Tools of the Trade: Two easy online photo editors

Photo editing

One thing that’s sure to drive people away from any website is great gigantic photos that take forever to load. Luckily, it’s very easy to optimize images for the web. You don’t need expensive software like Photoshop. You don’t even need a flickr account. There are lots of sites that allow you to upload an image from your hard drive, re-size or crop it, sharpen it, fix red-eye, and compress the file size. For free.

1. An editor with all the bells and whistles

One of the most popular is the utterly charming BeFunky — I have yet to see a friendlier interface on any online application. BeFunky gives you almost as many options as Photoshop, plus you can save your images directly to flickr, Facebook, and so forth. You can add a text layer, you can add a cute frame, you can convert your photo to sepia tones… you name it! BeFunky is perfect for scrap booking, making cards, family photo albums, all that good stuff.

2. An editor with no bells or whistles

What if you don’t want all the good stuff BeFunky has to offer? Maybe you don’t have hours to waste experimenting with all those options and filters. Maybe you don’t want to know what an “unsharp mask” is. Maybe you just want to optimize your photos with the absolute minimum fuss and hassle.

If that’s the case, try This is a neat little application that does it all for you. Just upload a photo and it automatically re-sizes and sharpens it for you. You can change the settings if you want — it does all the basics like cropping, rotating, adjusting color — but even if you don’t change a single setting you’ll still end up with a nicely optimized photo.

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