Worthy substitute for Lightroom for my photo class

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I've been an adjunct for seven years at Hastings College where I teach basic and advance coursework in photography. Lightroom has been the go to software. The College cut most of the digital programs and mine survived. They are wanting to cut the costly adobe contract and I'm looking for alternatives. Is GIMP a viable option for teaching?

Thoughts appreciated.
 
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I have got a response, but I don't think they initially understood what I was asking. Their initial interpretation was that the students would be purchasing the license. I wrote back and explained the college would purchase the license and retain it for classroom use (just like a teaching company would retain Microsoft Word licenses for teaching people who to use Microsoft Word). I asked if they sell to universities / colleges for classroom use like this and will let you know how they respond.
 
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On a Big Island Down Under...
Gimp, Raw Therapee, Darktable (same as lightroom) & plenty others, just google free photo editors.

If you don't mind using an early version of Photoshop, there is a free version available from Adobe, Adobe Photoshop CS2.
It can be downloaded from here for both Windows & Mac users...

https://www.techspot.com/downloads/3689-adobe-photoshop-cs2.html

And the serials shown on the site to activate it...
Windows Serial number: 1045-1412-5685-1654-6343-1431
Mac OS X Serial number: 1045-0410-5403-3188-5429-0639
 
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If software is a strong part of your photography curriculum, cutting the most popular one may be vital to the success of your program. Adobe can get costly, but if the school can't spring for $10/mo for you to keep photoshop & lightroom there may be other troubles in your future. (can't recall if there is a teacher/student specific price).

If you have to look for alternatives, I would look at Affinity Photo. I am not a fan of GIMP and don't feel it is a viable (even FREE) alternative.
 
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Honestly, right now if I had to abandon Adobe for photo editing, I would look strongly at Capture One. I would even look into seeing if they have an educational pricing model. Most companies do.

I've tried a bunch of the computer free photo editors and was not happy. The closest I got was Polarr, which works in browser, stand alone program on PC and also has a mobile app. Free for some functions, but low cost to unlock.

As weird as it might sound - Snapseed for mobile devices actually is pretty robust and will allow for a lot of editing. Bonus = FREE.
 
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Thank you all for responding. I'm working through this with the college. I'm still not sure the direction we'll go. I do believe Adobe is the fieldwork standard and graduates should have a firm command of the software for real world use. That being said, it is a photography course and not a software course. Previous to covid, there were as many and six or seven different digital based coursed using the software the the registration is per machine(16 iMacs) not per student. ( mine is to sole surviving course) I'm not sure the rate, but it is a steep price. I did recommend that the just register 5 machines as it is pretty rare that outside of class all are in use at the same time.

Lastly, each student is provided (as am I) an iPad, but I've never figured out or tried to use and iPad workflow.
 
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Thank you all for responding. I'm working through this with the college. I'm still not sure the direction we'll go. I do believe Adobe is the fieldwork standard and graduates should have a firm command of the software for real world use. That being said, it is a photography course and not a software course. Previous to covid, there were as many and six or seven different digital based coursed using the software the the registration is per machine(16 iMacs) not per student. ( mine is to sole surviving course) I'm not sure the rate, but it is a steep price. I did recommend that the just register 5 machines as it is pretty rare that outside of class all are in use at the same time.

Lastly, each student is provided (as am I) an iPad, but I've never figured out or tried to use and iPad workflow.
Easiest thing to do for an iPad workflow would be to have them save all of their files from whatever computer they want into a cloud Drive(Dropbox,Google drive, iCloud, etc). Then they can download whatever files they want to the iPad, process with whatever software they have access and then they can save back to the cloud.
 
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Easiest thing to do for an iPad workflow would be to have them save all of their files from whatever computer they want into a cloud Drive(Dropbox,Google drive, iCloud, etc). Then they can download whatever files they want to the iPad, process with whatever software they have access and then they can save back to the cloud.
That's a pretty good workaround. I'll investigate.
 
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Lastly, each student is provided (as am I) an iPad, but I've never figured out or tried to use and iPad workflow.
Well worth the effort to learn this. Your students will benefit a great deal by being able to continue their edits outside the classroom. If they are using cameras that can connect to the iPad via SnapBridge or WMU, they can begin their edits in the field and continue them on the desktop machines in class.
 
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Depending on the iPad, the students can plug a memory card reader directly in and transfer files from the memory card using a Lightning or USB-C adapter. The native files app recognizes external media. If they use a hub, they can connect both the memory card and a USB drive and backup/transfer to the drive. If the editing app allows for importing images from the Files app, they can load them from the memory card or USB drive. I've been doing this on the iPad Pro since they allowed USB access using a hub and 1TB SSD drive. It's great for traveling for backing up memory cards and field edits. I no longer bring a laptop when traveling.
 
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Depending on the iPad, the students can plug a memory card reader directly in and transfer files from the memory card using a Lightning or USB-C adapter. The native files app recognizes external media. If they use a hub, they can connect both the memory card and a USB drive and backup/transfer to the drive. If the editing app allows for importing images from the Files app, they can load them from the memory card or USB drive. I've been doing this on the iPad Pro since they allowed USB access using a hub and 1TB SSD drive. It's great for traveling for backing up memory cards and field edits. I no longer bring a laptop when traveling.
I'll fire up my iPad and see what we can figure out. This truly may be the best solution for the time being.
 
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I'll fire up my iPad and see what we can figure out. This truly may be the best solution for the time being.
Speak up if you need help. Apple Mobile devices can be finicky when it comes to file management and particularly raw photo files. It can be handled, but there’s no need to reinvent the wheel when others have already found the solutions.
 
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Speak up if you need help. Apple Mobile devices can be finicky when it comes to file management and particularly raw photo files. It can be handled, but there’s no need to reinvent the wheel when others have already found the solutions.
There's also the issue that multiple brands of cameras are used for this course, which could lead to a ton of time working through each file system each semester.
 
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There's also the issue that multiple brands of cameras are used for this course, which could lead to a ton of time working through each file system each semester.
Actually, if you follow @tony-b ‘s suggestion above (use an adapter to move the raw files from cards to iPads), it doesn’t matter if they are ARW, CRW, or NEF format. Same holds true if you copy (not import) from a memory card to a Mac or PC and sync the LR catalog to an iPad. That last part is the feature that I think will be particularly useful for your situation where everyone has full time access to their own iPad and part time shared access to an instance of LR installed on a classroom desktop computer.
 

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