Best FREE Photoshop Alternatives for Travel Photographers (2024 Updated)

The best free Photoshop alternatives

Photoshop is the most popular editing app among many travel photographers for a long time. But Photoshop is not cheap and requires to pay it monthly on Adobe Creative Cloud to use it.

Besides pretty solid paid Photoshop alternatives there are a few free photo editing apps that can replace Photoshop for most of us and we outlined them below in the article.

We need to mention that we divided alternatives for Photoshop and Lightroom. That’s said, we outlined free alternatives to Lightroom in another post.

Let’s dive in and explore the best free Photoshop alternatives.

Table of Contents

GIMP

Gimp - the best Photoshop alternatives (free)

GIMP is the most similar free alternative to Photoshop. It’s a standalone app which means that you need to install it on your computer, and you can do so no matter if your computer is powered by Windows, Mac OS, or Linux.

If you already have some experience with Photoshop you will fit easily into the GIMP interface. To be honest, regardless of whether that interface is pretty similar, it seems the poorer and old fashion. However, there exist almost all the features that travel photographers need. It means that you can adjust colors, and exposure, work with layers, create masks, use clone tools and brushes, and all such stuff. GIMP also supports PSD files, so you can open and save PSDs.

Considering it is open source software there is a strong community that develops different add-ons which make GIMP an even better photo editor. So, we can say that GIMP is the best free alternative to Photoshop.

Pros for travel photographers:

  • It’s a completely free app;
  • Very similar interface to Photoshop;
  • Compatible with PSD files;
  • Lots of photo editing tools;
  • Plenty of add-ons make it even more usable.

Cons for travel photographers:

  • Beginners who didn’t work in Photoshop will need probably a lot of time to master it;
  • The interface is a bit outdated;
  • Can not open RAW files directly, but you need to have an external separate app to open RAW and then enable GIMP to edit it (we used RawTherapee for this purpose).

Fotor

Fotor - interface

Fotor is a free online photo editor. Besides of free version there are also paid plans which will enable you advanced editing tools and premium effects, but let’s keep the focus on the free version right now.

The free version offers basic editing tools, photo effects, and retouching tools, so it’s great for quick photo editing. Besides that, there is an option to create HDR photos as well. When you finish you can download photos either in JPG or PNG formats. Also, the good thing is that interface is pretty user-friendly so if you are a beginner in photo editing you will enjoy working on it.

Pros for travel photographers:

  • Web-based editor, so you can access it from anywhere;
  • Solid photo editing capabilities;
  • Basic photo effects;
  • 2 export formats: JPEG and PNG;
  • Good options for making HDRs.

Cons for travel photographers:

  • There are no advanced photo editing tools.

Photopea

Photopea - interface

Photopea is another online photo editor, so it means that you can access it with any device through your browser.

Photopea interface is similar to Photoshop almost 1/1, so if you’ve ever worked in Photoshop you will be pretty familiar with Photopea. The main advantage in comparison with Photoshop is that it is a web-based app and you can make quick adjustments to your photos without needing to run the app on your computer.

All essential tools travel photographers need are there. You can resize and crop images as you can do in Photoshop. Color manipulation is also pretty the same as in Photoshop. There is also an option to work with layers, masks, and smart objects.

Photopea is also fully compatible with PSD which means that you can import PSD files and also export them. If you want to make edits using brush and clone tools, you can also count on Photopea, considering that you will find all tools you’ve worked with in Photoshop including patch tool, content-aware moving tool, healing brush, spot healing brush, etc.

Also, Photopea offers you an easy way to create images for social media through templates. So, you can easily create images in format for your Instagram story or feed, images for your YouTube profile, etc.

Pros for travel photographers:

  • Web-based photo editor, you can access it from any device;
  • Almost identical interface to Photoshop;
  • Fully support for PSD files;
  • Work with layers and masks.

Cons for travel photographers:

  • Can be a bit complicated for beginners considering of similarity to Photoshop.

Pixlr

Pixlr - one of the best Photoshop alternatives

Pixlr is another web-based photo editor. Once you create an account on Pixlr you have access to Pixlr E and Pixlr X, but Pixlr X is design software, so you do not need it for photo editing. For photo editing you need only Pixlr E. We need to say that besides the free version we outline here, you can also buy the premium version which offers you full access to Pixlr E and X.

Like other web-based photo editors, the main advantage is that you can access it from any device because you only need a browser to work on it.

