Series 3, Article 1

FREE online image editors are all the rage today.   From among the great number of programs available, I have chosen some of the best ones below.  Each has its pro’s and con’s and some are good for beginners and others for more experienced photo editors.  Like I said, they’re free to use to play around with each of them and bookmark the ones with features you like!

  1. Picnik.com – Picnik may be one of the most popular online image editors for the internet savy because you can upload photos from Flickr, Picasa, Facebook and Photobucket. The one negative would be that to use ALL the features, you must upgrade to Premium which costs $2.08 per month… though a small fee for someone who will use it all the time. You can remove blemishes, make yourself thinner, whiten your teeth and get rid of red-eye for FREE, but you must UPGRADE to use the wrinkle remover, sunless tan, change eye color, or to take the shine off your nose. Here’s a scarey trick, upload a photo of your face and go to Effects and then down to HDR-ish….you won’t frame this photo, but it’s great to take to your dermatologist because it emphasizes your skin damage!
  2. Splashup.com – Splashup is a web based photo editor that looks just like a desktop application. Very impressive. Users coming from Photoshop should feel right at home with this editor. Click on “Jump Right In” to begin. If you’re new to photo editing, I’d choose another one of the applications below. Because this program has more options, it is more difficult to learn.
  3. Pixlr.com – Pixlr is described as Photoshop in a browser. Definitely one of the most impressive professional online photo editor I’ve seen. If you are used to using Photoshop, but just don’t own it, this is the program for you. If you already know how to edit a photo, go to “Open Photo Editor”, if not, go to “Retro Vintage Effects” to choose from an array of instant retouching for your photo.
  4. Aviary.com – This is an easy to use program for beginners or advanced artists who just want an easy fix. If it’s retouching that you need to do, this on-line program is very good.  With Aviary, you can click on sharpen, contrast, brighten, saturation and then simply choose from one of the variations they offer.  Whiten teeth, retouch blemishes, erase wrinkles, flip it, rotate it……all with one push of a button.  Aviary is a tool from Phoenix, an online image editor.  The Phoenix page contains many videos on using it to produce some stunning photo effects.   This program is my choice for beginners.
  5. Pixenate.com – Editing your photos in Pixenate is pretty simplified….not very impressive. The best features of this program is to turn your photo into an oil painting, crop it into a heart shape, add snow, add a lens filter and other effects like this.
  6. Picture2Life.com – Not impressed with the retouching apps in this program, but the Effects are really nice. Turn your photo in to a watercolor, emboss it, make it a watermark, sepia tone, etc.
  7. LunaPic.com – I’ve got to admit I have the most fun playing with this program…especially the effects and animation options. LunaPic provides ability to convert your images to animated GIF files (make your photo move), and there are lots of ready made fancy animation effects that you can apply to your photo. This one was a blast!
  8. FotoFlexer.com – Besides editing out blemishes, adjusting color, and all the other normal editing features, Foto Flexer as fun editing software that can turn your photos into comics, neons, and even crop your face onto Paris Hilton’s body, add animated stars, a metallic frame, a mustache….very fun software.
  9. Adobe Photoshop Express – photoshop.com/tools/expresseditor Photoshop express is a free editor from Adobe. Besides having the usual features to retouch, crop and enhance, there is also a “Decorate” tab to add word-bubbles, Groucho Marx glasses, etc. to your photo.
  10. PortraitProfessional.com – This program was so much fun! You can play with it for FREE by clicking on the download tab, although you won’t be able to save your creations unless you purchase the program (on sale for $39.95 reduced from $89.95) You can easily and instantly retouch yourself to look like a model….and it’s even fun to go a bit too far and see what you would look like with too much plastic surgery. (If you download the free program, just be sure to uninstall the McAfee virus cleaner it also installs.)