Best free tools for photo processing and graphic editing

We have prepared for you an original list of the best free tools for photo processing and graphic editing!


No list can not do without this classic program, which is already a dozen years old. From the beginning it was conceived as an alternative to Photoshop. It is constantly developed, because the program code is available to everyone. The program offers great possibilities when it comes to photo processing. The work is based on layers and channels. The program supports the alpha channel, we can easily cut the character from the photo using special software.

The program’s strength is also a whole bunch of available plugins that expand its capabilities, including, for example, Resynthesizer, which synthesizes the texture based on the surrounding image selection, facilitating photo retouching and removing unwanted elements from the photo. The program unfortunately does not open RAW, so you will need additional soft to call them.

2. Nik Collection

Over the years, the Nik Collection package cost several hundred dollars, and there were plenty of people willing to buy it. Once acquired by Google, you can have it completely free (currently it belongs to DxO). Nik Collection was conceived as a plugin for photo editing programs. However, you can also simply download and use the desktop version.

We receive a set of several softwares for various applications. Using Color Efex Pro we can perform basic photo processing, improving the white balance, saturation and detail of the photo. In turn, using one of the many very interesting filters we will give the photo a more “professional” look.

Other software will allow you to get good looking HDR photos, sharpen a photo, or give it a great look in black and white. Really, using all the software skillfully, we can get professional-looking photos. It’s the perfect set for a photographer who wants to give photos a great look, and Lightroom is out of reach. The downside, however, is the fact that Nik Collection does not support RAW, so the images must be developed in another program.

3. Darktable

Another open source program, which in turn is a direct competition for Lightroom. Even its interface is very similar. This software allows comprehensive photo processing as well as their cataloging. It will be good in a situation where we have a lot of pictures that we need to arrange.

The photo processing possibilities offered by the program are really impressive. We will easily make adjustments to the white balance, saturation, contrast, exposure correction, etc. There were also advanced algorithms, allowing, among others, noise reduction.

4. Raw Therapy

RawTherapee is another program that refers to Lightroom in terms of possibilities and appearance. As the name suggests, the program allows developing RAWs, but also gives the possibility of processing them. The new version of the program gives a lot of possibilities. Of course, there is no lack of such basics as setting colors, balance, applying a sharpening mask, etc. Soft, however, goes a step further, actually a few steps. Changes can be made by choosing only the frame elements of interest to us.

For example, we can completely change the color of the sky to make sunset or evening a sunny day. The colors can be freely modified, we can also use filters without any problems. The software also has the function of removing mist from photos. The program has of course saved profiles of the most popular cameras, so that the functions will be adapted to selected models. As a disadvantage, some users point to its complicated interface, but everything can be learned.

5. Ashampoo Photo Optimizer 2019

Ashampoo Photo Optimizer 2019 is a software that will appeal to those who want to quickly and easily process a large batch of photos. Its operation is very easy and the interface is clear and intuitive. Pictures can be uploaded to the program in groups and the correction applied to the whole group.

The program also has an auto-optimization software, which, however, does not work perfectly, so sometimes it is worth correcting the staff manually. The software available for Windows has basic photo optimization functions, which should be less for less demanding users.