We all know that Photoshop is pretty expensive. The program can range from $199 for the upgrade version and $699 (CS5) for the full version. But what if you don’t have the budget for Photoshop but still want to manipulate your favorite photos without spending a dime? Here’s a free solution, use GIMP.
“GIMP is a multi-platform photo manipulation tool. GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. The GIMP is suitable for a variety of image manipulation tasks, including photo retouching, image composition, and image construction.
GIMP has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.
GIMP is expandable and extensible. It is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted.
One of The GIMP’s strengths is its free availability from many sources for many operating systems. Most GNU/Linux distributions include The GIMP as a standard application. The GIMP is also available for other operating systems such as Microsoft Windows™ or Apple’s Mac OS X™ (Darwin). The GIMP is a Free Software application covered by the General Public License [GPL]. The GPL provides users with the freedom to access and alter the source code that makes up computer programs.” – Source GIMP website
I have personally used this and pretty much happy with it although of course like Photoshop or any other professional program, there is always a learning curve ahead. But don’t worry. There are lots of documentations and video tutorials out there available for you to read!