Photoshop filters are some great tools to play around with in order to give a photograph a complete makeover if need be. There are some for those who are artistically inclined, like Oil Paint and Mosaic, and the likes of Sharpen and Blur which provide users with different kinds of options to alter the softness and clarity of their images. Options like Plastic Wrap can be used in a fun way to make your image look like it has been covered in a very realistic looking Saran wrap, and lighting effects can be used by professionals and amateurs alike to help shed light on a specific area of an image.
The Stained Glass filter makes images look like an intricate collection of geometric shapes
As great as these filters are, they are not for free. Photoshop charges its users a monthly fee, so if you don’t need a full image editing suite but still want to use Photoshop-like filters for free, there are some great alternatives you can try.
For Online Editing – Pixlr and Fotor
Pixlr is a pretty cool option for those who want to edit anything online, without using Photoshop. It comes with a whopping 2 million possible combination of tools, overlays, filters, and actions that can be used to edit your photos. You can stylize your image to look like a sketch, a poster or a painting, or make a collage of different pictures on the go. With its Focal Blur tool, achieving a depth of field effect is no more something that can be achieved only through an expensive camera. Pixlr’s catalog of filters and effects just keeps growing, so you always have more and more options to choose from.
Much similar to Pixlr, Fotor gives you access to a number of filters to edit your images. Its Scene Effects options let you change the lighting, contrast and color of your images, hassle-free. Its catalogue of filters is also quite large, with effects ranging from Crisp to Toy. You can add Color Splash to your photos to make one color pop more than others, or use the Lomo filter to give your photo a unique look. If Photoshop filters are your thing, then Fotor is going to be great for you as a free option.
For a Full Photoshop Replacement – GIMP
GNU Image Manipulation Program, or GIMP, is a pretty simple and effective software for those who are familiar with the inner workings of Photoshop but do not have access to it. It is completely free of cost, and can be used on both Windows and Mac. Gimp counts a number of professional photographers, designers and illustrators among its users. Its website comes loaded with tons of free tutorials you can watch to hone your skills.
Much like Photoshop, GIMP comes with a variety of filters you can use for free. These include the likes of Blur, Pixelize, Red Eye Removal, Emboss, and many more. GIMP is often touted as the best free alternative to Photoshop, so you should definitely give it a try if you want something like Adobe’s editing giant for free.