Best free post processing program for beginner?

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by tcyin, Jul 7, 2021.

  1. I gave one of my old digital cameras to my grandson (age 13) who expressed an interest in learning photography. He is basically a complete novice, having taken only photos on an Ipad and on his phone.What is a good post-processing program for him to download so he can do some elementary edits to his photos? I think for now, the simpler and more straight-forward, the better. He can learn the bells and whistles later once he is comfortable with the basics.
  2. I use Google Picasa. Easy and fast to use, and handles 90% of what I want.
    But Google dropped support for Picasa a long time ago, so you might have to search to find it.
    I only use it for the basic stuff: leveling the picture, adjusting the exposure, and cropping.

    I'm sure there are other easy to use programs out there.
    Jochen likes this.
  3. Irfanview is pretty good and free for home use. is also good and free.
  4. The native Apple photo editing program is really rather good, itโ€™s bundled in all Apple devices.
    Ludmilla likes this.
  5. If you want the full PhotoShop-like toolkit, then GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is the way to go.

    A 13 year old will probably pick up all it's facilities in no time. Like a kid in a sweetshop.... or a kid in a PhotoShop.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2021
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  6. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    My usual recommendations - Irfanview, XnView Classic and FastStone - all free, all reasonably intuitive, and capable of more advanced editing when required.
  7. SCL


    another plug for GIMP, which I've been using for about 6 years after being frustrated by Photoshop and Lightroom.
  8. I used IrfanView many years ago , before switching to PS and LR. Good to know that it is a viable option.
  9. Many people share photos from their phones on social media (notably Instagram) or via photo-sharing sites. So many mobile 'sharing apps' have built-in or add-on editing & filter features.

    Kids of your grandson's age seem to feel more comfortable using mobile apps than W10. And these days, mobile phone screens can be 'cast' to wide screen HD TV screens. so the small screen on a mobile phone is less of a limiting factor for photo-editing than it used to be.

    IHMO, there are two approaches, depending on what your grandson does with edited photos. The first is to download photos to a Notebook or Desktop and edit them there. Adobe Photoshop Express is a free and easy-to-use W10 app. You do need to register with Adobe first. Another free on-line app, I've used is Pixlr. These days, you can work in layers in Pixlr. Finally, The W10 Instagram app also offers editing and filter features.

    Your grandson could of course download his photos directly (or indirectly) to his Tablet or phone and use mobile editing apps. Again, both Photoshop Express and of course Instagram apps are available on mobile as are many more. He'd need an adapter for a direct camera - phone connection like the one here.

    I guess it depends on how much editing he wants to do and which device (with which apps) he feels most comfortable using.

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  10. Oh yeah, I keep forgetting, we're old.
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  11. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    True - but it's been one heck of a great journey; and to prove it, we are still here !!!!!
    mikemorrell likes this.
  12. Mike, Thanks for your usual thoughtful and informative reply. You epitomize what makes this site great. I will forward your reply to my grandson as I've not heard of any of those options
    mikemorrell likes this.
  13. I fear things are the other way round now; kids should point us geezers towards amazingly capable apps. Anyhow, HDD space is cheap and plenty these days, so why not download the entire laundry list of promising freeware until he knows what he likes on a next PC or laptop?

    I am still a huge fan of Picasa. I am also installing proprietary RAW converters, when available (shame on Leica). Stuff from the Linux realm i.e. Darktable RAWtherapee & GIMP seems a must have, when Adobe's is no option. Faststone Imageviewer &/ Irfanview seem handy for weeding out images on weak systems.
  14. I'm 66 but I still try to keep up with trends in social media. For most 'youngsters', their mobile phone is their camera, editing device and social sharing device.

    Social media - and add-on- apps make this easy. Want to share a photo? Crop it, choose a 'look' and click on 'share'. Almost all apps have a 'wizard' button that automatically adjusts exposure, shadows & highlights and white balance. Users can manually adjust from there.

    The vast majority of photos shared via social media is of course ephemeral: "This afternoon I met up with ... at ...".

    In other words, without any ambition or pretence of taking 'great photos'.

    But I'm convin d

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