I’ve been using the Picnik web app for that past week or so for editing my photos (thanks to @KateMontgom for the tip). Been quite enjoying it, and here’s why.

Firstly, its free, and there’s no need to download any app. It even installs into Chrome if you want it to. Works on Windows and Mac. Whoop! All good so far. I love the easy integration with other photosharing sites and social networks (more on that later)

If you register (yes, its still free at this stage) you can upload 5 photos at a time, otherwise if you are happy with one at a time then you can continue to use without registration.

Its very simple and easy to use thanks to the friendly interface and has some good features and effects.

Different effects applied to the same photo

Here is an example of the original photo with different effects applied: Cross Process, Color Focus on B&W, Neon. And there are heaps and heaps more, all with the click of your mouse.

There are touch up features available as well, such as blemish fix, red eye, teeth whitening and my favourite …..’Insta- Thin’. Talk about Insta-Win!

You can also adjust the exposure, highlights, colour, contrast, crop, resize, sharpen, many of which have an ‘auto’ setting to correct your photo in one click.

Within each effect there are lots of options to allow you to change the end result, eg brush size, fade percentages etc all controlled using sliders like the ones shown below.

Loads of options for each Effect to allow you to control the end result

There are a number of other effects such as adding text in an extensive range of fonts, masks, moustaches, speech bubbles and heaps more.

Oh the fun you could have.

Polaroid Frame

Picnik also has a range of frames for your photo – put a border or shadow round it – or even turn it into a polaroid. You can control the background colour, rotation etc. If you have several photos you can put create a collage of your favourites choosing various layouts and adjusting the spacings and colour between each shot.

Once you have finished editing your photo, you can save it to your computer, or simply share onto your favourite platform: Twitter (as a photo, profile pic or background image), Facebook (you can choose which of your photo albums to publish into), Flickr, Picassa, Photobucket, Buzz, MySpace (whaaat??).

Overall Picnik is an easy to use, free photo editing website which will meet the needs of the vast majority of us. Advanced photographers will prefer Photoshop or some of the other grunty apps, but for those of us just wanting to sex up our pics a bit before sharing them with our friends, Picnik is perfect and you can do it from anywhere as nothing needs to be installed. Couldn’t be easier.