Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Free Photo Editing Software: Response to Stacy


Sara, I’m trying to make my photos better, but I don’t have photoshop and can’t really afford it, so I’m having trouble editing them. Do you have any suggestions for free programs or ways I can edit without photoshop? Thanks in advance. Stacy.


There are many elements to good photography, and not having access to a good photo editor can certainly limit one’s ability to crop, fix bad lighting, and correct other small mistakes in photography.

Most computers come with some form of photo editing software. PCs generally come with some form of Windows Photo Gallery, which allows you to view and also make minor adjustments to photos (crop, resize, route, etc). Most Macs should come with a form of iPhoto, which allows you to also make similar adjustments. Try looking around in your program menu to see if you have any installed that you maybe didn’t know about. If you don’t already have an application installed or don’t like using the application you do have, don’t worry, there are a number of free alternatives you can try.

Our graphic designer, Jen, recommends Picasa, which she explains is like a mash-up of iPhoto and Flickr, as it’s both a web application and a desktop app. She’s also a fan of Picnik, which allows you to add in words and clip art on pictures, as well as special effects, color, and cropping. While they do have a premium option, if you just want to do basic editing, you should be satisfied with their free option.

For more photo editing alternatives, you can check out this article, which is full of good comparative information.

I hope that helps you find some software to better improve your photos. Remember, having a good photo editing software is only part of fixing up photos, be sure to check out our Photography Guide for more tricks.

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Have a question for the blog? Email it to

Have any photo editing software to recommend? Post your thoughts in the comments below.


Marie@Franciebags July 21, 2010 at 2:27 PM

Thanks Sara, always read your very informative articles!

K. Morris July 23, 2010 at 5:50 PM

I just found Picnik myself and LOVE IT!

Custam facebook fan page November 26, 2010 at 1:02 AM

thanks sara every time i like your informative blogs
thanks for this information

Sandy Fisher December 13, 2011 at 6:18 AM

Came across this blog when I was researching different kinds of photo editing software. I'm an avid traveler and I like to take pictures and, of course, I'd like to edit them, but I want something advanced. Most of the time, I'll edit them and they aren't the quality of what I want. I'm intermediate at the skill, so any suggestions on intermediate/advanced editing software. Is Picasa one of those programs.

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