Create Photo Collages Online for FREE

July 29, 2010

It is amazing the tools that are available online these days that allow you to perform various photo editing and design techniques right inside your web browser; and no software installation is required. Online applications, performed by simply visiting a web site, is an example of what is called cloud computing.

Photovisi Another FREE online application, that is absolutely in the category of awesome, is called Photovisi . What this online app does is walk you through some very simple steps toward creating a photo collage. The “cool factor” here is that you have option of picking from an array of templates and the ability to upload a batch of photos (more than one photo at a time). Below is an example of a collage I created, in less than 3 minutes, using this online app. The photos you are seeing are from my wallpaper collection.

Photovisi is a free and easy to use online tool to create photo collages. Select one of the many collage templates, add your photos and then customize by dragging items around. After the collage is finished, it’s available for download and print! Want to try it out?

Sample Collage

To use Photovisi, simply [ CLICK HERE ] to get started.

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Turn Your Web Browser into an Image Editor

November 5, 2009

image Today I want to show you an online cloud service called Pixlr that offers several tools that you can use to capture and edit your images (and photos) right inside your web browser. You simply visit Pixlr.com and your browser is transformed into an image editor.  No account sign-up is needed or required.

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The tools in Pixlr are are driven by Flash and you need to have the Flash plug-in (get flash) to get it to work. Most PC’s today have the Flash plug- in already installed. To find out if you have flash installed, simply visit Pixlr and try to load the editor. The cool factor about Pixlr is that if you are using the current version of Flash, you will not have to upload your images (or photos) to the server. The image you desire to work on will be opened directly into your browser at the local level (on your PC). The plus about this is that your image is not being sent somewhere else, which could be a privacy concern; especially if the image is sensitive in nature. In essence, your internet browser (such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Opera etc.) becomes an image editor.

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Pixlr Editor – If you are already familiar with image editing software (e.g. Photoshop, Gimp, Paint.net, Paint Shop Pro), then you will be right at home with Pixlr Editor. The editor offers the same functionality, navigation and tools, with the ability to handle layers, that you find in your typical image editing software. Your final creation can be saved to your computer as a JPEG, PNG, BMP or PXD (layer Pixlr image).

Available Tools:

Marquee tool
Move tool
Lasso tool
Crop tool
Wand tool
Clone Stamp tool
Pencil tool
Eraser tool
Brush tool
Gradient tool
Paint Bucket tool
Blur tool
Sharpen tool
Smudge tool
Sponge tool
Dodge tool
Burn tool
Red Eye Reduction tool
Drawing tool
Bloat tool
Pinch tool
Color Picker tool
Type tool
Hand tool
Zoom tool

In addition to Pixlr Editor you will also find Pixlr Express and Pixlr Grabber.

Pixlr Express is an online utility that gives you the ability to “quick fix” your photos with basic tools (e.g. crop, resize, rotate, flip, adjust the color and apply photo effects).

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Pixlr Grabber is a is a light weight application that enables you to right click any image on your desktop and open them in Pixlr Editor. It is available as a Windows application or as a Firefox extension.

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FREE and EASY Powertoy Image Resizer

October 22, 2009

Many Windows XP users are probably familiar with the Powertoy Image Resizer you downloaded as an add-on that allowed right-click image resizing functionality in Windows Explorer. This very popular Powertoy was primarily designed for Windows XP with no further development to support Windows Vista or Windows 7. This Powertoy utility enabled you to single or batch resize your pictures by simply right clicking on the picture(s), selecting Resize Pictures, selecting the scalable size, and then OK.  Magically the scalable size of the picture(s) would uniformly be resized; thus, the file size would also be reduced (or increased).  This is very useful when sending pictures via email, or posting on the web, where you want to reduce the scalable size and the file size of the pictures.  It is also useful if you are taking numerous pictures and you want to reduce the size for storage or archiving.  Frankly, today’s cameras take pictures that literally are megabytes in size and this can add up when you are archiving all the pictures you take.

If this Powertoy was developed for Windows XP, is there an alternative (similar) solution for Windows Vista & Windows 7?

The answer is yes.  I recently located and was introducted to “Image Resizer Powertoy Clone for Windows” which is a clone (replica) of the original Windows XP Powertoy Image Resizer.  The cool factor to this clone resizer is that it is being developed as open source software product, that is FREE and will only get better as the development progresses.

If are someone that is into taking pictures, Image Resizer Powertoy Clone for Windows is definitely an image utility you want on your PC.

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A Windows “Paint” Replacement…

December 27, 2008

I never could figure out why Microsoft would build an operating system, that is the premier operating system of the world, then include in that operating system some really poor programs (such as notepad, wordpad, paint, calculator). The freeware and open source authors have put those programs to shame… 

One replacement program that I use to replace “Paint”, is a program called “Paint.net”. Paint.net is a FREE program that originally started out as an undergraduate college senior design project mentored by Microsoft (years ago).  Some of the former students (alumni) who originally worked on the development of the software, continue to maintain it today. I can remember trying this program when it first was available on the internet and shrugged it off.  I recently went back to it and found it has grown into one powerful, yet easy to use, image and photo editing program. I surely hope that the development cycle of Paint.net continues, as it is at a stage where it is rivaling other photo editing and paint programs.

Paint.net - Main Window

Features
(as stated on the web site)

Simple, intuitive user interface

Layers

Unlimited History

Support for many popular file formats

Effects and Adjustments

Full Support for Dual- and Quad-Core CPU’s, and 64-bit

Tablet PC Support

Extensibility

Free

Features planned for version 4.0 include an improved install and update experience, lower memory requirements, increased performance,  a totally revamped “brush” system, layer masks, and adjustment layers. The improvements to the data model and rendering engine will also enable features such as text layers, effect layers, composite layers, and soft selections.

Get It from Download.com

GET IT HERE - Paint.net

 

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What digital camera should you buy?

November 25, 2008

I came across an article today, “General Advice for Purchasing a Digital Camera” (by TechPaul – Tech-for Everyone) that caught my attention.  I love digital cameras; however, I am an amateur photographer at heart.   I have owned quite a few cameras over the years and I have found that they keep getting better and cheaper. 

Digital camera purchases for Christmas is one of the hottest items out there. So, what digital camera should you buy?  I really can not tell you the exact one to purchase, but if you follow the the (2)-two steps outlined below, it will get you started in the right direction.

  1. Get the basics down…  I encourage you to review “TechPaul’s” advice [click here] on purchasing a digital camera to get some of the terminology down. Once you have a good idea about optical vs. digital zoom, image stabilization, megapixels, LCD viewfinder, etc. proceed to step 2.  TechPaul provides an excellent description of the key elements you need to know in a way that is understandable.  Thank you TechPaul…
     
  2. Start shopping…  Digital cameras are hot sellers, have come a long way in a short span of time, and are available everywhere.  The problem is that there are so many of them that it creates a dilemma.  Usually when I shop for a digital camera, it is either a camera that has caught my eye OR I’m just starting out, not knowing what I really am looking for.  Either way, the solution that I keep going back to is “Steve’s Digicam’s”. Steve’s Digicam’s web site is touted as “The consumer’s best source of digital camera information and news”. The reviews and information which is provided is phenomenal.  Since Christmas is coming, and a camera may be on your wishlist, I suggest you visit the site and click on “Holiday Wishlist”, which will walk you through the process of finding a camera that they have reviewed and rated. It is also an awesome site to teach you about digital photography.

 

Steve's Digicams

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