Free Photo Editing Software

While 29k Productions is the best choice for your extreme photo editing needs--we offer great prices on photo restoration--sometimes you just want to do it yourself with minor touchups or special effects. To learn more about 29k Productions photo repair/restoration services, contact Stan@29kProductions.com or Matt@29kProductions.com.

There are some great free options available to you for editing your photos quickly and easily. In this blog I'll cover three popular free alternatives to expensive software like Photoshop.


First up is Picnik. Picnik is a free online photo editing tool that allows you to edit your photos right in your browser window without having to download any software. With Picnik you can easily crop or rotate your pictures, as well as adjusting exposure, colors, and sharpness. You can also resize your photos. They also have an auto-fix button that will automatically make the most common improvements to your photo like adjusting its color balance and exposure. If you're ever unsatisfied with a change, there's an Undo button right at the top of the page.

There are other free tools available on Picnik such as effects (you can choose from more than 30 free effects from black & white or sepia to film grain or puzzle). You can also add text, stickers, frames, or teeth whitening and blemish fixes for free. They also have fun holiday-themed effects for all the major holidays throughout the year.

When you're done editing your photo, just hit "Save and Share" and you'll be able to name the photo, choose how big you want it to be, and choose whether you want to save in .jpg or .png. You can then save your picture to the computer or add it to your accont on Picasa, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, Photobucket, or more! You can also print or email the photo right from Picnik.

You don't need to pay anything for Picnik, and you don't even need an account to edit your pictures. However, if you do create an account, you have the option to upgrade to premium ($24.95/year) for access to additional tools and effects. Picnik is a great choice for simple, free edits to your photos. Since it's browser-based, both PC and Mac users have access to the tools.


A good intermediate photo editing option is Photoscape. In Photoscape you can view photos in a folder, create a slideshow, batch edit multiple photos, make album pages, animated .gif files and more! Photoscape also offeres the ability to convert RAW files to .jpg for easier sharing.

This software is a pretty small install and offers some relatively powerful tools. You can adjust virtually any setting on your photo from color and contrast to sharpness, as well as using various fun filters like "antique" which turns it to sepia and adds various film or other "old time" effects to the image. Photoscape also offers tools like red eye correction, mole removal, and various cropping options. You can also add text or even speech balloons.

Photoscape even has templates available for lined, graph, music, and calendar paper. Pretty cool!

With all these options, Photoscape can be a little intimidating, but for the photo enthusiast with mid-level computer experience and the patience to figure out the various controls, this is a great program. It is only available to Windows users. Those of you on a Mac OS will need to look elsewhere for free intermediate level photo editing software.


Perhaps the most advanced Photoshop competitor available for free is GIMP, the GNU Image Manipulation Program. GIMP is a powerful program that does nearly everything Photoshop can do, but it's free! Whether you want to adjust curves or fix barrel distortion, this program has what you need.

The primary drawback to GIMP when compared with Photoshop is that its interface is not nearly as intuitive, nor as polished and user-friendly as Photoshop's. Even an experienced photo editor could spend an hour looking for a tool that is easily-accessed in Photoshop, but is in an obscure location in GIMP. Only someone with a lot of time on his or her hands to learn the ins and outs of this advanced program should give it a download.

On one hand it's free, while the full version of Photoshop costs almost $1,000. On the other hand, it has a high learning curve, while Photoshop is relatively intuitive once you've learned the basics.

GIMP fully supports the most common file formats such as .tif, .jpg, .gif, .png, .psd, .bmp, and more. It easily handles raw files from most cameras, and other file fomrat support can be added with free plugins.

If you need help getting started with GIMP, the program has excellent documentation available here. GIMP has been in continuous development since 2002, and is an excellent choice for advanced photo editing software that won't dent your wallet. It's available for both PC and Mac.

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