Gone are the days when the best that was expected from digital pictures was clarity and ‘a lot of pixels’. Given the popularity of Instagram and dozens of other photo filter apps, people expect every picture they come across to look like a piece of art. It does not matter anymore if you went to photography school and used your prized 7D DSLR to shoot a picture, if it doesn’t look classy (read filtered) no one’s going to be impressed.
Let’s cut to the chase- how do you get the featured images on your site to look like those warm, vintage Instagram style pictures? There have to be easier ways to do it? Thankfully there are a few ways in which that can be accomplished and thankfully none of them involve creating an Instagram account and uploading pictures to it.
Say hi to Photoshop
The first solution that comes to mind is Photoshop. Many of us have it installed on our personal computers and if you are one of them then your problems are solved. The best part is that you do not even need to know how to use Photoshop like a pro. All you need is to know how to run Photoshop actions. If you know how to log onto Facebook then rest assured that you would be able to use Photoshop actions. It’s that easy.
Once you have downloaded the actions, you just need to open your pictures in Photoshop and play the actions (by double clicking them) and go through the different effects to choose one. The best part about using Photoshop is that you can use more than one filter effect on one picture and create your own customized effect by mixing and matching them. To download some awesome actions click here.
Free as in beer
But what if you do not have Photoshop and do not want to spend a fortune on buying the software? Surely there must be some free alternatives available in the market? Of course.
Vintager is one such app that is totally free to use and lets you color your featured images in all sorts of Instagram filter glory. Apart from letting you fiddle with numerous settings it also lets you perform basic editing functions like crop, rotate, resize and even adjust image contrast & brightness. This is beneficial for people who want to perform basic edits on their pictures without having to learn a whole software inside out.
You can load many different images in one go and quickly edit between them by using the next and previous navigation button. This saves an unbelievable amount of time.
If you are looking for automatic batch editing options however then another software called Fotor will be a better option. Fotor is for a person who’s slightly more experienced with photo editing as it presents you with a lot more options than Vintager. It’s ideal for those who use a lot of images on their WordPress sites. Both the software also allow the user to add borders and insert additional effects like depth of field.
Free as in Internet
There are situations when you can’t install a software on your computer (like restricted permissions on a work computer for example). At other times, you do not have access to your personal computer on which you’ve installed the image editing software. In such cases you have no choice but to turn to the Internet and as always, the Internet always delivers.
Pixlr-o-matic is a great online app that lets you edit your pictures in a very fast manner. Its use is very simple- you upload a picture from your computer or take a picture with a webcam and then browse through the various filter effects that are available to you. For a free app, the selection of filters that Pixlr-o-matic provides is amazing and lets you accomplish all that you would in the Instagram app and more. There’s also an option to add borders, color overlays, and texture effects on top of the filters and once you are done you can save the picture in it’s original format.
Now you have no excuses to put up boring images anymore. Using one of the three options above, you can get the featured images on your post looking as spiffy as Lady Gaga’s new hairdo. The best part is that you can have all that artistic goodness without having to spend hours intricately editing your images. Needless to say, the better the original quality of your images, the prettier your end results.