The rise in social media has naturally led to an increase in the use of photo editing software. It is as if everyone is in a form of competition to look better than the other person. From retouching the individuals in the image to adjusting the background, photo editing software is becoming the solace that lets people express the way they feel using pictures alone.
There is no doubt that the quality of both commercial cameras and the ones that come with regular smartphones is increasing, but photo editing tools give you the power to make them look even better. The only problem is that some of the top-rated photo editing software out there can cost a fortune to acquire. For example, Adobe Photoshop Elements will cost you about $79.99, while ACDSeeUltimate goes even higher at $149.99.
I can see you frowning already. Well, before you let the gloom consume you, I have a bit of good news. I did a small survey and found photo editing software that is just as good as the aforementioned and-even better-totally free. Alas, you don’t need to break your bank to get that perfect picture. This free software will make your pictures look appealing just as well as the paid ones. In no particular order, here are my top picks.
Pixlr Editor is browser-based and can be used wherever you have an internet connection. All you need to do is to upload your picture and then you will gain access to a set of powerful photo editing tools where you can do absolutely anything you want with your picture.Pixlr Editor differs from all the other web-based photo editor like Instagram because it has more tools that you can play around with rather than just flipping color and shades.
Pixlr Editor scores another plus because you do not need to install anything on your system-in case you are already grappling with a low memory capacity-and it can also be used with any browser; however, some mobile devices may not be able to enjoy these awesome benefits until the developers deploy an upgrade.
If you are looking for a simple photo editing tool that is fast and easy to get accustomed with, Paint.NET would probably make the top of your list. It was originally intended to replace Microsoft’s ultra-basic Paint and some people still mistake the two.
A couple of tools have been added to Paint.NET over time, like plugins created by the community, a 3D rotating zoom that is equally brilliant, filters, layers and numerous other functions that can come in handy for transforming an image. It may not match the power of twenty-first-century photo editing tools, but for a low-grade system, it is a top pick.
Aesthetically,PhotoScape’s simplicity belies the functions it can be used to achieve. If you are among those that judge a book by its cover, this photo editing tool, I am certain, is one of those tools you will not give a second chance.
Looking beyond the interface, you will find a powerful tool that you can use to create animatedGIFs and slideshows, split and combine images, capture screenshots, plus the unorthodox task of printing graph, line or music paper, as well as taking screenshots.
As a forewarning, although PhotoScape is a free software, it runs on ads which recommend other similar software. If you find this irritating-as I often do-then you need to take your search somewhere else.
The Nik Collection
The name Google is now synonymous with a lot of free online tools and The Nik Collection-formerly $500-has just been added to the list. This is a complete package for anyone yearning to transform their pictures from an amateur shot to a professional photograph. The collection is made up of seven plugins in total, with each of them serving a different purpose.
Separation of the functions into bite sized chunks works really well, making it much easier to get to grips with the software. As photo editing advances, The Nik Collection may be phased out, as it doesn’t appear that Google will be providing any long-term support for the software, by way of patches and such. It’s essentially obsolete.