Easy Photo Editing - 8 Free Sites and Examples
Digital Photo Editing is Fun and Easy!
With photographs and images as part of so many websites, it’s always a good idea and even fun to make your images look their best. It doesn’t take much time, either!
I highlight six different photo-editing websites in this article.
I took one photo, a recent Christmas shot, and manipulated it in each of the websites to look at the multiple offerings of each site and illustrate different changes you can do to just one photo.
I also listed what I found to be the strengths of each site so that if you have a particular edit or change you want to make to a photo, you’ll know which website excels for that type of edit.
You can use a photo-editing site to help with creating beautiful images for websites, hubs, blogs, Facebook, and more.
Pictured above is the original red ornament photo that I snapped recently.
I uploaded this photo to each of the six websites to see what sorts of different things I could do to change this image and manipulate it. Read more for the results!
1. Free Photo Editing on Pixlr
Pixlr is a great site where you can do advanced photo editing and work with layers or overlays. You don’t have to become a member to enjoy all its benefits.
For many of us, we just want to do a quick touch-up or even add something fun to a photo. You can do all that with Pixlr.
See the sreenshot of what Pixlr looks like.
After the Edits
With the following photo, I used the “efficient” setting. I went into the “effects” screen and then scrolled over to “Ingrid” and applied that function to the photo. Then I went into the “overlay” screen, selected “default” and added the “shine” function. This is the result:
Pixlr Is Great for Bokeh and Overlays
Thus, the image looks sharper and makes the ornament pop and the glitter on the metal parts of the ornament really shines.
Pixlr is a great all-in-one site, but my two favorite attributes that it has that others are lacking is with the “bokeh” and the “overlays.” You can really create some stunning photos with those two features alone.
2. PicMonkey is Another Free Editing Site
On the second site, PicMonkey, I like a lot of the “effects” functions they have as well as the overlays. You don’t have to be a member to manipulate photos.
Here is a screenshot of PicMonkey:
Editing the Photo
Taking my original ornament photo, I did the following: I went to “effects” and then to “tint.” I clicked on the “advanced” button and selected “darken.” Next I went to “Holga,” selected “blue” and went to 70% with a 30% grain. This is the result:
Photo Edited in PicMonkey
The edges have a wonderful “darkening” (or vignette) and the image is a high-contrast black and white photo. I will say that there are lots of options with PicMonkey, but many require you to pay for them.
My favorite features of PicMonkey are their “themes” you can apply to your images – I almost decided to put winter snowflakes on this image using the winter theme, but finally decided against it, thinking it would detract from the photo.
3. Photo Editing with BeFunky
A third site is BeFunky. This is a fun site that lets you manipulate photos without becoming a member of the site, although membership has its priviledges.
Take a look at the screenshot to see the features of BeFunky.
The Edited Photo in BeFunky
I took that same Christmas photo and uploaded it to the site and started manipulating it. Again, I went to the “effects” tab and selected “cross process 2.” For the “effect amount,” I went to the midpoint of the effect. Then going to the “artsy” tab, I selected “underpainting” and under the “frames” tab, I selected a basic one and chose “overlay.” This is the result:
I really enjoy how the highlights came out and how the borders look. My favorite features of the site are the “art effects,” such as the one I used to create this photo. There are lots to choose from and all create interesting and fun images.
4. Edit Your Photos in Photobucket
Still, another site is Photobucket. This site is neat because you can store your photos on the site and go back and edit them at a later time. You do need to be a member to upload and manipulate photos.
Look at the screenshot to get an idea of what tools they have. (Yes, they do look strikingly like those in Pixlr.)
Photo Editing with Photobucket
For this photo, these are the effects I chose to use: I started with the “effects” function, then “default” and applied “Sara.” I added a border and selected “default” and “trashly” and then reduced the fade amount to 72.
Photobucket Has Great Borders
Photobucket has great frames for the photos you upload; out of all the sites, I’d use this one to apply a fun frame to any photo for which I need borders.
5. Fotoflexer Is Another Great Photo Editing Site
Fotoflexer is fast-becoming one of my favorites. The site doesn’t require you to become a member to manipulate images and they have some great features.
The screenshot to the right highlights some of their fun tools and effects.
Results of the Photo Edits
For the same ornament image, I went to “text” and selected “Apple Cobbler.” I just love the variety of fonts they have.
After, I went to “effects” and selected “blueprint” but faded it to about 50%. Here is the result:
Fotoflexer Is a Lot of Fun!
“Blueprint” isn’t available on the other sites, though I’m sure you could manipulate the “effects” in some of them and come up with something near to what I have here.
Fotoflexer also has “glittering” (as in animated) text, stickers and stamps. These are great fun that can easily add a touch of sparkle to an image.
6. More Photo Editing with Flikr
Last but not least is the well-known Flickr. Many people store their images there, but they also have a photo-editing program. It’s called “Aviary.” You need to be a member, however, to use it.
Personally, I don’t find it quite as comprehensive as the other photo editing sites, but that doesn’t mean it’s without great features.
In fact, I created the following photo in this way: I went to Aviary, then to “effects” and applied the “Indiglow” function. It gives the image a border, a slight blue hue and darkens it just a bit.
This particular feature really highlights the red ornament and makes the foliage fade to the background just a bit.
After you’re finished editing, you can post images to your photostream immediately.
7. Photo Editing with Design Wizard
Design Wizard is a newer site that has some great features. You can upload photos to design and work on, and there are lots of free tools you can use. You can upgrade to get premium features, as well. You can add borders, filters, shapes, and other elements. I also enjoy their video design feature.
For the edited photo, I used only free elements in Design Wizard. I added a "polaroid" filter, changed the hue, and added a decorative border, and changed its transparency to about 50%. Refer back up top for the original photo to see the difference between that and the edited version.
The result is the image below:
8. Photo edits with Canva
Canva is a great way to edit photos. There are lots of free elements and others you can purchase, usually for around $.99. You can add filters, text, borders, illustrations, and much more.
For this edited photo, I selected the "edge" filter, added some snow, and a snowflake element.
One note about Design Wizard and Canva: the interface is similar and you must "size" your design before creating it. In Design Wizard, I selected "landscape photo" and in Canva, I selected "photo book."
Some Online Photo Editing Tips
- The better the photo is in the first place, the better your results with any photo editing site.
- It’s best if your images aren’t huge when you’re uploading to online sites. It’s better to resize them to 1000 pixels or less (on a side) before uploading so that you don’t have to wait around for long lengths of time while you manipulate the images.
- Don’t be afraid to play around and do multiple things to your photos. Sometimes you can create a great image by doing two or three manipulations to an image.
- The more you do this, the better you get!
- Try all the sites to see which one works best with your own personal style.
Have You Tried These Sites? Which Do You Like Best?
© 2012 Cynthia Calhoun