Street photography tips you need to capture

Street photography: Getting the perfect shot


In street photography, there are many factors to consider when you’re capturing a scene. When I first started out, oftentimes I would catch my best shots out of pure luck. But looking back I realize it has more to do with timing than luck.

There’s a lot of waiting involved in photography. You may be waiting for someone to walk by so they don’t enter the frame as you press the shutter button. You may be waiting for that moment of stillness among the chaos or waiting for your unsuspecting subject to look up for that brief second. Observe, wait, capture. You learn to be patient as a photographer. The perfect moment can’t be rushed.

1. Look above

When you’re exploring a new city you will find yourself looking up quite often. If you see a piece of architecture you admire consider shooting it from this point of view. Whether you’re centered underneath or viewing from an angle, it will result in an intriguing photo for sure. It’s also one of the easies to capture if you’re new to street photography.

This photo was taken while looking above at the Willis Tower (also known as the Sears Tower) in Chicago, IL. My goal was to express the enormity of this incredible and well-known building. I internally considered the perspective, the strong horizontal and vertical lines, and even the gradation of light.

2. Look below

The opposite of above is well, below. This is a point of view not captured nearly as much as above as it takes a little more thought. You have to consider your location. Is there a stairway to the top of a building or a steep hill? Fortunately there are plenty highs and lows in most cities. The next time you’re up high, take a look at what you see below and create something new from it.

3. Across the street

One of the best ways capture a building, or in this case marquee signage, is to shoot from across the street. Of course this depends on the type of lens you have too but most of the time it’s easiest to catch a spectacle like this in its entirety from a street over. Had I been on the same side of the building, I would not be able to get this shot.

This photo was taken across from the Chicago Theatre to capture the bright, sparkling signage.

4. Angles

I’m always looking for dynamic angles when scouting out signage. I personally find shooting things from a straight on angle to be uninspiring so I purposefully shoot at a diagonal angle like in this shot.

5. Textures

Another things I’m looking out for when wondering a city are unique textures, abundant in urban settings. I loved how the Hard Rock Cafe logo looked painted on this brick wall in Seattle, Washington. I’m sure your city offers its own texture and street art too!

6. Foreground versus background

Don’t be afraid to let something get in the way. I purposefully captured these images of Vancouver’s Burrard Bridge by standing behind walls to achieve the dark framed edges shown here. In this case, it emphasizes the motion of those passing by on the bridge. It also creates an interesting gradation of darkness. Yes, this could be replicated in Photoshop but you want to capture everything in camera first, right? 🙂 Use foreground and background creatively the next time you’ve found your focal point.

7. Capture a scene from afar

While I love photography details up close to capture the unnoticed, I also know the importance of stepping and back and letting the whole scene in. A great way to capture San Francisco’s Ocean Beach is from the Cliff House. It shows just enough of those on the beach, the shore, the waves, the mountains, and the sky.

8. Reflections

You know window shopping? Well, usually when I’m looking through a window I’m thinking about how I can create some dreamy and abstract photo from it. It’s also a sneaky way to achieving the look of a double exposure.

9. Capture motion

What would a city be without motion? This can be a little tricky to capture but it just takes practice! You’ll want to play around with the shutter speed on your camera to give just the right amount of camera blur you like. The faster the shutter speed, the more you “freeze” the scene (meaning everything is sharp and in focus, no motion). So the more you slow the shutter speed down, the more of an artistic blur you’ll catch in your moving subjects.

10. Lights and shadows

Lighting is one of the single most important elements to consider in photography. (I wrote about this more in a tutorial on the golden hour here, so be sure to check that out)! Whether it’s the middle of the day or the sunlight is fading from the streets, there’s always bits of light and shadow you can use to create dynamic images.

While waiting to cross on Market Street in San Francisco I looked up and noticed the light shining on the sign and the windows from the building in the background. Be observant (and again, patient) and you will find these moments.

11. Abstraction

Abstracting a scene comes fairly easy to me. I enjoy taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary. I want to force you to take a second look and wonder, what is that? How did she do that?

