Which computer applications for restoring old photos digitally work best and are easy to use? Here is a quick review of PicMonkey, Fotor, Pixlr, and more! Try each one to see which one is easiest for you.
PicMonkey for Restoring Old Photos
PicMonkey is “browser based,” meaning you do not have to download anything to your device. No registration is needed and you can edit for free. Features include edit, touch-up, design, and collage. You can upload an image from your computer, from Facebook, Dropbox, or OneDrive.
You can do all sorts of edits including cropping, exposure, sharpen, add make-up, brighten teeth, etc. You can even add text to the image in several different fonts. However, to save the image or share it, you must register. Registering will give you a free 7-day trial. You can also choose from a monthly or annual plan depending on your needs. A basic monthly subscription is as low as $5.99 per month. For the pro version, you will pay $9.99 per month. Note, these prices are paid in one yearly fee.
I noticed while using PicMonkey that there was a learning curve for editing my old photos. I was not interested in putting in time to learn how to use all the features. What I really wanted was a program that would easily fix problems with one or two clicks.
Here is a photo I edited using PicMonkey.
Fotor.com for Restoring Old Photos
A browser based, online app, this website had a lot of fun features. I might want to use Fotor.com for editing more recently taken photos to give them a unique look. I did run our original picture through a few of their user friendly features and this is what I came up with.
Like I said, I think I will be using Fotor.com for more recent photos that I want to edit or enhance. It was relatively use, but I didn’t fall in love with the finished outcome on this old photo.
GIMP: Not Real Easy for Restoring Old Photos
Next, I tried GIMP. GIMP is a GNU Manipulation Program and I have no idea what that means! It is a free, downloadable software. I could not even begin to understand the terms used to explain the product. It seemed to me this was not written for the layman. However, I downloaded the software in hopes it would be easy to use.
The software took quite a while to download and open. When I finally saw the features it offered, I was blown away. It was, quite frankly, way above my skill level.
Pixlr for Restoring Old Photos
Pixlr is a downloadable program for PC and Mac users, but it can also be used as a web browser application. To access the free browser application version, you need to register. When you have registered, you have the option of choosing Pixlr Editor or Pixlr Express.
Pixlr Express is for quick and easy edits. It was really easy to use. The only thing I could not quite fix was the black bar on the right side of the picture. However, I think the sharpness and clarity of the picture I edited was nice. I probably could have removed the black bar if I worked a bit more on it.
I would not only use Pixlr Express for old photos, but I think it would be a really fun tool for making collages and adding other special effects to more recent photos. In my opinion, learning how to use this program effectively would be well worth the time.
I also tried using the Pixlr Editor, but found it was more than I needed.
Using “Photo Restoration Free Service” on Facebook
What about the old photos that are in really bad condition? I decided if the photo requires more than a tweak or two, I would upload the image to “Photo Restoration Free Service” group on Facebook. This group page is dedicated to “fixing” images for FREE. Many of the people offering their talents are truly amazing. One man in particular caught my attention and gave me permission to use a before and after shot of his work. Thank you to Balazs and others who gave their permission for the before and after screenshot you see here.
There are many options for restoring old photos from your family history stash. I encourage you to restore and correct your special images before it is too late. Pictures do not last forever, so take care of them! Let us know what programs or apps for photo editing you are using in the comments below.
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