You know the old saying, “ A picture is worth a thousand words”. For this undisputable reason, we all want to use a great looking image either for professional or personal use. As humans, we are largely responsive to visual cues (pictures) whether we like to admit it or not.
Pictures have the ability to make us feel happy, excited, disgusted, and curious among other things.
We can remember a famous brand just by looking at their image and can even reminisce 10, 20, 30, 40 years into the past to a moment in our lives where we were affected emotionally by a specific event simply by looking at an old picture.
Images can also warn us or give us clues about what’s to come.
Magazines understand the basic nature of human beings and our inability to ignore powerful images.
Along with powerfully emotional headlines, pictures that capture stunning moments in time stand prominently in our view peaking our curiosity and changing our mood instantly.
However, while all these sounds true the problem is not everyone is a Photoshop wizard (I’m not excluded in that fact).
In the early days of my blogging career, I learned that Photoshop doesn’t only take generous time to master, it’s expensive.
But guess? You don’t really need to spend thousands in getting a professional photo editing software. There are already free online photo editing softwares to give your picture or image a professional touch.
Find below is the list. Happy editing!
1, Gimp Gimp is the most sophisticated free photo editor. You can use it to retouch, edit, and draw. Just download the software and you’re ready to start editing.
Similar to Photoshop, Gimp’s image editing features comprise mainly of adding layers to images and giving the user a handful of tools to then manipulate these images.
For instance, you can select a color to “show through” a black and white image to create an interesting effect by using Layer Masks and features in the software called Desaturate and Paintbrush.
If you don’t want to spend on Photoshop but want to create advanced photo tweaks, then it’s surely worth your time to learn Gimp.
PicMonkey is another great online photo editor with a very cool feature: collage. You can take various photos and arrange them together. If you have lots of products, you can collage them together for perhaps a store banner or an email newsletter.
Pixlr is one of the most widely used image editors online, especially for ecommerce photos. It has four editions, all free: Pixlr Today, Pixlr Editor, Pixlr Express, and Pixlr O-Matic. The latter two can also be used as apps.
With Pixlr Editor, you can do basic stuff like cropping, resizing, and changing the color of the entire image. In addition to this, you get more editing tools like adding layers, adjusting image properties like contrast, hue, and brightness, as well as applying masks for more advanced image editing. You also get to apply a decent number of filters including HD Toning and Tilt-Shift. All images can be saved as JPG, PNG, BMP, TIFF, and PXD (layered Pixlr image).
Want to edit online, directly on your browser? Take a look at Fotor. It offers editing and beauty retouching. Most cool is its High Dynamic Range feature: you can take three photos with different exposures to combine them into a single image, with the best light and tone from each of the separate photos.
Things You need to know about Fotor
You can edit a photo from your computer or select the Batch option to apply editing properties to multiple files.
You won’t find layering and drawing tools here in Fotor. Instead, you’re given Scenes, which are different filters you can apply to a photo. The Crop feature is ready to cut images to predetermined dimensions (square, postcard size, 16 x 9).
You can go pro for added features for just $3.33 a month.
We’ve opened with a very expensive piece of Photoshop software, and we feel that it’s fitting to close with a free one. Photoshop Express is an app for your phone with slightly fewer functionalities than Photoshop Touch. It lets you crop, fix red eye, share on social media, and more.
This tool focuses on editing images for social media and other digital formats. Most bloggers use Canva to edit images to post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
As far as editing a photo is concerned, you can only do a few things in Canva.
You can flip, crop, and apply some basic filters to photos uploaded from your computer.
Canva also has a library where you can get some photos for free. Where Canva really shines is adding elements to images… like modern and attractive fonts, illustrations, grids, frames, charts, and icons. The editor itself is easy to use and most tasks can be done with drag-and-drop actions.
PhotoScape has something for both basic and advanced users. This flexible desktop tool has several functions in addition to editing photos. It can edit in batches, create GIF animations, and process images for printing (to name a few).
The editing interface is quite different from the more advanced photo editors. The left panel serves as a file explorer where you can simply click on which folders you want to get images from. Clicking an image opens it in the editing area where you can then apply several editing tools found below. You can crop, resize, apply a frame, tweak image appearance, and even add word balloons and other funny drawings. If you’re looking to make photos look old, this tool has more than enough filters and frames for that. With features like Vignetting, Antique Photo, and Film Effect, the possibilities for interesting images are endless.
Paint.net falls somewhere between basic and advanced photo editing. It’s easy enough for novices to learn while still providing powerful features. This editor is close to what Gimp and Photoshop look like, although with fewer bells and whistles. Basic image editing functions like resizing, cropping, rotating, flipping, and saving images to another format are easy to figure out with this tool.
Luckily, its more advanced features like adding layers, adjusting image properties, and applying filters can be easily mastered in no time if you spend some time with the software. This is mostly because the menus and tools are presented in an organized and logical manner. I appreciate the placement of the History box on the top right corner because it’s easier to undo specific changes. If Photoshop is too complicated for you, Paint.net is a great alternative to master some basic to intermediate photo editing skills.
This is a free app that you can use to edit images on your phone. Enhance with high-def, fix red eyes, and adjust various aspects of lighting.
Whether it’s getting that perfect photo to post on Instagram or a quick touch-up before sharing photos of your family vacation, these handy editing tools will help you get the job done. Each tool has its strengths and weaknesses, but it’s almost impossible to not find one that you like the most.
My online favorite is easily Canva because it’s quick, easy, and always produces great results. For a desktop editor, I really enjoy Gimp and am always impressed by what it can do with just a few steps.
Over to you!
In the comment box, let me know which one you picked and why.