It's sort of a running joke in the IFB headquarters that I'm woefully behind the rest of the team when it comes to photo editing. At one time in my life, years ago, I could use the remedial tools in Photoshop to dodge and burn and adjust my levels, but that knowledge has since disappeared, along with my understanding of algebra and chemistry.
I'm sure I don't have to tell you that as a fashion and/or personal style blogger, knowing how to edit, improve and enhance your images is essential. Even the best photographer and the best model (you) can use the aid of a little doctoring to bring out the best in your photographs.
Naturally, it's only fitting that for my rare contribution to our ‘Tech Tuesday' posts is sort of the cheater version. Due to my beginner status in photo editing, I've turned to more intuitive, less technically demanding tools for improving my blog images. I used to rely only on the minimal editing program in iPhoto, but quickly became a fan of Picnik.com when my 2004 Mac began its slow demise. Picnik is now defunct, so I've adopted PicMonkey.com as my go-to editor.
For everyone from the beginners and the advanced bloggers and photographers out there, you can get great results with in-browser photo editors. Here are a few of the best ones, per our experience:
- PicMonkey: From adding Instagram-like filters to deleting blemishes, adding text and frames to more advanced edits like clone stamping, you can do almost anything with this site. Re-size images, create collages, make yourself look 25% thinner. Really – it's all there, directions included.
- Pixlr: Pixlr is about as close to Photoshop for free on the Internet as it gets. We wrote a comprehensive review of Pixlr in the fall, which gives a smart assessment of how to make this editor work for you and your blog.
- Splashup: When you visit Splashup, clicking on “jump right in” opens a new window where you can upload an image and begin editing. You can save your works-in-progress once you sign up, and access them to make improvements anytime. We also like that you can directly share your Splashup image on Flickr, Facebook, or Picasa.
- FotoFlexer: FotoFlexer requires no login or sign-up to get started, you can immediately upload a photo from your desktop, PhotoBucket, Facebook, Picasa or (eek) MySpace and edit away. You can make classic adjustments as well as decorate, add effects, distort and “beautify” your image.
- Aviary: Aviary has a whole suite of editing tools, and you can easily create an account by linking up to one of your already established social media accounts. The editing tools can be a tad tricky, and the aesthetics of the window are sort of archaic, but it gets the job done. The downfall here comes in saving the image, which requires uploading it to Aviary's cloud, but you can then grab the embed code to put the image directly on your blog. Not ideal, to be sure.