I have been involved in Online Marketing for just about
a year now and I write this blog about my progress as an
Prior to this in the offline world, I worked as a Personal
assistant to the Head of Department at A University,
in education as a Teacher and most recently as an Administrator and IT support person.
These are all jobs aimed at helping people and it is what I like doing.
One of the problems I face when writing reviews and articles for my blog is getting and editing images.
Adobe Photoshop is regarded in many quarters as the best photo-editing software on the market. But without formal training, it’s a difficult program to become an expert and it’s not the cheapest option out there.
Editing software is usually expensive and if you are watching the pennies then this guide is a must for you.
Plus there is the fact that there are images out there that are for commercial re-use with modification only. This means that they have to be modified in some way before they can be used.
Whether you are a beginner, at the intermediate level or a professional this guide can be of great help you.
Whether you are searching for a complete Photoshop alternative that gives you fine control over every minute detail of your photos or a basic Instagram style photo editor that offers a range of one-click filters you will find something in this guide.
With a free photo editor and little time you can transform them into something amazing.
This guide covers software based Photo Editors.
This means that you will have to download and install the Editor on your computer.
It is divided into three parts.
Part I covers the GIMP photo editing software.
Part II covers Paint.NET photo editing software.
Part III covers Photo Pos Pro editing software.
So let’s get cracking. See you in the next part.
PART I – GIMP
What is it?
GIMP or GNU Image manipulation program is an open
source project which means that it is available for free
Download and everyone can change and contribute
towards the source code. It is packed with advanced
options with a Photoshop like interface.
The learning curve here can be a little steep.
This is the most robust free photo editor on the market and is crammed with great tools that match those you’d find in premium software.
This is a good alternative to Photoshop especially in single window mode where it lays out all its tool bars and canvasses in Adobe-style layout.
GIMPs community of users and developers have created a huge library of plugins to increase its effectiveness. Many of them come pre-installed. You can even install Photoshop plugins.
See the following for more info — How to use Photoshop plugins in GIMP
Whether you are a graphic designer, photographer, illustrator or scientist GIMP provides you with sophisticated tools to get your job done.
- The photo editing toolkit features layers, masks, curves and levels.
- You can eliminate flaws easily with the excellent clone stamp and healing tools
- You can create custom brushes and apply perspective changes.
- You can apply changes to isolated areas with the smart selection tool.
Some other features included on the menu are
- Colors – its features include color balance, Hue and saturation, brightness and contrast.
- Tools – This includes selection tools, paint tools, transform tools, color tools and color picker.
- Filters – This includes Blur, enhance, light and shadow, animation and noise.
Below is a screenshot of the GIMP interface.
The combination of power and flexibility make GIMP the best free photo editor you can download. It doesn’t matter whether you are using Windows, MacOS or Linux.
How to Download and Install
To download GIMP CLICK HERE
File size: 85.4 MB
Download Time: Depends on your internet speed.
Once the download is complete click on the file to open
and follow the instructions to install on your Computer.
When you are installing you will come across the image to
the side ——–
DO NOT Panic! It takes a little while to load.
PART II – Paint.NET
What is it?
Paint.NET started as an undergraduate college design
project mentored by Microsoft.
It is now maintained and developed by Rick Brewster.
Although it was initially meant to be a replacement for
Windows Paint it has matured into a powerful but simple image and photo editor. This is not a cheap copy of Microsoft windows Paint. It is a proper Photo editor.
Paint.NET is built to run on Windows PCs.
Its simplicity is one of its strongest features. It is a quick and easy to use free photo editor that’s ideal for tasks that do not need the power of GIMP.
An active and growing online community provides friendly help, tutorials and plugins.
For tutorials and more info click here.
For plugins click here.
Paint.NETs interface is quite similar to Photoshop. As the years have gone by advanced editing tools have been added. These include layers, an undo history, filters, a lot of community created plugins and a superb 3D rotate/zoom function that is great for recomposing images.
- Edit specific areas of your image
- Build up an image from a number of different sections.
