free image processing – including raw files

When I talk or teach on getting the best from your photos, there are a couple of programs that are pretty useful (and free). These also run off a USB stick and open most image formats, including RAW, meaning that you can take your ‘photo lab’ in your pocket. The free image editing software with the best features is Raw Therapee, free to use from http://www.rawtherapee.com/?mitem=2 This has a number of interesting and powerful features, including the Shadows / Highlight HDR effect as well as the usual levels, tone curve, saturation, sharpening and resizing. It is completely non destructive (unless you save over a jpg file). It has a very good feature range so worth looking at the user manual from the website. Did I mention it was free? Install it onto your computer and then if you want it portable, all you need to do is copy the RawTherapee folder from C:My Programs onto your USB stick and then double click on RT.exe.