Adobe Photoshop’s reputation as the industry standard is perhaps the reason it is known as the most costly photo editing software on the market. The Photoshop Creative Suite provides nearly everything necessary to undertake photo manipulation and editing. A major downfall to this suite of tools is the high price tag. Depending on experience level, users sometimes have problems with the interface and its overall compatibility.
With Adobe announcing this week that it was killing its Creative Suite (which includes Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, among others) as packaged software in exchange for Creative Cloud (CC), a pure-play subscription model, you will need an alternate option that is powerful and affordable. But for whatever reason, there are a number of photo editing software that are either reasonably priced or free proving to be a great substitute to Photoshop. Below is a list of ten other possibilities to the high-end programs that still have the expert tools necessary to achieve quality photo editing.
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GIMP has all the features you need to create an array of spectacular effects. In terms of navigation, it has almost identical tools featured in Photoshop and allowing it to be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, and more. them to be accessed with ease. Not only is it compatible with a variety of operating systems, GIMP is a freely distributed program.
Paint.NET is a Windows only free image and photo editing software. Even though it may not come with the same bells and whistles as other software it is in no way less effective. It features an intuitive and innovative user interface for those who want a basic and easy program to use with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools. An active and growing online community provides friendly help, tutorials, and plugins. Oh, did I mention it is open source?
For all my Appleheads, hands down, the best replacement for Photoshop on the Mac is Pixelmator. Blueberry, their latest release, is an surprisingly solid bit of code that is astonishingly fast, functional, and gorgeous at the same time. The fact of the matter, it performs the half dozen or so tasks that we use Photoshop for, better than Photoshop did.
Pixlr is a free browser-based “copy” of Photoshop. Most of the features and tools follow a similar fashion as Photoshop, right down to the layout. It is even possible to edit multiple images simultaneously. You can also save directly to a URL. There is a tool that allows you to quickly access all the fonts and characters that you have stored on your PC. We enjoy using this tool for it’s screen capture feature in Firefox. Invaluable!
This noteworthy free software is one that any self-respecting digital photographer should have in their arsenal. There is no conceivable way to begin in describing the wide array of tools and features this one has–there is everything from a file viewer to a photo editor, slide show creator, batch editor, screen capture program, and more. There are some quite original and cutting edge tools in Photoscape, such as combining multiple photos in a single frame. It includes a small, but extremely useful tool–it will take photos that are in the RAW format used by many digital cameras, and convert them to JPG, so that they’re more useful.
A Mac only photo editing program that provides you with an abundance of features to make editing and fine tuning your photos a no-brainer. A handful of features are not apparent at a glance, i.e. the ability to use formulas in the number edit fields, for example to define guide lines. Or the ability that every layer (bitmap and vector) can be a working layer to apply curves or other filter. The interface has a bit to be desired; nevertheless, it is user friendly enough to make the job easy. It is unfortunate this program doesn’t get much exposure. It is definitely a photo editor to give a trial run.
Retouch photos, create logos, banners and even digitally paint. This software has many of the same features as Photoshop. From the simplest things like the Brush and the Pencil tools to being able to add layering effects, Sumo Paint has them all. It has even taken a hints from Adobe’s Illustrator program and added and ink tool for smoother lines when drawing. You can run this program from your web browser from any computer.
This powerful program is a tad easier to navigate than Photoshop. The mechanics involved in editing graphics, photos and such is more straight forward, which makes it easier to understand. It allows even a novice to create logos and banners without resorting to layering. Though not a freeware program it is still a lot more affordable that PhotoShop. Unfortunately, this is a Windows only program.
SplashUp is a internet browser based photo editing program. No downloads are required; just “Jump Right In”, as their slogan goes. It features a wealth of popular tools, features and applications available. However, it is rather advanced so for the less experienced user there is SplashUp Lite. Best of all, both versions allow you to share finished photos to websites, such as Flickr, Facebook, Picasa and more, without a hitch.
Author: LA Pride
LA Pride is a native Floridian who is interested in many things including temporal physics, critical thinking, board games, kite boarding and photography to name a few. His primary areas of interest include web CMS, vector and 3D art. He is also the Founder and Sr. Web Developer of NQN Media Group. You can visit his website, or friend him on Facebook.