Must-Have Apps for Photographers

Must-Have Apps for Photographers

Digital photography makes refining and correcting photos so much easier. Many photographers touch up their photos on the computer before sharing them anywhere. There are many complicated programs which you can use to modify and touch up your photos. But there are also a number of smaller, simpler, and just as powerful programs. Whether you are looking to organize your photos, clarify them, or add professional-looking effects, here are four applications you can download for free (either a demo or the full thing).

Neat Image
Download it here.

Neat Image comes as either a plug-in for photoshop (it works in Paint Shop Pro as well.. I know this from experience), or a standalone program. It is a small but very useful noise reduction program. It is very easy to use, customizable, and works very well. The limited demo only works on photos 1000 pixels or smaller on the smallest side, but if you try it and like what it does (as I'm sure you will), the home edition is only $30 to purchase. If you are simply using this for your own pleasure, though, 1000 pixels are more than enough (again, I speak from experience).

Photomatics
Download it here.

If you've ever wondered how some photographs look so dynamic that the clouds seem to be popping out at you… here's how: HDR. High Dynamic Range is a way of getting the same (and sometimes more) contrast into your photos as you see with your eyes. All you have to do to create the same effect is take a few pictures of the same thing at different exposures, and let Photomatix do the rest. Photomatix puts these pictures together. The full version is a little steep at $99, but the demo will allow you to create HDR pictures and edit them very slightly, so if you have another editing program, the demo version should be enough.

Poladroid
Download it here.

Too bad Polaroid cameras are not being made anymore. There's something about the colors and the quality of Polaroid photographs that make them so pleasant and artistic. The next best thing is Poladroid. This nifty little program takes your photos and adds Polaroid-like effects to it, down to the occasional accidental fingerprint on the edge of the textured paper. The application itself looks like a little Polaroid camera on your desktop, and you can shake the photos as they're "developing" to make them dry faster. It's very fun to play with.

Picasa
Download it here.

And now that you have so many photos because you have these great programs to play with, you need a better way of organizing all of them! Google's Picasa puts all your photos into an easy to manage database that you can browse easily. Picasa also comes with a picture viewer and a basic editing program that can create some cool effects. And best of all, it's absolutely free!

Have fun with these!

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