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Tyger
09-16-2005, 09:48 AM
Freeware Photo Editors (thanx to Bob a.k.a Menard from the Photography corner for putting this together)


Either for digital camera users or those of us whose have their negatives converted to digital images there are several programs available with which we can edit and organize our images. However, not everybody can afford Photoshop, or justify the expense.

Although there are several lower cost options, and many are excellent (Ulead PhotoImpact, Photoshop Elements), I wanted to concentrate on freeware that is available for download and very useful.


Of course many of us are, I hope, familiar with IrfanView. I mostly use it for its editing functions, as it will take Photoshop plugins offering a great amount of flexibility. It is also quite fast and easy on system resources. IrfanView offers the flexibility to handle most file formats and makes a great default viewer for any computer. With its included editing features and plugin compatibility, it is the most comprehensive editor to be found in such a small package. IrfanView is at the top of the list because that is exactly where it belongs.

IrfanView at SnapFiles (http://www.snapfiles.com/get/irfan.html)


An image viewer I recently downloaded and installed is the FastStone Image Viewer. As I have only just started using it, I cannot offer too much detail, but I was quite impressed with it the first time I ran it as it automatically organized all the images on my system by folder, with previews. It additionally offers several editing functions. FastStone additionally offers other freeware programs including a handy web browser.

FastStone Image Viewer (http://www.snapfiles.com/get/faststoneviewer.html)


B/Works is a handy and small utility which allows you to easily convert images to black & white or sepia. This tool is put out by MediaChance which makes several such tools available, although B/Works is my favorite. This is a complete program and not a plugin.

B/Works by MediaChance (http://www.mediachance.com/digicam/bworks.htm)

Other handy free programs by MediaChance include:

Digital Camera Enhancer (http://www.mediachance.com/digicam/enhancer.htm): offers automatic noise reduction and color balance.

ColorCastFX (http://www.mediachance.com/digicam/castfx.htm): can balance exposure between foreground and background objects.

CleanSkinFX (http://www.mediachance.com/digicam/cleanskin.htm): cleans the skin without affecting hair and eyes.

RGB Lights (http://www.mediachance.com/digicam/rgblights.htm): three shots, three light positions, three colors, and combine them.

Filter SIM (http://www.mediachance.com/digicam/filtersim.htm): an easy way to apply color correction filters to your digital images.

HotPixels Eliminator (http://www.mediachance.com/digicam/hotpixels.htm): remove hot pixels from long exposures.

BlackFrame NR (http://www.mediachance.com/digicam/blackframe.htm): remove hot pixels from long night exposures.

All of the above titles by MediaChance are complete programs and not plugins.


PhotoFiltre is simply a freeware image editor which offers many advanced features and editing options. It has high accolades and has been favorably compared to many of the commercial editors.

PhotoFiltre at SnapFiles (http://www.snapfiles.com/get/photofiltre.html)


Image Analyzer is another small editor which offers basic and advanced editing options including plugin support for its own specialized plugins. One of its strengths is it deconvolution tool for correcting out-of-focus images. It is available in a smaller zipped package or with an installer.

Image Analyzer (http://meesoft.logicnet.dk/)


i.Mage is a small program that loads an image into two windows: the full image, fit to the window; a grid showing the individual pixels of the image. This can be a handy tool to be used to clone or whatever your heart may desire to do with it. It does offer some basic editing functions, but its primary purpose is to be able to work on an image or graphic at the pixel level.

i.Mage at SnapFiles (http://www.snapfiles.com/get/image.html)


PaintStudio Lite offers a different interface than what most are use to with photo editors. This interface does make the program more user friendly for beginners while offering many features that will appeal to more advanced users. It includes background and foreground operations with an effects browser designed to save screen space. It additionally offers text effects for your images in an easy to use operation.

PaintStudio Lite 1.2 at SnapFiles (http://www.snapfiles.com/get/paintstudio.html)


Visua is a small image editor (495KB zipped) which offers a clean simple interface with 24-bit color support for basic digital camera editing and web graphics. It offers an effects browser with different effects from auto contrast, bleed, blur, jiggle, mirror, oil paint, page curl, and many others. There are 2 files on the download page. One is Imagoweb which is the same as Visua but includes an installer which, unfotunately does not work properly with Windows 2000/XP, but works fine with Windows 9x. The Visua file is a zip file which needs to be unzipped to the program files directory into a folder named Visua or whatever you prefer and place a shortcut on your desktop. Visua works with all flavors of windows.

