Photo professionals agree that there’s no getting around Adobe Photoshop. No one else can hold a candle to it. Unfortunately, the full version is simply exorbitant for personal use. A free alternative has been causing a stir – GIMP. Originally developed as a Linux application, it has almost just as many features and in recent years has evolved to become a very powerful, easy-to-use, versatile and intuitive alternative available for nearly all operating systems.
Free and no download required: online image editing
The internet offers plenty of truly good image editing programs, some of which are very useful for everyday tasks. The main advantages are that the hard disk remains free of bulky software and you can start editing your pictures right away from anywhere with an internet connection. However, various testers have reported that some of these programs are real bandwidth hogs, and only some of them are iPad-friendly. This is because most of them use Flash, which we all know isn’t supported by iOS.
We took a closer look at a few of these programs. Our good friend Google is sure to offer many more suggestions.
Photoshop Express Editor
It’s obvious that the experts at Adobe are behind Photoshop Express Editor. While Photoshop Express doesn’t offer as many options as other online programs (after all, they want you to eventually purchase the full version of Photoshop), using it is easy and self-explanatory. White balancing, exposure correction, color saturation, sharpness, highlighting specific colors… You have quite a few possibilities. Bottom line: gets right down to business. More than adequate for everyday needs.
Try ipiccy, and you’ll see right away how convenient and versatile it is. You can choose from various filters, numerous effects and features for fine tuning your pictures, line art conversion etc. This makes image editing a real pleasure – despite (and what in my view is a true disadvantage) a user interface that is not particularly attractive. But like we say on the countryside, whatever floats your boat.
fotoflexer claims to be the most advanced online image editor. It does, in fact, offer a few features others don’t, such as the ability to work with layers, distort images, apply effects such as morphing (although some features are quite slow) or draw directly on the photo. Those in particular who are seeking versatility (and willing to accept a certain degree of cumbersome operation), will find that fotoflexer serves their purposes quite well.
fotor is very simple and intuitive to use. All of the major editing tools are included including HDR photos, various borders, decorations and graphical elements such as flowers, gift cards, the addition of speech bubbles as well as a text feature, and so on and so forth. And of course there are also export features for social networks like Facebook, Picasa, Tumblr, Twitter and many others. Elegant and powerful.
picture2life gives you a nicely designed online tool with all the features you need to edit photos. Many effects are also included and the highlight is a feature that lets you create photo collages with an endless range of style templates and layouts. Another gem is the ability to create simple animated images (animated gifs). This feature, of course, includes all of the familiar export options for social media as well.
pixlr is one of my favorites. The website is a truly nice piece of work, clearly organized and functional. pixlr includes several features to help you make more of your photos. The pixlr Editor may even be able to compete with software like Photoshop thanks to the ability to work with layers, numerous filters and all kinds of image corrections. It includes practically everything you could ever want to spruce up and edit your photos. Those who aren’t especially fond of the somewhat dated style of the pixlr Editor can use pixlr Express – an advanced and simple image editing program. And fans of instant retro effects (like Hipstamatic) will love Pixlr-o-matic. If you want to use pixlr on your phone or tablet, you can download the Editor app for free. Pixlr-o-matic is also available as an app.
But enough talk already. Why not try out these various online tools for yourself? And let us know which ones you like best. Have fun!