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10 Programs I Use to Edit and View My Photos

Updated on March 2, 2017

These are the programs I have found most useful.

I am a photographer but I don't like spending too much money on software. There are always new cameras, lenses and gadgets to spend money on.

These are 10 programs that I use to edit and view my photos. Some are free and some are paid for but not too expensive.

1. Gimp. A great free photo editing program that does almost everything more expensive programs do. I mostly use Adobe Photoshop Elements but use the gimp for the pen tool, that is missing in elements. I also use it on my netbook to do some basic editing when I am away from home. Gimp

2. IrvanView. I use this free program to view all my photos. It opens most RAW files from my cameras and is quicker than opening a RAW file editor. If it doesn't work with your RAW files, try downloading and installing the free plugIns. I also use it to batch convert photos, a function that it handles very well. This is great for resizing a large number of photos. IrfanView

3. Paint.net. Another free program that has lots of fun effects. There is a good forum with lots of ideas on how to transform your photos. paint.net

4. Raw Therapee. This one is free but they do ask for a donation. It is a good raw converter that does everything some of the more expensive ones do. RawTherapee

5. Adobe photoshop elements. Not free but good value for a program that will do most of the things the much more expensive photoshop will do. With a few free plug ins, like smart curve, I have been more than happy with elements. Photoshop Elements

6. Virtualdub. A free program I use to make time lapse videos from a series of photos. Works well and is a lot of fun. Virtualdub

7. PhotoAcute Studio. I use this to combine several photos to get more of the subject in focus. It can also be used to remove people that get in the way when taking photos in urban areas and for making high dynamic range (HDR) images. A very useful program. PhotoAcute studio

8. Photoscape. Another great free program that is easy to use. They do ask for donations to keep the development of the program going. I use the filters a lot, the sepia toning works well. This is a program that I would use much more if I hadn't purchased Photoshop Elements. Photoscape

9. Photomatixpro. I researched the best programs to make high dynamic range photos (HDR) and this one seems to be the most recommended. Have to confess that I bought this a while ago and I haven't used it a lot yet but I am sure it will come in useful when I need it. Photomatixpro

10. Autopanopro. I have tried a few programs for making panoramas but this is the easiest I have found and is capable of producing really good results. Autopanopro

Hope you find something useful amongst those, if you can recommend any others, please leave a comment.

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    • ptosis profile image

      ptosis 3 years ago from Arizona

      Paint Shop Pro on my XP OS, GIMP on my Xunbuntu and now with my new Sony A58 that can do RAW - I am currently learning Rawtherappe which I plan to do a "how to" for newbies because there are no tutorials on doing really baci stuff such as empty the thrash. As I'm learning - making screen shoots because I really really hate video tuts.

    • profile image

      DogfordStudios 4 years ago

      Great hub!

    • sudeep13582 profile image

      sudeep13582 7 years ago from Howrah

      hi Steve, nice informative hub, photography is one of my hobby.. but I am not that expert.. still learning in that field.

    • AutumnLockwood profile image

      AutumnLockwood 7 years ago from Northern California

      Hi Steve- Thanks for the helpful article. I wasn't familiar with several of them -my two favorites are GIMP and Paint.net. Three cheers to your top three :)

    • Missi Darnell profile image

      Missi Darnell 7 years ago from Southern California

      Nice Hub Steve. I'll have to check these sites out. Thank you.

    • Steve 3.0 profile image
      Author

      Steve 3.0 7 years ago from Cornwall UK

      I haven't tried Picasa because I read about their terms of use and had some concerns. Found this discussion about it in their support forum.

      http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Picasa/threa...

    • K Partin profile image

      K Partin 7 years ago from Garden City, Michigan

      Very good, and informative. I learned a few things. What do yo think of Picasa, I use it and like it for my purpose. Thanks K.

    • alexandriaruthk profile image

      alexandriaruthk 7 years ago from US

      very informative, and now I learned about it, Thank you

    • profile image

      donding 7 years ago

      The all sound very useful. I'm familiar with most but several of them I wasn't aware of and I'll have to check them out.

      Thanks

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks very much! I am looking forward to learning more about these.