Strong images make for a strong blog post. Yes, content is king, but blog readers tend to be a little like magpies – it’s the shiny photos that attract them in the first place! However, to the newbie blogger, or those who don’t come from a graphic design or photography background, the world of image editing can be a little daunting. Not least because the best known (and perhaps most used) image editing software, Photoshop, is so darned expensive! A subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud clocks up at between £106 and £563 per year depending on the level of apps you’re looking for, and the stripped back Photoshop Elements comes in at £98.
Until your blog get’s going, this may just not be affordable. Fear not, in the meantime there are some great free photoshop alternatives online to keep you going…
The nice thing about Pixlr is that it offers 3 levels of editing, depending on your level of comfort with image manipulation (or need for speed!) Pixlr-O-Matic feels very much like a smartphone app, allowing you to make a quick fix with filters and the like. Pixlr Express gives you the option of making more changes, such as resizing, creating collages, adding text and changing basic levels like contrast and saturation. Pixlr Editor feels like a full graphics suite, adding more sophisticated options like layers, curves and levels.
“Photo Editing Made of Win” – Pic monkey is intuitive to use, and gives you the option to create new images from scratch based on web-friendly canvas sizes, retouch photos, or edit images with text, effects or overlays. There is a paid upgrade available with more options (and no ads!) but the basics all remain free to use (you just have to sign up for an account).
Canva leans more towards graphic design for beginners rather than photo editing. Starting with a basic, web friendly template (you can pick from sizes such as blog graphic, social media shareable and Facebook cover photo) you can use Canva’s clear and colourful backgrounds, layouts, and text bubbles to create a graphic you’re proud of, including your own photos, no design experience required. The basics are all free to use (careful, some of the fancier photographic backgrounds and stock images do cost to use. Canva is currently invitation only, but ask around your blogging friends and hopefully someone will have a spare invitation with your name on it!
Prefer to use your phone? Check out our favourite mobile photo editing apps here.