I did a graphic editing course recently using Adobe Photoshop, but it’s too expensive for me to buy. Can you recommend something decent that I can use for free?
Paint.NET is an impressive image-editing program that has all of the tools needed to repair and improve photos, without a price tag.
The interface is well laid out, more like Photoshop than the other popular free image editing tool The Gimp. This makes it a more attractive choice if you don’t want to have to learn how The Gimp works.
There are several toolboxes that show the history of actions, layers, tool icons and the colour wheel. They are transparent until the mouse moves over them, which is handy for reducing distractions.
It has the Levels Adjustment tool, which is a quick way to improve the colours and brightness of a photo. Curiously the histograms are rotated 90° to how they are in other paint programs but this is more than made up for by the fact that both input and output histrograms are displayed, offering more information on the changes than The Gimp.
There are plenty of artistic effects, most with live previews so you can tweak the various settings to get exactly the right effect.
You can download it here: Paint.Net