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3 best alternative to your favorite application

As a photographer, I was evolved in and around Photoshop and eventually, Lightroom helped me to get the job done. As the market saw a drastic shift from analogue to digital so it did experience the upcoming software ranging from Capture one pro, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro to Cinema 4D and more. All the above-mentioned share one thing in common, a heavy subscription annual or monthly fee, a standard procedure to ensure a check over soft tool piracy.

One of the realities of any artistic profession is it doesn't provide a stable source of income. As a photographer or a graphic designer/illustrator buying the much-needed equipment (computer, graphic tablet and more) is itself quite heavy on the pocket and leaves much less to spend on the added expense of software. That is the sad reality of the capitalistic world we live in.

I wish no disappointment to the aspiring artist and here I am glad to share a few and the best substitutes of the many software you will need to move along in your journey.

To note: The below-mentioned software is by no means are completely free of cost. Their one-time fees and occasional donations will not only help you to move ahead in your life and it does support the system/organization which lets you do what you wish to do. Above all, they are far cheaper than the monthly | yearly subscription. Every software, by all means, are competitive in their own nature and you are free to choose as per your requirement.


Photoshop | Lightroom | ILLUSTRATOR| IN-DESIGN

Adobe shifted their fee structure from one-time license to yearly subscription based on the nature of the user (to fight the piracy issue they kept facing from time to time). It is still an expensive tool to have. They may offer a friendly subscription plan for the students as long as one is a student formally.


Affinity Photo is one of the best alternatives I personally own and must say it does the job done as good as Photoshop itself and as like any other it will evolve. It's a one-time fee model for lifetime usage, which are as low as *4499 INR and *1799 INR for your personal computer and iPad respectively (50% discount is available as and at the moment I publish this article) makes it very profitable in a long run.


The needed key shortcuts are almost similar to Adobe, if you are familiar with Photoshop you will not feel much to add to your existing vocabulary.

*The frequency separation is much faster than the traditional format in Adobe yet it does need a little manual handling for better results.

It gives Industry-standard results one professional will desire.


I was personally not impressed with its bunch editing tool and I hope it evolves with time, though It has a Develop persona which does a good job when editing a Raw image at a time.

Lack of GPU or a Graphic card can make the experience poor.

Creating 3D models is not a part of the software making it solely for photo editing, digital painting and creative manipulation.

Affinity also offers the best alternative to Adobe Illustrator and In Design


LUMINAR: An upcoming AI-based photo editing tool.

It is a good place to start if you are interested in photography and is not looking to take it as a profession though wish to enhance your travel images to post them as per your need.

Cons: It is a hybrid software for Snapseed users. There is a lack of much needed manual control as compared to Affinity or Photoshop.

I will personally not suggest it to professional commercial advertising photographers.

One can easily get lured by its features and can get misguided in terms of understanding and educating itself about quality aesthetics.


CAPTURE ONE PRO: A perfect alternative to Lightroom or Adobe Bridge for those who work with RAW images. A professional tool for professionals.


They are among many of the leading video editing software. Very recently Final Cut Pro from Apple announced their shift to yearly subscription from their previous one-time model which let me add it to the list.

If you are a motion graphic student or an aspirant like myself and looking for something which does the job done as good as the above, DaVinci is the best replacement and happy to share it is indeed faster than above.

DAVINCI RESOLVE: An absolutely free version provided by Blackmagic available at their official site.

It does a perfect job for video editors, aspirational colourist and sound engineer.


DAVINCI RESOLVE STUDIO: A paid version giving you access to many of its features which is an amalgamation of all the above mentioned (photo editing, colouring, sound editing, motion graphics, 3D model integration.

The best alternative for those professional filmmakers and mixed media artist.


WONDERSHARE FILMORA: A good alternative for YouTubers and enthusiastic film editors and makers.

CINEMA 4D | MAYA | Z Brush

A 3D modelling software can be expensive and it does demand more in regards to GPU, Hard Disk space, RAM and more. I recently started using Blender and it has been a blessing and safe to say it works perfectly well with my I MAC 2016 model.

BLENDER: is a free & open-source application and has only one version to choose from, yet this application attracts the hobbyists, professionals or studios that have all the features into one program.

Whether you are a fashion, food or product photographer, 3D modelling is a 21st-century reality and one should update and get know-how is much needed if you wish to sustain in the industry for long. 3D software gives you a different dimension and possibilities are endless, execution is homemade and results are of international standard.

Blender as like any other software mentioned above is absolutely free along with its updates and tutorials (must follow Blender Guru)


These were my top 3 alternatives for photographers, Film Makers and Motion Graphic artist.

To add to the above it is always a smart idea to invest in a good processor, expanded RAM, install SSD hard drive and a dedicated GPU, graphic card to enhance the experience. Investing in hardware like Mac or Windows doesn't come cheap and is often advised to upgrade in instalments is better than donating it to the landfills.

Personally, I am been using I Mac past 5 Years now and my experience has not reached the mark where I will like to buy a new one rather I chose to update the needed parts externally. Macs are expensive but they are built to last a long way and I suggest not to get tempted with their many upgrades getting advertised quite often than before.



I am Shovona Karmakar, an #advertising #commercial #photographer | #productstylist | #cinemagraph artist, presently based in #Mumbai, India. It has been a long long road to be where I am now and I sincerely feel it is very important to share whatever I have to offer. I have been fortunate to make a living out of my skill to be creative and have had worked with various national and international brands, corporate and agencies. Cadbury, TATA, Morningstar USA, Parachute, Future Generali to name a few.

Ping me for any work-related queries and will be happy to jump into the pool to make the much-needed party happen.

Thank you for reading!

Mumbai, India.


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