How to Fix Your Photos Online

December 2, 2010, By Christian Cawley

Online image editing is a great new development for all computer users, particularly those concerned about the impact of installing a new photo editing application on a PC or laptop with limited resources.

However it can often be a necessity, especially when there are problems with the images, such as red eye or huge spots that the subject would rather weren’t on a photo that other people would see.

One way around this problem and the installing of potentially resource draining software is to take advantage of a web application; this is a service hosted on a web site (like Microsoft Office Web Apps) that enables the user to run the application in their browser.

While still better than Windows Live Photo Gallery, you won’t get Vogue-style results from a web app such as this, you can still achieve satisfactory results and restore images to your Windows 7 picture library that are now properly tidied up and ready to share.

Online photo editing in Windows 7

Tidy Photographs in Windows 7

Using the web app, we can quickly and easily tidy up blemishes and red-eye in digital photographs sotred on a local PC.

After visiting the website, click the Start Editing button which will launch a new window. This is the web application window and will show a stock image by default. You can insert your own via the Open button on the toolbar and in seconds you will be able to begin adjusting it.

Citrify offers standard adjust tools to balance brightness, contrast and saturation as well as some “touch up” tools to get rid of red eye and other blemishes. More fanciful elements include adjustable filters to apply interesting effects such as sepia, a paint effect and an Obama poster effect as well as the inclusion of stickers to liven up any dull images.

Of more interest to us however are the Adjust and Touch-up functions which can allow you to repair an image for free rather than send it away for someone to touch-up for $20.

Adjust a Photo in Citrify

With your photo loaded into the Citrify web app, it is time to identify just what needs adjusting. For instance if the image is too dark then you will need to adjust the Brightness and Contrast, both of which can be accessed from the Adjust menu and rely on a slider tool at the bottom of the photo to make the changes.

Resize and Rotate will allow you to make positional changes to the image, while Sharpen will help to improve an image with a slight blur; heavily blurred images cannot be fixed. Meanwhile Hue and Saturation will allow you to change the colour balance, particularly useful if the subject seems over-lit.

Touch-up Your Photos

Using the Touch-up menu you can make real changes, meanwhile. Before proceeding, take note of the Zoom tool and the Undo and Redo buttons that can prove very useful when making these types of alteration to your image. All Touch-up tools have a size slider that appears under the image which enables you to alter the size of the area affected by the tool. Also don’t forget to Save your changes!

Click the Touch-up button on the toolbar to dock the tools beside your image and get a preview of what each does by rolling your mouse over each option. With Airbrush you can smooth out differing skin tones, while with Blemish you can remove pimples and moles. Airbrush should be used by “colouring in” the area you want to smooth out, while Blemish is more of a one-click fix and is applied by finding the spot you want to remove in the crosshair of the mouse pointer and left clicking. Multiple clicks may be required.

Glare and Redeye can be used to remove skin shine and the results of camera flash in your subject’s eyes – both are particularly useful although Redeye removal is something that is included in digital cameras more and more.

Finally Toothbrush and Wrinkle should be used to whiten teeth and remove signs of aging; however Wrinkle has another function. This tool can also be used to blend away tears or creases in older photos that you might have scanned and saved to your PC.

Citrify is a great web app that is perfect for Windows 7 netbook users by being low on local system resources and high on functionality.

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