Sunday, 24 August 2014

5 Great Free Photography Programs

Computers have, without doubt, changed the nature of photography. Interacting with digital images, computer technology now allows all manner of changes to be made to an image. This throws up a whole host of questions about the idea of photographs as portraying reality or not, but it has also thrown open a door to previously inconceivable creativity. Below are some of the best free programs for manipulating our photographic images.


PhotoScape offers not only standard photo editing facilities, but also enables you to turn your images into slideshows and Gifs. It has a lot of functions but you can customise all the toolbars so you only see the ones you need, meaning the program can be as advanced or basic as you make it. It also supports conversion of images from all DSLR cameras to Jpegs, with a simple and intuitive conversion and file storage system.


Ideal for the whole family, PhoXo is an ideal program for getting kids started on image editing. They can use the inbuilt functions to add clip art to photos or indeed draw ad paint on them. Customisable effects are easy to apply and you can watermark your images to protect them for copyright when publishing on the web.


Paint.NET is an upgrade on the original Paint program for Windows that was one of the first free photo programs for Microsoft operating systems. The new version has a lot more functionality, with all the layering, effects and other tools you would expect from more expensive photo editing packages. Free to download, continuously updated and compatible with Windows 8.


One of the first – and best – open source photography programs, GIMP is commonly regarded as the free alternative to Adobe Photoshop. Available for both Mac and PC, it offers comparable functions to Photoshop, without the hefty price tag. So you get a large workspace with layers and palettes aplenty that allow for professional level retouching and manipulation. And being open source, it is constantly getting upgraded with additional functions and bug fixes. If you have a fibre optic broadband connection, you can get the latest version uploaded in moments.

Irfan View

This is a god choice for those not looking to do major alterations to their photos and who want a program that doesn’t take up a lot of space on the hard drive. At less than 2 MB, Irfan View is one of the smallest free photo programs available. As such, it doesn’t have professional editing tools, but it is perfect for resizing images, adding captions, creating slideshows and tweaking the colour or brightness of an image. Simple and user-friendly

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