9 Great Photo Handling Tools For New And Occasional Photographers

Do you love images? There are a lot of photography junkies or wanna be photographers out there who will eagerly say yes. If you are just starting out in the world of digital imagery and are a little short on cash, here are some free applications and storage options that will help you get started. 

Not all of the applications are super powerful. An increasing number of them have mobile applications available. With the cameras on most smart phones getting better with each new model, the photo manipulating applications are getting better and better all the time too.

Image manipulation

Aviary (Phoenix)

Aviary is an a really powerful web-based image editor. Considering it is web-based versus a downloaded application, Aviary offers a ton of features such as: layers, editing tools, different brushes and effects tools. What sets it apart is you are given all the tools you really need to modify or combine pictures with all the confusing tools removed.



Photoshop is the go-to for almost every industry and the photography industry is no different. However, there is always free software available that will do the majority of what you need to do. We have talked about GIMP add-ons here on Make Tech Easier. GIMP offers a whole section of their site to add-on letting you touch up or add any effect you could want to your images called the GIMP Registry.



Picasa is Google’s image editor. Like most things Google, Picasa integrates really well with other parts of Google like Android phones and Google+ or does well as a stand alone. While Picasa is not as robust as an application such as GIMP, you can touch up your images and even add some effects.


Cloud storage


Microsoft’s cloud storage option, Skydrive, gives you unlimited storage for pictures. That’s right, unlimited. There is a limited size file you can upload. If you have a file larger than 50 MB or more than a couple images to upload, you can use Windows Live Mesh to sync your image files and folders to your Skydrive.


Box.com is a great service that offers up 50 GB of space for free (for Android users). You have great access from mobile devices so if take a cool picture from your Android or iOS device, you can upload it for later editing.



Dropbox has been working on some cool updates. They recently added automatic uploading for all of the videos and movies from your Android device. Another upgrade you get is, they raised the free storage from 2GB to 5GB when you download Dropbox for Android. Downloading the Dropbox desktop application lets you keep files in constant sync with the web. There is also a recovery option in case you mess up and overwrite an image.

Image effects


BeFunky is a pretty cool web application that lets you add simple effects as well as touching up your photos to make them look like a million bucks. If you are a mobile phone photographer, there are applications for Android and iOS devices.



Psykopaint is an effects web application to make your digital images look like they are paintings or drawings. There are a bunch of different brushes to give you different effects. A nice feature about Psykopaint is you can use layers to separate different effects. That way you can go back and hide or enable a layer to see what looks best.



Pho.to has several different sections. The effect that caught my eye is the cartoon effects. What the cartoon effect lets you do is add a cartoony look to your images, but you can also add animate portraits. Being able to add animations to your images brings a whole new dimension to portraits.



Not everyone needs the most powerful tools available. Heck, most people I know are using their phone to take pictures, even the pictures for life’s most important moments. Several of the applications mentioned, especially the storage options, are general purpose and great to use whether or not you are serious about your photography.

What free or low cost applications do you use to edit your images?

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