There are many ways to abstract a scene but one of the most straightforward ways to do so is to play with the focus on your camera when shooting bright city lights at night. This technique is referred to as bokeh photography. This photo is of the BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, BC. There’s plenty more of bokeh photography where that came from!

12. Never pass up those alleyways

In San Francisco, there are no shortage of alleyways. While I don’t advise walking down them alone especially at night with a camera, I do encourage capturing them from afar. No two alleyways are the same.

13. Framing

Creatively using frames within your street photography can be a great way to emphasize your focal point. The archways from the Burrard bridge framed the couple walking toward me in the image below.

14. Perspective

Strong, directional lines can be powerful in your street photography, giving a sense of perspective or symmetry. Bridges and other architecture in cities offer plenty of lines, shapes, and perspectives. What unique perspectives of buildings in your city have you noticed and can share in your images?

15. Go where the view is

Every city has its spots with the best views to gaze from. I’ve spent years roaming San Francisco discovering these. One of my favorite places to see the city of San Francisco in one view is from Twin Peaks. At night, you can see the stream of lights on Market street from the Ferry Building, the bay and golden gate bridges.

16. People

And last but not least, people. While those passing by can sometimes get in the way of composing your shot, don’t forget they can add an unplanned element of surprise. The thing with strangers walking by is you have to be quick. They aren’t there to pose for you so you have to rely on your instincts to frame, focus, and capture these images.

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Seven Tips To Get Amazing Firework Pictures


1 Tripod or anything stable you can set your camera on. Such as a fence, a bag, a truck/car hood. You will not be able to hold your camera and get crisp pictures!

2 ISO Even though it’s at night time that you are shooting your light source (fireworks) are going to be bright. So having a lower ISO will be ideal. So start with 100 or even 200.

3 Aperture keep it all in focus with a lower aperture. Maybe start around f/5.6 or f/8 to test out your landscape focus.

4 Shutter Speed  Here is the tricky part. You want to keep your shutter speed open a bit longer than you probably normally do. You might have to take a few trial and error shots before you really nail it! Remember the longer you leave it open like 3-4 seconds you will get the milky streamy light streaks. If you go for a quicker shutter speed like 1 second or less you will get a crisper feel to your light streaks!

5 No FLASH If you use your pop up flash it’s not going to work. You cannot use that at all!

6 Focus if you find your camera won’t focus on the firework light consider switching your lens to manual focus and trying to manually focus on your subject.
7 Arrive Early It’s always wise to arrive early, get your best spot and do some test shots!!! If you’re like me this kind of photography I don’t do it every day, so sometimes having a few minutes without the pressure really helps me to get my settings where I am comfortable!

How to start a photography business: What to Charge


How to start a photography business: What to Charge

What should you charge when selling your artwork as a photographer? What to charge when that artwork technically doesn’t have any cost (you bought that camera long ago) for one photography session? I’m going to share my thoughts on what to charge when starting a photography business, from my 10+ years of experience, dabbling in all different price ranges and structures.

Two years ago, I wrote a post titled, Starting and Maintaining a Photography business, and I’ve heard that it comes up at the TOP of a random google search for that similar topic! It’s still got great and relevant info, but I’ve had SO many comments of people asking questions that I’m going to tackle some of those, and be more specific on some of the topics I wrote about. SOOO, if you are someone that has thought about starting a photography business, this is for you! If not, then maybe it’ll be interesting anyway, and you can understand why a photographer charges what they do.

{Above shot taken on my clients smart phone, to see the images from this session on a gorgeous fall day (some of my faves) check them out HERE}

Did you stumble onto a photography business?

It’s happened a million times:

  1. You get a nice camera because you want to take better pictures of your kids.
  2. Those cute pictures are posted on Facebook or some other social media.
  3. Friends and family see those pictures and start asking you to take pictures of their kids.
  4. You do it because it’s fun.
  5. Those friends/family post your pictures.
  6. You start getting strangers asking you to take their pictures.
  7. You have no clue what to charge.

