Photo Editing for Everyone

Ben Groulx
Jul 26, 2013
Photo Editing for Everyone

Photo editing today has been made easier than ever, especially for mobile users. The plethora of apps on the iPhone alone - Instagram, VSCOcam, KitCam, Flickr, Snapseed, and soon even the native Camera app in iOS 7 (among many, many more) - are testament to our desire and ability to edit photographs in the palm of our hand. But what about on your desktop/laptop?

It's been several months now since Adobe's controversial pricing model switch from fixed-fee/pay-once to month-to-month payments for their apps. The monthly fee may not make a difference to those who don't mind service-oriented models, but for everyone who is tight on cash or wants to actually own their products, Photoshop may not be the best option any more. So what alternatives are out there?

1. Pixlr

PixlrFree / In-Browser  - Pixlr is the best in-browser (meaning it will work on any platform) photo/graphic editor available online. It is free to use, and offers multiple "versions" of power: on-the-go, basic, and advanced. It is an impressive web app with an incredible amount of features, but best of all it is accessible to everyone. Must have Adobe Flash installed.

2. Acorn

Acorn$49.99 / OSX - "Everyone needs to edit images at some point, but not everyone has the time to learn complicated super pricey image editing programs." That is taken from the official Acorn description. The OSX app is excellent for quickly creating text, shapes, and touching up existing images in an intuitive environment. At $50 it may a little bit expensive, but is a powerful alternative for those who don't want to use Photoshop.

3. Pixelmator

Pixelmator$14.99 / OSX  - Personally, I am a Pixelmator user. At $15 it is a very affordable piece of software to own. When I need to make some quick colour corrections or . The Pixelmator team is always adding new features. The app feels right at home in OSX, and if you are looking to make the switch right now from Photoshop on your Mac, Pixelmator will be the quickest way around so. I love using Pixelmator, and although it may not have the complete toolset that Photoshop boasts, it offers the essentials and then some.


GimpFree / Cross-Platform - The free image editor has been around the longest of most editors, and is famously known as the best free alternative for power users. With complete support for masks and layers, extensive brush and fill control, GIMP is everything you could hope to do with your images. Best of all, it's completely free.

5. Picassa

PicassaFree / Cross-Platform - It may not be a direct competitor of Photoshop, but Google's image editing environment has been around for a while and has a devoted following. Use Picassa to add filters, crop, and share your images in the snap of your fingers. It's elegant, and although may lack some of the power features of advanced editors, it may be just what you are looking for.

Whether it is editing that beautiful shot of a family member for your personal collection, creating a graphic for your next blog post, or simply wanting to adjust and post a photo to your social networks, there are more than enough options for you to choose from. As our cameras become better and better, there is no longer an excuse to post poor photographs anymore.

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