Posts Tagged ‘free photo editing software’
It was while ago now that we first talked to you about a new feature we were planning on starting called I Heart My Edit. But today we are here with the first ever I Heart My Edit; a feature which we hope will see some of our lovely readers getting involved and showing off what they can do.
So what is I Heart My Edit? It is basically a chance to learn about how people have managed to achieve certain affects with their photo editing. We are providing an original photograph and then asking people to edit it however they would like and simply let us know what they did.
This week, it’s our first time. So the I Heart Snapping team are editing this time. But next time it could be you. We were really impressed with all the people offering to take part when we first mentioned I Heart My Edit, rest assured your details are all safely in a spreadsheet and we WILL be getting in contact.
So without further ado, there is the first I Heart My Edit…
A daisy photo taken on a Nikon D5000 with an 18-55 lens with macro filter.
I basically used idarkroom app and added the cross process filter. This made it really green so I wanted to dull it down a little. I used the Photoshop Express App to slightly adjust the contrast (to make it look more dream like). Finally I added a white border to bring out the vibrant colour of the petals.
I used Camera+ first of all to crop the image so that it obeyed the rule of thirds a bit more, and I applied the clarity scene filter. I then used BeFunky to edit it further, by using the vibrance filter and I added the grunge1 border to it to frame it and finish it off.
We both went for phone apps to edit with, just to prove that you don’t need fancy expensive editing software to make your images look lovely.
If you haven’t already been in touch with us and you want to be involved, then let us know.
Carrying on with our series of iphoneography apps that we just love, the next on our list is Pixl-o-Matic. Made by the people behind the photo editing app Pixlr (more on that in another post) Pixl-o-Matic is a little gem that makes your iPhone photos great. You can even use the app online as well, making it a hugely versatile package whatever your photo editing requirements.
The main thing to mention about Pixl-o-Matic is the filters. There is a huge range to choose from, here are some of our favourites…
These are just from the free version, if you want to pay 69p you get lots more choice.
There is also a really large selection of light effects, they really can add a different dimension to your photos. Here are just some of them.
There is also a large selection of frames, which again are useful if you like using them for your posts. Like other app’s there is a random button you can press which does some really different edits that you might not necessarily think of yourself.
Pixlr-o-matic is in my top five app’s that I use for iPhoneography so it is well worth a look- the free one is amazing so I am sure that the paid one is even better and at only 69p it is so much cheaper than most of the other photography app’s out there. I think my favourite part of the app is the fact that there is such a large range of light effects and filters- there are some that are really different than the other app’s out there.
I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an app that does a huge amount of filters and effects- it doesn’t have the functions like crop or basic editing- but I don’t think that lets it down as the app’s main selling point is the wide range of effects- and it does that side really well.
We said it before when we were talking about giving your blog a ‘look’ and a brand image, but it doesn’t hurt to say it again. Your blog banner, or header or whatever you want to call it, is your business card. It is the first thing people will look at when they visit your blog, and a lot of people will make the decision to stay and read on or leave, completely based on your banner. The whole look of your blog is important, but the banner should tie your whole blog together and tell people what you are about in a quick and visual way.
There are a lot of beautiful banners out there, and it’s really daunting to know where to start, so today I’m going to take you through a hopefully, really simple tutorial of how to make a photo banner. I’m doing a photo banner because that’s what I do best. I use a photo banner on my own personal blog because it is the best way of telling people what I’m all about; my blog includes a lot of photos and is all about a little boy. Thats what Dear Beautiful Boy does and so that is what my banner tells you.
I use Picasa to do all my blog making and designing. Its a free download software for your computer and once you get to grips with it, it’s brilliant for creating photo banners, grab buttons (which we’ll be talking about in a few weeks) and collages. It doesn’t cost anything to give it a try, so why not download it and see what you think.
The great thing with Picasa is that making a photo banner is easy because it automatically shows you all the photos that you have saved in various folders all over your computer. So on launching the software just go to the correct folders to find the pictures you want to use in your banner.
Directly underneath where the folder name and details are, you can see a play button. Next to that is a collage button. By pressing that you go through to the collage editing part of the software and it will automatically take the photos in that folder and place them in your collage for you.
To the left hand side you will find a drop down menu which gives you a selection of different sized boards on which to arrange your pictures. At this stage it doesn’t actually matter what board you use as you will crop it later, but I like to work on a board that has the rough proportions of the finished article so that it is easier to arrange things how I would like.
On the left hand side there is also a tab entitled ‘Clips’ which allows you to add and remove photos that you would like to include. By pressing ‘Get More’ you will go back to the original screen where you selected your folder and you can select more folders of photos to include in your banner.
Then it’s simply a case of arranging the photographs as you would like them. You can resize and angle them to your hearts content. For this design I wanted the pictures the same size and an equal distance apart.
You can change the background colour of your board here too. For a clean look on your blog, it’s a good idea to make sure this background colours is either the same as the background of your blog, or a contrasting colour to make it stand out. When you are happy with your background and photo arrangement you simply click ‘Create Collage’.
