One of the reasons Adobe Photoshop has become so popular is because of all the advanced photo affects that can be applied to images. Over the last few years I’ve seen a lot of free alternatives emerge onto the scene saving users hundreds of dollars, but many of them don’t have the effects and control that I’m looking for.
The tool that we found for you today is called PhotoFiltre, and it is completely free just like most of the software we write about. It’s far from becoming a Photoshop replacement, but I’ve found that it is extremely handy at applying effects and touching up the digital photos that you have lying around. Lets look at some of the things that it can do…
- There are over 100 filters available including ones for standard adjustments (brightness, saturation, etc…) and even artistic ones (watercolor, puzzle effect, etc…). We’ll get into these more in the next section of the article.
- You can select portions of an image with an automatic shape (rectangle, ellipse, triangle, rhombus, rounded rectangle) or with the lasso, magic wand, and polygon tools.
- Well-organized toolbars make it easy to switch between the most used tools.
- PhotoMasque lets you create advanced effects of contour and transparency on your images by using preset masks. These masks are grayscale images, where white is the transparancy color, while opacity increases as the shades of gray become darker. Black means complete opacity. There are several basic masks included.
- The Automatisation module lets you apply basic functions/corrections (conversion, image size, framing) to a group of images.
- Advanced text effects are available including rotation, shading, and bevel.
- Assemble and blend multiple images.
- Automatic photo corrections that enhance your images so that they look the best.
- Free plug-ins add even more functionality including red eye removal, animated GIF importing, page curl effect, gradients, screen capture, and much more.
One of my favorite things with the PhotoFiltre application is the wide array of special filters that’s available. I wanted demonstrate what some of the filters can do, so here are some examples using the image pictured in the screenshot above as the starting ground:
- I cropped the image so that the mountains were removed, and then I applied the Lake reflection filter (in the Deform menu). It really does look like a reflection in a lake, doesn’t it?
- This is the Puzzle effect (in the Stylize menu)… you could really create your own puzzle if you had a steady hand with the scissors. :)
- This is the Trapezoid/Perspective filter (in the Deform menu) which can be used to angle your photos:
- Here I used the Lasso tool to select just the grass area, and then I applied the Fog filter (in the Visual effect menu) to the selected area.
- In a single click I was able to turn this wonderful afternoon photo into what appears to be a night shot. This was done using the Night effect filter (in the Color menu):
Those are just a handful of the filters available. Here’s a quick list of some of my other favorites that you might find useful:
- Blurring (several different types of blurs)
- Dust reduction
- Revive colors
- Sunset effect
- Colored pencil
- Comic strip
- and dozens more…
PhotoFiltre has become a beloved application of mine over the last month simply because I do a lot of photo corrections and enhancements on a regular basis. If you want to edit your images this is a great solution, and once you throw a couple of the plug-ins into the app it will become a really powerful photo editor.