The growing popularity of digital photography and the proliferation of options to host digital images have also increased the need for decent photo editing software. Adobe Photoshop is the best-known photo editing software, and it does a fantastic job in manipulating and enhancing your most cherished pictures or your professional photographs. But with Photoshop’s hefty price tag, it might not just be the right option for some users.
Good thing, then, that there are several other programs you can use to make your photographs look their best. Whether you are a casual snapshot photographer or someone looking to go pro, you should be able to find editing software that saves you money yet still gives you the control and options you need. These alternative editing programs are available for use online or as a download and range from costing a bit to being free of charge.
Listed below are some examples of these types of photo editing options. Be sure to verify first that you have the correct operating system and system requirements, as not all of the available software is programmed for every type of computer setup.
An easy to use, free online photo editor. You can use the simple automatic photo fix features to get a great image quickly, or you can play around with the advanced controls to fine-tune your photo. This web-based application has lots of special effects to make your photos artsy and fun. The basic service is free, and you can upgrade to Picnik Premium for a yearly fee.
2. Sumo Paint
Sumo Paint is a powerful and varied online photo editing program. This web-based photo editing application offers a wide variety of editing options, such as mapping, brushes, blurring and design tools. With Sumo Paint you can also become part of an active online community where artists share their artwork with other members. You can upgrade to Sumo Paint Pro, which can be downloaded to your computer and used offline. The software will prompt you to install updates whenever they are added to the online version.
3. Active Pixels
This is a free software download that has several tools similar to Photoshop. If you like Photoshop, but are looking for a much more economical option, Active Pixels might be right for you. Active Pixels offers keyboard shortcuts, tools – such as the magic wand – and supports layers.
GIMP is a free software download that gives you lots of possibilities and flexibility. The software is designed to be used with add-ons and plug-ins, so you can customize the program to be exactly what you want. GIMP can be used for such things as a simple paint program, a quality photo-retouching program or an image format converter, to name just a few options.
A Mac-only software download with a free trial and a $59 price tag. This software is easy to use, fast and powerful with all of the primary photo editing tools and the ability to use layers. Pixelmator can link with other programs on your Mac, like iSight and iPhoto, to offer you new photo taking abilities and quick access to your photographs. It also supports a drawing tablet for free drawing that can then be computer manipulated to produce gorgeous artwork.
6. Corel Paint Shop Pro
This software comes with a 30-day free trial download and a $70 (currently discounted) price tag. Corel Paint Shop is an excellent “digital darkroom” with the ability to fix photos with a few clicks, while still offering a wide variety of precise controls if you want to take some more time. If you have a batch of photos that all need the same changes, you can use Corel’s Express lab for quick results. The software also comes with a built-in Learning Center that quickly teaches you how to use the software so you can start editing photos right away.
These are just a few of the many Photoshop alternative image editing tools available as web-based applications or software that can be installed on your computer and used offline. While Photoshop continues to be among the most used and best known digital image and photo editing programs, each of these is a viable alternative that users may consider a better fit for their budgets or their particular needs.
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