Free Digital Photography Software
There are a lot of free digital photography software titles available online to help photographers edit and organize our photos. From simple web based photo editors to complex standalone editing software packages there are plenty of choices and some great software available to digital photographers at no cost.
On this page you will find a brief overview on several desktop based free digital photography software applications. The software listed on this page is installed on your computer as opposed to web-based programs that run over the internet.
If you are interested in learning more about free digital photography software check back often as I will be adding additional software to this page as I become aware of it. Also to come will be more in-depth reviews and tutorials covering some of these software titles.
Desktop Based Editors and Organizers
The free digital photography software listed below are standalone packages that you must download and install on your local computer. Many of these are very powerful photo editing and organizing software that have features and capabilities that rival many commercial software packages.
GIMP--stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program and is considered one of the most powerful free image editing programs currently available.
Sometimes referred to as the "free Photoshop" GIMP is a very powerful image editing software program that offers many advanced photo editing and retouching tools. GIMP's powerful image adjustment and editing tools are even more enhanced by the large number of available plug-ins and scripts that automate complex processes and produce some very nice special effects.
If you are looking for a full-featured, very powerful, free digital photography software program GIMP might be just what you need. It includes many advanced editing tools such as channels, layers and masks but also has a steeper learning curve as do similarly powerful editors.
Described as a "powerful piece of software suitable for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring" it can be used as "a simple paint program, an expert quality photo-retouching program or an online batch-processing system." Depending upon your needs GIMP might be the free answer you are looking for in a digital image editor.
FastStone--FastStone is primarily and image viewing and organizing software that has some built in editing features. It allows you to resize, crop, remove red-eye and make basic adjustments such as color, brightness and contrast.
While not a full featured editor it does do many things and is a worth while consideration. Besides simple editing features it also allows you to produce slide shows (with 150+ transitional effects and music), make contact sheets and image strips. In addition FastStone has the ability to batch convert and rename images as well as tag images for easy group processing.
It is a very good program worthy of being downloaded to see it it fits your needs. One feature I particularly like is its ability to do screen captures.
Described by its developers as a "fast, stable, user-friendly image browser, converter and editor" FastStone is another example of the great free digital photography software titles available online.
Paint.net--is a free image and photo editing software that many find to be intuitive and easy to use. It has several advanced options such as layers and curves and also features an unlimited undo function. Paint.net also supports the use of plugins and is supported by user forums where one can find tutorials, etc. Paint.net begin as a simple drawing program intended to be a free replacement for Microsoft Paint but it has developed over the years into a fairly robust image editing program.
This free image editing software would be a good option for someone who is looking for a simple and effective editing program. While it lacks some important tools such as Dodge and Burn. All in all this is a pretty good program and one well worth you trying out.
Picasa--is Google's free photo organizing and editing program. It is a very full featured photo organization and editing package that comes with 1 GB of online photo hosting service from Google.
Picasa's strong point is its robust set of organizational tools but it also has basic editing functions built in such as: cropping, red-eye removal, exposure adjustments, etc. It features an auto-fix function to automatically adjust your image as well as several different special effects that can be applied to an image.
Picasa’s edits are ‘non-destructive” meaning that they are added to the photo while the original photo is left unchanged. This allows you to easily revert back to the original photo if you later desire to.
While Picasa’s editing features work well, it is the programs organizational features that really shine. Picasa automatically searches your computer for photos and then organizes them by date as well as in folders. It allows you to batch process photos as well as backing up your photos to a DVD/CD or external hard drive. Picasa also allows you to create “albums” to organize your photos in and has a very cool feature that organizes photos based on the people that are in them by using facial recognition technology. Besides organizing and editing your photos Picasa also has several options for displaying your photos including being able to create movies with a one button upload to YouTube.
Picasa also allows you to create collages and posters as well as online web galleries. The latest edition even includes built in integration with Picnik a great online photo editor. This features allows you to now use Picnik to edit your photos right in Picasa. Another important addition is the ability to do batch uploading of photos from Picasa to Picasa Web Albums and manage many of the features of your online web albums right from Picasa.
Windows Live Photo Gallery--This is Microsoft's free image viewer and editor. It allows you to import files from your camera or scanner, organize them in folders and easily rename or resize them. It also has basic editing tools such as exposure, cropping and a quick auto fix button that not only adjusts the exposure and color but also straightens the photo horizontally.
One of my favorite features of Windows Live Photo Gallery is how quick and easy you can straighten the horizon in a photo. Keeping your horizons level is important for the best quality image yet it can be easy to end up with photos where the horizon is at an angle. This free digital photography software makes a it easy to straighten those horizons and do basic adjustments to your photos.
Windows Live Photo Gallery also has a feature that automatically finds photos with people in them. This allows you to easily add a name to the person and then quickly search for all photos with that person in them.
Other nice features include the ability to upload multiple photos to sites like Flickr, Zenfolio, YouTube, Facebook and Smugmug. You can also upload photos to a Windows Live Online Photo Gallery or burn them to a CD or DVD for backup. This is another free digital photography software program that is worth trying out.
As you can see there are many different free digital photography software applications that are available to photographers. My recommendation is that you try them out and see which one best fits your needs.