Sound familiar?

Well, that’s what happened to me, and I know it’s happened to many others. I’ve always had a passion for photography, and capturing the moments, even back in high school on the yearbook staff. Some people don’t have that passion ignite until their own children were born. However it comes about, taking pictures can be addicting. You want to keep out doing yourself, you see something clever and you want to try to imitate it, you see color or food and you want to figure out how to capture it in the most artistic way.

What level photographer are you?

From how I see it, starting a business can happen at two different levels, and I’d adjust how you charge accordingly.

1) Newbie Photographer-Just got a camera, have mostly shot on AUTO, you capture the moments well, but still learning how to take consistently great images. The photographer often uses the very basic line of cameras, very possibly shooting with the kit lens that comes with the camera.

2) Practiced Photographer– You’ve had your camera a while, have really taught yourself how to use it, feel happy with the majority of your shots in multiple light scenes. This photographer has likely upgraded from a beginner dSLR camera to a middle of the line series, and has invested in a lens or two beyond the kit lens.

People will ask you to take their pictures in either scenario. Some people really don’t care about perfect photography, their kids are going to be adorable no matter what the light and exposure are like, so are just fine with the Newbie photographer. Others have seen fine art photography, and look all around for someone that takes their style, and are willing to invest in the practiced photographer.

Here is an image I took of my kids back in 2005. I had paid clients at the time, was still shooting on auto, and I was pretty pleased with myself for this cute capture:

I still love my kids cuteness, but I’ve learned so much since then. I think I was charging $75 for a session that included digital images.

A lot of photographers that have been around for years are frustrated with the Newbie or Practiced photographer charging really low prices. It hurts the industry, and honestly hurts them. I personally see full time photography, or someone who plans to make a living solely on photography to be very very difficult. I’ve never had to do that, as my husband is the main income earner in our home, my photography has always been secondary. But if it were our main income, it would be very stressful, because it’s quite seasonal (fall and spring most popular) and most families don’t have professional portraits taken every year, but every 2-3 years.

Professional photography is a luxury. Something people don’t NEED, so it ebbs and flows. When the economy is down, the photography industry is down, because people need food and gas, they don’t need photography. Lots of photographers will run sales at times like this, to help ease the monetary burden, and to still have some income as opposed to none.

How to decide what to charge?

Deciding what to charge can be VERY difficult. Mainly because it’s hard to judge yourself on your own level of artwork. Can you really charge Picaso prices when you color outside the lines like a pre schooler?

So how good ARE you?

What’s difficult is that you can’t really judge yourself, and your family and close friends think you’re amazing because they love you, so that gets tricky! Honestly, The best way to know what to charge is to a) look around at photographers in your area that have images similar to yours and charge accordingly b) Ask an impartial person that you don’t know like a photographer you admire, what they think about your work. You may even need to pay for mentoring or something in that case.

So here is what I say about charging: Start with a set price, discounted, so you can build your images portfolio here. 

If you are a Newbie photographer, but are continuously practicing and getting better, I’d say to charge $100 for a session, but have an introductory price of 50% off. That ways its easier for people to swallow, you are compensated for your beginner work, but they clients know that it’s a beginner sale. If they like their experience with you, when you take off that 50%, they will likely continue on with you because they knew it was a sale the first time.

If you are a Practiced photographer, I’d start at $200 for a session and try the same thing–50% off for a certain amount of time. Post that time frame on your site next to the price, 3-6 months. Then if that date comes and you aren’t quite ready to take off the discount, maybe make it a 30% discount or keep it the same. This helps you feel more comfortable in the business part of it. Because you are more practiced, you will likely want to raise your prices at your year mark as you get too many clients to take on. Raising prices allows you to do a little less work for the same money.

At some point, for each type of photographer, you will need to decide if all of the work that you are doing, is worth that amount, or if you want to charge more. Photographers will often raise their prices, to go along with inflation, either once a year or every other year, often January 1st. Once you set a price, wait at least 6 months to change your prices, so people don’t see a lot of flip flopping.

What is included in the session fee?

