Picasa - This is organizing software that helps you find, edit and share all your pictures. It automatically locates and sorts your pictures into visual albums. It's fast and great. It also includes basic photo editing tools. You can rotate, crop and resize your pictures. It even has simple effects you can add to spice things up.
Paint.net - This image editor resembles older versions of Photoshop. It includes a layers system and offers lots of special effects. You can make photos look like old paintings, add motion blur for excitement, or just remove red-eye. It is good for intermediate users. For those of you without artistic genius, Paint.NET has you covered. It provides “Undo” too, so you can always backtrack to your original image.
Photobie - Photobie tries to bring both worlds together. And it does a pretty good job. It has tools for nearly any editing function you can think of. You can work with layers for more precision. And it can handle tons of file formats. At the same time, it has a bevy of preset filters. You can tweak images with just a few clicks. And the results look really good. The Photobie Web site also has a bunch of tutorials. These are handy for learning the more advanced functions.
GIMP - Gimp is a free image-editing program. And it has an impressive set of tools. It can handle nearly any editing task. Like Photoshop, GIMP is complex. It has a steep learning curve. In fact, it may be too much for a beginner. If you've found other programs lacking, this is what you want.
RawTherapee - RawTherapee has the same features you'll find in pricey programs. It is a must for those serious about photography! Keep in mind that RAW formats vary among manufacturers. Also, different models can have different formats. RawTherapee works with a wide range of cameras. But check to make sure it supports your camera's files before downloading. And, if you like the software, consider a donation.
Luminance HDR - Luminance HDR lets you to create HDR files from a set of images of the same scene. Simply use shots taken at different exposures. Merge the photos to create an image with more depth and detail. Luminance HDR also enables you to tonemap, rotate, resize, save and load HDR images. And it supports multiple HDR and LDR file formats. There is a lot of skill that goes into taking photos. I wrote an entire e-book on the subject! You can purchase it in my store or for the Kindle at Amazon. It will have you taking professional photos in no time.
Systems: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Mac OSX
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