Without a doubt, Photoshop is the alpha and omega of photo editing. Its wealth of features is rivaled by no other image editing software – many even find it too feature-rich to use and would prefer a simplified version. Unfortunately, a professional tool carries with it a professional price in the form of a costly subscription that you probably aren’t willing to pay unless you earn a living by editing pictures.
But what are the alternatives? Microsoft Paint? Not quite. There’s a plethora of image editing programs that work great and do the job for a fraction of the price(or even completely free), but they’re all unjustly overshadowed by their big brother. Here are some examples of software that lets you manipulate images to your liking without making a dent in your bank account.
PhotoFiltre: Think of this as a souped-up version of Paint – more features with a similar ease of use. PhotoFiltre’s been in the game for a while, and its latest Studio iteration is better than ever while remaining free for personal use. It doesn’t have the fanciest features out there but will let you edit your pictures in many different ways without making you pull your hair out as you try to figure out where the desired tool is.
GIMP: Perhaps the most popular freeware image editing program, GIMP is anything but gimpy – it has all the necessary photo and image editing tools and then some, without complicating the whole thing. The men behind GIMP recognize the use of their program as a top alternative to Photoshop and have therefore added the option of styling the former to look like the latter, free of cost. Only true professionals in the field will notice any difference in terms of options – for the majority of people, GIMP will more than serve its purpose.
Pixlr: Want to edit photos on your mobile device? You probably can’t go much better than Pixlr. This software works great on both Android and iOS platforms and is completely free to use despite featuring over 600 ways of editing an image. Like quite a few editors out there, Pixlr does its best to look like Photoshop and does a fairly good job of it without inheriting too much complexity. If you’re always on the move and can’t afford to sit in front of a computer to edit your images, don’t skip on this free mobile version of Adobe’s premier image editor, even if you’re just after some better-looking selfies.
Sumopaint: Sumopaint shoves a lot of its competitors out of the wrestling ring on one point alone – it’s browser-based and generally requires no installation. This makes it perfect to use if you’re always changing between computers and can hardly wait for a lengthy installation of dedicated editing software. While it doesn’t offer as many features as Photoshop or GIMP, you can’t expect more from an image editor that runs on Adobe Flash. Besides, anyone who’s had to sit around for a few Photoshop installs will appreciate Sumopaint’s on-the-go functionality.