Online Photo Editors Overview

Posted Thursday, 12 April 2007 by Gudmund in Photography, Technology, Trends
A number of online photo-editing tools have emerged over the last couple of years, and while none of them are currently advanced enough to suggest that it will soon be time to wave Photoshop good-bye, it has certainly been enough for Adobe to take notice. They recently made the potentially revolutionary annoncement that a free, online version of Photoshop will be online “within 3-6 mouths”.
It should perhaps come as no surprise that Adobe feel the need to 'assert their authority' in the area of online image editing. The most significant recent offerings in this area, Fauxto and Picnik, have caused quite a buzz and raised the bar considerably both in terms of features and interface design, so it will be rather interesting to see what Adobe can add to the mix. Fauxto (pronounced more or less like “photo”, I believe) in particular, already offers a very Photoshop-like interface, with advanced features such as layers, complete with blending options and layer-based effects.

Screenshot of the Fauxto photo editor's interface.

One thing is for certain; the free, online version of Photoshop will be a radically stripped-down image editor, so for anyone who already holds a Photoshop licence, or have picked up a copy of the brand new Photoshop CS3 already, the announcement is probably not so significant.

Why use an online editor?

You might ask yourself why anyone would want to use an online photo editor in the first place. If you have a perfectly good image editing application already installed on your computer, there wouldn't usually be any compelling reason to upload an image, edit it in an online image editor, only to download it to your hard-drive again.

I could think of a couple of scenarios when an online editor would come into its own: The first would of course be if you're on the go and don't have access to your own computer whether you're in someone else's office, or out travelling somewhere. You could potentially do a fairly good photo-editing job from anywhere in the world with access to a PC and a half-decent internet connection.

Secondly, many of these online editors are closely integrated with photo-sharing sites such as Flickr, PhotoBucket, Imageshack, SmugMugFotolog, LiveJournal and Snapfish, both for import and export. If you use any of these, it might not matter a great deal if the photo-editing is done before or after you upload your photos.

Another scenario where these applications could prove particularly useful, is in educational and public sector settings, where there might be a large number of computers and the occasional need to edit photos. Online editing would mean no need to install or upgrade software, and no licence restrictions to worry about.

Want to know more about online photo editing?

TechCrunch have posted a handy overview of the most popular online photo editors, including Fauxto, Picnik, Snipshot, Pixenate and Picture2Life

The good folk at Mashable have also reviewed a number of these individually, while Franticindustries have done a fairly comprehensive side-by-side review of six of the most popular editors, including 'new kids on the block' Fauxto and Picnik.

Christian Watson at Smiley Cat has also put together an increadibly comprehensive and very useful comparison chart between different online editors. This has just been updated to include Fauxto and Picnik too – arguably the most significant recent offerings.

Related posts:

» Photoshop: An Essential Photographic Tool

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