Bloggers Share Their Photo Editing Tips
By: Taylor Davies

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When I set out to gather quotes for this post, I intended to make a round-up of the best Photoshop tips from bloggers in our community. I more-or-less assumed that most established bloggers were using this program to edit their photos before posting.

When I reached out to a handful of bloggers to get their input, I was surprised to hear back that most of them don’t even use Photoshop – but rather a whole slew of different editing tools and programs. Alicia from Cheetah is the New Black uses Keynote, and Katy Atlas of SugarLaws uses Google+.

From Lightroom to Picassa, here are a sampling of the best photo-editing tips from bloggers:

Lacey Maffettone (A Lacey Perspective) on Picasa:

“I use Picasa (part of Google) to edit my photos. My favorite feature is, by far, the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button. It is a one-click way to get the colors in the photo to balance out (that’s whether the picture was too dull or too bright). Sometimes it works beautifully and there are some other times that it does not… but most of the time I feel pretty lucky.”

Christina Topacio (ProFresh Style) on Adobe Lightroom:

“In Lightroom, there’s an import button for filters that makes editing super easy. My main tip would be to Google “Lightroom presets” to give you quick and easy edited photos without too much effort. (It’s like downloading Photoshop fonts or stamps). I have over 40 presets I filter with with little tweaks.” [IFB has a 4-part series of posts on photo-processing using Adobe Lightroom: here, here, here and here.)

Grace Atwood (Stripes & Sequins) on Photoshop:

“I have both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements but use Elements for all of my collages and creating graphics.  The best tip I ever learned was how to erase a background.  It helps to create graphics + images. You simply take your image, create a duplicate layer, and then deactivate the background layer. (Click the little eye tool in the layers tab.) Use the magic wand tool to select the background (play with the tolerance feature to ensure you grab the entire background and not parts of your image,) and then hit delete.  Voila.  Your image is now background-free.  Perfect for layering or making a collage.  If you want to save it, save it as a PNG file – not a JPEG… if you save as a JPEG, it will automatically add a white background.”

 

IFB’s favorite “quick and dirty” editing tools:

  • Pixlr.com: It’s basically a free version of Photoshop in your browser. Amazing, right? We use it to create collages, edit and add text to our images. (Read our review of Pixlr here!)
  • Picmonkey.com: This in-browser editor has come to replace Picnik.com for us, and it’s interface couldn’t be easier. Make collages, add text or frames, layer filters, crop, resize and perform basic edits, then download and save your image to your computer.
  • iPhoto: If you have a Mac computer, iPhoto is a free-and-easy way to perform basic edits and add filters to your photos. We love that you can easily re-touch (bye-bye blemishes), one-touch enhance (like magic!) or add a myriad of effects from sepia to matte framing.

Bloggers we want to know: What photo-processing tools and programs do you use? Share your best tips in the comments!

 

Comments

  1. Micky says:

    I use gimp (free version of something like photoshop). I used to use picassa but I feel that I can do more with gimp

    • I also use Gimp and definitely recommend it if you don’t have the budget for Photoshop! It’s quite powerful, and works on both PCs and Macs.

      • MsRetro says:

        I use Gimp also, find it equally as powerful as Photoshop if you are willing to learn how to use it to its full potential, and I love that it works on my Linux PC as well as my Windows Laptop.

        Can’t ask for more when the price tag is £0.00

  2. great tips! love photoshop!

  3. Sandra says:

    I thought that I would have to splurge on Photoshop when I became a blogger, but I’ve been surviving without it! I use all of the mentioned softwares and free programs and they work great to make beautifully edited collages and graphics.

    My favorites would have to be Picmonkey and Adobe Lightroom.I’ll add filters on lightroom then add text with Picmonkey.

  4. kimmie says:

    I’ve used Lightroom & am teaching myself how to use Photoshop. There’s style that I’m trying to perfect (its like a modern vintage look; look at The Glamourai’s blog to see what I mean. Her photos look fresh but they aren’t overly processed or look like basic snapshots) so I’m just playing around til I get it right. It’s been a headache but also a ton of fun. I didn’t know how to delete backgrounds (just how to cut images out) so I’m bookmarking Grace’s tip!

  5. AJ says:

    This is a great write up – I rarely use photoshop for my photos! I use Aperture, which is similar to Lightroom but for Mac. Not only is it great for organizing all of my photos, the editing is simple and fast!

    I’ve been wanting to do a blog post about exactly how I edit my photos with before/afters, so maybe this will inspire me to do it now :)

  6. I am completely obsessed with PicMonkey and use it for everything now! I find it so much more user-friendly than even Photoshop elements. :)

  7. Apryl says:

    Wow – PicMonkey is going to be my newest photo program obsession. Whoohoo! Thanks for posting the tips and resources – love love love IFB.

    When it comes to makin pretty with my own photos for blogging or business I work with a bunch of stuff. Photoshop is awesome of course (just learned how to make my own brushes! hot damn that is so rad!). I also have a lot of fun using iphone photo apps almost daily (I blame Instragram for becoming the “gateway drug” for that addiction, heh). Current favorites are Camera+ (yay a timer for self portraits!), Photogene (like a mini Photoshop!), and Pic Collage.

    Also love Pixlromatic for both my iphone and laptop – fantastic free resource there with much of the goodness of Photoshop.

    Now I just got to get my photo processing time down so I can crank out more good looking content faster ;)

  8. Aves Gry says:

    I use photoshop to edit my photos. I don’t do anything spectacular to them other than editing the lighting with the white balance, selective colouring, brightness and etc. Those features could pretty much be found anywhere. I haven’t checked Iphoto to see if it has those features, but I hope it does.

