Top 7 Free Photo Editing Software Programs For Windows

Many of these free photo editing programs aren’t lousy or lacking in features. Some of them are industrial grade (e.g. GIMP) and some are geared towards simple, online photo edits (e.g. Fatpaint). In this article, I’ll introduce you to seven of the best photo editing software programs for Windows.

1. The GIMP
The GIMP is a great free, open-source image editor that brings high-end photo editing to users for free. The interface is a bit complex to pick up, but it is very powerful. If you’ve used Adobe Photoshop before, you’ll find many of its functions available in the GIMP. For a free piece of software, it has an amazing repertoire of functions.

2. Fotoflexer
Fotoflexer is a web-based photo editing application that has casual and prosumer appeal. If you’re a novice, you’ll be able to go in, do some simple edits and be done. If you’re a more advanced user – you’ll be spoilt for choice in terms of what this tool can do. We’re talking about blurring, comic, retro, animatinos, distortions and even layer support – all done online with your photo.

3. Paint.Net
Paint.Net has been around for some time and boasts an easy-to-use interface and a huge array of effects. If you don’t need to use the full power of Photoshop and simply want a quick and dirty tool, Paint.Net is a good bet.

4. Picasa 3.5
Owned by Google, Picasa is a very pretty and top notch photo editing program. You need to install a desktop client in order to use it. However, it’s interface is very clean and has cool tools like geo-tagging, great sharing support, web albums and name tags. Picasa gets my vote as one of the best in this list – it’s a terrific, easy, and free way to edit and organize your images.

5. Picnik
Picnick is another photo editing tool that is web-based and has been around for some time. It’s quite powerful in the photo editing options it offers – although it’s not as full-featured as Fotoflexer, in my opinion.

6. Windows Live Photo Gallery 2011
Microsoft has jumped on the photo editing bandwagon too – with Windows Live Photo Gallery 2011. It gives you face recognition and retouching capabilities and is in fact a very good alternative to Google Picasa or Apple iPhoto.

7. Fatpaint
Fatpaint is an online and free, graphic design software and photo editor. It’s one of the newer tools in this list – you can create page layouts, paint and draw vector images, logos and illustrations very easily.

Conclusion
As you can see, there are many choices available when you’re picking a good photo editing software program for your Windows machine. What I’ve shown you are 7 of the best and free tools available out there. Be sure to check them out. For more serious work, you’d of course want to use a commercial package like Adobe Photoshop Elements or Corel PaintShop Pro X4.

Until next time, happy photo editing!

Photo Editing Techniques – Some Basic Techniques to Enhance Your Digital Photos

Photo editing has become an important part of digital photography nowadays. Even if you have a simple point and shoot camera or the top of the line digital camera, you can always find some photo editing techniques useful in enhancing the artistic side of your pictures.

Of course, good pictures relay good messages to the viewer and of course, we all want to look at pictures with great admiration. Enhancing and editing wedding pictures, for example, is one of the most common and popular use of good photo editing techniques. It is also important in enhancing photos for your website, your ads and in just making your personal photos more exciting and glamorous.

Learning to enhance or manipulate photos can be exciting and once you get to know some of the amazing tools and possibilities of improving your pictures, you will eventually love to learn more about it. Here are some of the basic photo editing techniques that you may want to start with to see the magic in your photos.

– Adjusting brightness and contrast. Adjusting the brightness and contrast of a photo is probably the most common editing most people need in their pictures. If you have a dark or overexposed picture, you can correct this using a photo editing software. You can use the menu on brightness and contrast and manually adjust them separately to get the desired result. In Adobe Photoshop, you can also use the ‘Auto Level’ or the ‘level’ button to adjust the brightness and contrast simultaneously and have more control on the adjustments.

– Adjusting hue and saturation. If you want to make the colors of your picture crisp and brighter, try adjusting the hue and saturation of your picture. Increasing the saturation of your picture makes the colors stronger. You can also turn your picture into black and white by setting the saturation to zero. You can actually experiment with this tool to help you get that perfect sharpness in color and turn that dull picture into a brighter one.

