The 11 Best Free Photo Editors for Windows

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For the sake of simplicity, I’m going to break the software I’m reviewing into 3 categories – post editing software (software used to manipulate images like Photoshop), digital darkroom software (software used in place of the traditional dark room in analogue photography like Lightroom), and after effects software (software used for adding effects, color filters, and other adjustments that add atmosphere and a finishing sheen to your images – stuff like Google NIK, Topaz Labs Photography Collection, and ON1 Photo 10).As some of you may know, I’m a part time pro photographer and I take the image processing side of my work very seriously. In fact, regardless of how nice your camera is, I believe processing is every bit as important, if not more important, than capturing the right shot with the right camera.

In this article, I’ll be reviewing the highest rated, most commonly recommended free and opensource software for photo editing. One thing I’ve found disappointing, is how many people seem to be confused by what is and is not photo editing software. A number of programs I found that were highly recommended as great “photo editing software” are actually digital drawing apps. I can only assume these people went no further than seeing a color wheel and some brushes to make the association with Photoshop. I am including a few of most commonly mismarketed drawing apps.

As a side note, if you’re looking for more powerful professional solutions for your image editing needs, you can also check out my article on the best professional photo editors here.