Four Free Photo Editors for OSX

As I’ve mentioned here before, I use Bootcamp to be able to run both OSX and Windows on my machine- but I do most of my work on OSX, and use Windows strictly for testing sites and playing games. As it is, I always have my eye out for good Mac applications, and today I want to post about some of my favorites: image editing apps that are lightweight and, best of all, free. These are not replacements for Photoshop (unlike Gimp), but are good to have for quick jobs when you don’t have- or don’t want to use- the latter.



LiveQuartz was a more recent discovery of mine, and one I’m very glad to have made. They call it “Free Photo ReTOUCHing for Leopard”- and if you’ve used an iPhone, you’ll understand why: if your Mac is equipped with a multi-touch trackpad, you can use gestures in LiveQuartz- for example, “Swipe” for tools and layer controls, and my favorite “Pinch & Expand” for magnification, zooming and rotation. It handles most image formats, including Raw, and features non-destructive layer editing. Definitely one to try out if you haven’t.

Image Tricks


I’ve used Image Tricks for some time now, and it’s important to note that you cannot draw in this app: it’s strictly for photo editing- which it handles truly beautifully. I believe it’s called Image Tricks for a reason: its built-in image filters are great, easy to use, and can spell hours of fun for someone who wants to play with their photos.



If you’ve ever used MacPaint (and I’m old enough to have used it a lot), Paintbrush is the same thing- only better, because now you’ve got things like an airbrush, a rounded rectangle, and the ability to zoom. Seriously, though, this is a great app even if you don’t remember MacPaint, mostly because of how streamlined and easy to use it is. As they say, “Just pick a tool, pick a color, and go!”



Seashore is simple but quietly powerful. Based on Gimp, it’s got everything from gradients, anti-aliasing and textures to layer editing and alpha channels- making it perhaps closer to Photoshop than the other apps I’ve listed here. To see what Seashore can do, check out these video tutorials made by a user. Good stuff.

Which is your favorite non-Photoshop photo editor?

  1. By Tommix posted on October 27, 2009 at 9:45 am
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    Pixelmator, It’s not free(41.76€, alot cheaper than PS) but it’s sooo good,. Try it out.

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