I have always been a big fan of Adobe Photoshop, the trendsetter/innovator for all photo editor and image manipulation software.
The downside for typical users though, (other than its price – which is formidable), is it’s huge size on disk, it’s very challenging platform requirements, and an extreme learning curve which demands time and training.
Most of us don’t need the flexibility, or the power of a high end (read expensive), photo editor. Instead, we’re looking for an application that’s small, fast, and free with an intuitive interface that’s very easy to use; especially for those with only modest previous experience.
IrfanView which is one of my favorite photo applications, not just mine; there have been over 34 million downloads, is not just an image viewer, but an image browser, converter, and an editor as well. Best of all, you’ll find the interface intuitive and very easy to use. If you’re curious, this application is named after its developer Irfan Skiljan.
With IrfanView you can fix and enhance digital photos including resizing, cropping, correcting red eye, flipping, and rotating. As well, you can perform a wide variety of image adjustments, including brightness, contrast, and applying special effects such as sharpen and blur.
I have been using this neat little program for years and with every new release it just keeps getting better. The latest version – version 4.20, released July 16, 2008, includes plug-in support for most image, video, and sound formats, including MP3, AVI, audio CD, and WMA. An added bonus in the latest version is you now have the ability to Draw, Erase, Fill, Rotate, and Draw an Arrow.
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The most downloaded Image Editing Software, out of 2618 products, on CNET
Small – only 1.2 MB
Many supported file formats
Multi language support
Slideshow (save slideshow as EXE/SCR or burn it to CD)
Show EXIF/IPTC/Comment text in Slideshow/Full screen etc.
Support for Adobe Photoshop Filters
Drag & drop support
Fast directory view (moving through directory)
Batch conversion (with image processing)
Multipage TIF editing
Change color depth
And much more
Unless you have unusual image editing requirements, IrfanView should more than meet your needs.
System Requirements: Windows Vista, Windows XP
Download at: Download.com
For the Geeky Photographer: Image Analyzer 1.30
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If you’re a geeky photographer, then Image Analyzer 1.30 could be just the program you’ve been searching for. This small (1.24MB), free, advanced, feature-rich image editor, comes complete with serious enhancement and analytical tools.
At the advanced level, this is not a program for the faint of heart, and requires a good understanding of photographic techniques. Check it out at “Free Image Analyzer 1.30 -Professional Photo Editor” on this site.
For a great review on a terrific alternative image viewer, checkout FastStone Image Viewer, by my good buddy Rick Robinette, on his site What’s on My PC.