This takes you to a different editing screen when you can edit the whole collages as if it were one image, but you can always go back and change the collage around if you need to by clicking ‘Edit Collage’ in the top left hand corner. Once through to the editing stage you need to trim down and tidy up any uneven edges on your banner, using the crop tool. You can also add text and retouch anything you aren’t quite happy with.
You can manually decide the proportions by eye or you can use a preset crop, but with this design I needed to chop off the excess background board to the right of the design.
I left a space at the bottom of my banner to add my blog title. So you simply use the text tool to select your font, size and colour and then move the text into position. Then click ‘Apply’ to make those changes to your banner. The final thing left to do is to export your finished banner to a folder on your computer by clicking on ‘Export’ at the bottom of the screen.
This window will pop up and you need to resize the image to however many pixels wide your blog is. This will differ from one blog design to the next, but is generally somewhere between 800 and 1200 pixels. You can check this first or export a few versions with different pixel sizes and see which one fits best.
And voilà! One simple and easy photo banner for your blog. I would like to apologise for the unexciting and unoriginal banner and blog title I’ve used in my example. It’s simply to give you an idea of how you might go about making a photo banner for your blog.
And remember that this is just a basic idea. Once you’ve got to grips with using Picasa in this way, the restrictions are only on what your head can come up with. Try more pictures, or less pictures. Text at the top, the side, over the pictures, in the middle of a circle of pictures. It’s just a case of letting your creativity flow. You could change your title font and back ground colour each month or season for a different look. You can swap pictures in and out to keep it up to date.
Just keep in mind at all times what your blog is about and how your banner represents that. This is probably one of the reasons why photo banners are so versatile, because you can simply include some of your best blog pictures and you are automatically representing the blog as a whole in your banner. Just take the I Heart Snapping banner; it tell you what we’re all about.
The next free photo editing tool we want to tell you about is Be Funky. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, this editor comes both as an app and also as a free online editor too. I think both tools are good, but the online editor ever so slightly gets my vote.
Like most of the other editors we have discussed, Be Funky is really easy to use. In fact in my opinion, it could be the easiest. What you see is what you get, and what you get is rather nice as well.
This is just a really quick overview of what Be Funky can do, but no doubt we will explain more about it over the coming months. I really like the software- it is very clean and easy to use, and does have a lot of really artistic filters and effects. There are other things that you can do, like add speech bubbles or clipart which I personally wouldn’t use, but they would be very useful for some. If you like adding filters to your photos it is definitely worth a look as it has some really great ones and I love the fact that you can choose to paint only parts of the picture with the effect- it makes for some really interesting and varied photos.
I could play for hours on Be Funky, so if you like photo effects then I would definitely head over to their site and take a look.
If you are anything like myself and Lucy- you love taking photos. And you love putting them on your blog. After all blogs are the perfect space to show off the lovely photos you have taken.
Sometimes just adding lots of photos on your blog can look a little dull and it is nice to make the layout look slightly different by putting them in a collage. I love laying out my photos in different ways, and there are lots of packages out there which will help you. I use Photoshop for mine, but only because I am lucky enough to have a designer as a husband who can afford to pay the extortionate price tag. There is free software out there which can help you instantly make your blog photos look fantastic and we are going to let you into a little secret about one today.
That software is piZap.
If you haven’t heard of piZap before, I suggest you head straight over there now and bookmark it instantly. It is basically just another free online photo editor. It may not look as pretty as Picnik (RIP) or Pic Monkey but it does have some nifty features. Mainly the collage section.
See the above screenshot? That is just some of the collages you can do on Pizap. There really are hundreds of combinations.
It is so straight forward to use that anyone can get to grips with it really easily and if you hover your mouse over any icons that you don’t understand it will explain what they are. For example in the bottom left hand corner you can adjust the colour and opacity.
Here is an example of a collage made from some 366 photos on my computer.
All in all it took me about 2 minutes to create. It really is that simple. There is sure to be a collage design on there to suit everyone.
There are lots of other quirky little bits on there such as web cam effects, clip art and text that you can add to your photos, and backgrounds and borders but some of them are a little tacky and I don’t know how often you would use them. It does have the usual editing functions like crop and rotate which come in handy.
Overall there are a lot of functions on the software that I wouldn’t use, mainly for the fact that they don’t appeal to me, but Pizap has to get a mention purely for the vast variety of collages that it has on offer. Perhaps if you know how to make collages from scratch this software wouldn’t really suit you, but if you are a beginner who wants a way of displaying lots of photos on your blog in a quick and easy way then PiZap is definitely worth a look. Sometimes in blogging you want to write a blog post or publish some photos, but don’t have a lot of time- piZap is excellent for that kind of thing. I love the fact that there are so many different styles, it really will bring a new dimension to the way in which you display photos on your blog.
There are lots of photo editors out there, each good in their own way and it is great to use a combination of a few of them to really make your photos stand out. Over the next few weeks we will be mentioning our favourites, so stick around and hopefully we will be able to give you some tips. In the meantime do go and check out piZap- it may not be the most pretty photo editor in the world, but if you delve deep enough there really are some good functions on there.