I love to have fun with my photos, and filters and effects are a great way to get some creative looks. It’s wonderful that there are so many FREE ways to enhance photographs these days and I especially love finding resources to do this online!
I thought it would be fun to show you some of my favorites using this happy little photo of sunflowers I took at Pike Place Market in Seattle a few years ago. (SOOC – Straight Out Of the Camera)
PicMonkey is one of the best sites for free photo editing. You can do basic edits of cropping, rotation, resizing, exposure, and sharpening. They have some fun stuff like collage features and “nip and tuck” as well. No need to create an account, you can just start editing photos. There is an “effects” menu filled with fabulous filter choices. When you go to save the file, you’ll get some giggles too – they have a great sense of humor at picmonkey! Bonus points for making it easy to download a full size resolution! Here’s my photo using the tranquil effect:
Pixlr-o-matic is another fun place to play with your photos. Your kids are going to enjoy watching you use this site because when you load your photo into the editing window, it ripples like water is running over it. Makes you feel like you’re a real old-time photo developer! The site is very basic and easy to use and the filters are a lot of fun! Be sure to click on the “more” button for even more options. There’s no need to create an account, you can start playing right away! It’s also very easy to download a full size resolution. This filter is called “Anne”.
Picfull has a simple approach with only a few effects, but you can play around with sliders on each of them to get a wider variety of results. Bonus points for making it easy to download a full size resolution, but it was a little trickier to figure out how to do that. I just bypassed the social media sharing popup and went straight to the download screen. No requirement to create an account, you can just load a photo and get started! This filter is “yellowed”.
I tried several other free online photo editors (rollip, foto flexer, and the photoshop express online editor) but I did not like them as much because you couldn’t download full size resolution photos. For me, that’s a deal killer – even if the deal is free!
Of course, your options will expand if you use downloadable programs such as Picassa or phone apps like Instagram – both are free! We have several posts to help you make the most of your pictures without breaking the bank:
- Picasa – a free and useful tool
- Fast photo fixes
- Instagram inspiration
- Instagram look without the app
- Changing photo tones
- Salvaging bad photos
- Working with levels
- Better black and whites
- Easy sepia tones
If you’re looking for something easy and creative to do this weekend, try playing around with your pictures. It’s amazing to see how many ways there are to make your photographs look incredible!
P.S. The title graphic was made with the collage tool at picmonkey, a journaling label by Amy Wolff, and the Miss Tina font Base Outline.