If you don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend on professional photo editing software, you can still enhance your photos from home. There are plenty of free photo editors on the market that offer basic editing tools to alter your best images. You may not be able to get the exact effect that you’re looking for, but you can crop, boost contrast, convert to grey scale, and do a number of other tasks without paying any money. Here are a few free photo editors for your computer that you can use to enhance your images.
Microsoft Paint is automatically installed on all Windows computers. While it may not be as advanced as most of the other programs on this list, it is sufficient enough for basic photo editing. You can add text, resize an image, and add annotative symbols to it if you want to. Paint does not allow you to do much more than the basics, but it is easy to use and surprisingly advanced for what it is. Nevertheless, you might need something else to give your pictures that “wow” factor everyone wants.
GIMP is a free program that you can download from the web. It allows for many Photoshop-like editing processes, but it may be complicated for the average user. GIMP also takes a long time to start up, so be prepared to wait a couple minutes before editing your photos. With this in mind, you can use GIMP to do far more than you could with Microsoft Paint, like changing the contrast of an image or adding layers to the photo. If you’re used to programs like Photoshop, you should be able to find your way around GIMP.
IrFan View is very easy to use, and it offers more editing options than Paint does. This program will also allow you to view photos in a variety of formats, which may not be the case for the photo viewer built into your computer. If you need to convert your photos into different formats to post online, this is a great program to help you do that. You will be able to edit the photo in any format and still get the results you want.
Adobe Creative Cloud
This is not technically a “free” option, but it is an alternative to paying for Adobe Photoshop outright. With Adobe Creative Cloud, you get access to a variety of programs from Adobe for only $50 a month. If you have a .edu email address, you can reduce that cost to just $20 a month. This may seem like a lot to pay if you only plan to edit a few photos at a time, but it will pay for itself if you do a lot of editing.
Keep in mind that this doesn’t just give you access to Photoshop. With a Creative Cloud account, you could use Dreamweaver, Illustrator, Muse, After Effects, and much more. This all comes as part of your monthly payment, which saves you hundreds of dollars in buying the programs individually.
How To Get Photoshop On Your Computer
If you set up an Adobe Creative Cloud account, you will be given a program to download. This is an applications manager that lets you choose which programs you want to install. When the manager is up and running, you can see a full list of the programs available to you. Simply select Photoshop and install it to your computer. Then you can use it like you would if you had the software.
The Downside To Adobe Creative Cloud
Even though you will save money upfront with Creative Cloud, you will spend more money in the long run if you use this service for years on end. In a year’s time, you will have paid enough $50 installments to have purchased Photoshop on its own, so this may not do you well if you don’t use any of the other products Adobe offers. If you do use them though, you still have to consider the fact that you are “renting” the programs, not buying them.
Adobe makes you sign a one year contract when selecting your services. If you decide to cancel within that year, you will have to pay a cancellation fee. This again could take away from the affordability aspect of the program.
With all of this in mind, Creative Cloud is a great opportunity for people who use Adobe products all the time. Photographers, graphic designers, web designers, mobile developers, and more can all benefit from having a Creative Cloud account. Plus, you always know you have the latest software when you have an account like this. Explore your options so you can get the right editing software on your computer.