Ever feel the urge to eat lots of bananas, hang from trees, eat bugs out of your friends hair and edit some images? Well if you answered yes to all of those you are truly unique and beyond my means of help. If you only answered the last question, then this post will help you out quite a bit. So what is picmonkey.com? It is an online image editor that is so easy to use that elementary students will have no problem using it and powerful enough that adults can use it as well. There’s no sign up needed and you can download or post your pictures to Facebook. Sounds a lot like picnik.com? Well funny you should think that, because it is made by some of the same people. So why use picmonkey instead of picnic? Well picnik no longer exists. Google bought there service and rolled it into Google+ and then shut picnik down. So hit on past the break to see all what all the monkey business is about (sorry – I couldn’t help myself).
This site is very easy to use but what really impressed me is that it is FAST! It uploaded a picture quickly and as editing in seconds. Since there is no log in getting right to work is the main priority and this won’t be an issue with some younger students who don’t have an email account yet. I love streamlined websites.
All you have to do is drag your photo to the Edit a photo button or click that button and upload it manually. Did I mention it was fast. It took a 1 mb image about 1 second to get up and running. I don’t know how they do it, but I like it!
Once in the app, you will find all your controls on the left hand side. You have two types of controls. The category controls (the buttons on the far left) and the adjustment image controls (the larger buttons next to the image).
So if wanted to put a frame around my image, I would select the Frames from the category controls (it looks like a box with a bother box around it) and then I would select the border I want and voila!
It is just that easy, but don’t let its simplicity throw you. Picmonkey can be quite powerful, giving the user such options as exposure, color corrective controls, many skin touch ups, resizing images and much more. You can zoom in to images up 800% as well giving you control over very specific details. They have just been able to package it all in such a friendly way that it really makes it the every person image editor.
Now to saving or publishing which is easy and fast as you might have guessed. All you have to do is click on Save at the bottom left.
Then this window will appear which lets you pick where you want to save it (your computer or Facebook), the file name and extension (you can chose between .jpg and .png) and the quality of the image. The Mel option has the least quality but is also the smallest file, while the other two gradually increase the quality and file size. You pick what works for you. Then click Save and your done!
So how practical and useful is this site? I mean my students have access and know Photoshop (even at a very basic level). What do I tell them to do? I tell them if it’s a quick and simple alteration, then go to www.picmonkey.com. If need to be something more robust (placing their head on someone else’s body) then its Photoshop. More times than naught, my students can accomplish what they need to in picmonkey. With that being said there are a few issues I have with it. The first, it is built using Flash. This means it will not work on an iPad at all and I think it would be great for those devices. Second, it did crash once or twice on my Mac.
Again, these may sound scarier than they are. I still love picmonkey and so should you. It’s great for simple image editing for all ages.
It’s free and you can try it out at www.picmonkey.com