9 OS X Apps to Use as Photoshop Alternatives

Photoshop has changed the face of professional industry by helping photographers, graphic designers, commercial artists and also Web designers achieve delicate, artistic, and high end work. Photoshop has existed for around 20 years, and better improvements continue to build and make.

Adobe itself has created Photoshop CC, which is claimed to deliver better result. However, you have to spend $50 a month for the subscription through Creative Cloud. It may seem like a huge spending, but it is truly worth it, especially with new technologies being created. However, not so many people are interested in such deal, especially if they are considering the amount of money they have to spend on monthly basis.

So, here are the other alternatives to Photoshop. These nine programs aren’t only great for photo enthusiasts and photographers, but also affordable. And most importantly, they are able to deliver the high end and professionally artistic result, just like the one delivered by Photoshop.

Photoshop Elements 12 from Adobe

Photoshop Elements photo package is sold around $100, about 1/7 of the actual price of Photoshop CC. Not only this package is the lighter version of the CC, it is also an affordable alternative for photo enthusiasts. You can basically enjoy the Guided, Basic, and Expert mode, while enjoying the provided Organizer app – coming with the package. It may not have advanced controls like four color separation and such thing alike, but it comes with auto smart tone, pet eye edit feature, photo effects or textures in Instagram style, and other handy features. Another great thing about this app is the fact that it can be used by professional as well as amateur users.

Photoshop Lightroom 5 from Adobe

Photoshop Lightroom app changes the line between professional work, artistic result, and advanced amateurs. It is available through the subscription of Creative Cloud, but you can also buy it as a single application if you don’t want to subscribe to anything. the main strength of this program is the high quality of editing. Those who have been working with Aperture from Apple may understand the kind of quality offered by such sophisticated program, and Lightroom is able to deliver such sophistication. Not only is it able to deliver high quality images, it is also quite easy to operate.

There are several most popular and handy features to enjoy; you can enjoy the upright feature to straighten images, healing brush advanced to fix those irregular shapes, smart previews to help you work on pictures when you don’t have the originals, and radial gradient feature to attract viewers’ focus in the image. This app is suitable for photo editor.

Aperture 3.5 from Apple

Aperture is designed for Mac users and sold for $80. It is basically a photo organizer, but it comes with loads of handy features. For instance, it has Retina display that is able to combine the libraries from iPhoto and Aperture to enhance smooth transitions. It also comes with better auto enhance, white balance, and shadow highlight feature to deliver artistic result.

iPhoto 9.5 from Apple

Not only this program is simpler and easier than the Photoshop Element, iPhoto is also much more affordable. Only with $15, you can enjoy great flexibilities with this one. With this program, feel free to correct exposure, remove any unwanted objects, add certain effects to any images, remove the red eye, and also fix your favorite images. You can also convert your images into black and white, or add vignette, or add blurry effect, and so many more. This program can be shared with Aperture. If you have any iOS devices, the images you take will appear on the iPhoto automatically.

Flying Meat Acorn 4.1

This lightweight program with its 64bit feature is offering great and professional editing assistance. The user interface is easy and simple. You can tweak the filters, text, layering masks, vector tools, and other features that are similar to the ones found in Photoshop. Acorn also deals with alphas, levels, masks, curves, gradients, and so many more with enhanced feature for Retina display. If you are new to this field, this application is the easy solution to try. Not to mention that the low cost alternative is nice – you only need to spend around $50.

Pixelmator 3

Pixelmator works as a full service editor like the Acorn, but it still retains the recognizable and traditional tools that most photographers and image editors like to have. Most of the features are needed and liked by professional workers in this artistic field. It works on the RGB color space, but thanks to the newer version, it comes with Liquify and layering features that can be compared with the ones packed within Photoshop. This app, however, offers flexibility and easiness to the way you handle image editing. Make use of the simple slider editing functionality or drag and drop movement to make your activity easier. It comes with tag price around $30.

AfterShot Pro Corel

By spending $25, you can have this app and pair it up with other programs, like Aperture, Photoshop, or Lightroom, as handy photo manager and also image editor. Enjoy the various photo editing choices and arrangements so you can always edit your images easily. Aftershot Pro also offers nice accessing images where you can always find ones within the hard drive without importing them to any program. It is handy and affordable.

PhotoDirector CyberLink 5

This image editing app costs around $60, offering easy and affordable editing purpose. There are tabbed layouts with well arranged library that will provide information about your photo collections. You can make adjustments or changes easily. Enjoy various features like Auto Lens Correction to enhance better images. The interface is nice, friendly, and simple, with organized control.

GIMP 2.8

Also known as GNU Image Manipulation Program, this open source and free editor comes with handy features that are similar to Photoshop. You can fix and edit the photos, but the implementation isn’t always smooth. However, the newer version of GIMP has better and smoother features, which is worth considering – especially for free app.

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  • Daniel

    I have some experience with GIMP. But personally, as part time graphic designer I don’t really like using anything but good ole’ PhotoShop. The UI’s and shortcuts of these other apps are quite hard to get used to when you’ve used CS6 for so long!

  • JasonHunston

    Aperture looks really nice. I hardly do graphic designs, but I do need something like this when I need to whip up a quick logo, thanks.

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