but I think having my own for at least year would be good. Then in a year, I can decide if I should buy the program when I start creating websites professionally. Do you use Dreamweaver for creating your websites? I am taking Photoshop next semester. I am pretty sure I would rather buy the whole program and get a new updated program every few years.
I only buy a new version if there’s something in it I really really really want. I used CS2 until CS5 came out because I didn’t feel the new features were something I really wanted.
I personally don’t recommend buying Dreamweaver. It’s really just a beginners learning tool, in my opinion. Most professional web designers don’t use Dreamweaver, or if they do, they only use the code view, which cuts out like 90% of the features anyway.
It’s an okay tool when you’re just starting out, but I feel like most of the program is in the visual editor. But once you get enough practice in, you’ll mostly be coding everything by hand without any of the visual/drag and drop features of something like Dreamweaver.
I just think it’s an expensive program with not a whole lot of benefits. I just use Notepad++ (or Textwrangler when I’m on my Mac) for making websites. I’d personally rather spend that money elsewhere. (Although I do actually have Dreamweaver because it came in a bundle I have, but I wouldn’t have bought it on its own.)
Thanks so much. As a beginner, Dreamweaver is cool but I see what you are saying. I am taking a HTML/CSS class as well so I use Notepad++ too. I love it so much.
I’ve used Photoshop for a very long time, since 7.0 was the latest version but even since then, I haven’t utilised any of Photoshop’s newest tools and I don’t see much of a difference other than the interface and design of the program so getting the latest version of Photoshop does seem a bit redundant to me unless you’re going to be using these new features. I do think it’s worth buying if you’re into designing and will use it for your blog, so you will definitely have to think of it as a long-term investment. If not, it’s just too expensive.
I use GIMP and yes, it works fine for only some blogger things 🙂 I’m still trying to find my way with it, but it’s a great alternative.
Thanks so much for answering my question!!! ??
I won’t use it for anything other than blogging so I’ll look into the alternatives 🙂
I used to use GIMP a few years back, it was a good free alternative for photoshop – but also limited (Good for beginners though!). I use a mixture of Photoshop CS3 and Corel Paintshop Pro X3 – both are amazing in my opinion. As much as I love Photoshop, there are some things I prefer to do in Paintshop Pro, and vice versa! I think buying it is worth the investment, but I’d only do it once. I don’t really think it’s worth paying out to upgrade though, unless there are specific new features you want – i wait until there are about 3 new versions ahead of the one i’m on – then upgrade. :_
I’ve used GIMP and it’s a good, free Photoshop alternative. Not quite as robust, but it works—the On a Book Bender header was created with it. I’ve had limited success with Pixlr, but more so because it wasn’t getting along with my browser or whatever it needed to operate in my browser.
If people are set on using Photoshop and they have a set number of graphics they know they want to create, they can get it for a couple months and then cancel their monthly subscription. I did that for a branding class I took. I find it’s important to remember, though, that Photoshop isn’t the magical program you need to create fantastic graphics. It, like other programs, has a learning curve.
I’d love to have Photoshop, but for what I do right now the price just isn’t justifiable. GIMP works perfectly fine for me for creating graphics for my blog. I do want to get it one day, when I’m a designer!
I’ve used Photoshop for years…I started with PS Elements (um, the very original version…we’re on which version now? LOL) and within a year or so upgraded to CS2 I think. I have CS3 on my desktop but am using a trial of the CC right now.
One option is that if you are in school (or have a child in school) and want to buy Photoshop, you can get it for much cheaper with an education discount, even if what you’re taking doesn’t involve Photoshop. So there’s always that…which is my plan now that I’ve got the hang of CS6!
Fantastic post, as usual! Thanks for explaining the differences between Elements, CS, and CC. I would probably have jumped on Elements if you hadn’t explained its disadvantages. I’m lucky to have Photoshop at work, but it’s great to find some alternative for home use!
When I still used a windows computer, I had Paint Shop Pro, and I preferred that to photoshop, actually, I thought it was easier to use (but that could really just be me!)
Now with my mac, I use Pixelmator which works well, I make my buttons, some background images and stuff. But I’m not a pro, and I really don’t use it all that often.
I actually got CS5 for a Graphic Design class I had in high school, and I love it! I try to use it as much as I can! Sadly I’m not as good (or as talented) as other people because my “class” didn’t teach me as much as I wanted. I’m stuck learning with youtube tutorials and such.
Yeah I find that graphic design/digital art classes are mostly rubbish and you don’t really learn a whole lot. Most of what you will learn is just going to come from practising on your own (and yes, even reading tutorials!).
I recently started using GIMP when I redid my blog design. I was able to figure out how to do everything I needed. But I’ve never used Photoshop before so I don’t know what I’m missing out on.
I had wondered about photoshop but then I tried to use my brother’s (he’s a graphic design student) and I realized that buying it would do me little good because I didn’t know how to use it. So I just steer away from fancy graphics or beg him to do things for me lol. I may check out these other programs though. Great post!
I’ve only used Gimp, never Photoshop, but I find it fairly easy to use since I just do basic things.
GIMP. I’ve tried using it, and it was far less intuitive than PS, and I hated it for it. But I heard that GIMP is better when it comes to animations.
As for PS, I wish I could be able to do digital drawing. I plan on taking more advantage of it soon.
Pixelmator is a decent option for Mac users. I don’t think it’s been mentioned.
It’s not Photoshop, but it will do a fair amount. I use it on my Mac Book Air when I’m too lazy to get my Mac Book Pro out.
I’ve been using http://picmonkey.com and love it. I really appreciate this post as I have considered photoshop. . .but that was prior to discovering picmonkey. Have you ever used it? Am I simply revealing my UN-creative side by espousing the virtues of pic monkey? 😀
If only I’ve read this last April, I would have never shelled out the money to upgrade to CS 6. Since I am not a blog designer or any designer for that matter, CS 6 is actually a dead investment for me.
And I can vouch for pixlr. It’s easier to use, it’s free and is good for making simple banners.
Like a few other people have mentioned, I just use Pixelmator. I have zero design skills, so I just download a bajillion fun fonts recommended via Pinterest to make my graphics — like you know how some people have an eye for design and making things pretty? I DO NOT HAVE THAT. So yeah, for people who are basic, I recommend Pixelmator, as long as you have a mac. I also like PicMonkey.
I can’t live without Photoshop. I’m waiting on a Computer upgrade to get the CC the price is amazing and you get updates when they come out without having to pay for it. I think the monthly subscription reflects on price when it’s an upgrade. The entire suit is worth the price, I think $50 a month. Great post! 🙂