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It’s that time of year when we fill our memory cards up with a gazillion photos of festive fun and New Years’ antics. So... Word From Our Editor: The Best Free Photo Editing Software

It’s that time of year when we fill our memory cards up with a gazillion photos of festive fun and New Years’ antics. So what better time to take a look at some great free photo editing software?

Whether it’s pics of your loved ones opening their presents; of your grandma drooling in a food coma on the Lay-Z-Boy in the corner; or of countless party selfies and group-shots, over the next couple of weeks the chances are you’ll be hitting the shutter button of your chosen device pretty hard.

So why not, y’know, do something with all those images? Sure, it’s nice to have pics to scroll through on your phone; post to your social accounts; or download from your DSLR onto your computer – to look through once and forget about ’til next year. But think how much better it would be to really make the most of  ’em! To enhance, fine tune and tweak your way to photographic perfection – and maybe even go the whole hog and get them printed and hung on your wall…

Well happy snappers, it just so happens we’ve got some kick-ass FREE photo editing software here on FileHippo! Here’s a selection of four of our favourites:

Gimp free photo editing softwareGIMP
Comedy name aside, GIMP is a great multi-platform photo manipulation tool. GIMP, which is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program, is an open-source application that relies on a community of volunteer developers who maintain and improve the program. It’s suitable for a variety of image manipulation tasks, including photo retouching, image composition, and image construction.It may not be leather-clad, but this GIMP is certainly versatile. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image rendering, an image format converter, you name it. The GIMP is available for PC and Mac.

Paint.NET Gimp free photo editing softwarePaint.NET
Paint.NET is free image and photo manipulation application for the Windows platform. Every feature of Paint.NET, including the user interface, was designed to be immediately intuitive and easy to learn without assistance. Little surprise maybe, when you learn that it was originally developed as a college design project, mentored by Microsoft; and it continues to be maintained by alumni of the programme. In order to navigate multiple images easily, Paint.NET uses a tabbed document interface. The tabs display a live thumbnail of the image instead of a text description. Paint.NET uses a layers system to form the basis for rich image composition. Layers are likened to a stack of transparency slides that, when viewed together at the same time, form an image: clever, eh?

Photoscape Gimp free photo editing softwarePhotoscape
Looking for a program to get a fast overview of your photos and images with simple ways to optimise them? Then Photoscape X is for you! The tool offers the beginner everything they need to organise and edit their digital images. As well as the viewer, Photoscape X has functions to clone, crop, sharpen and de-colour as well as settings for contrast, levels, vignetting and many other image parameters. Several templates allow to easily arrange photos on a page which can then be saved as a final image or be printed on paper. Photoscape X also includes capabilities for red-eye removal, batch editing (file names and image settings), converting camera RAW files, taking screenshots and generating GIFs, where several individual images can be combined to an animated GIF. Photoscape is available on PC and Mac

Nik Collection by Google free photo editing softwareGoogle Nik Collection 

Google’s Nik Collection of desktop image editing plug-ins is now being offered free. Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro and Dfine apps are all available as a free download from Google. This is a massive saving on the previous $150 price tag! The Nik Collection comprises of seven desktop plug-ins, which provide a powerful range of photo editing capabilities, ranging from filter applications that improve colour correction, to retouching and creative effects, through to image sharpening tools that bring out the hidden details in your images.
HDR Efex Pro enables you to create HDR images from a sequence of images or a single shot; Sharpener Pro allows selective sharpening; Dfine allows selective noise reduction; and Color Efex Pro allows colour adjustments, including monochrome conversions and film effects to be applied. Silver Efex Pro is for making black-and-white conversions and Viveza allows you to make selective brightness, contrast and white balance adjustments. Google Nik Collection is available on PC and Mac.

And of course, if non of these get your creative juices flowing, we’ve got a great range of additional free photo editing software you can download now, here on FileHippo.