We live in a digital era where there is no more room for taking pictures with a film and developing it in a studio. Sure, there will always be nostalgics longing for that, but the truth is, digital photography has completely taken over the market. Today’s cameras are so advanced, that everyone can pretend to be a photographer – still, there will be the occasional red-eye, lighting or crispiness issues you will want to take care of. Since Photoshop might be too overly complicated for some (not to mention expensive), we compiled a list of some of the best free photo editing software around.
Gimp has been around since time immemorial, being released in 1996 and regularly updating ever since, offering a comprehensive package of photo-editing tools. There are the standard ones, like red eye fixing, lightning, sharpening, blurring and color correction and some neat ones, as for instance, giving a picture an oil painting effect, as well as creating an animation. Full layer support is also available and while the software is no rocket science, it takes some time learning how to make the best of its tools.
PhoXo is another oldie, but goodie, which has been for almost a decade and, just like it happens with Gimp, old does not mean outdated. It’s a powerful image editor, which is easy to use, offering layers, dozens of photo effects, frames and cliparts, the possibility to process images in batches and even watermarking your pictures, so that nobody can claim ownership of them. Needless to say, it has the standard tools, like cropping, retouching, painting and drawing, allowing you to have a bit of fun with your pictures.
PhotoScape is a software aimed at users who just want to have a bit of fun with their pictures, since it lacks more advanced options, like the addition of layers. It really helps you let your artistic side flow, by sporting 11 styles, such as Pencil, Cartoon and Pastel, just to mention a few. The addition of cliparts and speech bubbles are destined to make the child inside you happy.
PhotoFiltre is a popular choice when it comes to image batch processing, since you can add plenty of filters, like blurring, softening or sharpening the edges, adjust lightning and resize your pictures, all at once. Its editing features are quite remarkable for a free software, the PhotoMask being a particular highlight. It allows you to add transparency effects and well as a stylish contour to your images, turning them into standouts.
5) Vicman’s Photo! Editor 1.1
This program features a nice interface and tons of options for enhancing digital photographs, including red eye correction, denoising, deblurring, coloring, lightning, resizing, cropping and straightening, just to mention a few. However, the real highlight is the “Make Up” tool, useful when you need to get rid of a watermark or some text covering a portion of the photograph or even correct the flash, to reduce shining.