This is where it gets more complicated. Several years ago, I charged $200 for the session fee, then there was the cost of print purchase after that. Some people spent $100 on prints, while others spent $1000. My average was $400-500 on prints. The ordering process became tedious, and although I liked approving the prints before passing them on, I recently have gone all digital in order to streamline and simplify my process. I really did hate the idea that clients had to pick and choose which images to print, and I like that they can keep the silly candid pictures that they might not otherwise purchase as a print. However, it is very hard to trust images with my name on it, and turn it over to clients who print at poor photo labs, and therefore the quality makes my photography look bad. I try to instruct my clients (with my packaging that I will share soon) the best I can with printing, but I can only do so much. I have really loved using clipping path lab.

So for now, I have two options when it comes to client sessions.

1) Petite Session–I recognize that some people just want a few pictures taken, and don’t want to invest in over $500 for the custom session. I have done this enough to know that I can get what I need in the first 15 minutes of a session, so that is the time frame for the petite session. Less practiced photographers might opt for 20-30 minutes for a mini session. With this session, I take a posed shot of the family, individual shots of the kids, and a couple shot. If we have extra time, I’ll take of “Just kids” and maybe a few candids. With kids of every range, I’ve never had a problem with that time frame, nor have I had a client complain that it wasn’t enough time to get what they wanted. I charge $275 for this and they are given approximately 40 images on a thumb drive with printing rights. I have posted this before for travel sessions (I generally charge a little less, $200-250 and have had people in other areas tell me it’s much too expensive, but for my area, it’s worked great for me.) I do not photograph newborns in petite sessions, and if they are Seniors, just one location.

2) Custom Session–These sessions last 60-90 minutes depending on the type. With seniors in high school, we “location hop” with outfit changes, so it takes up to 90 minutes. With families, I send out this questionnaire to determine something unique about them to give them a great experience, something fun, not just the posed stuff. I suggest we include a fun treat to eat at the end, or a game to play. Dads often leave these sessions telling me how painless it was, and “more fun than they thought.” For these sessions, I wanted to make my “happy place” with the previous session when I was selling prints, and that was $500-700. This includes all the best images on a thumb drive which ends up being around 75-100. I also include a 16×20 mounted print, which I sold for $125 before.

My prices are likely higher than a beginner might charge, just starting out, whether they are a newbie or practiced photographer. It took me quite a few years to work up my abilities and confidence to charge that much. I also recognize that the custom session is not for everyone, and I’ve had some people say they love my style, but I’m not in their price range, and I happily forward the info of a dear local photographer friend, who charges less. I have no shame, I don’t need everyone’s business, this isn’t my bread and butter, but that’s the amount that I want to make in order to take on a session. It’s 4-5 hours of time factored in, along with the $1000’s of dollars I’ve spent on training, equipment, and tools to hone my craft over the years. I am finally secure with that.

People aren’t calling me, am I priced too high?

The photography market is saturated. Anyone can be a photographer when buying a camera, so there are quite a few options when clients are selecting who to photograph their family. It could be the pricing, but it could also be your level of photography or their style just isn’t your style. If you don’t know what your style is, practice some new things to figure it out. If you know your style and don’t want to change, then don’t do something you don’t love just because there is money involved (unless you really need the money). The #1 BEST way to earn new clients is “word of mouth” by former clients. In my next post, I’ll talk all about that, so stay tuned!

How to Make Money as an Amateur Photographer

How to Make Money as an Amateur Photographer


What’s going on today Dinks? I hope everyone is doing good. Summer is a time where some either slow down or grind harder when it comes to making extra money. I’m in the grind harder section. I know that many of you are as well. Today, I want to go over a unique way to make extra money. That way is through amateur photography.

A lot of people like taking pictures these days. It’s a fresh and fun hobby to have. If you or your partner are interested in digital photography, you should seriously consider monetizing it.

The way to do this is to sell your photos online. Many websites are looking for stock photos. There are a lot of photos out there, but the quality of most is horrible. The need for better pictures is always there. If you have an eye for faces, buildings, landscapes and such, there is someone out there who could probably use your photos.

