Affordable options for photo editing

By Holly Kosec on May 27, 2014

By Holly Kosec on May 27, 2014

With the widespread availability of digital cameras and camera phones, more and more people are taking their own photos for use on social media or their website. But how can you edit your own photos without spending an arm and a leg on expensive software?

As it turns out, there is some powerful and affordable software available that you may not know about. Some of them have slightly higher learning curves than others, but with a bit of practice, you’ll be ready to share your albums of photos in no time.


Platforms: Windows, OS X, Linux Cost: Free Download

GIMP is a very popular alternative to Photoshop that offers a lot of the same professional-level editing. If you’re at all used to working in Photoshop’s interface, it may take a bit of time to get used to, but most of the tools function the same.

Just like in Photoshop, you can apply various effects, alter the brightness/contrast, hue/saturation, & color balance,  scale the image, work on separate layers, and much more.


Platforms: Windows
Cost: Free

Another great alternative that I found was paint.NET. Although the interface for this program is heavily inspired by the original MS Paint, this program is on a completely different level than its predecessor.  Although not quite as advanced as GIMP, it can still easily hold its own. Given its similarities to the original MS Paint, the familiar and simple interface makes it easy to get around.

Just like GIMP, you can adjust your photos, resize & rotate, and apply special effects. The only other down-side to paint.NET is that it isn’t quite as well maintained as GIMP.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Platforms: Windows, OS X
Cost: Variable, as low as $19.99 a month
More Info

In 2012, Adobe introduced the Adobe Creative Cloud as a subscription-based service that gives subscribers access to one, or more, of Adobe’s products. Although it has received mixed reviews, the service has opened up Adobe products to a much wider audience.

It can be very frustrated to drop hundreds of dollars for a piece of software, all at once, only to need the next version a year, if not months, later. That’s where the Creative Cloud comes in.

The Creative Cloud has a variety of pricing packages that make using Adobe products much more affordable, and ensures that you receive updates as soon as they are released.

Here are the various pricing packages you can choose from:

Individual Prices

  • Single App – $19.99 / month
  • Complete App Set – $49.99 / month, with a 1 year commitment
  • Existing CS Customers – $29.99 / month *

Team & Business Prices

  • Team – $69.99 / month, per user
  • Existing CS Customers – $39.99 / month, per user

Student & Teacher Prices

  • Complete App Set – $29.99 / month, with a 1 year commitment
  • Small Work Group – $34.99 / month per user

To be considered an existing CS customer, you only need to have purchased an Adobe CS3 product, or newer.

These plans are subject to change, so for the most accurate information, visit Adobe’s Creative Cloud website.

With the Adobe Creative Cloud, you can subscribe for as little as $19.99 per month to use Photoshop, Illustrator, or a variety of other amazing products. If the subscription is a little out of your budget, then you can rest assured that there are some very viable free options out there as well.

Have a favorite photo-editing program that you’d like to share? Did we help you find a solution for your photo-editing needs? Let us know in the comments below!

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