So you need some tools to work on those images? - Mad Lemmings

So you need some tools to work on those images?

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hand pointing to photos

I have been talking a lot about images lately. And why not. They are important. They add a lot to your site and attract more people and improve your search ranking.

Whether you pay for them or use some of the free sites I suggested you will probably need to adjust them a bit. Especially if you want to improve your site’s speed.
(Image courtesy of  Arztsamui – FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

So what are the options? There are an amazing number of tools available. Ranging from the simple……. to Photoshop and friends. Then you can choose online, offline (PC) or mobile based. It all depends on your specific need.

Of course I don’t know what your needs are (hang on – let me read your mind……….no, didn’t work!!) , so I have tried to offer you a variety to choose from.

Simple – Online Tools

If all you need is some minor modifications, this is your place. No need to install. No need to pay. Simple tools with all the basics features. I will highlight what they have, and not (if I consider it a necessity).

In order of most complete to least in terms of features….

Pic Resize

  • cropping, resizing, rotate, flip (vertical / horizontal), effects
  • 3 compression options, 4 image types

Cut My Pic

  • cropping, border shapes, filters
  • sharpen, denoise, contrast
  • share on facebook & twitter once done

**missing Compression

Shrink Pictures

  • resize (presets and manual)
  • filters – sepia, black and white
  • 3 basic compression options

** missing Cropping

More Features – Online Tools

If you want all the basic options and a better interface, this is your place.

Pixlr Express

  • images can come from PC, Mobile, camera, webcam, URL
  • cropping, resizing, rotate,
  • brightness, contrast, denoise, colors etc
  • effects, layers, borders, text, overlays
  • add more pictures as layers
  • full compression scale

Pic Monkey

  • resize (presets and manual), rotate, cropping
  • exposure, colors, sharpen, auto adjust
  • 3 basic compression options under settings
  • share on most social media sites
  • creative  options (text, effects, textures etc)
  • save as PNG or JPEG
  • $$ Option to upgrade

Full Featured – Online Tools

Pixlr Advanced

The most advanced version of Pixlr. It has all Photoshop-esque options you might need online

** Can also start from scratch if you need

Splash Up

This puppy has most of what you would want from a tool that is much like Photoshop. I won’t go into details, but it includes layers, pixel manipulation etc.

** Splash Up Light is a simpler version you can download

Sumo Paint

Again has most of what you need from a Photoshop-like tool. This one can start from zero if you like too.

** Go Pro to add to your PC.  iPad Version also available as an App.

Simple – Offline Tools

There are a lot of tools available for image editing, but the only simple one I have experience with is Picasa. It offers the following basic features along with it’s great ability as your image library.

Picasa

  • Straighten, crop
  • contrast, color, red-eye, retouch, text
  • A load of efffects

** missing resize, compression.

Windows – Image Resizer

Simple Tool for doing a fast or batch resizing of images

Full Featured – Offline Tools

From my experience the choice is really between Photoshop and GIMP.  Photoshop is the most well-known and feature rich tool.  While GIMP is a free tool, which more or less copies Photoshop, but has some less features. Unless you are a professional, I would start with GIMP and if the need arises, move to Photoshop later.

PhotoShop

There are actually a load of different product levels available if you have the time to go through them all

GIMP

GIMP is your goto tool for serious Photoshop work without the cost. Give it a try, you will love it.

Summary

For the average blogger who just wants to place some images in their blog or online, and wants some minor tuning, resizing and cropping, I would go for one of Pixlr options or Pic Monkey. The simpler tools might also suit you, so give them a try too.

For someone looking for serious image editing you can’t go past GIMP. It’s almost Photoshop and it’s free. You could also try one of the online tools in the “Full Featured – Online” section as they do most of the same but require no installation.

What image tool are you using?

 

About the Author Ashley Faulkes

Ashley is obsessed with SEO and WordPress. He is also the founder of Mad Lemmings. When he is not busy helping clients get higher on Google he can be found doing crazy sports in the Swiss Alps (or eating too much chocolate - a habit he is trying to break).

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