That might sound like a oxymoron, but I believe the term 'photoshopping' turned to mean manipulating photos (with or without Photoshop).

I'm especially interested in realistic effects on faces, like smoothing skin, whitening teeth, and so on.

The main issue in Photoshop is basically their price model (pay and pay monthly, no matter whether you use it or not). I want either a pay once alternative or open source/free.

For those who insist in recommending GIMP: https://graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/114222/q-gimp-vs-photoshop


The GIMP - Gnu Image Manipulation Program. Yet another fine example of why you don't let the devs name the product.

All three platforms supported, lots of powerful tools, both Free and free.


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    GIMP is Free, Gratis & Open Source, plus runs on Windows, Max & Linux. – Steve Barnes Apr 22 '19 at 5:22
  • Does GIMP fit the requirements listed, like "realistic effects on faces, like smoothing skin, whitening teeth, and so on"? – Izzy May 6 '19 at 6:02
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    @Izzy Not with my skill set. :) But it has the tools, supports extensions, etc – ivanivan May 6 '19 at 22:10
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    @ivanivan I just wanted to point out what's missing in the answer :) Using GIMP myself, but didn't see such tools yet (matching my skill set that is; there are tutorials for that but I'd have to look them up each time if I'd want to use them the way the question suggests…) – Izzy May 6 '19 at 22:49

You might look at darktable: https://www.darktable.org.

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    It is worth pointing out that Darktable is Free, Gratis & Open Source plus runs on Windows, Mac & Linux. – Steve Barnes Apr 21 '19 at 4:42
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    And it would be helpful to point out how it meets the listed requirements (see our discussion on answer quality). – Izzy May 6 '19 at 6:01

I use GIMP as well for advanced editing, but for simpler things I sometimes will reach for something more lightweight (both free):

  • Paint.NET - basic layering, color filters, etc
  • Inkscape - vector/path editing, handles wide variety of formats
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  • 1
    Technically, Inkscape is more akin to Illustrator, not photoshop. – Chillie May 9 '19 at 12:33
  • +1 for Paint.NET – user9811991 May 10 '19 at 1:27

If you have iOS you can buy the ProCreate App for ~ 15 Euros (paid once, no subscription). It works best with the Apple Pencil.

On Android there is, for instance AutoDesk SketchBook.

Many, many other apps are available for both mobile platforms.

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Take a look at these programs:

  • darktable
  • RAWtherapee
  • Corel Aftershot Pro
  • affinity photo
  • Portrait Pro
  • Corel Paint Shop Pro
  • Gimp
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You probably want https://www.photopea.com online editor. Very similar to photoshop.

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  • Welcome to Software Recommendations! As you see, all well-received answers here are more than just a link. Please consider editing your answer and add more information about the software, especially how it meets the requirements in the question. – Glorfindel May 8 '19 at 7:06
  • How about "You might look at darktable: darktable.org." with +2?. I got minus just from robot becouse of wrong linking. Nevertheless I will consider add more info on photopea. – Johny English May 8 '19 at 10:02
  • You might indeed have gotten an automatic downvote after editing your post, because that validated the automatic low quality flag. (I didn't downvote your post.) I agree that there are a lot of low-quality answers here ... – Glorfindel May 8 '19 at 10:10

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