Something else that you can do is to create your own website and sell them. If you have hundreds of photos that are just being stored on a memory card, post them on your site and get paid. There are also sites online that offer free and for sale photos to various users. Why not become one of them?

Getting started with selling your photos

The first thing that you should do is take the time to learn your trade. You can’t expect to just go outside with your camera, take a couple of snapshots and get paid hundreds of bucks. It just doesn’t work like that. You will have to learn how photography is done. Study sites like,, and See what types of photos those sites specialize in and check out which ones are top sellers. Take notes and see if you have any that are similar. You have to make sure that you edit your photos. To make the most money you want to make sure that you provide the best possible shots for sale on the photo sites. Also, learn the requirements of each site for submission of your photographs so that you can avoid mistakes. You may be able to use a site like Canva or Photoshop to help you with the edits. If you’re not certain, please make sure you read the requirements. This might be common sense, but if you provide professional quality work, you are likely to make more money.

Something else that you should do is create a photo inventory. You need to divide your pictures into categories such as travel, landscape, architecture, or food. Look through your photos and figure out which ones you like the best. The better ones will sell faster, but you should list as many as you can. You don’t have anything to lose. The longer you sell photos online, the better you will become. You will figure out what types sell the most and should start focusing on them. I want to stress that this will not make you rich. You can make a decent amount doing this side hustle, though.

What kinds of photos sell well?

Demand for images is being driven by need for video and still images. For video, HD and 4K content best, as are location videos, driving videos and green screen based video. For still images, media organizations often purchase stills of cityscapes, landmarks, families and more. Vector graphics (graphics made up of lines, not of dots) are in higher demand. This is because vector graphic files scale better and are generally higher quality than raster graphics (graphics based on points).

What digital camera should I use?

Your smartphone camera is great for snapshots, but you’ll need a quality tool to produce images that will sell. A mass-market DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera is a good starting place. DSLR cameras largely replaced film-based cameras in the early 2000s due to the improved features these cameras offer including; autofocus, better dust protection, interchangable lenses, HD video capture, live previews, wider angles and better overall image quality.

You have a couple of approaches if you are going to get a camera for your photography business. First, you can buy new. A new DSLR camera retails for between $300 and $3,000. If you do choose this option, go with a value choice like the Canon EOS Rebel or the Nikon D3300. Second, you can buy a used camera. You can find a decent DLSR camera for between $200 and $400 on craigslist. Third, you can borrow one from a friend or family member. In any event, you’ll want your efforts to start yielding a profit as soon as possible, so get a good quality camera that doesn’t cost much.

Where can I sell my photos?

If you want to make money as an amateur photographer, you’ll need to a place to sell your work. Here is a listing of websites that function either as picture brokers or full-service providers for photographers.

Getty Images




Dreamstime (offers a 50% royalty on each photo sold)


A lot of these websites have affiliate programs. So if you are making money with their platform, you can always refer a like-minded friend for a few extra bucks.

Finally, if you want to find other ways to make extra money, check out our articles on 9 ways to make extra money, 8 things you can sell to make money today and 3 more things you can sell for extra money.

The best free photo editor 2017

Free software to help you achieve picture perfection


Free photo editors

We’re taking and sharing more photos than ever, but even the best photographer is likely to produce a dud or two, and even the best shot straight out of your phone camera could stand to be better.

Photo editing, then, shouldn’t be the sole reserve of those who can afford to stump up the cash for a subscription to Adobe’s Creative Cloud. And no, Microsoft Paint or Apple Preview won’t cut it: you deserve more than mere cropping or a few sliders to tweak.

We’ve given our list a total overhaul and selected the very best free photo editors, ranging from fully-featured Photoshop clones to simple, easy to use ways to add filters and effects to your favourite snaps. These are by no means the only free options, though; if we’ve missed your favourite photo editor, let us know in the comments below.


