Shoot much-improved photos on the cheap
Do you often wish your snapshots had turned out better? Even if you only take pictures with your camera phone, there exist many free or inexpensive software apps that can help you greatly improve your snapshots with very little investment in time or money. In this post, a follow up to Using Simple Post Production Techniques to improve Your Photos, we look at a few free and inexpensive software apps to painlessly improve your photography.
Three Free Apps:
If you’re a camera-phone snapshot taker, you will probably love Instagram. Shoot your photos then dramatically improve them by adjusting tone, contrast, color and sharpness, adding vignettes, converting to black and white if you wish and much more by simply cycling through Instagram’s array of amazing, built in filters.
Using Instagram you can choose to share your photos publicly or only with designated friends, photo by photo. Want to simultaneously post your shots to Facebook, Twitter or other social media? No problem. Tap the proper icons during the simple posting process and you’re there,
Download the Instagram app for iOS from the App Store, Android from Google Play Store or Windows Phone from the Windows Phone Store. Once the app is installed, tap to open it. Tap Sign Up, then enter your email address and tap Next or tap Log In with Facebook to sign up with your Facebook account. (Instagram Help)
Easily overlooked, Picasa is Google’s free desktop image organizing and editing software. It connects to Picasa Web online albums, making it easy to share photos with others straight from your desktop, but you can also use it purely as a desktop application. Picasa can display all your photos in one place, linking to any or all of the image folders on your computer via its Folder Manager. You can create albums (‘labels’), add keywords and apply a range of non-destructive image effects and adjustments – in other words, Picasa doesn’t modify the original photo, it just shows ‘virtual’ changes which you can undo at any time. Picasa is not really a Photoshop replacement, and its quirky interface takes a little getting used to, but if you value speed and simplicity over in-depth editing tools, it’s brilliant. (Ten Best Free Image Editing Programs)
On1 Perfect Effects 9 Free
The On1 Perfect Effects suite is rapidly becoming a serious competitor for Adobe’s software, and this is one of its core components, pulled out and offered as a free tool. Perfect Effects 9 Free offers 170 one-click photo effects, and also offers Perfect Brush and Quick Mask tools for more advanced image manipulation. You can ‘stack’ effects using a layers palette on the right side of the screen and use the layer masking tools to control how they’re blended. You can use Perfect Effects Free as a standalone program, but it also installs as a plug-in for Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture. It’s not exactly for beginners, but as a tool for more advanced photographers who want to experiment with more advanced image effects, it’s perfect. (Ten Best Free Image Editing Programs)
Inexpensive image editing programs:
Go from so-so snapshot to forever-favorite photo. Make quick edits, add artistic touches like a pro or transform your photos to wow friends and family. Photoshop Elements can step you through or do it for you.
Trusted digital asset management paired with photo editing essentials, ACDSee 19 allows users to execute the fundamental elements of their photography workflow with ease and speed. With more tools than ever to help you organize your photos, view them in a chronological context, high DPI support, and all the sharing resources you need, ACDSee 19 is perfect for the practical amateur. ACDSee 19 is the efficiency-driven solution for your growing photo collection.
This little survey only scratches the surface. See also, Three Best Cheap Photo-Editing Programs, and be sure to Google “Image Editing Software” to see much more about what’s available to help you start shooting and posting much-improved photos with a minimal invest of time and money.