– Sharpening and blurring part of your pictures. Sharpening and blurring are also very useful photo editing techniques to create focus on your picture or give that ordinary wedding picture some dreamy effect. If you want a magazine-perfect photo that makes your face looks smooth and glamorous, you can use blurring and sharpening tools. If you are a fan of Adobe Photoshop, you can use the Filter menu and then select some blurring tools such as the Gaussian blur, which is popular in photo editing, the motion blur, if you want to enhance your photo of a moving subject and many other types of blurring.

– Changing or removing backgrounds. Yes, you can actually change or remove the background of your photos – easily. In Photoshop, it involves creating layers and adding ‘Layer Masks’. You can actually find some good tutorials to help you walk through the process.

– Cloning techniques. Cloning allows you to remove unwanted objects or distractions in your photograph. If you want to get rid of your dark spots and blemishes in your face in your close-up picture, you can also make use of the cloning tool to help you copy the normal color or lightness of your skin.

These are just a few of the photo editing techniques and once you can start experimenting with any of these you will eventually find out how exciting photo editing can be.

Best Free Software For Photo Editing

Easiness in editing the photos is one of the most beneficial things offered by digital photography. With the help of some new advanced technology, people could easily edit their digital photos in order to enhance the beauty of the captured images or to make them a bit different. In editing their photos, people need to have photo editing software as a supporting program. If you need more references on free photo editing software, you will have some of them in this article.

Picasa
This certain software will only work well with Windows operating system. This is a certain kind of Google application that offers extreme easiness and convenience to its users. It allows you to edit and manage the photos easily with some useful editing tools, such as cropping, adding special effects, adjusting brightness, and many more. The best offer given by this software is its ability to create online photo album instantly and share it after you have done editing the photos.

GIMP
GIMP, stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program, is in the second position. This open-source image editor is very popular among people who are interested in photo editing related to its easiness. It allows you to handle composition as well as image authoring and retouching without any significant difficulties. Besides, this software will also work well for several operating systems. This software also gives you easiness by providing several different languages that you can easily select based on your most preferred one or based on your mother-tongue one.

IrfanView
This is the third position of the most popular free photo editing software. This software gives you easiness in editing images with some basic editing tools. Similar with Picasa, this software will only work with Windows operating System. The best feature offered by IrfanView is its ability to edit and to print the photographs easily.

Those are the top three free photo editing software that you can choose to support your work. Surely, other than those three programs, you can still find many more options such as PhotoPlus 6, Pixia, ImageForge, or Adobe PhotoShop Album Starter. You can just choose the best software that supports you the most.

What Types of Features Does Photo Editing Software Have?

There are many types of photo editing software that is available on the internet and in many physical retail outlets. Depending on the type of editing that you want to do with your pictures will depend on the type of features that you want you editing software to have. There are many different features that the software could have such as standard editing tools such as red eye removal, rotating and resizing the picture, flipping and cropping, adjusting the light, color management, having multiple undos, and the capability of drawing tools and shapes that can be added to a photo.

There are photo editing software programs that will go further and not only have standard editing tools but also have wizards that will automatically fix the photos for you, cloning tools which are tools that allow you to clone a part or several parts of the picture just by painting. This is mostly used when you want to fix scratches or blemishes that may be on the picture. Some editing software will also have image extraction, lens distortion correction, capability of converting photo to gray scale, adding text to the photo along with adding borders and frames to the photos.

If you are in need of more in-depth photo editing software, you will be able to find programs that have the capabilities of adjustment layers which is a tool that allows you to change and adjust your photo in many different ways without changing the original photo. These changes are put into layers so that you can accept or delete the ones that you want to use or get rid of. Layers are like panes of glass that are stacked on top of each other so that you can see what effect each layer brings to the picture and take away what does not work.

Other tools and features that photo editing software can offer include creating panoramas, templates, type effects, layering masks which help to determine transparency of parts of the photo that help to adjust photos without permanently erasing those parts, and automated batches which are saved steps in performing a process so that you don’t have to take the steps every time you want, you can push a button to do it automatically. Most of these features would be very useful to you if you were a professional photographer but there are many programs that are for the general public in order to have fun with their pictures.