Blog Tips: Photo Editing When Photoshop Isn't An Option | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

25 February, 2014

Blog Tips: Photo Editing When Photoshop Isn't An Option

Get your tiny violins ready: Today I'm going to tell you a blogging tale of woe.

Photoshop has been my go-to photo editing software for years. Living and breathing those Adobe commands, yo. But a couple of weeks ago it just... died. For some reason Photoshop won't run anymore, and because I'm a disorganized jerk I can't remember where I put the installation discs. Perhaps it suffered exhaustion from all resizing all those extreme moisturizer close-ups? RIP, Photoshop.

Background image by Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I'm still looking for those install discs, so in the meantime I've been using a few free bits of editing software for my blog photos. I figured I'd share 'em with you, since I'm sure there are plenty of you who also need to edit your blog photos and don't have the cash for Photoshop.


1. PicMonkey:


picmonkey website screenshot

PicMonkey is the photo editor I hear mentioned most often in blogging Twitter chats, and with good reason - it's web-based (so you can upload right from your browser, no special software downloads needed) and VERY beginner-friendly. Most of the functions involve easy-to-use sliders and/or drag-and-drop fields. If you are completely clueless about photo editing, start here. You'll likely find it very easy.

While PicMonkey isn't nearly as featured as Photoshop, I would say that the free version contains about 75% of the features I would use regularly for blogging purposes, and the paid "Royale" version has about 90% of those features. "Royale" also has a larger selection of things like backgrounds, fonts, etc. It's also cheap - $4.99 per month or $33 per year. If you're not sure, you can get a free day of Royale by signing up through my referral link, and of course you can access the free version at any time without an account.


2. GiMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program):


gimp website screenshot

GiMP is a program that you download to your computer, and is probably the most featured free editor out there. I was first introduced to this as an alternative to Photoshop for Linux, and used the hell out of it when I was traveling around a few years ago with my crappy little Linux netbook. The downside of GiMP having so many features is that it's sort of difficult to figure out without putting in a little time to look at tutorials - plus if you're used to using Photoshop some of the commands/menus are not intuitive at all. Still, if you want the most bang for your zero bucks, this is probably what you should try.


3. Microsoft Paint (comes installed with Windows):

paint screenshot

Suggesting MS Paint as editing software might sound ridiculous to seasoned photo editors, but hear me out - the newer versions of Paint are a bit more sophisticated than they used to be. Plus if you have Windows, you already have it on your computer. While Paint won't help you do things like color-correct and retouch photos, it can be used in a pinch to do things like resize, add text, make collages etc. Certainly better than nothing.

------------------------------------------------

Photoshops discs, make yourselves known! But until they do, these three programs are getting the job done. If had to choose one (THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!) then I'd say PicMonkey would be my top choice for editing blog photos, just because it's so quick and easy to figure everything out. But why choose one when you can use all three for free? ;)


Have you tried any of this software? What do you usually use to edit photos for your blog?


32 comments:

  1. I've been using GiMP since forever and actually prefer it over Photoshop, mostly because I'm more used to it and would rather not go through the whole learning process again (lazy me). Sometimes I find that photo editing apps work just as well and use those to edit my photos by uploading them from my camera onto Dropbox, then saving it onto my phone through the Dropbox app.


    Speaking of being disorganized, I've misplaced important things quite a few times. > < Right now I'm looking for my graphing calculator charger that's been missing since last September, although I'm positive I put it somewhere in my room (which isn't very large either). Good luck on finding your installation discs! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just get a Torrent for Photoshop?? This looks like a potentially decent one: http://thepiratebay.se/torrent/9554414/Photoshop_CS6_Precracked

    If you're in a hurry, you can also use online editors - I like Pixlr, it's basically web-based Photoshop: http://pixlr.com/editor/

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm not sure I feel comfortable recommending that people download a torrent of Photoshop, considering that that's illegal here. :) Not to mention the risk of viruses, malware etc. I will certainly check out Pixlr though, thanks for the suggestion!

    ReplyDelete
  4. That makes sense, I think you get used to whatever you learned to use first so it's hard to make the switch. I think GiMP is a really good piece of software, but I often find myself mindlessly pressing commands that would do one thing in Photoshop but have an entirely different result in GiMP. :P

    Good luck finding your calculator! I have been missing a small external hard drive since around the same time, and am baffled as to where it ended up... I live in a small apartment with limited places for things to get lost. Sometimes I hide things for safekeeping before I go on vacation, but then I forget where I put them, haha...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh no! Sorry to hear you lost your installation discs :( hopefully you find them soon! I too use Picmonkey, and I love it! It's just so easy to use. GiMP sounds good as well! Haven't tried it for the same reason you mentioned, it just sounds a little more complicated.