The interface is not so complex and it’s clean and straightforward so we can say that it enables much easier to work for beginners. You can easily upload photos from your computer or an URL if you store them online. Once you upload a photo you will be able to edit it through various tools. Besides standard image adjustments and filters, you can also work with layers. There are also a lot of tools for photo manipulation like liquify, healing brush, etc. For some other tools like tools for bokeh creation, you need to use premium plans.

Once you finish editing you can export photos as JPG, PNG, WebP, or PXZ which is Pixlr’s native document format. Regardless of the pretty high usability for a free tool, we need to mention that Pixlr doesn’t support RAW and PSD files. However, for basic editing or even more than basic editing of your travel photos, Pixlr is a fantastic alternative to Photoshop.

Pros for travel photographers:

  • The online app, which means it’s easily accessible through a browser from any device;
  • Simple and clean interface with intuitive work-flow;
  • Work with layers;
  • Capable for all basic image adjustments travel photographers need;
  • A lot of filters are available.

Cons for travel photographers:

  • No support for RAW and PSD files;
  • Some tools visible in the free version of the app can not be used unless you subscribe to the premium version (like the tool for bokeh creation).

BeFunky

BeFunky - interface

BeFunky is another online (web-based) photo editor. And this app is a very good choice for quick editing where you don’t need to make complex edits, but simple tweaks.

However, it’s not a completely free app, that’s said there are also premium plans which unlock all features. With the free version, you will be able to use tools that are not marked with a green dot.

In any case, BeFunky’s interface is pretty straightforward so even if you are a beginner in photo editing you will find all the necessary tools quickly. Once you finish editing you can export your photo as JPG, PNG, or even PDF. Another thing we need to stress is that you can use the free version without the need to create an account.

Pros for travel photographers:

  • Web-based interface, easily accessible from any device with a browser and internet connection;
  • A good amount of essential tools for travel photographers;
  • You don’t need to create an account to use the free version.

Cons for travel photographers:

  • For all advanced tools you need to pay for the premium version;
  • For everything you do need to click “apply” (if you adjust exposure, and go to color adjustments without clicking to apply, you will lose the exposure adjustments you made).

PhotoScape X

PhotoScape X - interface

PhotoScape X is a very good free alternative to Photoshop. It’s not a web-based app as many previous free apps we mentioned, instead, it’s the standalone app you need to install on your computer. No matter if you use Windows PC or Mac, both versions are supported.

The interface is a bit different than in Photoshop but you will learn it quickly. On the main menu you will see several segments: viewer, editor, cut out, batch, collage, combine, create GIF, print, and tools. For most of your editing, you will use either editor or cut-out.

In the editor, you will find all the necessary tools for quick editing. However, we need to let you know that some tools are locked in the free version and you need to pay the full plan to use it. Some of the locked tools are hue/saturation, color balance, curves, lens correction, etc.

If you take a lot of photos on your trips you will like that PhotoScape X is capable to make adjustments in the bulk, like crop, resize, color adjustments, etc. Also, there is an option to create GIF animations from your photos.

Pros for travel photographers:

  • Solid amount of tools in the free version;
  • Support RAW photo editing;
  • Batch photo editing;
  • Don’t need an internet connection to access it (standalone app).

Cons for travel photographers:

  • Some basic tools (like hue/saturation tool) are not able in free versions;
  • If you use previously Photoshop, you will need some time to become familiar with the interface.

Photo Pos Pro

Photo Pos Pro - interface

Photos Pos Pro is another Photoshop alternative. This is also a standalone app without a web-based version, but it’s compatible with both Windows and Mac.

We especially like that Photos Pos Pro offers two interfaces – novice and pro. So, whatever your level of expertise you will probably fit into one of these two interfaces. The novice interface is clean and easy to understand for beginners. On the other hand pro interface is more feature-rich and a bit more complicated than we’d like to see.

Regarding functionalities, there are plenty of tools that travel photographers in the photo editing process. Besides of working with masks and layers there is also a batch photo editing option. There is also an eraser tool that enables you to change the background of the photo.

Also, Photos Pos Pro is fully compatible with RAW and PSD files.

Pros for travel photographers:

  • Novice and pro interfaces for beginners and experienced photographers;
  • Fully support for RAW and PSD files;
  • Lots of tools for travel photographers.

Cons for travel photographers:

  • If you are going to work in the pro interface you should count on the learning curve.

Conclusion

Photoshop is truly an industry leader and many photographers use it as a default photo editing app. But there are also free apps nowadays which offer you efficient tools to edit your travel photos.

We need to stress that we made this overview based on our personal preferences, so maybe you will find some app more or less useful than it was for us. Also, we are going to update this list as soon as we find additional photo editing apps which can compete with Photoshop enough to be considered as a free 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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