I am currently paying a Photoshop whizz to edit product photos for me (e.g, a lampshade), replacing the pattern with other patterns and colours, to use on my nursery décor website. I wondered if there was a free and easy way to do this myself, bearing in mind I have zero photo editing experience?

  • Possible duplicate of Gimp: removing background from product images Not an exact duplicate but the method should work for isolating the shade portion nicely. – Ovaryraptor Apr 17 '18 at 19:37
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    Free software shouldn't be the only criteria. GIMP is a nightmare for a beginner. Due it's distributed development every function has different basic user interface. Check if you can get an old photoshop for acceptable price. The last non-CC versions CS5-CS6 cost ridiculous sums of money, but Photosop 7 and all CS versions are solid pro quality stuff. CS2 even was freely available due the ending of Adobe support. More easy freeware: Paint.NET. A low cost pro level tool: Sherif Affinity Photo. Photoshop is the best choice due the enormous amount of tutorials. – user287001 Apr 17 '18 at 21:46
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    The problem with older versions of software is generally newer versions of operating systems. You are not going to run Photoshop CS5 or older on MacOS 10.8 or newer or Windows 10 – Scott May 12 '18 at 17:47

I'm not going to answer with a "how to". There are tutorials online for this kind of thing, and other answers here on GDSE that would help. However I would like to answer more generally on the question of whether you should do it yourself, or hire someone with the relevant skills.

GIMP has a steep learning curve like Photoshop, but it is capable of many of the things Photoshop can do. However, it's not easier, and in fact arguably it has less automation, and requires more manual effort than Photoshop.

The thing you need to ask yourself is if you have the time to devote to learning how to use the software. Or is your time better spent elsewhere, and your money better spent getting someone with the right skills. After all, time is as much a cost as money spent.

I'm not trying to put you off trying, or attempting to learn. I just want to let you know that GIMP is not an "easy" option. As for tutorials, youtube is a great resource for these.

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    Thank you. I am happy to learn, I just need to know what to look for. I don't have the time to learn gimp inside and out for one small edit, I was hoping someone could direct me to where I could learn this without wasting time on features that aren't important. – Rianna Bateman Apr 17 '18 at 20:12
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    @RiannaBateman, no problems. Probably best if you look up tutorials on how to use layers, and layer masks, which are some of the pivotal concepts and functions required in photomanipulation work. Also basic tutorials on understanding the user interface might be beneficial. – Billy Kerr Apr 17 '18 at 20:17

@RiannaBateman, often it's simpler, faster and more easily reproducible, if it's feasible, to have a simple 3D model of the item in question, working in some program like Blender or modo, and then switch out the material of the given part being graphically versioned, and re-render.

Just a thought.

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