While Adobe’s suite of tools (Photoshop, Illustrator, AfterEffects) are powerful, they come at a pricy entry fee for many solo entrepreneurs, bloggers, small businesses and DIY crafters. And if your goal is not to become a graphic designer you’ll probably never justify the cost of Adobe’s products, but you’ll still need tools to edit images and graphics.
The alternative is to find a free online photo editor that fits your need. Many offer editing images as a photo editor like photoshop but depending on your photo editing requirement, not all will meet your need.
Generally, there are 5 photo editing reasons most you want to enhance your images or retouch your pictures.
1. Photo Fixes For Lighting, Contrast and Tint
For example, maybe all you need is to fix the color of the photo. That would require either modifying photo characteristics like hue, saturation, contrast or brightness. Many online photo editors offer that and most of the ones I use both online (Canva, PicMonkey, Pixlr Editor) and as a downloadable image editor (GIMP, Pixelmator) can enhance pictures in this way. And if you’re interested in understanding how to change hue, saturation, contrast, and brightness check out my article on Canva.
2. Photo Retouching For Blemishes
Clean up your pictures and enhance your images by removing blemishes. Not all online photo editors will offer this. Many like Pixlr Editor, GIMP and Pixelmator can easily retouch images using heal, blur and spot touch-up tools while editors like Canva and PicMonkey do not offer those options.
(Don’t get me wrong, Canva and PicMonkey have some wonderful features but this is not one.)
3. Photo Editing Background Removal Or Modification
For me, photo editing of backgrounds is essential to creating new unique images, picture and even icons from royalty-free stock. By knowing how to remove or modify a background I can re-purpose the image into web designs, social posts, Pinterest pins, Instagram stories, video, and animation. The best free editors for this purpose are Pixlr Editor, Pixelmator, and GIMP.
4. Photo Collage Or Image Merging
Once the image background has been modified (if necessary) I can use just about any online editor I wish to merge and overlay images to create new unique digital pictures and visual content. The image generally has to be either a png or jpg; the best rule of thumb is to use a jpg if the background doesn’t need to be transparent because jpg file sizes are significantly smaller and will be easier for mobile responsive requirements.
Learn how to quickly edit your images, fix your photos, add your brand colors to your graphics. And make that eye-catching visual content for your site, social media and projects.
5. Photo Vector Resizing
This is a beneficial use for photo editing that many folks don’t use or even realize it’s available. If they did, it would open up a whole range of royalty-free stock images that they’ve never look at. A lot of DIY print on demand and crafters do use it to their advantage. They need image, icon and illustration vectors as for their business so they learn early on how to easily handle and modify photo vectors. However, using vector files is not possible with most of the free online photo editors unless they are first converted to jpg or png format. That is easily done with free vector software programs like Inkscape.
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