    Hopefully those programs are helping you out while you find your discs though! Good luck! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Haha, I would definitely not recommend torrenting in a blog post, but it's often the easiest solution. >< I like Pixlr for when I'm not working on my own computer, hope it works well for you~

    ReplyDelete
  7. Haha thanks! My level of frustration at losing the Photoshop discs is really more along the line of mild annoyance, because those other programs really do most of what I need them to... but I feel like a crazy person for not being able to remember where I put it!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I normally use photoscape for most of my photos and simple editing.

    www.gwiyomistyle.net

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love blogging tips like this =) I had a period there where I also didn't have access to Photoshop and I thought I would die. GIMP was what I used, and it wasn't bad but man some of the brushes/effects are so useful...I ended up getting PS again within a month haha.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I don't do much photo editing so I use ribbet which is web-based, free (the deluxe version is free), and idiot-proof. It still feels like I spend most of my posting prep-time working on photos.

    ReplyDelete
  11. this is super helpful! I use a mac so there are some cool apps that I get which work beautifully but I love these as a cheaper alternative!




    xoxox @thesunnyscenery

    ReplyDelete
  12. I will check that one out too, thanks for the suggestion!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm not sure if it's because I used it first or if it's because it's actually better, but I find Photoshop much easier to dive right into. I mean there are certain things you would need to read a tutorial to know how to do, but basic the basic functions were much easier for me to just guess than GIMP.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I will check out Ribbet, never heard of it! Photos definitely use up a lot of my blogging time... first setting them up, then taking them, then sorting through them to choose the few I'll actually use, then the editing... blah. I sort of enjoy it though.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I don't have a Mac so I don't know about Mac-specific options, but I love the web-based photo editors (like PicMonkey) because you can use it from almost any computer! I think GIMP will work with Mac, if it sounds interesting to you.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Every time I think I've got my method down to a 'science' something catches my eye and I decide to change things up.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you so much for these tips! I really needed them. I don't have photo shop yet and I have Corel Paint Shop and it is hard for me as a beginner to figure out. I am going to give that pic monkey a try. My blog is new, like 2 1/2 months new, so I am still learning and trying to get better photos. I just got in a photo tent this week that is helping out some also, now your tips, I can only get better from here.....LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love picmonkey - I use it all the time. Fotor is another handy (and free) editing website too.

    ReplyDelete
  19. If I can't use PS, I use Meitu XiuXiu. It's in Chinese, but it's pretty easy to understand and has heaps of awesome features.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hopefully PicMonkey works for you! You'll definitely get better photos with practice, so keep working at it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Will check Fotor out, thanks for the suggestion!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I will look for that one! It's amazing how many photo editors there are...

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have Photoshop Elements, because I am clueless in general about Photoshop. I need to take a course. And, yet, I still use Picmonkey to put text on my photos. Go figure. :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Another advantage to using PicMonkey for adding text is that you don't have to worry about looking up whether or not you're allowed to use certain fonts for whatever it is you're using them for...

    ReplyDelete
  25. Is that a problem in Photoshop?! Yikes, I don't even know all the things I don't know about it!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I mean it depends on where you're getting your fonts from. Some fonts are free for personal use, but not commercial use. What constitutes "commercial use" in blogging is debatable, so it can get confusing... individual font creators usually have individual policies. I'd read up on it if you're not sure. :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Ah...good to know. I always use the same one. Hopefully it's okay. If not, I'm sure I'll hear about it...

    ReplyDelete
  28. If you google the name of the font you can probably find more info about it. And I just realized how incredibly vague my first response about this was, sorry about that... haha.

    ReplyDelete
  29. No worries! Better I figure it out slowly than not at all. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  30. I love Picmonkey!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Ooh, thank you! I've only recently started blogging again, after a hiatus of a couple of years, and my current computer doesn't have photoshop, just a basic editing program that doesn't have many features at all. I'd been wondering what to use, or if I'd have to bite the bullet and buy photoshop again. I'll give PicMonkey a go!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hope it works well for you! There have been a number of other suggestions for web-based editors in the comments too, so if that doesn't work there are apparently several more for you to try...

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...