PhotoScape is a fun and easy to use photo editing program that can be installed on Microsoft and Mac computers.
It is free to download and serves as a great alternative to Photoshop or Lightroom that are often too expensive and a bit overwhelming for beginner photographers.
PhotoScape is simple to install and comes with all the necessary tools like color, brightness, filters, and effects to make photo editing adjustments easily.
If you use a Microsoft 10 or Mac computer, you may want to check out PhotoScape X, the more advanced version of PhotoScape that has everything you need to edit photos like a pro.
In this tutorial we’ll cover how to download PhotoScape, how to get started and all the best editing options that it has to offer:
To install PhotoScape editing software onto your computer go to the PhotoScape website and download the program.
Make sure you’re in the Free Download tab and click on the green button that says “Download Now Download.com”.
Note that if you see a giant green “Start Now” button – don’t click on it. That is a Google ad and will lead you to download some other random software. I accidentally clicked on it and a few steps in I realized that I was downloading the wrong thing.
Once you click on the “Download Now” button, it will download the PhotoScape Set Up icon onto your computer.
Just go to your Downloads and you will find the PhotoScape Set Up icon there.
Right click on the icon and select “Run As Administrator”.
You will get a popup asking “Do You Want To Allow This App To Make Changes To Your Device?” and click “Yes”. If you click “No” it won’t proceed with the installation process.
In the next window click “I Agree – Install”.
Next it will suggest that you download Google Drive. I already have Google Drive installed on my computer so I un-checked the box and clicked “Next”.
Then wait until the installing process has completed. Click “Finish”.
Once the download process is finished, PhotoScape should automatically open on your computer. If it doesn’t, click on the PhotoScape icon that should now appear on your computer’s Desktop.
Once you have downloaded PhotoScape onto your computer, the program is pretty easy to use. All of PhotoScape’s editing tools can be accessed from the tool bar or the tool wheel.
To edit images click on the Editor tab or icon and find your photo in the folder area on the left side. I use the “Pictures” folder to organize and easily access the photos that I want to edit.
In this tutorial, we’ll spend most of our time under the Editor tab since this is where all the necessary editing tools are located to crop your image, fix brightness, color, contrast and more.
PhotoScape editing tools are perfect for those who are new to editing because it offers simple buttons and sliders to adjust photos easily.
Here are some of our favorite PhotoScape editing tools under the Editor Section.
Bright & Color
The first photo that we’ll edit was shot in a very dark setting so we’ll want to adjust the brightness of this image.
I’ll use the “Bright, Color” icon under the Editor -> Home tab to bring out natural light and add some more color.
Click on the “Bright, Color” button and it will show a few different slider options.
For this image we’ll increase:
- Deepen. This deepens the contrast between the light & dark areas.
- Brighten. The image is super dark so we’ll move the Brighten to 100% to lighten up the photo.
- Gamma Bright. This also lightens the image.
- Contrast. To make the image pop a bit more and look less washed out.
- Saturation. This will add more color to the photo but be careful not to overdo this button. If you add too much saturation, the image can start looking unnatural.
Once you’re done with all the changes click “Ok” to apply them. We can already see that the photo looks a lot brighter and more colorful, but we’re not quite done yet.
Next we’ll use the Backlight tool to lighten up the areas that still look dark.
Click on the “Backlight” option and instantly we can see a lot more detail and vibrancy in the image.
Lastly we’ll edit this photo using the Bloom tool.
This will add a bit of a soft blur and contrast to the image. You’ll see a preview of the photo where you can adjust the Level, Blur and Contrast sliders to add more Bloom or tone it down a bit.
If you’re pretty happy with the suggested version, click “Ok”.
Just by making these few simple edits we can see how much of a difference it makes in our “Before & After” photos below. Our edited image looks a lot brighter, more detailed and colorful.
After I’m done making color adjustments, I like to crop my images to eliminate any unnecessary open space and draw attention to certain subjects.
I shoot the majority of my pictures in vertical size and I like to crop them to a 4:5 ratio. The 4:5 ratio is the optimal crop size for Instagram so I’ve just gotten into a habit of always cropping my images to this size for social media and blog posts.
Top crop your images in PhotoScape:
- Select the Crop tab under the Editor section
- Select the Crop ratio such as 4:5 or “Crop Freely” to crop freehand
- Hold and drag over the desired area
- Release and move the selected section around as needed
- Double click or press “Enter” on your keyboard to apply the crop
Now the image calls attention to the subject instead of having tons of distracting space on the top and bottom.
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This photo was shot on my Sony a5100 camera so the image file size is quite big – 14.9 MB (you can see the file size under the image). If you don’t have a hard drive to store all of your images, these giant file sizes can start adding up pretty quickly and slow down your computer.
Unless you’re a professional photographer and sell images to companies or make prints of them, there really isn’t much of a reason to save images in this big of a size.
If you post images on social media, note that bigger file size doesn’t exactly translate into better images. All photos that get uploaded to Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or any other social media get compressed and reduced in size during the uploading process regardless.
