Yup, here I am again. Talking about online photo editing. If you're one of those super-talented Photoshoppin' geniuses... please stop here.
If you're like me, and have tried your very hardest to love Photoshop/learn how to use it, but just couldn't quite get there... then this post is for you.
Remember how I had a mini-meltdown when I discovered that Picnik.com (my old, easy-to-use, online photo editing tool) was closing it's site? Well... ever since then I've gotten LOTS of emails from readers wondering what I've been using to gussy up my photos, add watermarks and round corners. So here's the lowdown:
First, I tried Photoshop
* It was hard
* It was fancy
* It was time consuming
* It was cool!
That review is a bit confusing, so let me explain. There are SO MANY amazing things you can do in Photoshop that you can't do on a simple online editing site. Emilie showed me that :)
I won't even start to list the possibilities, because we'd be here all day, but honestly, if you're looking to take your photo editing skills to the next level, then Photoshop is where it's at.
That being said... it takes some MAJOR time to learn the ins and outs of how Photoshop works. Maybe I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I felt like I was spending more time trying to figure out what the name for actions or editing tools meant, than actually USING them. bleeh.... and for me, time is something I just don't have enough of these days, so when I was on the search for quick, simple, pretty-blog-picture editing capabilities, I resorted to using iPiccy.
Here was my take away:
* It's super easy to use (like Picnik was)
* It has great options/effects
* It did a few awesome things that Picnik couldn't
* But the collage feature wasn't as good
The thing I loved most about iPiccy, was the select tool feature when editing. So, for example, if you wanted to lighten just certain parts of a photo, you could!
When we were in California I took some pictures of my sisters little family. It was a really difficult day at the beach to be shooting in a manual camera setting, because one minute there were clouds and the next it was full on sunshine... and taking the time to get the perfect settings on a camera, while reasoning with an almost 2 year old to sit still and smile... is almost impossible. So I'm using this image as an example of a photo that I really liked, but shot with my SUNNY manual setting, instead of my cloudy manual setting (does this make sense?) Basically, it's not that it was a bad photo, it's just that I didn't have the time to get the right setting for the situation, but still want to use it.
Enter in: iPiccy photo editing program!
I didn't want to do anything crazy with my editing, I just wanted to lighten up the photo a bit, punch up the color of the water, sand and yellow shirt that my niece was wearing. Doing all of that, WITHOUT a selection tool, would be a problem. Here's why...
If I want to highlight my sweet niece, by brightening up the photo to bring attention to her, this is what the background ends up looking like...
Now, if I kept my niece at a constant, and just wanted to edit the sand and water really well, without a selection tool, here's what SHE would end up looking like...
You get the idea, right?:)
The iPiccy selection tool is great for this problem. When you use any of the basic editing features, like exposure, contrast, saturation, etc... and you don't want ALL of the parts of your picture to have that specific effect, you just select that paintbrush tool below, a box pops up, you choose erase, and remove the effect from whatever part of the picture you don't want it on.
It's that easy!
Honestly, it's THE BEST tool ever! And something that Picnik didn't offer.
PS. Yes, she's wearing a Whippycake, and yes, she's a.d.o.r.a.b.l.e! Eeee, love her!
So speaking of Picnik, I just got an email in my inbox yesterday alerting me to the NEWEST online photo editor on the scene... Ribbet.com
I have to say that I had a little "quick-clapping, heart jumping moment" when I opened the Ribbet editor for the first time today!!! It's JUST like Picnik was!... literally, even the photo icons are the same, gah! I was so happy to see the same familiar set up and tools that made Picnik so great! I especially missed the photo collage tool where you could expand the number of slots for photos by simply upping rows and columns with a quick slide of your mouse! (something that iPiccy does not have).
How long do I think Ribbet will stick around before selling out to someone like google? Meh, I dunno, but I'm sure gonna enjoy their site till they do. ha!
So... in the end, I guess I'd recommend BOTH iPiccy.com and Ribbet.com. Each are really great, and they both have their own cool features. As far as cost is concerned iPiccy.com is always free. Ribbet's premium features are free... for now. Eventually they will require payment (I'm assuming about $20-$30 a year) to use their more advanced features, like the custom collage options, clone tool and some of their cooler touch-up features.
As for me? I'll now be using both!... and yes, even be paying the $30 (or whatever it ends up being) fee for Ribbet. As a blogger, it's worth EVERY penny! Being able to easily edit project or personal photos to make sure that I have "pretty pictures" for my readers, is really what our blog is all about! If you've been around here long enough, you know our mantra is QUALITY, not Quantity. Posting every day with mediocre pictures and content is fine... but publishing 2-3 times a week with great information and stellar, beautifully photographed and edited images... is ALWAYS preferred in MY book