Category: Photography

The NewProfilePic App

There are always new mobile apps for you to discover, and it looks like NewProfilePic is this month’s all-star. This freebie, available through the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, will transform a selfie photo into something stylized and eye-catching.

All you have to do is upload any photo file((of a single, close-up of a human face. Sorry, no pets!)) you have access to from your mobile device, and dodge a few pop-up ads along the way. The app does the rest, giving you a few different photo filters to try out. And they claim you can check back each week for new filters and tweaks.

As this app took off in popularity, some websites started sounding an alarm about its safety. Claims of data-sharing with Russia are being passed around, but I don’t see any truth to that. It looks to me like these rumors are not based on hard facts, and only being reported on clickbait and junk news sites (nothing mainstream).

In other words, whatever info-collection this app is doing, it’s certainly less invasive than, say, Facebook or Google. If you want to try out this app, feel free and have fun!

IrfanView Graphic Viewer

IrfanView has been around for over 20 years. If you use it, you’ll notice its menus and overall look still have that Windows 98 look! IrfanView is a small program that will help you view and edit your image files.

But why would you use it (over more modern apps)? This program does exceedingly well at opening old, archaic file types. If you have found some old pictures that you can’t open, IrfanView can probably help. Some examples:

If you find an old digital camera in your junk drawer, and it’s full of photos in the FlashPix format, IrfanView can open those files.

If your designer gave you some archival files in the Photoshop format, IrfanView can handle them.

And once you open such files in IrfanView, you’ll also be able to use the Save As… function to convert your your files to JPG or other modern formats.

IrfanView is free to download for personal, educational and charitable use. If you want to use it in a professional setting, they ask $12 per license.

Free Alternatives to Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is the photo-editing software for professionals, and it costs $21/mo to use. Adobe Photoshop Elements is a simpler version, for casual and hobbyist use, and costs $100((sometimes $50-80 when on sale, check Amazon or Costco!)) to buy outright. If neither price is to your liking, check out some free alternatives:

Best Freebies

GIMP is very similar to Photoshop, and can be installed on Windows, MacOSX and Linux computers.

Paint.net is for Windows computers only. It was started as a replacement for MS Paint, but evolved into something much more capable.

Pixlr and Photopea should work on any computer, regardless of the operating system, because they load inside your web browser. That means there’s nothing to install, and all you need is a solid internet connection and a working browser.

And SumoPaint offers photo editing, along with a lot of other free creation tools!

Free… Photoshop?

Due to all of this competition, Adobe has released a free, ultra-basic, chopped down and rather hampered version of its Photoshop. It’s called Photoshop Express, and it installs as an app. You may download it on Android devices as well as Apple devices. And the Microsoft Store offers it as a free download for Windows computers.

Adobe also offers a free web-based editor, called Adobe Creative Cloud Express. But it is rather limited in what it can do, and it will encourage you to pay as you try to use its fancier tools.

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