When I’m done with editing my photos, I usually resize them for the optimal Instagram size 1536 (Width) x 1920 (Height). If I’m creating photos for my blog, I make them even smaller.
To resize your image, click on the “Resize” button under the Editor -> Home section.
Enter the size that you would like your image to be reduced to. You can enter either the Width or the Height number and the other side will be adjusted automatically.
Click “Ok” and it will change the image size. Now we have a finished image that is ready to be printed, saved or shared on social media.
Effects & Filters
PhotoScape has some really awesome filters and effects that can transform your photos into artistic images with just one click. In the next section we’ll take a closer look at some of the best filters and effects that PhotoScape has to offer.
Film effects are presets that will apply automatic adjustments to color and image settings to get a certain look. These are very similar to Instagram or VSCO filters that are meant to imitate the looks of old vintage films.
To check out the different effects that PhotoScape offers click on the “Film Effect” button.
In the next screen you’ll see previews of what your edited photo would look like with that specific effect.
When you find an effect that you’re happy with, click “Ok” to apply that effect.
Black & White
PhotoScape also has a few really cool Black & White effects that can be applied to images for an artistic look.
These filters can be found under in Editor section under the “Home” tab next to the other Effects & Filters.
Sepia – this will change your photo to a reddish-brown color. This tone is very similar to black & white, but a little bit warmer and more vintage looking.
Bandicoot – this is also a monotone color but with a grey-green tint to it.
Greyscale – this will turn your image into black & white by eliminating any color in it.
Black & White – similar to greyscale, this will also turn your image black and white but will also add a lot more contrast between the light & dark areas. Personally, I think that the Greyscale effect produces a much better image than the Black & White option.
Invert – this reverses color of the entire image so white turn black, black turn white, green turns magenta etc.
Filters are editing tools that can really help you get creative with your images. By applying a few filters you can transform an image into a piece of personalized art.
We’ll continue with our wedding photo example and we’ll test a few different filters to get a cool vintage look.
Click on the “Filter” button and you’ll get a list of all available PhotoScape filters.
In this tutorial we’ll pick a few filters and apply them to our photo.
Antique Photo – this filter will make the image look antique by applying Sepia coloring and a worn out look to it. Click on the Filter box, hover over the Antique Photo line and click on “Antique Photo” (first option).
In the next pop up box, I selected Option #4 and Sepia Color Conversion but you have a few editing choices and each one creates a different look.
Noise – by applying the Noise filter you are adding grain texture to the image that looks like the image was shot on an old film. You can adjust the Noise slider from 0 – 255 to add more noise in the image. I suggest going with a lower number so it doesn’t look too overdone.
Vignetting – next we’ll add a little bit of vignette to this image to make the subjects stand out more. Vignette adds dark edges around the photo calling attention to the center of the image. We’ll go with Option 3 that adds a little bit of round dark edges and we’ll reduce the vignette level down to 70% just to tone it down a bit.
To give our photo a finished look we’ll add a frame around the image’s outer edges. Click on the Frame drop-down button and you’ll see the different available frame options. Test out the various borders until you find one that you like.
For this image we’ll go with Pocket 01 that looks like a frame out of an old photo album.
Before we move on, I’ll add a little bit of brightness to make the photo look a faded like it’s been sitting in a photo album for years.
Click on the “Bright, Color” button and slide the brightness up until you get a look that you like.
With these few effects we have created a beautiful vintage photo with an artistic touch.
And lastly we’ll add a text overlay to this image. Click on the “Object” tab and select the “T” icon for Text.
In the white box area type in the desired text line.
In the Text section, you can change the font, size, color, bold, italic, underline, opacity and placement settings. I chose a font that’s a bit more feminine, updated size to 100 so it’s bigger and changed the text color to dark brown.
You also have the option to apply outline or shadow to the text but for this image, I just went with the basic adjustments.
Click “OK” and move the text around until you find a good placement. Whenever you are finished, just click anywhere outside of the text and it will save the changes.
If you want to go back and make further adjustments to the placement, click anywhere around the text and you’ll get the option to move the text around again.
Double click on the text and you’ll get the Text box option to make edits to the actual text.
Whenever you’re done with editing your image, make sure to save the edits before opening another photo or closing out of the program. Click on the “Save” button on the bottom right-hand corner to save all the changes that you’ve made.
In the next screen you’ll have some options on how to save your edited photo.
Save – this will save all of the edits on the original photo.
Save in the designated folder – here you can tell the program where you would like the edited image to be saved like on your Desktop or in a specific image folder.
Save As – this will save a new image with the edits instead of overriding the original image. I usually choose this option in case I ever want to go back to the original photo and edit it in a different way.
JPG Quality – the quality is automatically set to 95% but I would suggest changing it to 100% to save in the highest quality.
PhotoScape is a super fun editing software that allows you to edit images easily with a few simple clicks. In this tutorial, we covered a few of our favorite editing tips but PhotoScape is packed full of awesome editing tools so your options are pretty endless.
Are you ready to get started with PhotoScape? Let us know if you have any questions in the comments section below!