Adobe Photoshop remain the best photo editing software available on the market and we can hardly argue about it. However, it still requires undergoing formal training being a difficult tool to master, plus it’s quite costly. Unless you are a professional photographer, you don’t need Photoshop for some basic tasks, such as cropping, resizing and exposure corrections. And, no, I’m not talking about MS Paint or some software options that come with a cringe-worthy price tag. Let’s talk about completely free, downloadable photo editing tools!
An open-source photo editor, GIMP is now available in versions for Windows, Mac and Linux. Offering a wide toolset, GIMP comes with everything you’re accustomed to, such as color correction, painting tools, selection, enhancement and cloning. It enables users to work with all the popular file formats easily. GIMP includes a rather capable file manager, too.
This software claims to be the most popular online photo editing app in the world. Although Pixlr is free, it’s not the only thing that has something to do with its popularity. Pixlr boasts more than 600 effects, borders, overlays and lets users to anything they would expect from a photo editing software: resizing, cropping, teeth whitening and red-eyes removal. If you have ever used Photoshop, you’ll get used to Pixlr’s user interface in no time, because it’s rather similar. This platform is available for iOS and Android powered gadgets.
Available only for Windows, Paint.net is very useful and capable tool. This software focuses on ease of use and it shows tendency not towards artistic creation, but photo editing. Paint.net offers a good range of supports for layers, selection tools and adjustments, but there are also some special effects which allow users to easily create fake perspective, tile and repeat selection etc.
Photo Editor by Aviary
This is quite a pleasantly designed application and it strikes the perfect balance between playful photo decoration functions and serious photo editing tool without looking childish or bland. However, it still offers a fairly small selection of filters and stickers, but future updates might give Aviary great room for play. This app is available for Android, iOS and Windows 8.
Once again, I must say, for a professional photographer, Photoshop is the go-to photo editor, without any doubt. Its significance is so great that the word “Photoshop” has become “verbified”, such as Google or Hoover. But, although it’s the best photo editing software, it still comes with a price tag, which some amateur photographers cannot afford. Instead of turning to piracy, it’s better to go for one of those completely free photo editing tools I’ve mentioned above.