The festival season is here, and it’s time for a whole bunch of fun photos. But a good camera is not all that’s required for fantastic snapshots.
It’s true; you don’t need to be an expert to touch-up your snapshots. These simple tools will let you crop, rotate, and retouch your pictures, and will even let you add that extra tadka – photo frames and special effects – to your snapshots with a single click of your mouse button.
Professionals might swear by Adobe Photoshop, but there are a whole bunch of users who’ve discovered the magic of an internet-based photo editor called Pixlr. This online tool, like any advanced image editor, comes with the layers option; over 25 graphic filters (blur, sharpen, diffuse, pixelate, emboss and engrave), a complete tool-set (stamp-clone, ink, eraser, magicwand, gradient-fill ), and even photo adjustment options (levels, curves, hue and saturation, brightness and contrast). All you have to do, is open the picture you want to edit in the app, work on it using the tools at your disposal, and then save the finished image back onto your machine.
Now, in case you’re a first-timer, and find Pixlr too daunting, you could try out the simpler Pixlr Express or Pixlr-o-matic .
Express uses simple onetouch buttons to make adjustments in contrast and colour, to auto-fix your snapshots, and even rotate and resize them. Using this tool you can apply photo effects, add digital frames to your pictures and even overlay your images with text. Pixlr-o-matic simplifies things even further. Import a JPEG from your computer and you can apply readymade effects to your images. Simply select the effect you like and you’re done. Pixlr Express, Pixlr-o-matic are also available as free apps for Android and iOS. pixlr.com
If you have a dodgy internet connection, then editing images online might not work out in your favour. Instead, it would be better if you made changes to your pictures using software on your PC before posting them to your web album or social network.
Picasa, which is a 14.3MB free download, lets you straighten and crop photographs, and then even lets you use filters, effects and quick fix tools like Auto Contrast, Auto Colour and Retouch. Creating a collage or a poster is just as simple, and takes just a few clicks.
People in group photos can also be tagged: tag a person in one snapshot, and Picasa’s brilliant built-in face-detection algorithm takes over, identifying the same person in other images.
Additionally, this software comes with a ‘batch edit’ feature that lets you automate repetitive tasks across multiple files. Once you are done, images can be uploaded directly to your Google+ account (with the face tags intact), or exported to another folder, with a watermark. picasa.google.com