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3 Great Photo-Editing Programs (That Aren’t Photoshop)

Forget Photoshop.

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Half the photo happens in the editing phase. Ansel Adams, a world-renowned photographer known for capturing wilderness photos of unrivaled beauty, worked most of his magic in the dark room. Today, editing is all digital, and the software is often expensive. With Photoshop ringing up at $120 annually, many amateurs look elsewhere. And, there are other plenty of good options, like the ones below, that are both cheaper and easier to use.

GIMP

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Before we get into the details of GIMP, know this: it is totally free. It doesn’t feel free, though — it feels more like an expensive, wonderfully designed photo-editing program that its makers, at the last second, decided to gift to the world. Its interface looks a lot like Photoshop’s, and it has many of the same features: color manipulation, selective editing, paintbrush tools, RAW image processing — and that only scratches the surface. It’s also fully customizable, meaning you can tailor its interface to fit your precise needs, whether you’re doing heavy image manipulation or simply adjusting a photo’s hue.

Buy Now: FREE

Autodesk Pixlr

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Pixlr has all the standard features of most other photo-editing programs, but where it really shines is its 600+ photo effects. Combine filters, add overlays, merge photos together, add borders — the opportunities for creativity are virtually limitless. The base-level Pixlr is free to use, but if you want the full suite of photo-editing tools, you’ll need to purchase a membership ($15/year or $2/month).

Buy Now: FREE

Tonality

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Black-and-white photography is a tricky thing to master — it’s more than simply removing color and increasing contrast. With Tonality’s 100+ filters (designed by professional photographers), beautiful Adams-esque black-and-white photographs are a cinch.

Buy Now: $25

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