An Open Source Arsenal for Photographers

by Ostatic Staff - May. 18, 2012

There has never been a better time to be interested in digital photography. Not only do inexpensive digital cameras offer great high-resolution photos, but they come with very advanced feature sets. Over the years on OStatic, we've also covered a huge number of open source applications that can make editing, organizing and adding effects to digital photos much easier. If you're under the impression that you must have Photoshop to be a top-notch photo editor, think again. The open source applications that are available are beyond robust. Here is our updated collection of great tools for the digital photographer--and all of them are free.

Editing and Organizing. Lisa did a good roundup on five applications focused on image editing and organizing photos here.  Among the applications she took note of, Shotwell is a very popular photo organizer for the GNOME desktop environment. Meanwhile, DigiKam is a rich application with slick editing tools, and you can use it to organize photo libraries.

 Cooliris. Among photo junkies, Cooliris is almost universally lauded. Kristin covered the Linux version here. It's a browser plug-in designed to enhance your photo and video browsing experience. You can use it to panoramically soar through photo collections, and it works great for navigating photo and video collections found online.

Go GIMP. If you've spent any time working with photos and graphics--whether you favor open source software or not--you're probably familiar with the power of GIMP, one of the very best open source graphics applications. In this post, we rounded up five free, educational resources for getting started with GIMP and becoming an expert user.

Blender Basics. Blender is most widely known as a 3D animation application, but it includes so much graphical muscle under the hood, that any serious digital photographer can enhance photos impressively with it. We've covered a number of free resources for beginner-to-advanced Blender instruction here, including Tuft University's remarkable free online course on the application.

Get Going with Gallery. Gallery is an open source, web-based photo management and album organizer application available for Linux and Windows. Licensed under the GPL, Gallery makes it easy to blend photo management into a web site or blog. There is a Gallery Remote client available for it that lets you upload new sets of photos on-the-fly, and Gallery is available in over 20 languages.

Shooting the Panorama. For working with very splashy and impressive panoramic digital photos, Hugin is hard to beat. It's a free, open source photo panorama stitcher that lets you assemble collections of overlapping pictures into one big image, including a full 360° panoramic view. Check out Lisa's post on it here. Just below, check out the cool panoramic photo of the Golden Gate Bridge from Hugin's site.