Quite often, one needs to process or retouch images from a digital camera with an image editor but is limited by their amateur Photoshop skills. Or perhaps, you don’t want to burden yourself and your pocket by purchasing Adobe Lightroom or Camera Raw. If you are looking for a simple application to perform basic to intermediate photo editing, have a look at Lightbox Image Editor, it’s absolutely free.
Lightbox Editor provides real-time, fluid controls allowing you to see the results as you make adjustments. The interface is nice and clean and puts emphasis on the image with minimum distractions.
Lightbox editor supports TIFF and RAW images, in addition JPEG and BMP file formats. It uses 16-bits per channel for editing and provides the ability to auto-adjust color, balance or make the adjustments manually.
The quick edit mode offers various controls to retouch the image. You can adjust color, brightness, change hue saturation, play with shadows, highlights and play with the lighting. All the edits you perform would give you real-time feedback so you know then and there if you are heading the right way or not.
The bottom bar/panel allows you to adjust the zoom, view original unchanged image or view the before and after version side by side to compare what you have achieved.
In addition, Lightbox Editor provides basic tools to crop, resize and sharpen images, you can also add a border real quick, remove red eye from photographs, remove color casts etc.
Lightbox Editor is available as both free and “plus” versions. Everything I mention above is available in the free version, the “plus” version includes additional tools for dodging and burning, cloning, an undo brush, history and blurring. While the rest of the functions in “plus” version are fairly advanced, it would have been great if blur had been available in the free version because it’s very basic and can come in handy from time to time.
Lightbox Editor is very useful and convenient (not to mention lightweight) for retouching your photos easily and quickly. The RAW support along with 16-bit editing is an added benefit for some of the advanced users out there.
Looking for an online or free alternative for Adobe Photoshop? Check out 5 really powerful Online Image Editing Tools and 8 Simple Free Photoshop Alternatives that are under 2 MB.
What do you use to retouch your photos? Know of some similar applications? We would love to hear about them in the comments.