Photography fan? The best free editing tools

Photography_holiday_France_camerasEditing is an integral skill to producing great photos but while Adobe Photoshop is widely regarded as the best photo editor out there, its price tag pushes it out of many aspiring photographers’ reach.

Fear not, digital dark room fans, for there are many free photo editors out there offering all the functionality you need to enhance and edit your shots.

Here are three of the best:

Picasa 3.9

This Google-owned programme has some awesome capabilities. It features lots of great corrective settings and tools and is perfect for novices looking to make basic alterations to their photographs. Its features include retouching (including skin smoothing in portraits) and face recognition. If you like, you can even edit movies.

How to enjoy it: Download it from Google to your PC or MAC. Then, book a NotInTheGuidBooks.com photography holiday in Morocco where you can enhance your photography and editing skills by snapping and fine-tuning pictures of its beaches and bustling souks.

As you go, show off your snaps to your friends by easily transferring them from Picasa to Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

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Before you come home, take a group shot of your new friends, upload it to Picasa and let the programme find and fix every red eye in the picture with one click of a button.

Gimp 2.8
This free software looks like Adobe Photoshop and offers many of the same features. You can crop pictures, alter the exposure and change the balance. You can do in-depth photo fixes with its cloning and healing tools and it even lets you group layers for some really heavy layering work.

And that’s just the start…

Slightly more advanced than Picasa 3.9, its more complicated to use yet gives great results.

How to enjoy it: Download Gimp 2.8 to your PC or MAC and head to Barcelona on NotInTheGuidBooks.com’s private photography course. Capture the city’s great architecture and street musicians before enhancing your images with its many professional tools.

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Pixrl.com
Considered one of the most impressive online photo editors, Pixrl.com has a really similar functionality and interface to Adobe Photoshop. With more than 600 effects to try out, you can fine-tune your images with all the tools you’d expect from a fully-fledged image editor.

You will need Flash to access the programme but, with no need to set up an account, you can get editing straight away. Remember that you are working online, so internet charges may apply and a fast internet connection will speed up your work rate.

Instantly accessible via almost any devices that’s connected to the internet, you can edit your images on the go, using a tablet, smartphone or a desktop computer in an internet café.

How to enjoy it: Why not head to Costa Rica with NotInTheGuidBooks.com and snap the incredible wildlife within its colourful rainforests? Use your tablet to edit your images while chilling out in your accommodation and get tips from instructors on how to transform a simple snap into a professional-looking photograph.