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Techy Tuesday: PicMonkey

Are you looking for an easy way to edit your everyday photos?  Is the cost of some fancy, complicated software too high for your liking?  Do you miss Picnik?  Welcome PicMonkey to your life!  The makers of Picnik have come back to give you another installment of fast, simple {and free} ways to edit your photos and make them look stunning!  I will go through my favorite features and let you in on my wish-they-would-list.  Hold on tight cause here we goooo!
PicMonkey can take your photos in so many different directions.  From simple cropping and sizing to effects and borders, this is a great tool to improve and enhance the quality of your photos.  This is not going to be a tutorial post since I believe that PicMonkey's user interface is super straight forward and ridiculously easy to follow.  What I will do is highlight some of my favorite "oooh" and "aaah" moments while playing around with it.  Also, it's worth noting that all the images I will post here have been edited in PicMonkey, so sit back and ooh and aah along with me.

There are six different functions as you can see here to start your editing process.  All of these are pretty standard to a photo editing program.  I like the photos they use to emphasize each function.  Cropping can be done with fixed proportions {great for getting the best crop for your next profile pic} or can be done freely.  Rotate or flip your image with a quick click of your mouse.  Auto adjust the exposure or adjust it manually, if you like.  You can also auto adjust the color, or have some fun and play with the neutral picker and have at it, all edits are non-destructive, so you can apply or cancel before truly changing the photo.  The undo and redo buttons also reassure you that the original photo won't be completely ruined.  My favorite basic feature would probably be the resize function which is important to someone like me who works with pixel dimensions in web page coding.  You could also use it to resize your photo to the exact dimensions of your computer desktop without worrying about awkward stretching.




This is where the fun really begins, five categories of fun effects that will have you playing with your photos for hours, no doubt!  Some of the basic effects include changing the image into black and white, sephia, or even a frosted effect.  Camera Look effects offer some of the more advanced filters like HDR, Cinerama and Infrared.  Paintbox allows you to recolor the entire image with tint, Warhol and burst effects.  Area effects let you get specific with your image and soften, zoom, color, or even pixelate a portion of your image and emphasize a focal point.  Artsy effects let you add film grain for an aged look or posterize your image for a cool graphic look.  Here are some of my favorite features at work...










 



Ladies, there's no longer any fear of taking pictures for lack of make-up, at least not as long as you can work with PicMonkey!  The touch up functions as your make up artist and allows you to add or remove anything you want.  Blemishes, tan lines and red eye are a thing of the past; even brighten your eye color and whiten your teeth.  You may notice crowns beneath some of the options, those are royale features that are available as a free trial and will eventually become part of a paid membership benefit.  I suggest you play with those features now that they are on free trail to see if you are willing to pay for the extra goodness.  For now, let's see these touch ups in action.

Blemish fixes on the cheek and chin
Scroll up and down to see the teeth whitening difference

Shrinks the image by a specified percentage to make for a thinner face

You've seen the text feature at work with each feature highlighted.  As you can see, there are a decent variety of fonts to choose from.

Overlay is a nice feature if you want to add some fun shapes or comic bubbles.  Pictured below are all of the general options and the seasonal butterfly overlay.  There are some other fancy shapes and flowers also available with a free trial membership that are not pictured below.
Overlay feature in a variety of shapes and colors

The last feature is the border functionality.  Another good variety of options and one that I miss dearly, the polaroid!  What a fun way to give your current pictures a fun retro look.

Polaroid border with adjustable background color
  
This is a great, great photo editing tool and the best part about it is that it is free to use and no registration is required!  How much easier can it be?  Make the best quality photos that you can from the precious memories you capture of your loved ones.  With that, there are some features that I am eager to see added to the mix and some that I'm a bit disappointed to see are {in my mind} missing.  I am eager to see the collage feature coming up {yay!}, and would love to be able to overlay a custom image onto another image {such as my blog logo onto my project photo}.  I'm a little sad to see that in order to use PicMonkey, you need to be on a browser that is flash enabled; that means that PicMonkey is a no go for iPod touch, iPhone and iPad users until they develop an app.  The app would be another wish for this lady.

Get your photo editing on and make the most of those awesome memories in your camera!  Picnik mourners rejoice with the birth of PicMonkey!  Gift yourself this free tool with amazing functionality and make your amateur photos look pro status!

Have you Picnik users tried PicMonkey yet?  How did it compare?  Never heard of Picnik?  Try PicMonkey and join the photo editing party!

*Disclaimer:  I was not paid by any company to write this post.  I just love passing on fun new techy gadgets and do-hickies, especially when they are freeee!




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