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Anyone with a phone knows at least a little something about editing pictures, even if it is just applying a filter that makes you look a little bit more fabulous; it's quick, it's easy, and it makes a huge difference. But when it comes to real photo editors, it's not always that simple; there are so many to choose from, each offering a different level of professionalism and user-friendliness. The photo editor that is right for you will totally depend on what you are looking for and what kind of photos you take.
After months of trying different photo editors, I have narrowed it down to three of the best free ones.
A totally free download, paint.NET is growing quickly in popularity and seems to be adding new features on a regular basis. It has a list of features and an online community that is growing in number. You can edit everything from contrast, blurring, distortion, sharpening, curves, red eye removal and even embossing. You can also edit in layers which I think is a must for any decent photo editor. It's comprehensive, but the user friendliness just wasn't there for me—it wasn't particularly instinctive, but someone else might find it really simple to use. It also has the benefit of automatic updates which are always useful.
No, I haven't lost my mind; this might not be something a professional would ever use, but for someone that takes a lot of selfies, this could be incredibly useful. It has a lot of face related features and is so easy to use it is unbelievable. There are a lot of features that are "plus" which means you have to pay for them ($2.91 a month billed yearly or $4.95 billed monthly) But there are still loads of things you can do with the free version. The edit tools are handy for faces, but not really appropriate for landscape pictures. I found the blemish fix tool really handy and easy to use. The filters need to be used carefully as they can very easily look over the top. BeFunky is an online editor so you don't have to download anything, which is convenient if you don't have much memory. It's too basic for professionals to use, but it's easy to handle and with some practice, you could have some flawless selfies. One thing I did like about BeFunky is that you can upload directly from Google Drive, which is pretty useful.
My clear favorite of the three, in fact, my favorite of any of the ones I tried, GIMP has all of the features you would expect from professional and expensive software, but it is totally free. It's not that easy to use, but as long as you watch a tutorial (I made the mistake of trying to wing it the first time, bad idea) then you will be fine. The possibilities are endless with GIMP and I am still exploring everything that it can do! From layers to cloning, this software can do so much; it takes some time to figure out, but once you do, you will find everything really natural and easy. It also has a huge online community of people that are really helpful and will assist you if you ask, they also have written tutorials which might be a little easier to understand. After my extensive research, I found that a lot of professionals use GIMP, and I can see why; you get pretty much all of the benefits of a paid software but it is absolutely free.
It's About What You Need
As I said before, finding the right photo editor for you will depend on the pictures you take, what you want to do with them, and how comfortable you are with the editing process, but no matter what your level of skill, I am confident you will find something to suit you in the above list.