An exceptional free photo editor, GIMP is a worthy rival to premium software

The elder statesperson of free photo editing, GIMP is the most full-featured cross-platform Photoshop competitor going, and gets our vote as the best free photo editor.

It’s not without its crashes and glitches – that’s the too-many-cooks open source development philosophy in action – and it lacks the polish of its commercial rivals. Some of the filters, in particular, seem as if they haven’t been touched since it was first released 20 years ago.

That said, if you’re looking for a desktop free photo editor ready for just about any task, GIMP is it. Its interface will be immediately familiar to Photoshop users, particularly if you switch on the highly recommended single window mode, and it’s still in active development, so new features and filters are added regularly.

Its power and flexibility make GIMP the best free photo editor for Windows.

2. Paint.NET

With layers, filters and plug-ins, Paint.NET has all the essentials to make your photos shine

Sometimes it pays not to be overloaded with bells and whistles. Paint.NET’s simplicity is one of its key features; it leaves it a fast, easy to operate free photo editor that’s perfect for those little tasks that don’t need the sheer power of GIMP.

Don’t be fooled by the name, though. This isn’t just a clone of Microsoft’s ultra-basic Paint – though it was originally intended to replace it. It’s a proper photo editor, just one that lands on the basic side of the curve.

Interface-wise it’s reminiscent of its namesake, but as it’s grown Paint.NET has added essential editing tools like layers, an undo history, a raft of filters, numerous community-created plugins, and a 3D rotate/zoom function that’s useful for recomposing images.

Yes, it’s lacking in certain areas, but if your machine is lacking in power or RAM we can’t think of a better choice.

3. Photo Pos Pro

Well designed and easy to use, Photo Pos Pro is a superb photo editor with just a few limitations

Photo Pos Pro isn’t as well known as and GIMP, but it’s another top-quality free photo editor that’s packed with advanced image-enhancing tools.

Its interface is smarter and more accessible than GIMP’s array of menus and toolbars, with everything arranged in a logical and consistent way. If it’s still too intimidating, there’s also an optional ‘novice’ layout that resembles Fotor’s filter-based approach. The choice is yours.

The expert layout offers both layers and layer masks for sophisticated editing. as well as tools for adjusting curves and levels manually. You can still access the one-click filters via the main menu, but the focus is much more on fine editing.

Photo Pos Pro also includes a clone brush for erasing unwanted blemishes, and there’s extra support for batch-editing and scripts to help you save time when refining a whole folder of photos.

The free edition of Photo Pos Pro only has one drawback: files can only be saved at a maximum resolution of 1,024 x 2,014 pixels, which might be too small if you’re planning to have them printed professionally. If you want to remove this restriction, Photo Pos Pro Premium is available for a license free of £17.67, US$19.90, AU$29.78.

4. Pixlr Editor

The best free photo editor for your web browser, with layers, masks and much more

Most browser-based free photo editors are simple Instagram-style affairs that give you a set of filters and little else. Pixlr Editor is different. Provided you have a reliable internet connection and don’t mind the lack of plugins, this free web app is almost as powerful as the best free desktop photo editors.

Load up a photo and you’ll have access to layers, masks, clone stamps, selection tools, and everything else you’d expect from a top-notch image editor. There’s no batch-editing unfortunately, but you can open several images at once and edit them individually.

Because Pixlr Editor is a web app, there’s no software to install and you can use it in any browser that supports Flash. Unfortunately this rules out most mobile devices, and since its developer is currently working on HTML5 versions of other other software, it might give Editor the chop before too long.

For the time being, however, Pixlr Editor is easily the best free photo editor for your web browser.

Photoscape’s filters are a great way to add some pizzaz to your pictures, and its RAW conversion tool is very handy if your camera shoots in that format

5. PhotoScape

Its interface is unusual, but persevere and you’ll find a brilliant, diverse set of photo-editing tools

PhotoScape is, ostensibly, a rather simple free photo editor. But one glance at its main menu reveals a wealth of features: RAW conversion, photo splitting and merging, animated GIF creation, and even a rather odd (but useful) function with which you can print lined, graph or sheet music paper.

