My new BFF free digital photo editing program

Opinion

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Before I actually buy software, I like to search around to see if there is anything free that will let me do the things I want to do. Usually there is, but free stuff often comes with other problems.

For example, before I bought Photoshop, Lightroom, Photo-Paint, and PaintShop Pro, I searched for free software that would let me edit my digital photos. I found programs like Picmonkey, Picasa, Gimp, and several others that aren’t even worth mentioning because they were so bad that I don’t even remember them!

My dislike of free programs often has something to do with the free program not having all the functions of the paid program. The free program is just a teaser to, hopefully, get you addicted enough that you will want to buy the paid program. In the early days of computing, we called such programs crippleware.

Another problem is that when you download the free program, you also download all sorts of adware and sometimes malicious software. Been there, done that, and it’s a mess to recover from that.

Open source programs like WordPress have their own issues, often related to the fact that anyone can contribute to open source programs, and sometimes those contributions are not completely functional, crash the program or computer, or are not fully tested for compatibility.

One of the free digital photo editing programs I tried took over my computer for about twelve hours while it searched for all of my graphics in order to catalog them. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t let me multitask while it was searching, so my computer was useless for twelve hours. Even rebooting didn’t interrupt its search. It was like the Energizer Bunny and, once the computer rebooted, simply continued in its quest for all things graphic. As soon as it finished, I summarily removed it from my computer.

Ultimately, I decided that there were significant benefits to tried and true programs that you pay for.

Recently, one of my followers, Wesley Coll (visit his WordPress blog at CollTales) introduced me to Lunapic. I think it’s the best free photo editor I have ever seen. I haven’t had the opportunity to explore everything about it yet, but the things I explored yesterday were very easy and intuitive to use. If you’re looking for a free way to edit your photos, give Lunapic a try. I think you might find it a very useful program.

Here is our favorite little feline, Zoey the Cool Cat, to demonstrate some of the effects easily accomplished with Lunapic.

Zoey the Cool Cat Christmas ornament

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Zoey the Cool Cat $100 bill

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Zoey the Cool Cat painting

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The only issue I have with Lunapic is that even if I upload a high resolution image, I can’t save my work as anything other than a low-resolution image. There might be some settings that I have not discovered yet, but at this point it looks like Lunapic is optimized for creating something unique to quickly post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Perhaps even to your WordPress blog!

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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22 thoughts on “My new BFF free digital photo editing program

  1. babso2you

    Can you save the photos to your computer Russel? It appears that you have to upload them to their site…Or do you just play with your photo at their site and then save to your computer?

    Hugs to you and Jim! Miss you both! ^..^ B

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      I uploaded them to work on them. Then I saved my finished product back to my computer. I uploaded both high resolution and low resolution, but whenever I saved them back to my computer, they always were low resolution. Which is too bad because they have some good stuff that I would use if I could do high resolution.

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      1. babso2you

        Thanks for the answer! I played with the program and got some amazing results…I like the animation but have not figured out how to keep them to add to a post…

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  2. colltales

    Thanks Russell. Wow, Lunapic is getting a free boost, I’m sure, just on the account of your blog. I completely agree about most freeware available; it becomes a hell to try to get rid of them. About the quality of pictures saved, one way is, whenever you save it, save it in the format you may eventually use. So for FB, Twitter, email, as you said, JPEG will do it (there’s even an higher-definition available, or I have it on my Mac, to JPEG 2000). But there are other formats where you can save them too. I’ve been using Lunapic for sometime now, as you can see on Colltales, and Sharpen and Color Saturation have been good friends. Just please don’t compare it to what Steve McCurry, for example, can achieve. All the best.

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  3. Karen

    I have gimp2 and serif drawplus x6 both of which I like, once I got used to using them but I use them for drawing (I acquired a graphixs tablet and had to test my skills on it 🙂 ). I like gimps free select, paint tools and transform tools which are easy to use with a graphics tablet. And I like everything about serif draw plus 🙂

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  4. PositiveBoomer

    HI again. I wanted to thank you again for mentioning lunapic as I am having fun with it. I love to play with photos of my grand kidlets. 🙂
    Love your photos and Zoe is such a beautiful cat.

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