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 an extremely professional and complex studio tool. But today many other tools available online completely free can allow you to be a great photo editor even without it. You want to know how. Here we go.

A routine from a photo editor

If you are a person who is a specialist in charge of illustrations in a periodical publication or on a web page, many times you need to urgently handle images, and to install Photoshop it may not be possible or desirable at the last minute, even if you are well. be familiar with the tool and have excellent skills in using it.

Newspapers, magazines and websites always need photographic illustrations, just as they need photographers or designers and copywriters. However, an editor not only searches for photos, collects, edits and tests them, but is a person who is involved in the process of creating an article, builds a series of illustrative ways to explain the idea of ​​the text and gives has a additional meaning, emotional content, etc. An experienced photo editor has well-established communication and management of the photographer’s environment, works with them, and formulates assignments for them.

Well, if you consider 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 contributes a lot to the photographer.

The editor assesses 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. You must have not only taste and scholarship, but also know a lot 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 do not use Adobe Photoshop – are biased. There are at least a few ways to get out of this situation to show that you can be the best even without much obsession with Photoshop.

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 cheap at all. 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 your photo or make a collage, there are many free alternatives (software and online services), which will help 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. PhotoFiltre

This is an excellent and fairly 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 editor user control for some tools, but leaves plenty of room to play 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 light / shadow options.

Cons: layers, proper tool settings.

Comparative Feature: If Photoshop scores a 10, PhotoFiltre scores a 6.

2. Photoscape

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

Advantages: takes up little space on your hard drive, batch photo processing, simplicity.

Disadvantages: mainly suitable for non-professional basic operations.

Comparative feature: If Photoshop scores 10, Photoscape scores 5.

3. Paint.NET

It is impossible to ignore such an amazing graphics editor as Paint.NET. After analyzing the enormous amount of comments from readers on various forums and sites dedicated to photo editing, it is possible to conclude that Paint.NET is a real find. Despite the fact that a step-by-step installation of Paint.NET is a real bore, this editor can still compete with Photoshop at the right level. By installing this program, you can adjust and create gradient layers, use a variety of effects and filters. Even a novice user will get by with instrument panels and paddles that are very similar.

Pros: layers, fully featured toolbar levels.

Disadvantages: sophisticated color correction and certain tools.

Comparative characteristic: if Photoshop gets 10, the paint. NET receives a solid 8!


Many people really like this photo editor. 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 the competitors and has 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 is next to nothing to fault, because there simply isn’t a better free Photoshop alternative right now than this.

Advantages: the “lighting” effect, a complete set of brushes.

Cons: Adjustment Layer, some preview moments.

Comparative Feature: If Photoshop scores 10, GIMP scores 11! Since it provides users with 90% of Photoshop’s functions completely free. Fair enough.

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 funny “bird” names. Before downloading one of them, you must decide: what and how you want to work. If you need to prepare a photo for a social network, choose a simplified version of Photoshop – ‘Phoenix’, thanks to which you will be able to use a tone correction, insert text, superimpose different layers, etc. The remaining 3 applications are suitable for those whose interests are not limited to 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 seems quite interesting. But you risk 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 the most!

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 you can spend studying the editor), AVIARY Raven – 5 and AVIARY Toucan – 6.

6. Splashup

This is another member of the online editor family. Generally, the Splashup interface is similar to the Photoshop interface. However, it should be noted that the functionality of the service is considerably lower than that of Photoshop. But if you want to process 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 scores 10, Splashup scores 7.

7. Cinepaint

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

Pros: greatly improved interface (compared to GIMP), many different interesting effects.

Disadvantages: few filters.

Comparative feature: if Photoshop scores 10, Cinepaint scores 7.


This is perhaps one of Photoshop’s weakest competitors. Despite the 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 thematic compositions, emulate surfaces and materials, and understand the other decorative effects.

Advantages: ease of use.

Disadvantages: toolbar filters.

Comparative feature: if Photoshop gets 10, then flauntR gets only 4.

9. FotoFlexer

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

Advantages: ‘magic wand’, liquefy and other easy-to-use filters.

Disadvantages: configuration, equivalent to “brush”.

Comparative feature: if Photoshop scores 10, FotoFlexer scores 5.

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

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

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