Basic Free Photo-Editing Software?

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Basic Free Photo-Editing Software?

Postposted on Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:02 pm

I'm hoping to do some basic image editing, mainly cropping and resizing.

But I don't want to sign my life over with Picasa saying, "Yes, Google, please 'manage' all of my photos everywhere on all of my hard drives for me; please become my default image viewer in a cluttered image editor; please save over my originals when I make edits; please don't offer me trivial and useless features like 'Save As'; and please make all image settings really difficult to find by hiding all but the most basic tools!"

Surely there must be another free alternative?
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Re: Basic Free Photo-Editing Software?

Postposted on Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:08 pm

The software that comes with most cameras is usually fairly effective at emulating most of what Photoshop or Lightroom do- though I'd argue for actual photos in any real volume that Lightroom is worth the investment.
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Re: Basic Free Photo-Editing Software?

Postposted on Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:14 pm

Airmantharp wrote:The software that comes with most cameras is usually fairly effective at emulating most of what Photoshop or Lightroom do- though I'd argue for actual photos in any real volume that Lightroom is worth the investment.


Ah, but I haven't bought a camera since 2006 or so. Any software you can think of that's available for download?
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Re: Basic Free Photo-Editing Software?

Postposted on Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:26 pm

Paint.NET is really good

http://www.getpaint.net/
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Re: Basic Free Photo-Editing Software?

Postposted on Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:31 pm

Assuming you're running Windows, IrfanView was the canonical freeware solution for this sort of thing back when I was still using Windows as my primary desktop. It looks like it is still being maintained/enhanced. It started out life way back in the day as an image viewer, but it has quite a few image editing and conversion features as well.

There's also GIMP, which is an Open Source, cross-platform photo editing tool for Linux/Windows/OSX. Personally I find the user interface rather counterintuitive at times, but it is quite powerful.

Depending on how sophisticated your needs are, and your tolerance level for squirrely UIs, one of the above two should get the job done. In fact, why not just download them both and take them for a test drive? :wink:

Edit: And Firestarter's recommendation (Paint.Net) is popular as well.
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Re: Basic Free Photo-Editing Software?

Postposted on Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:32 pm

Gimp isn't too hard to learn either, but I would also have suggested Paint.NET if you haven't already tried it.
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Re: Basic Free Photo-Editing Software?

Postposted on Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:45 pm

Thanks! Will do!
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Re: Basic Free Photo-Editing Software?

Postposted on Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:50 pm

Firestarter wrote:Paint.NET is really good

http://www.getpaint.net/


Seconded.
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Re: Basic Free Photo-Editing Software?

Postposted on Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:52 pm

Another Paint.Net user here. It can edit, crop, resize, rotate, manage layers, and perform a fairly decent number of filter operations, and the UI is reasonably clean and uncluttered. And it's still supported, so it does get updates every few months.

The only thing I've found that's a little un-intuitive is that the "Image" menu contains typical "Rotate 90" and "Rotate 180" commands, but under the "Layers" menu there is a "Rotate/Zoom..." command that permits custom rotation by fractions of a degree.
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Re: Basic Free Photo-Editing Software?

Postposted on Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:53 pm

Honestly the G+ photo experience can't be beat for this kind of stuff, especially now that they built Snapseed into their editing controls. All the album management stuff is awesome too, auto-enhance, auto-backup/upload, yadda yadda. For most people, general editing and management, it's killer.

But if that's really a no-go to you, Gimp would be the next place to go. It's kind of massive overkill, but it can do anything. Very powerful.
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Re: Basic Free Photo-Editing Software?

Postposted on Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:43 pm

About a year ago, Adobe deactivated the serial management server for their CS2 suite. In doing so, they effectively 'released' a quasi-legal version of Photoshop. You can grab it http://www.techspot.com/downloads/3689- ... p-cs2.html Don't forget to copy the now universal serial numbers.

I'd also suggest good old Gimp. It does everything you could ask. Apart from the quirky-at-times interface, the only drawback is lack of 16/48 bit images support, but this is a non-issue of you are just tweaking jpg files from your camera.

What camera are you shooting?
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Re: Basic Free Photo-Editing Software?

Postposted on Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:46 pm

I tried Lightroom for a spell, but I just kinda didn't get it. For quick and simple stuff Paint.net is the best thing for Windows, with GIMP to do the heavy lifting. I think there's also a version of GIMP that makes the menus more Photoshop-like.
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Re: Basic Free Photo-Editing Software?

