Time to learn a new photo editing tool

As part of my mission to be more tech savvy in 2013, today in the Community Media Lab I decided to use some time exploring a photo editing tool. I was inspired by yesterday’s workshop at the lab about GIMP. The workshop was led by freelance editor Sarah Rigg.

GIMP is a photo editing tool that we use at Heritage Media to prepare photos to go online. What is really handy about GIMP is that you caImagen turn a pdf file into a jpg so that it can be used on a website or posted on Facebook or Twitter. GIMP is a free tool and can be safely downloaded from cnet.com. I do like GIMP, but like Photoshop, it takes a serious time investment to really learn as the tools can be complicated. In a professional situation, I would recommend it, but if you are just looking to post photos for family or friends, there are easier apps to try

One of those is from pixlr.com and is called pixlr-o-matic. This is a very easy, fun app that can be used on your mobile phone, PC or through the web. It is free, too! You can add all sorts of special effects to photos. I turned a blah (but newsy!) picture of a sfenceign on the fence at the site of the Federal Screw Works demolition in Chelsea into a pinkish toned, three-piece work of art. Well, perhaps not a work of art, but I had fun and learned some graphic tools that may come in handy in my job at some point. I also added, and then removed, a cool water effect that made it as though water was running over the picture.

Pixlr-0-matic also offers helpful tools for removing red eye, whitening teeth and adding borders to your pictures. I added a “dirt” border to another picture from the Federal Screw Works site.

In addition to pixlr-o-matic, which is the easiest version of pixlr, there are express and editor versions. Express is the mid-level version, while editor is advanced.

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