The softer side of photography

There is a lot to be said for making stuff yourself, but what when there are things you can’t make? I’m a half-decent programmer, but couldn’t write a piece of image software if my life depended on it. Luckily, there is a lot of fantastic freeware out there. My good buddy Ed Perchick has rummaged through the darkest corners of the interweb… 


First, you need to copy the images from the memory card, to your computer.

Rename4u- when uploading images from your memory card to the computer, this free windows tool makes it easy to give sets of images better file names.

Next, if you shoot in RAW, you need to convert to JPEG / TIFF.

Raw Shooter Essentials – completely free Windows RAW converter. Has a subset of the functionality of its paid for big brother, but still fantastic quality, and output quality is as good.

Next, you will probably want to make some image corrections.

The Gimp – very powerful image editor – open source, available on all platforms, and loads of community support.

Then, you may want to apply other corrections, e.g. reduce noise, convert to black and white, or other creative treatments.

Virtual Photographer – this is a great Photoshop compatible plugin which has loads of good quality effects, e.g. Sepia, black and white grain, and is very worthwhile.

GrowCut – this is a fabulous free Windows Photoshop compatible plugin that assists making complex selections.

Noiseware Community Edition – free advanced noise reduction software – sure it doesn’t have the flexibility, or advanced features of its paid for siblings, but it still gives great results, and it’s free.

* Neat Image Demo – the demo of
Neat Image is another freeware noise reduction software with lots of features

And finally, if you’ve shot landscape shots, you may want to stitch them together.

Autostitch – – this is unbelievable, and free. It automatically stitches sets of images together into panoramas – it adjusts brightness, colour, skews, stretches, and has seamless results.

Finally Photo Freeware as its name suggests, has bags of photographic freeware to download.

article by Ed Perchick

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