For some, working with Photoshop is a dream. The broad range of powerful tools available offers almost limitless options for fixing, tweaking, morphing and creating new images from existing pixels. For others, however, all of those limitless options can be overwhelming. In addition, the constant changes and upgrades to offer professional photographers and designers more and more options can become unwieldy for people who just want to work on more simple projects. Some people may only want or need to use photography editing tools on occasion and don’t want to pay for a yearly subscription or monthly fee for something they only rarely use. Thankfully, for those who are tired of what photoshop has to offer, there are a wide range of other photography apps and software available to meet your every need. Here are 5 great apps and software programs for those who are tired of Photoshop.
Enlight is a powerful editing app for iPhones and iPads that offers a number of the most advanced features of photoshop in a streamlined, easy-to-use interface. And best of all, it’s free! Enlight allows you to add borders, filters, text and even stamp. Perhaps one of the most useful tools, however, is the ability to combine various elements from images just like in Photoshop. For a free app, Enlight offers an incredibly powerful suite of tools for your iPhone or iPad. There are however, a few drawbacks. First, you don’t have the ability to save files in different formats. Second, it’s only available for Apple products and lastly, you can’t use it on a desktop or laptop. But, for great photo editing options on the fly, you really can’t beat it.
Fotor is a software program you can use on your laptop or desktop and is available for Mac or PC. The free version offers a fairly robust set of tools, but you can also upgrade to the Pro option for $20 a year or $4.99 a month. While it doesn’t offer the full range of tools that photoshop does, it does offer most of the tools that the majority of people use for basic photo editing in a fairly streamlined and easy to navigate interface. Unlike photoshop, you won’t have to spend a great deal of time searching for the right tool or trying to figure out how to use something. The menu panel is fairly straightforward and is a great option for people that just want to add some effects or text to their photos without having to pay for a monthly subscription.
Paintshop has been around for some time now and actually got its start as shareware. For those that learned some of their basic editing skills on Paintshop, they should take to Paintshop Pro like a duck to water. A few of the drawbacks of Paintshop Pro is that it has to be purchased and runs around $65 (still cheaper than Photoshop) and it isn’t Mac compatible. Other than that, it’s extremely user friendly, easy-to-use and easy to navigate. Much like Photoshop, however, if you get stuck and can’t figure out how to do something, there are a number of tutorial videos available online.
PicMonkey is an online photo editor, so there is no software to download. Like Fotor and Paintshop Pro, PicMonkey offers a fairly comprehensive set of tools including a library of clip art & overlays, the ability to make collages, add text or frames to photos and even offers design tools for making logos, cards, posters or invitations. Touch up tools include an eye color changer, teeth whitening, blemish removal and a face editor. Much like Photoshop, PicMonkey is a subscription program that runs between $70 – $80 annually depending on what features you want, or you can choose the basic subscription for $7.99 a month. An additional feature of PicMonkey is that you can send your photos in directly to be printed onto a wide variety of items like throw pillows or coffee mugs or have them made into canvas prints, framed prints or basic prints to hand out to family and friends.
For those that want more of the full suite of tools that Photoshop has to offer without the hefty price tag, Affinity Photo is available for both Mac and PC. Unlike other programs that just offer basic features like the ability to resize, add borders, filters or text; affinity photo offers more advanced features like raw editing, HDR merge, panorama stitching, professional retouching, digital painting, batch processing and the ability to work in layers. Best of all, it even offers PSD editing, so you can still make changes to all of your existing Photoshop files. For those that used Photoshop in conjunction with InDesign, Affinity also offers Design software that is compatible with Affinity Photo and offers many of the same tools as InDesign. Affinity Photo is available for $49.99, but does not offer a subscription program. However, you can purchase both Affinity Photo and Affinity Design for less than the price of a year’s subscription to Photoshop