I got a note from one my readers yesterday that inspired this post. “I’ve been trying to stay away from your blog,” says Fiona. “It makes me want to spend money!” (The photo of Colin Farrell is just gratuitous.)

Oh no! We can’t have that. No staying away or spending money! I’m all about the free stuff! In fact, I have an entire article of free stuff coming out in an issue of Family Circle soon. But maybe I haven’t been covering the freebies here so much? Well, here’s phase one of my fix on that situation.

I hear from a lot of people who are hankering for their own copy of PhotoShop. They got themselves a got a sweet digital camera and want to do some fancy fixes to their photos: cut out the ex-husband, take out that blemish, maybe a little tuck under the eyes, or even a big fix, like dropping Eliza Dushku’s body onto your head or Jason Stathom’s onto your husband’s for the family portrait. Fun with photos. Who doesn’t want that?

But Photoshop costs $699. Ouch! Even the lesser PhotoShop Elements is $99. I’ve had people ask me if buying a pirated copy is okay since PhotoShop is so expensive. You know what? I don’t think it is okay. It’s not okay for a lot of reasons. But economics aside, the most compelling is that you aren’t safe installing code you got from some bad hat. A lot of viruses ride in on pirated software.

But that doesn’t mean you have to blow your annual shoe budget on an expensive piece of software. Unless you are a professional photographer, you probably don’t need that much software anyway.

I love this little paint tool: Paint.net. It’s an open source program that is spring from the original code of the paint software that comes in Windows. But it is way better. Okay, it isn’t quite Photoshop. But if all you are looking for is fun with photos, I’m sure it’s enough. In fact, it might be better because it is a bit simpler. It’s easy to use and very powerful. And it’s free! I use it every day.

5 thoughts on “Free Tool

  1. Just found you through HARO… I absolutely love Picnik. For fun photo editing it’s great. And it allows me to watermark my pictures. It’s free or you can get the premium for $24.95.

  2. Yeah, I think I tried Paint.net, but I much prefer GIMP. More advance and it works just like Photoshop! In my opinion, it’s better.

  3. Oooh, will have to check out that link. Thanks for yet another gratuitous hunky guy picture!

  4. I like the Gimp too! I think I covered it here somewhere. Lately I’ve been digging Paint.net but I use Gimp for bigger endeavors.

  5. What about GIMP? (Gnu Image manipulation Program) http://www.gimp.org
    I’ve been using it for years on both Windows and Linux, and it works like a charm.

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