No Phototshop? No Worries!

Would you like to do some editing on your pictures but don’t have the dough to by a Photoshop program right now?  No worries! There are several online photo editing programs that you can use that do pretty great, at a fraction of the price.

I do most of my of my photo editing in Photoshop Elements but if I am away from my computer and in a bind I will use Picnik.  It’s a great program and it can pull your photos to your Flickr, Facebook, Photobucket, MySpace and Picasa accounts.  As long as you have your images loaded into one of these accounts you can pull your photos from anywhere and edit them. 

Picnik is free and you can upgrade to a premium account for under $27.oo a year.  With the premium account you can make curve adjustments, level adjustments, clone and have access too several portrait touch-up tools. 

Earlier this week I was at a music festival and this little girl was there with her new puppy.  I asked her mother if it was ok for me to take a few pictures.  I always ask parents before I take pictures of their children.  I don’t want them to get weirded out.   It was an over cast day and although she looks adorable with her puppy in the picture I wanted to brighten it up a bit.

I uploaded the pictures into Flickr and decided to do some editing in Picnik.   All I did with her photo was brighten it up by making some exposure adjustments and I did some whitening of her teeth.  I think when photography children it is best to keep it simple so they keep that soft look of innocence.

Before & After

I also got a few shots of the husband figure.  Obed of course is a manly man but with age we can all use a bit of tweaking.  With this picture I used several editing tools. 

First I made some exposure adjustments.  When you are in the exposure tab you can also click on the “advanced” button.  A window will pop up, check off the “Local Contrast” and you will notice the image suddenly pop.  Use the slider to adjust the local contrast, I usually keep it under 25%.  Do not over use this tool because it can create a harsh look to your photos.  I use it sparenly on portraits of women and I rarely use it on children. If I do I keep it under 10% because you want to maintain the soft innocent look of a child.

Then in the “Create” mode under “Touch Ups” I used the “blemish” tool I zoomed in really close and did a little eyebrow plucking.  He was on the verge of a uni-brow so I decided to clean that up a bit.  I then used the same tool to clean up a few skin blemishes.    When using this tool be sure to zoom in really close.

I also used a wrinkle tool to soften some of the creases around his eyes.  When you use this tool you will want to adjust  the “Fade” slider to create a more natural look. 

Finally I clicked on the “Spray Tan” tool.  Don’t be scared when you first start to “Spray Tan” you can still make adjustments after you spray.  You can change the tone, make it darker and fade it.  After I finished with his skin, I found the background to be a little too bright, so I applied the “Spray Tan” and then used the same tool to darken the back ground.   That is right I “Spray Tanned” the background.  You don’t always have to use the tool for what it is “made” for.  Using the spray tan on the background I was able to brighten it up separately from Obed.

Oh and I did a little crop too. 

Obed Edited Before and After

TA-DA!  See great photo editing for a quarter of the price and on the fly.  These kind of programs are great for someone who is just starting to play around with photo editing.   It also makes collages, framing and before and after super easy.  It is very user friendly and great for anyone that gets a little overwhelmed or confused with image layering.  This in no way replaces Photoshop but it is a great tool to hold you over. 

This here….this is just a puppy that wants to love you you.  😀  Isn’t he cute!


There are other photo editing services that you can use.  Do a Google search or try these out.

Pixlr – Free editing with layering capabilities like Photoshop

Gimp – Free download image manipulator.




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