Postposted on Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:05 pm

Geonerd wrote:About a year ago, Adobe deactivated the serial management server for their CS2 suite. In doing so, they effectively 'released' a quasi-legal version of Photoshop. You can grab it http://www.techspot.com/downloads/3689- ... p-cs2.html Don't forget to copy the now universal serial numbers.

I'd also suggest good old Gimp. It does everything you could ask. Apart from the quirky-at-times interface, the only drawback is lack of 16/48 bit images support, but this is a non-issue of you are just tweaking jpg files from your camera.

What camera are you shooting?

The entire CS2 suite is here:

https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/entitleme ... _downloads

You will need to have or create an Adobe ID then you can log on.

You will then be presented with a page that says: "Adobe has disabled the activation server for CS2 products, including Acrobat 7, because of a technical issue. " Agree to this and you will be taken to a page with all of CS2 and the serial numbers for the various programs.

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Re: Basic Free Photo-Editing Software?

Postposted on Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:10 pm

drsauced wrote:I tried Lightroom for a spell, but I just kinda didn't get it. For quick and simple stuff Paint.net is the best thing for Windows, with GIMP to do the heavy lifting. I think there's also a version of GIMP that makes the menus more Photoshop-like.


Unlike Photoshop, or even Paint, it's process based- working with ten photographs won't expose it's strengths. The >20,000 in my catalog? It's indispensable. And like most Adobe applications, it's quite extensible, for those cases when it doesn't do quite everything you need, like HDR processing or panoramic stitching.
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Re: Basic Free Photo-Editing Software?

Postposted on Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:43 pm

drsauced wrote:I think there's also a version of GIMP that makes the menus more Photoshop-like.


http://www.gimpshop.com/ :)
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Re: Basic Free Photo-Editing Software?

Postposted on Thu Nov 28, 2013 6:27 pm

Airmantharp wrote:
drsauced wrote:I tried Lightroom for a spell, but I just kinda didn't get it. For quick and simple stuff Paint.net is the best thing for Windows, with GIMP to do the heavy lifting. I think there's also a version of GIMP that makes the menus more Photoshop-like.


Unlike Photoshop, or even Paint, it's process based- working with ten photographs won't expose it's strengths. The >20,000 in my catalog? It's indispensable. And like most Adobe applications, it's quite extensible, for those cases when it doesn't do quite everything you need, like HDR processing or panoramic stitching.


So is that total or actual finished photos. I ask because I use Capture One as LR mangles Fuji RAW files. All it is is a converter, image twister and software that maps and creates the database wrapped around your directory structure, it will also create. As I have all my digital photos and have tossed nothing it contains about 10,000 images counting both RAW and JPEG files. About 115G of original files. All this is easily available and as I only name finished pictures not so easily searchable. Still it's no problem to dig through whats there and I find what I'm looking for very fast. Now if all you want to do is look through files Bridge and, in Linux Geegle, are lightning although Capture One will dig through em' pretty fast too.

Now the LR trial seemed similar in the way it handles files and I have seen nothing that really distinguishes it, in it's ability to usefully do what I want. Now I only work on the best shot of the bunch I have produced for that image and it always seems pretty easy to decide what that is. The rest languish in numbered obscurity and I will seldom process them further.

I have pretty well decided the large number of people who can will only use LR do so because they have figured out part of it. The number of people that would put up with LR mangling X Trans RAW files because they can use the program kinda blows my mind. Now these are photo geeks not techies like most here. ;)
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Re: Basic Free Photo-Editing Software?

Postposted on Thu Nov 28, 2013 7:03 pm

Total shots- obviously not finished, and inflated by bursts; I've yet to decide how to deal with shots that I know I'd never use, but I'm quickly coming to the conclusion that 'one catalog to rule them all' isn't the best way to do things, adept as Lightroom is at managing large numbers of photos.

Though I totally agree with using Capture One instead of Lightroom for X-Trans; though those that use multiple systems might be served by using Fuji's software to convert the RAWs into a widely-supported format like TIFF or DNG, and then ingesting those into Lightroom. Still, Capture One isn't to be discounted as a competent all-in-one solution; Corel's solution is pretty cheap, and one I've been pondering on is DxO Optics Pro, though it's pretty expensive for full-frame users.
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Re: Basic Free Photo-Editing Software?

Postposted on Thu Nov 28, 2013 7:12 pm

I use Capture One to generate a 16 bit TIFF and I finish up in the shop as I always have. I guess you could finish with a program like LR or C1 but I'm used to Photoshop and I can do stuff, I very rarely bother, that they cannot. I do my printing from the shop as well and I am not changing anything in the print chain, it took a lot of fooling around to get that mostly right. ;)
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