This is a quick post about tools that can be used for your post-production work without paying a dime.
If you haven’t yet started capturing your images in RAW format, then you should and I make the assumption that you are already doing it. The benefits of RAW format is more than what I can type in here, but for the time being its suffice to say that you have complete control on the output from a RAW file.
The following tools can be used to manipulate your RAW files:
- UFRaw: The name is actually “Unidentified Flying RAW”. Have no clue on why it was named like that, but thats what it is. This tool can read raw files from different cameras and process them to a variety of file formats (TIFF, jpeg etc). Its the commercial equivalent of Adobe Camera Raw (ACR).
- RAW Therapee: This is not just a raw processing tool, but also acts as a catalog managing one. For a free tool, it does more than what people can wish for. Its equivalent in commercial ones would be that of Adobe Light Room (LR).
- GIMP: The first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about photo processing tool is Adobe Photoshop. GIMP is the freeware equivalent of that. Its powerful and can do what photoshop does. I had trouble initially understanding this one, but later found this site Meet The Gimp which simplified it for me. Give it a shot and you’ll not regret it.
- FastStone Photo Resizer: The name is pretty self explanatory. Imagine when you have about hundreads of photos to be resized/renamed, its such a pain. Luckily this tool automates the process in a breeze and does a fairly good job at it. I haven’t played with it from an evaluation point of view, but more from a end user point of view. If only people could just resize the photos before sending a huge attachment in the email…what a relief it would be 🙂 This one also can add borders to your image.
- Picasa: If the above mentioned tools are little intimidating for you, then start with Picasa. Its can manage your photos, edit raw files and also sync-up with your picasa web gallery. Though not a robust tool, but good enough to start learning the basis of photo editing.
The above list is more than enough to get you started on post processing your raw images and to top it all, they all are free!