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How to be a good photo editor without Photoshop?

Everyone wants to be good at what they do. Becoming the best is impossible without particular knowledge, certain skills and a lot of practice. What if you want to be the best photo editor without Photoshop knowledge?

Photoshop is undoubtedly a highly professional and complex tool to study. But today many other tools available online completely free can let you be a great photo editor even without it. Do you want to know how? Here we go.

A routine of a photo editor

If you are a person who is a specialist in charge of illustrations in some newspaper or on a website, you often need to handle images urgently, and installing Photoshop I may not be possible or desirable at the last moment, even yes that’s fine. become familiar with the tool and have excellent skills in using it.

Newspapers, magazines, and websites always need photo illustrations, as do photographers, designers, and copywriters. However, an editor not only searches for photos, collects, edits and corrects them, but is a person who gets involved in the process of creating an article, builds a series of illustrative forms to explain the idea of ​​the text and gives is a additional meaning, emotional content and so on. An experienced photo editor has a well-established environment of communication and management of photographers, works with them, formulates tasks for them.

Well, if you call yourself an expert, you probably know that photography and photo editing are the two essential components of photojournalism. The higher the level of each of them, the better the result. And a good photo editor brings a lot to the photographer.

The editor evaluates the quality of the images, participates in the post-production of the product, that is, co-sponsors and manages the editing and photography.

Unfortunately, in modern practice, photo editors can sometimes be referred to as ordinary photographers, moderators, or illustrators. Although the level of a professional photo editor presupposes much more. He or she must have not only taste and scholarship, but also know a great deal about the art of photography, enjoy imaginative thinking, understand the laws of fine art and design, and be able to use modern tools like Photoshop, etc. . Sometimes even graphic designers, designers with a good humanities education who work as editors but don’t use Adobe Photoshop are biased. There are at least a few ways out of this situation to show that they can be the best even without much Photoshop obsession.

9 free editors to process photos without Photoshop

In fact, many of us are faced with the need to process a variety of images in a variety of life situations. As a general rule of thumb, Photoshop is needed for the most basic image editing options, which isn’t super cheap or cheap. That is why there are programs that allow professional photo editing without spending time and money on Photoshop. If from time to time you need to crop the photo, or make a collage, there are many free alternatives (software and online services), which will serve you even if you are a professional. To make your life easier, we will talk about the 9 most popular free editors to process photos and be a good editor without Photoshop.

1. Photofilter

This is an excellent and quite universal editor for the Windows operating system. If you have ever used Photoshop, you will notice the similarity of its user interface and PhotoFiltre. This editing software is suitable for both beginners and advanced users. Despite some “reduced” features, PhotoFiltre can easily replace Photoshop. Of course, this excludes user control of the editor for some tools, but it leaves enough room to play around with color, saturation, and other effects. If the number of possible filters seems clearly insufficient, there is an opportunity to expand them by connecting additional plugins (you can find them on the developer’s website on request).

Pros: Levels, lots of color correction, and highlight/shadow options.
Disadvantages: layers, inadequate tool settings.
Comparative Feature: If Photoshop gets a 10, PhotoFiltre gets a 6.

2. Photoshop

This is a free photo editor that performs standard functions for viewing and editing images. Most likely, this program is highly sought after by the female audience, thanks to all kinds of filters, frames, etc. You can create interesting collages and postcards. In Photoscape, you will find one of the most user-friendly interfaces you have ever seen. Therefore, even a 6-year-old child can easily handle it.

Advantages: takes up little space on the hard drive, batch photo processing, simplicity.
Disadvantages: suitable for basic operations, mostly non-professionals.
Comparative Feature: If Photoshop gets a 10, Photoshop gets a 5.


It’s impossible to ignore such an amazing graphics editor as Paint.NET. After analyzing the large number of reader comments on various forums and sites dedicated to photo editing, it is possible to conclude that Paint.NET is a real find. Although a step-by-step installation of Paint.NET is really boring, this editor can still compete with Photoshop on the proper level. By installing this program, you can adjust and create gradient layers, use a wide variety of effects and filters. Even a novice user will get by with very similar instrument panels and palettes.

Pros: Layers, full-featured toolbar levels.
Disadvantages: Sophisticated color correction and certain tools.
Comparative feature: if Photoshop gets a 10, the Paint. NET gets a solid 8!


