This post was originally over on my blog Crazy Little Projects, but I think it is appropriate to move it over here too, since these tips could really help bloggers! It’s a simple little tutorial that can improve your pictures in a quick, easy, anyone can do it way! This could be great for bloggers who want to make their pictures stand out more but aren’t professionals at photography. Here you go-How to edit pictures online:
How to Edit Pictures Online:
A few months back my old computer keeled over and died. My husband was insistent that this time around I needed to get a Mac. I was indifferent, so I let him talk me into it. Now I am a happy Mac user, BUT with the transfer I lost my program for editing pictures. I used to use Paint Shop Pro which is similar to Photo Shop but maybe dumbed down just a little. It was a difficult program to learn, but I had a good handle on it and used it daily.
Once I had my new computer I struggled to find a photo editing program that would work for me. After trying out several options I found myself using PicMonkey.com for most of my photo editing. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s free! (Though you can upgrade to a membership that costs $5 a month and I do love that membership!)
Can I walk you through a handful of easy steps that will improve your pictures?
Go to PicMonkey.com and select Edit from the menu bar on the top. You can then select your images from your computer (or the other options). Select one picture to edit:
Here’s a picture that I recently edited for the blog. (Check this post out here.) This is what it looks like in my workspace when I open it in PicMonkey:
Once I have this opened it is going to take me less than 5 minutes usually to edit this. Often about 2 minutes. Just a few simple changes are going to brighten this picture up and make it pop much more.
To start, make sure you are working in the menu that is shown in the picture above. You should have the cropping tool icon clicked (the little square looking thing on the left) and should see the drop downs starting with Crop then Canvas Color and so on.
If you need to crop your picture, this is the first thing to do. Select crop and a box will pop up like this:
I can then drag that box around, resize it and get it centered just how I want it on my image and press crop. Also, if you picture is at all crooked try the rotate tool.
Once I have my image cropped, I resize it. Now, if this is a portrait that you want to print, go ahead and leave it at full size. But if this is an image that you are wanting to use on the internet, you can size it down.
Select Resize from the bottom of that menu:
Then size it how you want. For blog images I size mine to about 600 wide and for sure leave the keep proportions button checked.
The next step I use is to play with Exposure. Select this from the list. In this section you can do a number of things. I start by clicking the auto adjust button. This will make some automatic adjustments to your image. Usually these are subtle and don’t make enough of a difference for me, but it’s a start.
Then you can play with the others. I start with brightness. I almost always want my pictures brighter, so I start there and drag the little dot to the right. Here you can see that I dragged it clear over to the 16. It’s TOO bright at this point, but I am going to adjust that with some other settings:
Next I do Contrast. This will enhance everything in your picture. You need to be careful with this one because if you use it too much your pictures will start to look over exposed. This is an extreme example of contrast set too high:
Here is a more reasonable version. You can also play with Highlights and Shadows in this tab too.
Next I move on to Sharpen and pull the Sharpness and Clarity up just a bit. This is probably more for object photography rather than people. It just gives your picture a little bit more of a crisp look:
And then if you feel like the coloring looks off on your picture you can also play with temperature and saturation under the Colors tab. I felt like this one was slightly bluish so I pulled the temperature up slightly.
And then we have a finished image.
Let’s compare the before and after:
You can see that it is more bright, colorful and crisp. In my case I was using this for my blog and want the pictures to really stand out for Pinterest and things, so I want it quite bright and bold. If I was editing pictures of people I would tame the contrast and clarity down a bit.
Do what works for your image and play around with things a little. You will be surprised how easy it is to get a nicer looking picture without a lot of effort!
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