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Great Free Photo Editing Tools

shotwell

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aGNUdomain/aNewDomain.net– Many of us attempt to be photographers on some scale or level. Some of us carry high-quality DSLR cameras. Many of us carry wonderful smartphone cameras. With this being a digital age, touching up photo imperfections plays an important role in a photographer’s masterpiece. There are several photo editing software packages available for purchase, but here on aGNUdomain we’re going to list great free software packages available for download.

If you follow me on Google+, you’ll know that I’m the owner of the Smartphone Photographers Community and each week we have photo challenges between the community members. I wanted to prepare my preliminary shots for the weekly challenge with software. For photography editing I’ve used several different packages in the past, but today I find myself leaning on two quick and easy-to-use packages: Shotwell and Pixlr Express.

shotwell

Image credit: Ant Pruitt for aGNUDomain.com

From a Windows-operating-system perspective, I found the Microsoft Office Photo Editor to be adequate for quick photo enhancements. Sliders and menus seemed rather intuitive for my own personal use. Shotwell’s ease of use for simple photo editing reminds me of the same functionality. Photos are easily cropped, scaled and enhanced with sliders and clicks as seen below.

editing

Image credit: Ant Pruitt for aGNUDomain.com

Shotwell allowed me to take the original photograph (which was in color) and change it to black and white. I adjusted the brightness, contrast, and saturation of the image to get it close to my liking. Next I decided to utilize the power of Pixlr Express. Pixlr Express is an efficient photo-editing package offered by Pixlr.com. Pixlr has three packages available for free, ranging in different qualities and capabilities. All are available online as an editor in your web browser. Below is the second of four photos of the same shot. See the modifications?

pixlrexpress

Image credit: Ant Pruitt for aGNUDomain.com

Pixlr Express offers typical options to crop, resize and adjust coloring of your photo, but it also offers filters. Each editing and enhancement option is fairly intuitive and allows you to get the most out of your imported photo. When you’re finished with editing, simply save the image to your computer.

Sure there are other options available for photo editing such as GIMP, but Shotwell and Pixlr Express are two options that are a lot easier to use. Using both Shotwell and Pixlr I was able to take this original photo, which needed cropping and other enhancements, and turn it into a photo I love even more.

IMG_20130505_163301

Original image by: Ant Pruitt

Isaiah_Closet1a

Final processed photo by: Ant Pruitt for aGNUDomain.com

What are your favorite free photo editing packages? Let me know in the Comments section below as I’m always curious to see what readers of aGNUDomain are using.

I’m Ant Pruitt for aGNUDomain.

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