More Picnik Alternatives

I was so sad when I heard Picnik was closing its doors.  Like Brooke Higgins mentioned in her post Wanted: free and easy photo editing, I loved Picnik and used it for photo editing and creating unique gifts and collages.  I even paid for the full membership.   When I heard the news the site was closing I started searching for a new quick, easy tool.  On my iPhone I found a few apps I liked for editing my mobile images- Instagram, Pixloromatic , and Fun Camera, but  I really wanted something I could use to edit photos on my desktop computer.  Something easy, full of great features, and free!  I wanted to add two more options to your toolbox, that may help you replace Picnik (Which is still around until April 19) as a favorite photo editing tool!

Pixlr- The same people who created Pixloromatic have a feature on their website called Pixlr-Express. Pixlr-Express is free!  It does not require a log in.  You just upload a photo, or take a photo using your webcam and you can edit it on the spot!   You have access to your typical photo editing options- cropping, resizing, red-eye, sharpening, and more.  It also gives you a few special color effects, a variety of filter overlays, frames, stickers, and the ability to add text to pictures.  You don’t get a million options, but it is free and easy.  It helps you enhance an image and save it in just a few quick clicks.

The other tool I recently discovered was Pic Monkey. This tool is very “Picnik like.”  I did some research and found out it was actually created by some of the engineers from Picnik!  Yeah for us!!!!  There is no registration required for the basic features. However, to get the advanced features they do ask you to register.  (I would recommend registering because there are tons of amazing advanced features!)  Currently you can get both basic and premium features for free.  The freebie deal will end in a few months and if you sign up now, you will get a coupon for a discounted subscription in the future.

Once you upload your photo, you see a very clean, user-friendly interface.  Along with your basic editing tools of cropping, rotating, auto adjust etc., you get much more. The site offers 25 different special effects from the categories of Basic, Camera Look, Paintbox, Area, and Artsy.   These features help make your snapshots look like masterpieces.  In the touch-up section you can reduce wrinkles, add lip-gloss, change your eye color, and even reduce your weight.  Pic Monkey provides a many, many overlays that help you increase the interest of your photo by adding accessories such at beach objects, comic bubbles, flowers, butterflies, and shapes!  Along with text and frame options, Pic Monkey is an amazing resource for adding a ton of creativity to your digital images!

As I explored these tools, I thought about how students could use these tools to support the NETS-S of creativity and innovation.  “Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.”  How might you use Pixlr-Express or PicMonkey to encourage creativity and innovation in your classroom?

Carmen Marty is an Instructional Specialist with the eMINTS National Center.

Wanted: free and easy photo editing

I love digital photography but like most people don’t have the time and/or money to learn to use a complicated program like Photoshop but I still want the same results. I found that in Picnik (my most favorite online photo editing tool). Sadly they have announced that they are closing their “doors” on April 19, I have been on the hunt for the next great, easy to use, free, online photo editing tool. I may have found it.

After sharing my woes (aka whining) about Picnik disappearing to a couple of my friends over and over and over they each sent me emails mentioning the same new tool they found called iPiccy.

All I have to say is WOW! iPiccy is great! A web-based platform that allows for easy editing and sharing but also has an advanced image processing allowing users to do even more with images. You can start with a picture on your computer, the web, your webcam, Facebook, or you can even start from scratch. iPiccy has editing, effects, retouching, adding text, and a painter mode so users can apply basic edits but they also add filters and effects change images to black and white, add frames and borders, and so much more.  They even a full screen mode. There are not as many bells and whistles as my beloved Picnik but it comes closer than any other online photo editor I have found so far.

Did I mention that it is all free??? There is no need to create an account. Just work with your image until you are happy with it and save it to your computer, get the image link, or share it to Facebook (keeping my fingers crossed for sharing with Flickr someday soon and other additions soon). One disclaimer….iPiccy is still under Beta and may end up charging for their services, but for now it is answering all my photo editing needs and fits perfectly in my budget.

For you other Picnik lovers, I read that some of their tools are part of Google+ (don’t even get me started on Google+). I checked it out today and found that a very small portion of the once extensive tools are available. For now…all features of Picnik are free for everyone to use until they quite offering their service in April.

What are some of your favorite online photo editing tools?

Brooke Higgins is an aspiring photographer and instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center. You can read more at her blog Higgins Helpful Hints Blog.

Tuesday’s Tool: Picnik

I found this tool, offered by Google, by watching my daughter use it to make a collage with some of her photos for a class project. Picnik is easy to use and has educational uses. Read more about how it is being used in the classroom.

With Picnik, you can edit photos quickly and easily wherever they are, mix photos together to make a collage, turn photos into a scrapbook or greeting card, and build slide shows to share with the world.

Chris Lohman is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.