Tech Tidbit: Free Photoshop Alternatives

As a Professional REALTOR® I spend a lot of time editing and retouching photos. Therefore, one would naturally assume that I use Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Photoshop Elements but one would be incorrect in assuming that.  Don’t get me wrong both products are outstanding at what they do, but they are very robust and very expensive and much more horsepower than the average real estate professional need.

So, I have assembled a list of six FREE alternatives that may not be as robust but will provide a more than satisfactory amount of features for the average user and a significantly less painful hit to the wallet.  Please feel free to comment with what your experience has been with any of these products.

  1. Snipshot is a web based somewhat bare bones site and offers the usual assortment of editing and enhancement capabilities.
  2. Picnik is another web based photo editing site that allows you to pull photos from multiple social networking sites and has a much cleaner and friendlier interface than most.  But, sadly, Picnik still only offers the standard editing capabilities, unless you upgrade of course.
  3. Paint.NET is a software program that only works on Windows machines but provides a much more robust photo enhancement experience. It is pretty easy to use and has a lot of tools such as a gradient tool, layers, special effects and a text editor.
  4. Splashup is another web based photo editor that provides more functionality than most, you can do multiple image editing, adjust pixels and add depth with layers.  This site also allows you to pull photos from some social networking sites.
  5. The Gimp is an outstanding software program with an tool set that rivals Photoshop Elements. It has plugins so you can add functionality to it and a huge forum that you will need to use often because it is not the easiest program to use. Granted, they changed some of the feel and names of commands to match Photoshop but there is still a learning curve with it.
  6. Fotoflexer is another web based photo editor that is, in my opinion, the best web based photo editor out there, for free.  Not only can you pull photos from many photo and social networking sites but you can edit a photo from your computer without uploading it to the site. It has impressive functionality with a clean and easy to use interface.

I know I have omitted many other sites out there but these are the ones I have experience with. I look forward to your comments.  Happy editing.

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