  9. AshleyInDC says:

    I swear by Lightroom for minor photo tweaks and Snagit for collages!

  10. April says:

    I use and love Picmonkey, too! It’s so quick and easy to use!

  11. Marcia says:

    I use Photoshop to make all of my collages and graphics, since it’s a lot harder on other programs. If it’s a photo, I just mess around with the levels and the curves as well as the other basics.

  12. Rachel says:

    I have the full photo shop, but I’m sorry to say I can be a bit lazy – I use it for collages, but I do all my photos in iPhoto as it is quicker and easier!

  13. Anh says:

    Photoscape is quick and super easy :)
    You can change the lighting (light, dark, contrast etc) the way you want to in a few clicks or cut the photo into perfect shape keeping the format. That is all I edit on photos anyway :)

  14. Amanda says:

    Such great tips! As a new(er) blogger I always am looking for tips on how to enhance my photos! :-) Thanks IFB and fellow bloggers! <3

  15. Jade says:

    I only just discovered the Magnetic Lassoo button in Photoshop – I like to have neat pictures of JUST the clothing sometimes so I love using the magnetic lassoo to cut everything but the item of clothing out of the picture xx

  16. Lyn says:

    i use Picasa (contrast and lighting) and the regular Paint (for resizing)… i have Photoshop, but i use it for making graphics/illustrations and cleaning up scans… it’s a bother to open up Photoshop when all you need are the standard photo-editing features. Picasa does a good job at that.

  17. Jenny Bevlin says:

    I use Photoshop for everything on my blog. I have found that the best way to delete a background is to use the magic eraser tool. You can change the tolerance up or down based on the color of the background. If the background is completely white, set the tolerance low. Then just click once on the background and it will be gone. If there are different shades in the background turn up the tolerance.

  18. Wen says:

    Just found out about PicMonkey and loving it. I’m also using Photoshop alot. For easy way out on the effects and colors, I downloaded some Photoshop actions.

  19. Nnenna says:

    Love Grace’s tip about how to remove the background in Elements- thanks so much! I’ve been trying to figure that out forever and now I finally know how :) Better collages, here I come! :D

  20. frances O. says:

    I love how I’m learning new things from this post thank you! I use snag-it a lot. To do collages, add text, resize, and add any images from the internet. Anyone else using this? Or am I way behind:/

  21. Katrina says:

    I have photoshop but I never use it! It is easier for me to go on to Picmonkey (before that I used Picnik though).

    >’.'<

  22. Robert W says:

    I use Photoshop for photos that require a little more work like photos shot in RAW or ones that need slight skin corrections and Picasa for fast upload to Facebook and easy luminosity corrections. Another important “tool” to editing photos is using an external monitor. I advise anyone who uses their laptop for photo editing to make sure what they see on the screen is what everyone else sees as well.

  23. I have photoshop elements but being totally honest I can be really lazy about photo editing – I use windows live’s own editing stuff to crop and adjust the lighting and that about it. I really keep meaning to start exploring more options with layers and curves but one of those typical ‘never have the time’ excuses!

  24. Maggie says:

    Here I am thinking I was the only one who used GIMP :)

  25. Paint.net is a great free online tool that’s really similar to photoshop (and even a bit less complicated!).

    When I’m taking pictures on my iPhone I religiously use ‘Snapseed’ – it’s a little under the radar, but amazingggg. It has everything from lighting, saturation, and crop (while keep the size and resolution)!

    I still love photoshop too…only for minor edits, like adding a watermark and resizing.

  26. I use Photoshop CS5 in my photo edit, & i like it so much.

  27. Style Maniac says:

    I nearly freaked out when Google announced they were discontinuing Picnik. Luckily, they incorporated all the cool features I used there into Picasa, so it turned out better than before.

    Still for some reason I find my basic Windows Photo Gallery does a better job at cropping and categorizing pics for me. So I use that for my editorial calendar and quick fixes, then go to Picasa when I need some effects.

    Thanks for all the other resources. Definitely will check them out.

  28. Bill says:

    I used lightroom and photoshop.

    But now I use photocat on facebook! Easily makes collages, enhance photos, etc

  29. Sarmista Aun says:

    Hi Taylor,
    I have used Pixlr and Gimp, both are considered to be the free versions of Photoshop. These tools are great.

  30. Sam Editor says:

    I use and love Picmonkey… It is very easy for me. :)

  31. Nancy says:

    Hi Davies, I am quite happy visiting your page. Thanks for effective tips..keep it up.

  32. timmon says:

    I’ve been using Corel Photo Paint for about 20 years. I’ve tried Photoshop, but it seemed too different, and a bigger learning curve. Besides, if the fixup is a simple one, Photo Paint (you need to buy the suite – x6) works great. I also use Paint.net, which is free and works fine too.

    I don’t like Paint Shop Pro. The tools are way too small, and the postage stamp window doesn’t give you much idea what the effect will be.

  33. Jabvida says:

    What a helpful post. I am very happy to find your blog. You have shared very helpful information in your blog. I will use you tips. Thanks for sharing.

  34. Dawn says:

    I’ve always wondered how people made such cute images. As a new blogger, I think Pic Monkey is going to be my new best friend!

  35. Erin says:

    Lately I’ve been using Picasa, but it’s seriously lacking. Thanks to this list I found Pixlr. It’s so much better! Of course Photoshop and Bridge are better but just not in my budget right now. Thanks for all the tips!

  36. Do you have a post about all the main photo editors out there

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