Half of the fun of photography is the post-process editing to make a photo pop! Most computers and cellphones come with basic programs for photo editing. To take your photography to the next level it is important to find a photo editing program that suits all your needs. Adobe’s Creative Cloud offers such programs as Photoshop and Lightroom for photo editing but it can be expensive! If photography is a hobby of yours or a way of passing time on weekends, you may not want to splurge on a professional program such as Photoshop or Lightroom. Fortunately, you do not have to have these programs to achieve professional looking images. This blog explores 5 FREE Lightroom alternatives that are easy to access and deliver a wide-range of tools to up your photo editing game!
Gimp is hands-down the most popular option for free photo editing and manipulation programs. It is a very powerful program providing an interface similar to premium photo editing softwares. You have access to tools such as layers, masks, overlays, tone curve, and even clone/heal brushes. You can also easily customize your experience, as you have the ability to add new plugins and create custom brushes.
This program is not only for photographers but graphic designers and illustrators as well. One of the best features of Gimp is that it is always changing and evolving. This program has its own online community of users who share and develop plugins that you can use to advance your editing experience. Another great thing about Gimp is that although it is a free downloadable software, there are no pesky ads getting in the way.
Fotor is a free web-based photo editing software. This program is best utilized with Google Chrome. Although the photo retouching tools available in Fotor may not be as extensive as other programs, they have basic tools such as the clone tool. In Fotor there is a wide range of filters from vintage, colour pop, and oil painting. Some tools in Fotor are for premium users which is available for a small price of $3.33 USD per month. The best thing about Fotor, that is not common among free photo editing programs, is the batch editing tool. This tool allows you to stack multiple photos into Fotor and apply edits across all selected images. This program’s interface may not have the most extensive range of tools, but if you are looking for a simple and quick way to edit multiple photos, Fotor is the perfect fit!
Photo Pos Pro is a hidden gem in the world of free photo editing programs packing the capacity to perform. This free downloadable program offers a wide range of free photo editing tools as well as premium features. You have the option to alter the interface depending on your skill level. You may choose an expert view, with a wide range of tools such as layers and layer masks or you can switch to a novice view which resembles Fotor’s interface, creating a simple way for beginners to navigate through this new array of features. This program supports RAW files and allows for photo manipulation by transforming backgrounds or removing unwanted objects.
One area where this program falls behind is that it only allows for a maximum export of 1,024 x 1,024 pixels. This is not an issue if you are exporting for web use, as most social media platforms do not accept large files anyways. For example, Instagram compresses files over 1,080 x 1,080 pixels which creates for lower quality viewing. However, if you are looking to print your images, this program may not be the one for you!
4. Photoscape X
Photoscape is a great program for both beginners and professionals alike. This interface may look like a simple layout but once you dive deeper into all the tools available, you’ll find a wide variety of features. This is a free downloadable program for both Mac and PC users. Photoscape supports RAW file conversion and has a wide variety of filters, effects, and retouching tools. This program is best suited for beginner photo editors but can produce amazing results. Check out the full list of features here!
5. Pixlr X
Pixlr X is the new and improved version of Pixlr Editor. This new version operates through HTML 5 rather than Flash which means it can run on any modern browser. This web-based photo editing software is reminiscent of Photoshop Express in its interface. Pixlr X offers basic features such as exposure adjustments, colour saturation and manual cropping. There is also a wide range of filters and effects offered allowing for quick and simple editing. Along with retouching and healing tools there are also options for drawing and inserting text or images. Pixlr allows you to export images in JPEG, PNG, or even PXD at top quality for printing and web use.
Editing your photos is a process that is crucial for creating compelling images and making your photographs stand out against others. These 5 free Lightroom alternatives contain a range of tools that will suit any photographer, from beginner to advanced, and make photo editing software accessible for everyone. Rather than spending your tons of money on digital editing programs, first check these five out and get a taste for what you can do with photo editing!