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These days, you can edit photos absolutely anywhere. On your computer, in your browser, on your phone, and on your tablet. Everything’s possible. Editing photos in your browser is one of the simplest and easiest ways to go, and there are tons of tools out there to try.
I’ve recently found two online image editors that stand out from the crowd. One offering heaps of options for free, one that is refreshingly basic. Curious? Give them both a try.
Before getting started, you should know that PhotoMania is still in beta, and is therefore missing basic features such as cropping, resizing and rotating. I’m assured those will be added soon, but for now, crop and rotate somewhere else and then head over to PhotoMania.
While it in no way competes with professional photo editors (nor does it try to), PhotoMania has one of the largest variety of editing features I’ve seen in a free online tool. From basic filters to sophisticated patterns and stencils, I lost count somewhere around 300. All of these are completely free, at least for the moment there are no “premium only” shenanigans.
To start using PhotoMania, upload a photo from your computer, grab one from Facebook, or shoot one with your web cam. You can then browse between artistic filters (sketch, magical, paint, camera, etc.), fun filters (illusions, magazines, drawing, and even tech), e-card filters, which help you create quick greeting cards from your own photos, and a special Christmas section for Christmas-y stuff.
I know, it looks tacky, but it’s in fact quite impressive. Here are some examples I’ve created with PhotoMania using the photo you see above.
And even a techie version of my photo:
You can only apply one filter at a time, so when you apply one, you lose the other. There’s also no way to undo a filter once you’ve applied it, but since any new filter is applied to the original photo anyway, it doesn’t matter much. At any point, click the “Before & After” button on top to see the differences between current and original versions.
When you’re done, you can download your photo, print it, and on paper, share it too. Why on paper? Because the “Share Photo” button did absolutely nothing when I tried it, but who knows, it may work for you.
PhotoMania requires no sign up and no log in. Just upload your photo and start working. You’d be surprised at the fun and beautiful things you can create.
Stunwall is a different story altogether. Forget hundreds of free filters and effects — all you get are 7 filters. That’s it. This makes Stunwall into one of the simplest and fastest ways to apply a nice filter to a photo and get on with your life.
Aside from those basic filters, which are all pretty natural-looking and laid back, you also get to manually control the photo’s brightness and vignette. In literally seconds after uploading your photo or snapping it using your web cam, you can have your enhanced version.
When you’re done, there are several things you can do: Give it a name and save it to your computer; give it a title and some hashtags and share it on Facebook or Twitter; or publish it within Stunwall and get a link to share with friends. When they view it, your friends will be able to like it, share it, and comment on it. You don’t need an account in order to do this — Stunwall creates a random one for you when you publish — but if you want to have access to all your photos, create an account and log in.
Stunwall’s grace is in its simplicity. It doesn’t offer sophisticated filters, but you’ll get a better image than your original, and you’ll get it fast.
Online Editing Frenzy
As you might expect, the two tools above aren’t the only ones out there. They’re awesome, they’re different, but if they don’t strike your fancy, there are more you can try.
For starters, these 4 online image editors are so comprehensive you may not need to install an image editor; Nancy wrote about 4 more online image editors which are great for retouching and cropping; and if you’re using Chrome, you should check out these photo-editing extensions.
Do you edit your photos online? If so, what’s your favorite tool? Would you go for something like PhotoMania, or do you prefer the simplicity of Stunwall?