The meat, of course, is in the photo editing. PhotoScape’s interface is among the most esoteric of all the apps we’ve looked at here, with tools grouped into pages in odd configurations. It certainly doesn’t attempt to ape Photoshop, and includes fewer features.

We’d definitely point this towards the beginner, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get some solid results. PhotoScape’s filters are functional and not at all beginner-like, so it’s if good choice if you need to quickly level, sharpen or add mild filtering to pictures in a snap.

Steer clear of the rest of the tools, though: you’ll find better elsewhere.

Google Nik Collection is a set of Photoshop filters that can also be used as standalone tools

6. Google Nik Collection

A professional-level selection of filters that work as Photoshop plugins or standalone apps

Google’s unending determination to corner just about every market sometimes pays dividends for the pincher of pennies. Take its purchase of German developer Nik in 2012, for example – its Nik Collection photo editor plugin range retailed for US$500 at the time, and in early 2016 Google decided to do away with the price tag and release the powerful collection for free.

We suspect support and updates might be somewhat limited going forward, but this does enable you to bag seven quality photo-editing tools as-is: lens and film emulator Analog Efex; colour corrector Color Efex; monochrome converter Silver Efex; noise reducer Dfine; selective colour tweaker Viveza; and Sharpener and HDR Efex, which speak for themselves.

These are perfect free plugins if you’re already using Photoshop, and you can add them to compatible host applications when you install them, but they can also be run as standalone photo editors if you hunt down their executable files. They won’t appear in your list of Windows apps – you need to look in C:\\Program Files\Google\Nik Collection. To edit a photo, drag it onto the EXE file of your chosen editor. It’s a strange system, but it works!

7. Fotor

A terrific selection of filters for one-click enhancement, plus manual curve and level controls

Fotor is a photo enhancer first and foremost, more than it is a photo editor; if there’s specific area of retouching you need doing with, say, the clone brush or healing tool, you’re out of luck. But it includes a stack of high-end filters that really do shine.

There’s a foolproof tilt-shift tool, for example, and a raft of vintage and vibrant colour tweaks, all easily accessed through Fotor’s clever menu system. You can manually alter your own curves and levels, too, but without the complexity of high-end tools.

Fotor’s most brilliant function, and one that’s sorely lacking in many photo editing packages, is its batch processing tool – feed it a pile of pics and it’ll filter the lot of them in one go, perfect if you have a memory card full of holiday snaps and need to cover up the results of a dodgy camera or shaky hand.

8. On1 Effects 10.5 Free

A free photo editor that lets you apply filters to selected areas to make elements pop

The ‘free’ suffix offers some indication of what you’re getting here: On1 Effects 10.5 Free is a cut-down version of On1 Effects 10 proper, pulling out just a limited selection of its filters. But we’re still happy to recommend it, mainly because of its methodology.

Instead of being forced to apply an effect to a full image, you can use On1’s Perfect Brush tool to smear that effect on the areas you’re interested in enhancing, which is a great way to create a unique look. Its quick mask and refine brush tools also make masking off areas of your image particularly easy, so you can make elements pop.

Essentially this is an taster for the full version, but its diminished filter range – HDR, vignette, vintage, glow etc – is still useful and worth trying if you’re after vibrant effects; you’ll have to try another program for sharpening, blurring and noise reduction, so On1 Effects Free isn’t great if you want to preserve the honesty of your photos.

9. XnRetro

Fully adjustable old-school filters, though the lack of custom profiles is disappointing

As its name suggests, XnRetro is designed to make your snaps look fashionably old-fashioned. You can apply a filter with a single click and call it a day, or tweak the color balance, contrast, exposure and saturation using a neat array of sliders. Some filters also offer a vignette option for added vintage style.

You can crop your photo to a square to mimic the look of medium-format film, and rotate it in 90-degree increments if you took it with your phone at a strange angle.

If you change your mind, you can easily reset the sliders back to their default values. It’s just a shame there’s no way to store your custom settings as a new profile for future use, as you can in Google Nik Collection.

