Long-time readers of my blogs will know that I’m a cheap bastard.
So, with that in mind, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I’m an advocate of free software. I’m especially in favor of free software that can replace, or mostly replace, expensive, high-end software.
As a photographer, I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Adobe and their flagship product, Photoshop. I love the tool and all the amazing things it can do, but I hate the price. I’ll grant that they do an amazing amount of work to include every last tool and functionality that anyone might possibly need in Photoshop, but I think they charge a little too much for it. Now, I could pirate it, which I know many do, but I also know that it’s wrong and, frankly, there’s an alternative. Of course, I’m talking about GIMP – The GNU Image Manipulation Program.
Okay, sure, it may not be an exact replacement. Menus are in different places and sometimes things are called by different names. And, in some cases, functionality in the latest versions of Photoshop are only available via plugins in GIMP. For instance, the Content Aware Fill feature that has been such a popular addition in recent versions of Photoshop has been available as a plugin for GIMP called Resynthesizer for a surprisingly long time.
And, yes, of course, both of those are free and available for a variety of operating systems including Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. And, uh, as I can’t seem to keep from repeating over and over; FREE!
So, hey, why not save a couple of bucks and go download some fantastic, and free, image manipulation software? It’d be a great way to edit those Fourth of July fireworks and party photos you all probably took yesterday!