Many people like this photo editor very much. Today, GIMP is available for most operating systems (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, etc.). Since its inception (released in 1995), GIMP has taken its place among competitors, and even surpassed Photoshop in some respects according to numerous users. The interface is clear and simple. This is an editor that allows you to easily cope with such tasks as: program formation, animation development, image processing, preparation of graphics for WEB pages, registration of printing products and many other things. Not bad, huh? GIMP has almost nothing to criticize, because there is simply no better free Photoshop alternative right now than this one.

Advantages: the effect of “lighting”, a complete set of brushes.
Cons: Adjustment layer, some preview moments.
Comparative Feature: If Photoshop gets 10, GIMP gets 11! Since it provides users with 90% of Photoshop features completely free. That seems fine to me.

5. Aviary

Meet the new online editor. Aviary is editing software for Android-based devices, offering basic options and the ability to import photos from photo-sharing sites like Flickr, Picasa, and a variety of social networking sites, like Facebook. Editor offers four apps with fun ‘bird’ names. Before you download one of them, you need to decide: what and how you want to work with. If you need to prepare a photo for a social network, choose a simplified version of Photoshop – ‘Phoenix’, thanks to which you can use tone correction, insert text, overlay different layers, etc. The remaining 3 applications are suitable for those whose interests are not limited to the basic forms of photo processing. Vector Editor ‘Raven’ will help in creating drawings, lines and diagrams. ‘Peacock’ is characterized by its developers as a “visual laboratory” and it looks quite interesting. But you run the risk of getting lost in a variety of settings and elements. Finally, ‘Toucan’ is useful for graphic design. With this editor you can find the right color palette for the site and even evaluate the accessibility of the site (!) especially for people with different forms of color blindness. Choose and try what you like!

Advantages: toolbar, filters, keyboard shortcuts.
Disadvantages: It depends on the type of application.
Comparative characteristic: if Photoshop gets 10, AVIARY Phoenix – 9, AVIARY Peacock – from 2 to 8 (depending on how much time the editor can spend studying), AVIARY Raven – 5 and AVIARY Toucan – 6.

6. Splash

This is another member of the online editor family. In general, Splashup’s interface is similar to Photoshop’s interface. However, it should be noted that the functionality of the service is considerably inferior to that of Photoshop. But if you want to render images quickly without smart effects, Splashup will do it. This editor can be called ‘Photoshop: Light Version’. Very light version.

Advantages: not overloaded with unnecessary menus, work with layers, cross-platform.
Disadvantages: levels, vibrations.
Comparative Feature: If Photoshop gets a 10, then Splashup gets a 7.

7. Film painting

This is a close relative of GIMP, primarily focused on image editing for movies and animation. And it is worth noting that in this area Cinepaint is excellent. Furthermore, Cinepaint is a powerful image editor. In general, there is a lot to work with.

Advantages: Much improved interface (compared to GIMP), many different cool effects.
Disadvantages: a small number of filters.
Comparative Feature: If Photoshop gets a 10, Cinepaint gets a 7.

8. flaunt

This is perhaps one of Photoshop’s weakest competitors. Despite the quite considerable number of functions, this editor still does not have enough tools for more “serious” image processing. But if you’re just starting to learn the basics of editing, give flauntR a try. You can create themed compositions, emulate surfaces and materials, and understand the other decorative effects.

Advantages: ease of use.
Disadvantages: the toolbar leaks.
Comparative Feature: If Photoshop gets 10, then flauntR gets only 4.

9. PhotoFlexer

This fast online service for image processing causes only positive emotions. The simple editor is perfect for basic operations like creating collages, editing simple images, etc. Of course, it cannot be compared with Photoshop, but it is simply due to the fact that its developers never pursued such an idea, in fact.

Advantages: ‘magic stick’, Liquify and other easy to use filters.
Disadvantages: settings, equivalent to “brush”.
Comparative Feature: If Photoshop gets 10, then FotoFlexer gets 5.

Of course, there are many other software solutions that you can find on the web, designed especially for photo editing, and that can help you in your daily photo editor routine for both individual and professional use and still be a good editor.

Don’t forget to consider and use Picnic, Pixen, Pixia, ChocoFlop, Krita, iPiccy and others. Whether they deserve the attention of professional editors is hard to say, but a detailed description and use would improve your skills and enrich your knowledge all the same. You may get bored as there is nothing special except its capabilities similar to FotoFlexer, Splashup, etc., but still not Photoshop to learn and use. So go ahead! Now that you know even more Photoshop alternatives, it will be easier for you to be a good photo editor and tackle your daily editing routine!

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