Download here: XnRetro

10. Adobe Photoshop Express

The simplest free photo editor in our roundup, but with the quality you’d expect from Adobe

Photoshop Express is a very different beast to the full version of Adobe’s mighty industry-standard image editor, but it’s useful for giving well-composed pictures the boost they need to become stunning.

There are no advanced editing tools here, so you won’t be able to paint out blemishes, adjust lighting, or even crop your images. Instead, you’re given a selection of good-looking Instagram-style filters and a quick link so you can send the results directly to Facebook, or save them to your PC.

Adobe Photoshop Express is very simple, but the filters are excellent, and more are available as in-app purchases if you want more choice.

Top 5 Free Photo Editing Websites

Top 5 Free Photo Editing Websites


Owning a blog means editing a lot of pictures and I’ve navigated my way around a few photo editing sites. The best thing about them: these are FREE photo editing sites. Not only are these sites good for bloggers, but they’re great for moms who want to brighten, filter or erase some blemishes on family photos before they’re printed and hanging on the wall. Here are my top 5 choices for free photo editing sites.

1. Canva

I LOVE Canva and it’s become the only tool I use to make images for Southern Savers. They have so many beautiful pictures to use as backgrounds that pull over from This is also a great site to make printables for your home. You can put your favorite scripture or quote in front of an image, print it out and hang it on your wall.

2. PicMonkey


This used to be the site that I would always use, but now I mainly go to it to erase any unwanted background. I’ve found that it’s easy to use and has a lot of options for text fonts, overlays and editing options. Right now when you sign up, you can try a free 7 days of Royale (the upgraded version of the free site).

4. iPiccy

5. BeFunky

Basic Photoshop Tutorials Using The Eraser Tool

Basic Photoshop Tutorials Using The Eraser Tool
AAEAAQAAAAAAAArUAAAAJDEzNDdlZWJjLTgyNDQtNGFjZS04ZDkwLWJiOTJhZjE0NzZkZgThe Magic Eraser is often used to blast large areas that contain unwanted pixels. Remove the sky along with the detailed edges using the Background Eraser tool. Background Eraser tool helps you to remove background of any image.

This lets you know the pixels that are headed for deletion. if you hold the mouse button down and spray the eraser’s brush around the image you will be able to get rid of all the pixels of the same color.

The Magic Eraser is often used to blast large areas that contain unwanted pixels. It certainly can be effective if you want to get fast results, but it is less than subtle.

Here is the way that you can work with the Background Eraser tool to accomplish the above task. You can cut out the complex shapes easily using the Background Eraser. Now you may need to spend a little time fiddling with the options to get the most use of the tool when you are working on a complex project such as this one.

Some selection tools would not be able to handle the job because of the position of the crenelations and the arches of the towers. When you want to try to remove the sky that is hidden among all of that other stuff, this makes it very tricky.

Let’s say you want to isolate your image in your picture by removing the sky. The sky consists of edges that may prove difficult to work with. Remove the sky along with the detailed edges using the Background Eraser tool.

The Background Eraser is more versatile and gives you greater control over some of the more difficult tasks. If you are selecting intricately shaped objects, the Background Eraser may be the tool for the job.

Now, there are some kinds of selection jobs that work better with the Background Eraser than with the actual Magic Eraser.

Once, begin by selecting the tool from the toolbox and in the options bar you will want to set the Sampling option to. Sample a section of the blue sky by clicking and the

background swatch icon will change color.

This is one of the reasons that Photoshop is so great. This program provides the user with lots of selection tool choices. Each tool has its own options that can be


Pixels of other colors will not be removed as you spray around the edge of the building. if you want the best results you can tweak the Tolerance setting.

Here is the way that you can work with the Background Eraser tool to accomplish the above task. You can cut out the complex shapes easily using the Background Eraser. Now you may need to spend a little time fiddling with the options to get the most use of the tool when you are working on a complex project such as this one.

Have an object with edges you want to isolate? This is one way to use the Background Eraser tool.

To get any Photo editing service visit Clipping Path Lab