Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Review: ANOTHER photo editor? online and free??

Thanks to one of my students in my "Adult Digital Photography 101" class at the Brickton Art Center, I have been pointed toward yet another online photo editor that is also... *GASP* free! 

So here is my quick review of this editing option.  This site is very user friendly.  To start, you upload a photo, (or use a webcam or start a new painting... etc.)  Once you upload a photo, there are two tool bars.  

On the left hand tool bar, you can find a myriad of photoshop-esque tools to manipulate your photo.  There are slider bars and fade bars and paintbrushes that allow you to adjust only portions of your photo if you like.  This looks very similar to how Picnik was, and how PicMonkey is set up.  I personally find this type of setting incredibly easy to use and I love using the fade bars to soften the look.  

Sure, I could make this photo look
like I did in Picmonkey, but I wanted
to illustrate what else I could do with
ipiccy.  I can make this photo look
fiery!  WHAT??  Why would I ever
want this filter on my photo?  Weird.
Along the top tool bar, you will be able to choose from basic editor (cropping and saturation all the way to levels and curves), photo effects (fancy focus, soften, vignette, etc.) similar to those found in PicMonkey (Picnik), and Retouch (blush, wrinkles, mascara, hair color, "thin-ify") also similar to PicMonkey.  The next option, however, is called LAYERS which uses the Photoshop terminology, and its benefits.  I believe that this acts like Photoshop layers by allowing you to add more photos and text, etc, with the ability to manipulate each layer without affecting the others.  If this is what I think it is, (I haven't fully tested this part), I think this is a great addition.  Afterwards, however, you must merge the layers together into one layer before moving forward with any more edits.  You can also enter the painter tab which doesn't really have a paint palette so much as a few photo techniques like dodging and burning.  I also really like how, in this tab, there are menus on the right like navigator, history, and layers set up just like Photoshop.  And then, of course, you can add a frame to your piece.  

Okay.  So here's the skinny.  This site is a strange combination of photoshop techniques that may be a little more complicated, which I am sure is catering to the more photoshop savvy, mixed with a little bit of the trendy hipster vintage photo styles of Picnik (like using toy camera effects) but is still missing the most interesting effects (for example, it offers Orton effect, but no other photographic effect), mixed with the cheesy basic effects (and some odd options like weave or scan lines) that makes even the virgin photo editor feel proud of their newly manipulated image.  The graphics are not horrible, but definitely not my style; the icons seem a bit "BETA."  

All in all, I would recommend this site to manipulate your images.  There seems to be quite a bit available here; some excellent, quality tools that definitely draw my attention mixed in with random, unusable tools (that seem to be thrown in to look as if there is a lot there, but I would have no reason to ever EVER use them), while missing some of the tools that I tend to use more often.  If I didn't have Photoshop available to me, I think that this site so far is the closest thing to giving you a touch of that program for free.  

I am still a sucker for Picmonkey as it has the suave, slick, trendy options as Picnik, while still holding on to some of the humor that went along with the old site.  If you are looking for a solid picture editing site, either PicMonkey or ipiccy will do the job.  If you are looking for something that is most similar to Picnik, then PicMonkey is the way to go.

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