Photo-editing software offers for the lockdown

By Geoff Harris

We reveal some of the best discounts and freebies from photo-editing software firms doing their bit for photographers during the coronavirus crisis.

Nobody is having it easy during the virus lockdown, and even in countries where there are less restrictions, it’s looking like it’s only a matter of time before movement is curtailed. In the UK at least, the only photographers allowed to go out with the specific purpose of taking photos are photo-journalists working on stories about the virus. They are classed as key workers, and freelancers fall into this category too so long as they have a press card or some kind of media accreditation.

There is nothing to stop people taking photos during their periods of daily exercise, but obviously the opportunities to do this are limited. Set up a tripod at a beauty spot and stick around for more than a few minutes, and there is a good chance you will attract some negative attention.

So, assuming you are stuck indoors for long periods of time along with a lot of other people, it seems an ideal opportunity to work on your photo editing, or try a new photo editor altogether. If you are anything like me, you will have a lot of images from various trips abroad sitting on various storage devices, which you never got around to processing.

The good news is that more and more software firms are stepping up to the plate to help photographers during these difficult and frustrating times. Let’s start with the British company, Serif. It is cutting the cost of Affinity Photo, a fully featured and high-quality photo editor, along with Affinity Publisher and Affinity Designer, by a whopping 50%. This means you can get Affinity Photo for a very reasonable £23.99. In addition, the company is offering a 90-day trial period on the Affinity software, so you have plenty of time to try before deciding to buy. The generous price reduction offer runs until 20 April.

As seen in my tutorial on Silver Efex Pro, the DXO Nik Collection is one of the best packages for more specialist editing. As well as Silver Efex Pro, which is a really powerful tool for enhancing black and white digital images, there is Analogue Efex Pro for tasteful retro effects, Color Efex Pro and more. Although DXO hasn’t specifically reduced the price in response to coronavirus, it is offering some great free webinars on how to make the most of the key tools, along with its standalone editing program PhotoLab 3. The seminars are run by experts in the software and those behind the development of the Nik suite, so they are well worth checking out. Full details on how to register here

Adobe, the biggest photo-editing software company in the world with profits to match, isn’t exactly falling over itself to reduce prices to its many customers facing financial hardship. It could learn a lesson from the much-smaller Serif, but is at least reaching out to students as the virus hits globally. Adobe is providing free at-home access to Creative Cloud packages, including key photo-editing tools Lightroom and Photoshop, to students who usually only have access on-campus. There are strings attached, but if your college or school, or those of your kids, pay for on-campus access to Creative Cloud, it’s worth exploring more here

The offer runs until May 30th but could be extended.

If you are a member of the photo community called Meero the company is now enabling you to do large file transfers (up to 10Gb) via its MeeroDrop service. You can drag and drop your files at This will generate a link, or a "Drop," which gives recipients access to a web page where they can preview files (image, video, and PDF) and download the ones they want. Users can also remove imported files at any time, add others, and like or comment on them, regardless of their format.There’s no need to create an account in order to access these shared "Drops," and no need to download entire folders, users can simply select the media they wish to download.All "Drops" created between now and June 2020 will be kept active for three months. Check out the popular WeTransfer too, which offers free file transfers up to 2Gb in size.

Finally don’t forget some of the great offers from online course providers. Learning With Experts is offering 20% off all courses, which include vegan cooking, bread making, wine tasting, gardening and floristry as well as photography: to claim your discount, use the code SPRING at the checkout.

Geoff Harris

I am a journalist and photographer and currently work as the Deputy Editor of Amateur Photographer (AP) the oldest weekly photographic magazine in the world. Before that I served as the editor of Digital Camera, Britain's best-selling photography magazine, for five years. During my time as editor it became the UK's top selling photo monthly and won Print Publication of the Year at the 2013 British Media Awards. As well as being lucky enough to get paid to write about photography, I've been fortunate to interview some of the greatest photographers in the world, including Elliott Erwitt, Don McCullin, Martin Parr, Terry O'Neill and Steve McCurry. This has been a wonderful learning experience and very influential on my photography. Beyond writing, I am a professional portrait, travel and documentary photographer, and reached the finals of the 2016 Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year competition. I am a Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society and hope to take my Associateship whenever I can find the time. In addition I write about well being/personal development and antiques collecting for a range of other titles, including BlueWings, the in-flight magazine of Finn Air.

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