Cost: Free (mostly)
Type: Internet tool
I should be writing my dissertation or lecture content, but instead I want to edit my photos. I almost feel like I’m not hijacking my writing efforts if the photo edits are done quickly in an Internet browser because I technically still have Word open and active. PicMonkey was suggested by a student as a tool to quickly create a blog banner graphic. Although I didn’t want to create a banner graphic, I did play around with the Internet tool and found that it was quite easy to use. Like, really easy to use. You can quickly apply textures or touch-up portraits, or create collages with multiple photos.
My Goal: Modify personal photos without feeling the guilt associated with opening Photoshop/GIMP when I should be working on the stuff relevant to my dissertation efforts.
- Tools are easy to identify with icon/text provided.
- Pop-up guides appear when you first use a tool that has multiple features.
- Tutorials are available.
- No registration for free version….just upload your photo and start working in it.
- As an Internet tool, it is unstable. I’ve had issues with Firefox freezing and crashing when trying to save/download a final version of the photo.
- There are flashing ads on the screen, which can be distracting if working on a photo for a while. (Pay version is ad-free.)
- The really cool options are not free (though there is a free trial). Any tool with the crown watermark in the left bottom corner is not free.
- No mobile app. (Actually, not a big deal for me. And, they say they’re working on a mobile version.)
Insider View: The most significant issue I have with modifying my photos beyond touch-ups is that I lack the creativity to see my photos differently (e.g., with texture or a different background). PicMonkey’s multiple choice for photo modifications helps me re-imagine my photos with these alternative characteristics.
Final Thoughts: The stability issues and flashing ads are the two reasons I avoid this software. But, it’s a good alternative to the complexities of Photoshop and GIMP.
I didn’t do much to this first one…just cropped, auto adjust on colors, increase in sharpness, and added a paper texture.
For the second one, I did a few things. The first is obvious, in that I added a dialogue bubble and some text. I also added dark edges and gave it an overall “dusk” coloring.