- You can adjust brightness, hue, contrast, curves and saturation.
- Clone stamp tool to clean up photos.
- Remove red-eye with a few clicks
- Powerful zoom function.
- Simple text editor
- Special effects include blur, sharpen, distort and emboss.
To add to all the features listed above you can extend functionality with downloadable extensions. Paint.NET supports user created plugins. For example, Liquify extension which lets you wrap images.
See screenshot of Paint.NET interface below
How to Download and Install
Developer: dotPDN LLC
Operating System: Windows 7 SP1 or newer (Windows 10 recommended)
File size: 6.9 MB
To download Click Here
Once the download is complete click on the file to open and follow the instructions to install on your Computer.
When you get to this part of the installation
choose the option you are most comfortable with.
Though Paint.NET is a great piece of software it is
not as powerful as GIMP but is a great free
alternative to Photoshop.
PART III- Photo Pos Pro
What is it?
This superb free photo editor is for both beginners and advanced users alike.
It has many similar features to Photoshop.
Photo Pos Pro is not as well-known as GIMP or Paint.NET
which is a shame because it’s a top quality free photo editor
that’s crammed with advanced image enhancing tools.
For starters, you will find that its interface is cleaner and easier
to use than GIMPs row of menus and tool bars. It is laid out in a consistent and logical way.
Photo Pos Pro also has excellent help and tutorials for you covering all the required topics to make your experience as pleasant as possible. There’s also a good balance of one click and manual editing tools.
Like I said earlier Photo Pos Pro is aimed at both beginners and professionals. You are given a choice of interface. Expert interface or Novice interface. The choice is yours
This means that it’s possible to get started with what proves to be a very powerful program without feeling intimidated.
Choosing Novice mode does mean making some compromises – you can’t work with layers, for instances.
. You can still access the one-click filters via the main menu, but the focus is much more on fine editing.
The free edition of Photo Pos Pro only has one drawback: files can only be saved at a maximum resolution of 1,024 x 2,014 pixels, which might be too small if you’re planning to have them printed professionally.
If you want to remove this restriction, Photo Pos Pro Premium is available for a license free of £24.50, US$24.90, AU$41.89.
- Choice of interfaces for experts and beginners
- A large selection of filters and effects
- The expert layout offers both layers and layer masks for sophisticated editing.
- Tools for adjusting curves and levels manually
- Includes a clone brush for erasing unwanted blemishes
- There’s extra support for batch-editing and scripts
- Support for RAW files will appeal to photographers
The latest version of Photo Pos Pro features a fully redesigned user interface, new selection tools, recovery brushes, auto correction features
For a full list of all changes, see the Photo Pos Pro release notes.
How to Download and Install
Download here: Photo Pos Pro
Developer: Power of Software
Operating system: Windows
More complicated to download and
install than GIMP and Paint.NET.
Video Makes page load slower.
You have to choose which system you have.
32 bits or 64 bits.
If you don’t know whether your system is 32 bits or 64 bits then;
Go to your control panel, go to system and beside system type you should see whether your system is 32 bits or 64 bits.
In general use, performance of the program is fine, but it can be slow to start. There is also a strange issue which sees a hidden window called FrmStartup running in the background. It’s not a major issue, but it can get in the way of alt-tabbing between programs.
While this is certainly a powerful tool, it’s a little quirky and takes a little while to get used to.
Photo Pos Pro is not as lightweight as GIMP or Paint.NET and takes longer to load.
Despite having a Novice interface option, which is very well thought out, with everything being very clear, easy to locate, and easy to identify this is a program that is clearly aimed at the more professional user, with the potential to be a free alternative to Photoshop.
These are some pretty good alternatives to photoshop and other expensive photo editing software on the market. if only I had found these sooner I would have saved myself some money.
So to you budding photographers, experienced photographers and web designers or anyone who needs to modify their images you can save yourself money today by checking out these free software-based alternatives to photoshop.
I shall be posting another article soon abouy web-based Photo Editors.
So watch this space!