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Forget Photoshop! 3 FREE Photo Editing Programs Every Blogger Should Use

Regardless of whether you blog because of a passion or for profit, no blog post is complete without an image accompanying your post.

While grabbing an image off of Wikipedia or Flickr is can satisfy most bloggers, touching up an image yourself can be much more rewarding, especially if you are the type of blogger who enjoys creating original content.

Although you could always spend hundreds of dollars on a photo editing program (like Adobe Photoshop), it is much wiser (and cheaper) to simply use these free alternatives instead.

Paint.NET

Unless you’re a hardcore Mac fan, Paint.NET is the perfect alternative for the blogger who wants a powerful editing program that doesn’t drain the wallet.

Paint.NET not only comes with the basics (crop, rotation, color eye dropper, eraser, etc.) but also allows you to add “layers” (like Photoshop) as well as special effects like blur, various text, soft glow, or (my favorite) merging multiple images together.

You can also install plugins into Paint.NET, enabling you to turn a standard flat photo into a 3-dimensional object, color hues and color blurs (plus dozens upon dozens of other third party effects).

Unfortunately this program is only available for Windows users (XP and above), as the developer has no immediate or future plans of porting Paint.NET upon other platforms.

Picasa

While it may not have all of the bells and whistles of Paint.NET, Picasa (from Google) does allow you to perform basic and semi-advanced effects upon a photo, although unlike Paint.NET the software is available for Mac and Linux fans (as well as Windows).

You can easily adjust the color temperature of an image, crop photos, add subtle (or not so subtle) effects to pictures (like sephia, tint, soft focus, etc.) as well as insert text at various angles.

You can also blog and tweet from Picasa to your respective weblog or Twitter account, although thus far the only platforms supported are Blogger and self hosted WordPress blogs via plugin.

Picnik

For those of you who prefer to operate from “the cloud” (which is geek speak for running programs off of a server instead of your own computer), Picnik can handle many (if not most) of your basic photo editing needs without having to download any software.

Picnik is very similar to Picasa, although the website does not provide as many features to its Google sibling (unless you upgrade of course).

Unfortunately the website is heavy on Flash so unless you plan on blogging from an iPad, Picnik is the perfect photo editing site for those on the go.

Any Others?

These are 3 of the sites that I use frequently to edit images for my blogs, although there are many alternative programs and websites available.

If you know of any other excellent (and free) photo editing programs or web sites, feel free to share your knowledge with the rest of us below.

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Comments

  1. Amílcar Tavares ) says: 5/18/2010

    I love the browser-based Aviary – http://aviary.com

    Reply

  2. Woody ) says: 5/19/2010

    GIMP is also great. Just nudges out Paint.net for me.

    Reply

  3. TXCHLInstructor ) says: 5/19/2010

    I’ll second Woody’s mention of Gimp. Gimp does pretty much everything that Photoshop will do, and it is free open-source. It’s not light-weight, and requires a fairly powerful computer for decent performance (although I have actually run it on a 500 MHz Pentium IV), but it is well-documented, more than adequate, runs the same on every platform I use (XP, Win7, Ubuntu, and OSX) and the price is right. I use it for processing passport photos (brightness and contrast correction, mostly, but occasionally, I’ll need to do a color balance) for my CHL classes, along with an old Samsung dye-sub printer.

    Reply

  4. Social Media Strategy ) says: 5/19/2010

    I gotta go with Gimp also – it’s awesome.. though there’s a bit of a learning and getting used to factor for newbies but once you do it’s a lot easier and more functional than most programs.

    The only thing I don’t like about it is the floating toolbars vs having them anchored somewhere. I’m old school and like to have a full-screen workspace w/ the image in the center.

    Reply

  5. huramatatic says: 5/25/2010

    I would like to mention Pinta which is a kind of Paint.NET clone for Windows, Linux and Mac, although it would just be an alternative for Windows users at this time, as it is not yet as feature rich as Paint.NET.

    You can find it here: http://pinta-project.com/

    I’m using Pinta on Ubuntu and like it very much.

    If you are interested, then make sure you get the most recent version which is 0.3 at this time, as it has great improvements over previous version with several more tools, and 25 new effects.

    Reply

  6. Than says: 9/7/2010

    Most photographers use Adobe Lightroom 3 or Apple Aperture – I don’t think anything on this blog comes close to that in terms of what those programs are capable of or offer. PS isn’t really a photographers 1st first port of call to LR or Aperture.

    Reply

    • Franky Branckaute ) says: 9/10/2010

      Hi Than, I don’t think professional photographers are the target demographic of Blogging Pro.

      Reply

  7. codename says: 11/10/2010

    http://onlinephotoedit.webs.com/
    online photo editors list

    Reply

  8. nobi says: 12/3/2011

    http://www.pixlr.com is another one, it is virtually Photoshop with very few limitations.If you’ve ever used photoshop before you will be right at home with this one.

    Reply

  9. farhan says: 9/22/2012

    very us full

    Reply

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