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OT sorta....Free digital photo software

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  • OT sorta....Free digital photo software

    There might be some serious digital camera folks here. I want to ask about good free software. And online forums, most forums I've looked at appear not very active with recent posts being a couple months ago. Forum-wise, if it matters my camera is a Sony a6000.

    Two really useful freebies I've found are Meshroom for creating 3D models and ICE for panoramas. ICE is from Microsoft Research for a variety of panoramas.

    I'm using Affinity Photo for editing, $49 loaded onto both my computers.

  • #2
    So what do you want a free photo software to do that the other three don't?


    • #3
      That's a good question..... maybe software that does things better, easier or does things I haven't thought about. For instance, until I saw a spherical panorama I didn't know what or how to do it. All I was able to find out was how to do it in Photoshop which I don't want to rent. Then, by chance, I found ICE which make it simpler than in Photoshop.

      Yesterday I took a video of a single bus driving by. By selecting frames out of the video using windows photo app I stitched this panorama in ICE showing three buses. Not that I have a bus fetish, it was an easy subject to try the technique on. The same technique could be used for pictures of the grand kids doing stunts on their dirt bikes.

      Click image for larger version  Name:	buses-small picture.JPG Views:	0 Size:	55.9 KB ID:	1863947
      Last edited by DR; 03-25-2020, 05:41 PM.


      • #4
        For image editing, the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It will always be free. There are lots of tutorials, and they help when you need to accomplish a specific task. There are easier to use tools, but they tend to not be nearly as poweful. I find photoshop and GIMP both have a pretty serious learning curve. If I don't use them for an extended period of time, I tend to forget things.


        • #5

          I am currently using Affinity Publisher, and had thought about the other two products. But if Affinity photo does not do what you want, then I probably don't want it either.

          Keep eye on ball.
          Hashim Khan


          • #6
            Free digital photo software?

            I have done a lot with digital photos. I have around a dozen articles published in our sponsor's magazines as well as others. Another coming out this month. And all of them needed good photos. I also have a bit of a background in professional photography dating back to the 1960s so developer and fixing solutions are in my blood. Anyway, here is what I presently use:

            1. Good old Microsoft PAINT. It is free with Windows and it does about 90% of everything that I have needed to do with photos. Cropping, resizing, adding text, combining two or more images into one, converting file formats, and more. It is also very easy to learn and use. It is my first thought when I need to do anything with an image. I believe Apple has a similar, free program.

            2. PAINT.NET. This is a free program but it is not from Microsoft although it was originally mentored by them while it was a college project. It has most (all?) of the features that Microsoft Paint has plus a lot more, like additional tools, layers, adjustments, and effects. One of the things that I really use a lot in is the "curves" adjustments. They give you the ability to adjust either the black and white or the three color gamma curves to rescue or improve a picture that has either too much blacks or whites. They also allow some measure of tint correction if you know what you are doing. I also use the effects on some photos: just a few days ago I wanted to hide some of my shop clutter in a photo of my mill for an article. I use the blur effect in selected areas to minimize that clutter. PAINT.NET has many of the features of Photoshop, which I also have and have used; but it is simpler to learn and use than Photoshop.

            BTW, PAINT.NET is not at, which is an internet address that is being offered for sale at the present time. It is at

            3. Camera Manufactures Programs. Someone mentioned a panorama. When I first got my first digital camera, an Olympus, I also downloaded their software for free. Their software allowed individual photos to be stitched together into a panorama. I worked for a TV production company at the time and they were in the middle of shooting a commercial. I went into the studio during the lunch break and set my Olympus camera on a tripod in the center and took about 8 or 10 shots of the entire studio. I then stitched them together into a panorama in my office with the Olympus free software and sent the result to everyone via e-mail. They were amazed and the sponsor whom that commercial was for was tickled. All with free software. Do look into your camera's website, most of them do have free software. Look at other camera maker's websites too: free is free.

            4. My final entry in the "free" software is Photoshop itself. I managed to pick up a legit copy of an older version of Photoshop from that same company who no longer used it. They had upgraded to newer and better things and that copy was up for grabs. You may be able to find copies of older versions of Photoshop and other expensive programs for free or only a few dollars on the used market (E-Bay). Another way of getting free software is to visit the web sites of such high end software companies. Many of them have free versions of their top notch software. They do this to get you hooked so you buy the high priced version. But no one is forcing you to do so.

            Between Microsoft PAINT and PAINT.NET, I have done 99.9% of everything I ever needed to do with my photos.

            I am sure that there are many more free image software programs out there. They should be enough to satisfy all but the most demanding of commercial users. Just search.
            Paul A.
            SE Texas

            Make it fit.
            You can't win and there IS a penalty for trying!


            • #7
              I love photoshop but refuse to pay a subscription for it. Because I learned on Photoshop, using Gimp drives me crazy, but I admit Gimp is my only real option unless I open up my wallet.


              • #8
                The Gnu IMage Processor is what I use for photo cleanup etc. It works well, and does a whole lot more than I use it for.


                Keep eye on ball.
                Hashim Khan