Not everyone wants their photo editors to be fully loaded with features from top to bottom. Some people just need their editors to allow them to add cool and interesting creative effects to their photos. Adding photo effects to your images is not a very difficult task, and you probably won’t need something as robust as Photoshop to do so. If all you need to do is add visually pleasing effects to your photos, we have just the right list of excellent photo editors that let you do that and more.
Before that, however, let’s take a look at what kinds of effects you can most commonly find in these editors:
- Filters: Filters are the most obvious thing that comes to mind when talking about photo effects that are quick and easy. Filters can range from pretty horrible to pretty great, and the editors we are going to mention have the latter sort. If used right, filters can add that wow factor to your images that would otherwise take a long time of editing to get.
- Tilt-Shift: Another common feature you’ll find in most editing programs is called tilt-shift. What this does is essentially make a certain part of your image stay in focus while making everything else blurry. Again, if done right, it can give a very interesting look to your images and bring your subjects to focus.
- Color Splash: If you want to bring your subject to focus with color rather than clarity, then color splashes might be your thing. With these, you can choose which colors in your photos show as they are and which parts of the image go monochrome. This can be a very interesting effect to use in your photos, especially if you are trying to isolate something from a busy scene.
- Grunge: The ‘grunge’ effect can look really cool if what you’re going for is a very rugged and raw look with your photos. There are endless textures that you can choose from, varying their contrast and opacity until you are satisfied with how your image looks. You can combine grunge with vintage too if you want an old-timey feel for your pictures.
Now that we are all a little familiar with what kinds of photo effects can be used to generate what kind of results, let’s move on to our list of the best photo editors with these cool and creative effects that you can use.
If You Want Something Free
One of the most popular free photo editors is Fotor. It can be used online, or as an app on your smartphone. Not only does Fotor present you with a wealth of professional-grade filters but it also doubles as a nifty photo editor with which you can adjust your photos’ exposure, contrast, white balance, highlights and shadows. You can also use a very interesting tilt-shift effect to create a sense of depth of field in your photos.
Pixlr by Autodesk:
Pixlr is another great free option that you can use online as well as an app. This, however, is not just a tool to add filters on your photos. It brings to you a great many tools that can be used to completely transform your photos if you so wish. From various filters and presets to exposure settings and color correction tools, Pixlr has pretty much everything a casual photographer could want from a free app.
If You Want to Step Up your Game
For those of you who want something that not only provides excellent filters but also many of the typical Photoshop actions, we have to recommend Macphun’s Luminar to you. The relatively new image editor has made a name for itself in a short amount of time, and the many positive reviews it has received both from critics and actual users is a testament to its capabilities.
While it provides you with a wide array of editing tools, let’s talk about Luminar’s filters and presets in specific. They are quite awesome, to say the least. Within seconds, you can give your photos a completely different look with these. What differentiates Luminar’s filters from many others is that you can control how much they affect the image, so that they don’t end up looking artificial and overwhelming. Another great feature at your disposal is working in layers, allowing you to merge multiple presets and textures to give your photos just the look you want.
If You Want to Add Color Splashes
Another great editor by the makers of Luminar is ColorStrokes. This specializes in adding color splash effects to your photos. You can choose which parts of your photo you want to be in color, and the program will turn everything else black and white. It also has some cool blurring effects to add more punch to your images. As for the monochrome backgrounds, you can choose the kind of effect you want in them. You also have the power to choose how much difference is visible between the foreground and the background of your photos.
ColorStrokes is by far the best photo editor of its kind, thanks to its easy to use and intuitive interface and its very low price. If you want to add some pop to your photos with some color splashes, ColorStrokes is the way to go.
Image editing is not something you can learn properly in a day or two. It takes time and a lot of experimentation to find out what works for you and what doesn’t. However, if you want something that can help you make quick edits and give a new look to your photos in a very short amount of time, all of the options mentioned in this article will be worth your while.