Some Examples of Fun and Free Photo Editing Courtesy of Portah

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courtesy of richardarmitagenet

I have mentioned before how much fun it can be to play with photo editing tools (you might have noticed I have done quite a bit of it).  A few years ago you had to make a sizeable investment in computer  programs in order to have access to such tools.

Nowadays, there are numerous photo editing sites online and it won’t cost you a dime to make use of their technology. And that technology makes it easier than ever to produce some really cool and professional-looking results. If a techno-numpty like yours truly can do it, anybody can do it. 

These sites offer everything from inserting your photos into other images, touch-up tools and artistic tools to the ability to add text, frames, stickers, speech bubbles and more.

Now, I have more than a dozen of these sites bookmarked, but for today, I am going to focus on three of my favorites: BeFunkywww.picmonkey.com  and www.iPiccy.com and show examples of just a little of what can be done with each site.

Above is the original photo I started with, a screencap from Ep3 of Strike Back.

Here is the photo after editing in iPiccy. I have cropped and flipped it, converted it into a B&W tone, added a “gritty” overlay and then a peeling paint effect, adjusting it so that the peel was not on Porter’s handsome face.  A basic frame was added, and the last touch was the lettering done in the cutout letter style.

Below is a second photo edited in iPiccy.

In this second version, I used the cloning tool to erase the “Sky” logo from the background. I then lightened the exposure and  converted it into a sepia tone. Over this I added the pencil sketch effect.  Using the texture feature, I added a papyrus overlay to the photo.  I completed the piece by adding another basic frame in tan to compliment the photo.

For a more colorful take on our sexy sergeant, I used BeFunky’s Holgaart effect, which allows for both horizontal and vertical adjustments of the repeated pattern.  I began by using the cloning tool to once again remove the logo from the upper lefthand corner. I chose one of the filmstrip frames offered by the site, then picked out a font and added the text.

BeFunky also allows you to create artwork in various painting styles and mediums, among them gouache, pointillism, watercolor, oil and here, Impressionism. After playing with the exposure and intensity of the photo’s colors, I used the Impressionist effect and then completed it with a “sketchedy” frame from BeFunky’s selection of frames.

Another favorite online site is PicMonkey, which is a fun site to use. (When a glitch occurs, a sign pops up saying “Ruh-Roh, Shaggy!”)  It offers basic editing along with the photo touch-up tools now found on many sites, including makeup, spray tan, adding highlights to hair, teeth whitening and even “nip and tuck” options.

Again, I started with the cloning tool to remove the logo.  I used the HDR effect to intensify the details of the photo, added another overlay to intensify the colors and added a vignette effect. I finished with a filmstrip framing effect.

This time I used the Vibrance Effect (after erasing the logo with the cloning tool), added the Instant Photograph Effect using a blue background, and then added text.  Stickers of the pushpin, the gold star and the lip prints were the finishing touches.

I am really just scratching the surface here, but hopefully you have gotten some idea of what you can do  with free photo editing available to you online. I have been known to use the editing/artistic effects on one site, then use a frame from a different site and text from yet another site all on a single piece of artwork.  If it’s something in which you are interested, then pick out some pix, check out one of these sites and get started. It’s fun–and a bit addictive.

About fedoralady

I'm an LA native--Lower Alabama, that is. My husband of more than 30 years and I live here on a portion of my family's former farm with two gorgeous calicos and a handsome GSD mix. My background is art education, and over the years I've been a teacher, department store photographer, sales associate and a journalist. My husband, his business partner and I have Pecan Ridge Productions, a video production company, for which I shoot & edit video and stills and manage marketing. I also still write part-time for the local paper. I love movies, music, art, photography and books, and my tastes in all of them are eclectic.

11 responses »

  1. Thanks for these, Angie- I’m afraid to start though, as I know once I start using these I wouldn’t be able to stop! 🙂 I could definitely use some nip-and tuck effects on photos of myself- I hate the way I look on photos, maybe I could make myself look OK using these effects!

    • Yes, it can be addictive, that’s for certain. I haven’t really tried the various nip tuck effects (mainly because I chiefly work on Mr. A’s images and he doesn’t need any work, n’est-ce pas??) 😉 I have played around with touching up practice faces in Photoshop class.

  2. Oh yes, they are definitely addictive! I’ve been on all three and had a play around with the tools and effects. Time just slips away because I get so engrossed. Many thanks for passing on these ideas, angie. 🙂

  3. Nice effects. I will bookmark this and come back to it later. I would love to spend more time doing this too! Nice that there are so many free options out there. Thanks for the overview!

    • I am going to focus on some other sites in future posts, but I didn’t want to overwhelm y’all with too many at once. 😉 Even if you just want to make cute art for friends and family for birthday and holidays, it’s handy to know.

  4. I agree Angie! These are great, especially if you’re new to the concept of fiddling with pics. It’s a great way to learn the basics, then moving on to PS isn’t as scary. I think these sites (and there are so many more, just google them) are perfect to spark your interest, although after a while you start wanting more.
    Jas also recommends tutorials to guide you through the process of doing cool stuff with pictures, although I haven’t had a chance to use any yet, due to internet connection limitations.
    Playing around with photos is just so addictive, and it quenches a creative thirst, so I highly recommend everyone gives it a go, even if they think they’d be bad at it!
    It’s so simply, I really can’t see how anyone would be 🙂

    • Honestly, they are pretty much idiot-proof (not saying anyone out there is an idiot, you understand, but I also know how it is to feel overwhelmed by technology). My husband, who has insisted for years he is not artistically talented in the least bit, could take these programs and create some great-looking stuff, I have absolutely NO doubt. He creates some wonderful videos for our arts council and other community events so he has a better “eye” than he thinks he does.

      As you say, Agzy, they are a good launching point before you even get into Photoshop. My less-than-stellar internet connection also hampers me with certain tutorials *sigh*

      For me, it is not only a creative outlet, but it is also one that uses, shall we say, different creative muscles than writing does So that when the writing muse isn’t working up to speed, I can turn to photo editing for an enjoyable and frustration-free creative activity. It can be quite cathartic, I have found. And it’s FUN!! LOL And, OK, it’s a good excuse to ogle Mr. Sexypants. 😉

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