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There are countless photo-editing apps out there. But these are often serious programs that allow you to tweak every little detail of your image to make them Instagram-ready.
However, at times, you may just want to perform a quick edit without having to learn the ropes. So here are the simple, single-purpose photo-editing apps you need to bookmark.
1. Remove and Change Backgrounds
Removing backgrounds from images sounds like a challenging task. But Remove.bg means it’s now just a click away. With this free web app, you can effortlessly extract foreground subjects from your shots and add a new background. And all you need to do is upload the photograph.
Remove.bg then instantly gets rid of the background and presents you a PNG file containing just the foreground. All without you having to manually cut the borders or crop the subject.
You can either download that image or employ Remove.bg’s editing tools for switching to a new background. For that, you have the option to feed in another photo or choose a solid color. The app even lets you erase portions of the foreground. And you can then save the file in low or medium resolutions.
If you’d like the highest quality 4K and HD files, you can pay for the premium subscription. Remove.bg doesn’t permanently store your data, so you can safely transfer your personal photos without worrying about privacy.
If Remove.bg didn’t do the trick, here are some more ways to remove backgrounds from images.
2. Redact and Blur Portions of an Image
Before sharing personal pictures or screenshots online, most of us redact the information we don’t want the world to see. The best way to do that, however, is no longer through a dedicated photo editing app. Instead, you can just use Redacted.
Redacted is a free web app where you can simply upload the image and blur parts of it in seconds.
Once you have dropped the picture on this tool, you have a straightforward editor where you can drag your mouse over the portions you want to hide. You can shift between three filters, including the usual blur effect, a solid black overlay, and the standard redacted filter.
In addition, you can increase and decrease the opacity level, and that’s about it. You can click the Download button to grab the resulting image, which won’t have any watermarks and retains the original resolution.
3. Compress and Resize Images
Next up is Squoosh, which lets you easily compress and resize images. As soon as you have transferred the file, you get access to a host of handy utilities. For starters, you can reduce the size while retaining most of the details. You can manually define the quality level too.
Apart from that, Squoosh comes with the ability to resize pictures to a precise resolution and you can even shrink the color palette for further bringing down its volume.
There are a handful of advanced settings available as well, like picking the compression method Squoosh applies. You can also compare the before and after shots using a draggable window.
4. Colorize Black and White Photos
Colorizing monochrome photos is the kind of skill that’s generally limited to professionals who know their way around advanced platforms like Photoshop. While that’s still largely true, there is a web app which allows you to bring color back to a black and white shot.
Colorful Image Colorization is an app developed by a company called Algorithmia and powered by a set of computer vision algorithms. The framework is trained on a vast dataset and feeds in color by detecting the object.
So, for example, if there’s a tree in the picture, it will paint it green. We tested the app, and in most situations it performed much better than we were expecting.
The app simply asks for the image’s URL, or you can upload it from your computer. It then takes a minute or two and produces the colorized outcome. You have the option to compare the result and download a watermarked version of it as well.
Unfortunately, the only way to lose the watermark is by cropping it out.
5. Upscale Low-Resolution Images
Even in this age of HD content, you could end up dealing with a low-resolution image. Thankfully, there’s an undemanding method for upscaling these.
A web app called Let’s Enhance can improve any picture’s resolution and quality in minutes. You can choose to enhance all the details or just add the missing textures as well as saturation. Interestingly, it does that without making the image appear oversharpened or overprocessed.
Let’s Enhance, however, is not free, with $4.99 buying you 20 images. Thankfully, there is a trial available that allows you to convert five files.
Use: Let’s Enhance
6. Erase Objects From Photos
One of the most common annoyances of photography is people constantly ruining your frames. If you couldn’t retake the picture at the time, this MIT-developed tool lets you deal with the problem in post.
Called Deep Angel, it can erase about 100 different types of objects from your images. This includes dogs, people, sports balls, and cellphones. Once you’ve selected the object you wish to remove, you will have to upload the image and wait for Deep Angel to process it.
After it has generated the output, you can view it, compare it with the original, and save it in the highest possible resolution. As you might expect, Deep Angel doesn’t always work, and in complex scenes it will struggle to cleanly eliminate the object. It is free though, and you can try it as many as times as you’d like.
Use: Deep Angel
7. Turn Your Photos Into Art Using AI
Prisma is one of the best-known photo editing apps. But for a number of reasons we suspect you don’t use it very often these days.
Enter GoArt, a free online tool that transforms your images into art with the same procedure and results. It has tons of filters for you to experiment with, and even has an intensity meter you can modify to your liking.
When You Need to Do More With Your Photos
These web apps all do one thing and one thing only. And that means you can use them when you want without having to learn any new skills. Thus making your photos look better in a matter of seconds.
However, you’re still likely to need to turn to a fully fledged photo editor from time to time. And when you do, here are the best photo editing programs for newbie photographers.