Visua 2.3 Image Editor (http://www.softcom.net/users/mikey719/visua_screenshot.html)


Image Enhance is simply a fun and easy image editing program. It is mostly a collection of filters, and some really neat ones (like one called 'cheap color camera'), with some editing, sizing, and retouching options thrown in, plus the ability to create your own filters. All this in a complete program (not a plugin) that is only a 287KB download. Just unzip the zip file to a folder named imageenhance (or whatever you prefer) in your program files directory and place a shortcut on your desktop.

*As Image Enhance does not have a built-in scroll bar, it is really only useful for web graphics and smaller images that will fit to your screen.

Image Enhance (http://biphome.spray.se/baxtrom/imageenhance.htm)


QV is a small graphics viewer which handles JPG, GIF, BMP, and TIFF image files and can convert between them. Its stongest point is in its retouching tools. It offers a handfull of filters, as well cropping, rotating, resizing, and zoom functions. It is a very basic editor, but is light on resources and available in versions for DOS, Windows 3.x, and Windows 9x and up.

QV Graphics Viewer/Editor (http://ccambien.free.fr/qv/index.shtml.en)



Toys for fun: 2 Pic is a small program that allows you to combine two pictures and perform various effects on them. Distortit is a tiny program that permits you to distort an image by the degree of distortion you choose. These programs are primarily for fun. Distortit does not require installation, just create a folder in your program files folder (name it whatever you want), and unzip the contents into that folder.

2 Pic at SnapFiles (http://www.snapfiles.com/get/2pic.html)

Distortit at SnapFiles (http://www.snapfiles.com/get/distortit.html)


*Out of the graphics editors above, IrfanView and QV are the only ones which will render colors according to the native resolution of your screen. Which means if you have a 256 color screen, you can still edit images, as they will be rendered in 256 colors but can be saved in true color. This is handy for those with an older computer, pen tablets, or an older laptop they got for the kids.


Have fun and let the rest of us know if you run across anything interesting.

wkrider
09-16-2005, 05:12 PM
Do you know of any software that allows the adding of music to a slide show or that will let you add pictures and music to make a video?

sylvie
09-17-2005, 03:22 AM
Hewlett packard site free download of memories disc. A great programme for adding photos and music, Arcsoft also do one. There is also the windows media photo story all great easy to use programme. Hope this helps

Kenyada
09-17-2005, 05:31 AM
Do you know of any software that allows the adding of music to a slide show or that will let you add pictures and music to make a video?

Few such programs are more flexible than PhotoShow Gold
http://www.photodex.com/products/

It allows you to synch the music & photos, and allows you to be more creative with the "Ken Burns effect," zooming in or out on a photo, which gives your slide show the look and feel of a video. There's a free trial available.

wkrider
09-17-2005, 06:26 AM
Thanks for the ifo...I appreciate it. :)

wkrider
09-17-2005, 06:59 AM
Hewlett packard site free download of memories disc. A great programme for adding photos and music, Arcsoft also do one. There is also the windows media photo story all great easy to use programme. Hope this helps

I went to HP and found the Memories Disk area. I can not find the software to download, it just has upgrades for it.

pds
09-20-2005, 02:19 PM
Photo Plus (www.freeserifsoftware.com) is a complete photo editing software. It has all the tools you may ever need (layers, masks, brightness and contrast, adjusting image colors, effect filters, removing red-eye, PS plugins, etc.) Best of all: It is completely free.

jdoran
09-24-2005, 04:24 PM
Although there are several lower cost options, and many are excellent (Ulead PhotoImpact, Photoshop Elements), I wanted to concentrate on freeware that is available for download and very useful.

Have fun and let the rest of us know if you run across anything interesting.

I had been using Paintshop Pro for a long time, but recently downloaded Gimp and thought I would give it a try. I have been quite impressed with it thus far.

I have yet to try other freeware graphic manipulation programs. Have you tried Gimp. If so, how does it stack up?