I used to use Picnik to do some basic photo editing for myself because I don’t have Photoshop on my home computer, but the service closed in April. Now the site redirects users to Google+, though all of the links on the site take you to Google’s help pages, and not actually a page where you would upload a photo and edit it. I got bored with trying to figure out how to edit photos on Google+ and started — ironically? — Googling for alternatives. (I think Google+ wants users to upload photos to their site to share, but all I wanted to do was crop and resize some photos, not share all of them on Google+.)
One of the first results I came across was for BeFunky, which has the blurb “BeFunky lets you apply photo effects, enhance, edit pictures and photos online. Cartoon, sketch, painting, pop art and more…” Also a bonus? “It’s Free and Registration Isn’t required :)”
the emoticon in the description is a sign that the core demographic of the users is maybe definitely tween and teen girls making photo collages of their BFFs to share on Twitter. But I figured a photo-editing site with that user in mind would have everything I needed to crop and resize my photos — and maybe some other tools worth exploring.
Description from BeFunky.com:
With BeFunky anyone can transform their pictures into extraordinary works of art in just a few clicks.
BeFunky has more effects than any other photo editor and features you won’t find anywhere else. Changing your pictures into oil paintings, vintage polaroids, or pop art has never been easier.
Use BeFunky’s sleek and simple tools to make corrections: fix red eye, bad lighting, or dull colors in seconds.
Frames, Goodies and Text Editor
Give your creations even more character by adding speech bubbles, graphics, frames, and more.
All you have to do to edit a photo on BeFunky is click the big pink button that says “Get Started,” and select the photo you want to edit. There are dozens of editing features, filters and effects you can apply to your photo with the free version, and even more if you want to upgrade your account (for as little as $2 a month, according to the site). There’s actually a ton of features that I didn’t look into when I was cropping and resizing. It looks like a pretty good way for someone to get creative with their photo editing without spending a lot on expensive software.
Check out some of the effects you can do for free, without registering for an account:
The original photo — resized — of my sister, Kim, and our niece, Kaylee.
Kim and Kaylee with several effects, including matting and a pink tint
Kim and Kaylee as Pop Art
Kim and Kaylee with a cartoon effect
Kim and Kaylee on a filmstrip
Kim and Kaylee with an effect called Underpainting (it actually kind of looks like a painting!)
Kim and Kaylee with an effect called View Finder. Kind of makes you nostalgic, right?
Pretty neat features for a free site. After you’re finished editing, you can save the photo right back to your computer, or share it to your Facebook wall, to your Facebook photo album, as a Twitter status, as your Twitter profile picture, to Flickr, to Tumblr, via email, or to the BeFunky photo gallery. You also can print your art on T-shirts, mugs, cards, keychains and more through Zazzle (which sounds to me like a good way to customize vacation swag with your own photos).
BeFunky also has a mobile app for Apple and Android, but I can’t give any feedback on that because I don’t have a smartphone and my iPod sans camera is not compatible with it. But the app is free! So the only thing you’ll lose by downloading it is a few megabytes and a little bit of time exploring it. (Sidebar and possible future blog topic: Why aren’t all apps free to try? Why do I want to pay $4 for something if I don’t know if I’ll like it?)
I’m happy enough with this that I’m planning to share it with staffers in my newsroom who don’t have Photoshop on their computers (or, those whose computers have trouble handling Photoshop in addition to the other programs they need to run). We shrink all of our images published online to a more web-friendly size, which is super easy to do through BeFunky. It might not get a ton of use in the newsroom, but it will still help in those breaking news instances when a staffer with Photoshop isn’t available (or, in breaking news situations when opening a new window in a browser might be faster than launching Photoshop). And of course, the site would be shared with the stipulation that it only be used for resizing, and not to do any real photo editing, which should be reserved for those trained to do that using actual photo-editing software.
What free online photo editing tools do you use?