Best FREE Lightroom Alternatives for Travel Photographers (2024 Updated)

The best free Lightroom alternatives

Are you a travel photographer searching for the best FREE alternatives for Lightroom?

If you ever asked pro photographers about free Lightroom alternatives, we are sure that many of them said that free Lightroom alternatives simply are enough good. 

However, few alternatives are good enough if you want to stay within the budget. If you read this article till the end you will learn which apps are exactly the best FREE Lightroom alternatives for travel photographers, in our opinion.

Also, if you are searching for free Photoshop alternatives we need to say that in this article we are focused only on free alternatives to Lightroom, but we wrote another article devoted to the free best Photoshop alternatives.

Let’s start with it.

Table of Contents

RawTherapee

RawTherapee - one of the best Lightroom alternatives (free)

RawTherapee is one of the best free Lightroom alternatives. It’s a standalone app compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux computers.

Its interface is relatively advanced but straightforward, so we can say that you will (relatively) easily learn it no matter your previous experience in photo editing. There are 3 workspaces within the interface: file browser, queue, and editor. And you can easily switch between them.

You will see also that there are a lot of shared tools between RawTherapee and Lightroom, including advanced tools like lens & distortion correction, so if you’ve ever worked in Lightroom you will be familiar with it. 

Of course, RAW processing is awesome for a free app, and it supports RAW formats from all camera manufacturers.

RawTherapee scans your internal and external storage for the file browser, so you don’t need to import photos and create a catalog.

Pros for travel photographers:

  • Completely free;
  • A lot of tools shared with Lightroom;
  • Straightforward interface;
  • Excellent RAW processing for a free app.

Cons for travel photographers:

  • Some advanced features were missed;
  • Use your internal storage without an option to deeper organizing your photos.

Darktable

Darktable - interface

Darktable is another free Lightroom alternative that fits travel photographers who don’t want to use paid apps.

This is a standalone app that you need to install on your computer and it’s compatible with Windows, Mac, and most Linux distributions.

When you run Darktable first time, you may find the interface a bit unusual, but when you work for a while, you will easily find all tools you need. Like in Lightroom, Darktable also has a few workspaces (lightable, darkroom, map, slightshow, tethering).

The learning curve for Darktable can be challenging to less experienced photo editors, but you can easily find a lot of tutorials on Youtube or elsewhere. However, the good thing is that interface is customizable, so you can adjust to your habits and working routine.

We need to mention the huge advantage of Darktable for batch editing – the ability to create scripts that automate some of the tasks. So, you can easily avoid time-consuming tasks with this script automation. RAW processing is also very good and Darktable is compatible with 400+ cameras.

Darktable also has image management tools, but you need to import photos before, so there is no option to manage images directly on your storage which some other tools can do.

Pros for travel photographers:

  • Completely free app;
  • Very good RAW processing;
  • Plenty of tools for color adjustments;
  • Fast and efficient for batch photo editing with scripts that automate a lot of things.

Cons for travel photographers:

  • A bit complicated interface requires time to learn.

Conclusion

Lightroom is truly an industry leader and many photographers use it as a default photo editing and RAW processing app.

However, for some photographers, it’s too expensive. There are not a lot of free Lightroom alternatives that are really good or at least that are a good compromise.

But in this article, we outlined only free Lightroom alternatives for travel photographers (you can explore paid Lightroom alternatives in a separate article).

We need to stress that we made this overview based on our personal preferences. Also, we are going to update this list as soon as we find additional photo editing apps which can compete with Lightroom enough to be considered as an alternative.

If there is any other app you think should be on our list, please let us know in the comment section below.

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