Digital Photo Editing Software For Free

Part of the fun of taking digital photos is editing the final version using software to get the exact final result you want. There several great free software programs from the simple to the advanced that can help any amateur photographer. Here’s my top four picks for free photo editing software, based on what type of editing you want to accomplish.

Ifranview – both Editor and Viewer

Probably the quickest to learn and easiest to use for basic cropping, adjusting colors, and basic special effects is called Ifranview. It’s been around for years and if you just want to crop, or rotate, change the format, or fine tune the color balance of any digital photo, this is an excellent choice. Extremely simple but also easier to learn than any other photo editing software. It’s small in size, fast in operation, and can be used as a slide viewer too.

Photoscape – Free Easy To Learn Photo Editor with Lots of Features

If you want to get down to pixel editing and making advanced changes Photoscape is a very good choice. It is loaded with features and also very easy to learn. Photoscape has several modules for different editing chores that include a viewer, editor, batch processor, converter, layout print tool, screen capture, combining photos, and even a face search feature. This is a great photo editing software for kids, ages 8 and up.

GIMP – Only For the Serious Amateur

For the serious amateurs who need powerful photo editing functions, GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a raster graphics editor that provides high-end functionality. Much like the commercial Adobe Photoshop software, you can do many sophisticated editing tasks with GIMP. In development since 1995, it is available on just about any platform including the MAC OS. The features are extensive which means there is a serious learning curve too. But for serious armatures it’s a great choice and can provide many of the same abilities of popular and expensive popular photo editing software. But there is also a ton of tutorials and help forums that can get a new user up to speed quickly.

Picasa – Best Combo Photo Editor And Online Sharing

And if you want to both edit and share your photos online, Google has an online application called Picasa. One of the many new online applications Google has brought out in the past few years, Picasa has many features and is very easy to learn and use. You can edit your photos, then organize into web albums and share with anyone online with the Picasa Web Albums application. This also gives you a great way to backup photos just in case disaster strikes your home computer. You can also order hard prints and even different items with photos printed on them as gifts.

All of the software above has some good features and provide the novice with a good free solution for photo editing. You can find their website by searching by name at Google (too many links to put in article). All of the software programs have a lot of support and it’s fairly easy to find any answers to questions online. Some provide tutorials, some don’t even need tutorials they are so easy to learn and use.

With the holidays rapidly approaching, it’s time to get out the digital camera and start taking pictures. Even when you don’t get the perfect photo, you can go in and make any changes or improvements with this great list of free photo editing software.

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Editor Talk

How To Please The Editor

From: Chris Henry, Editorial Image Coordinator, THE TERRITORY AHEAD

Text: All submissions should be digital files approximately 5×7 at 150dpi. (If your files are not at least this size, they will not be able to be considered.)

Translation: “Don’t send point ‘n’ shoot low-res images.”

From: Teresa Lewis, Custom Publications Editor, LEISURE PUBLISHING COMPANY

Text: Submit by e-mail or upload them at

Translation: “But be sure to know how to find your pictures in your database and be able to upload to this URL. If you are not computer literate, it’s better to send us a lightbox or individual ipegs.”

From: Sheri Arrendondo, Photo Researcher, FIRST LIGHT PHOTO RESEARCH

Text: If possible please provide caption information. Inquire only if you have this specific image requested.

Translation: “I need identification material: who, what, why, where, when-if appropriate. I want to see only the photo I have listed.”

From: Susan Watkins, Photo Editor, HARCOURT SCHOOL PUBLISHERS

Text: If e-mailing please send in small batches.

Translation: “Don’t send a great pile of attachments. If you are sending several jpegs please send in small batches–say, 3 or 4 per e-mail.”

From: Jodi Gehrls, Photo Researcher, FELDMAN & ASSOCIATES, INC.

Text: We like to see a low-res, then call for the hi-res if we like what we see. We rarely deal with analog — unless it’s an outstanding image, in which case we send the digital picture to our Imaging Department where they clean it up if it needs it.

Translation: “Don’t send hi-res initially. Don’t send transparencies. We prefer digital. If your scan has imperfections, our Image Department will clean them up.”

From: Danya Bealy, Photo Editor, FORD FOUNDATION

Text: Eye contact with the camera, people essential.

Translation: “We need real-life photos. Nothing posed, no models, real people, please.”

From: Nancy Choi, SCHOLASTIC

Text: Prefer natural setting, not a studio setting.

Translation: “Please, no models. We need real-life situations.”

From: Sue McDermott, Picture Researcher, MAGELLAN VISUAL RESEARCH INC.

Text: This is NOT a contract for “work-for-hire” -any photos that you take in response to this request are “on speculation” -no promises are made or intended that any photos submitted will be published.

Translation: “Don’t consider this photo listing an assignment.”

From: Lori Epstein, Illustrations Editor, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY

Text: If possible you should stuff a folder of small jpegs for my review.

Translation: “Send me a lightbox.”

From: K.C.(Kathryn) Compton, Editor in Chief, THE HERB COMPANION: HERBS FOR LIFE

Text: Very high resolution, clear, uncluttered images are a requirement.

Translation: “Make your images poster-like. No cluttered backgrounds.”

From: Seth Firestone, Editorial, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ADVENTURE

Text: We are able to view digital or online submissions, but prefer original 35 mm slides and prints.

Translation: “We will view thumbnails but eventually will need the original.”

From: Sarah Ritz, Academic Division Photo Manager/Photographer, HUMAN KINETICS

Text: If selected we will need the original, slide, print or transparency for production. Scans smaller than 350×500 ppi will not be considered for review.

Translation: “Even though you have scanned the image, we nevertheless need the original slide or negative.”

From: Krista Rossow, Assistant Photo Editor, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELER

Text: Please do not send images from the 80’s or 90’s. The more recent, the better.

Translation: “We need up-to-date, preferably current, images.”

From: Trudi Bellin, Photo Coordinator, REIMAN PUBLICATIONS

Text: Location and caption increase chances of publication.

Translation: “We need plenty of identifying captions.”