Photoshop Express is a free fix for lackluster pics

Moorish Keyhole in Toledo, Spain – Edited

By Geri Dreiling

Even though trips must come to an end, travel photos live on. Who hasn’t taken a detour down vacation memory lane before paying online bills by opening a photo folder on the desktop and clicking through the images? How many adults have childhood memories of sitting cross-legged on the living room floor of their grandparents’ home and paging through a photo album stuffed with family road trip pictures?

Cameras have advanced tremendously since the days of black-and-white images framed by white borders. And yet, the pictures taken today still don’t always capture the richness of real life. An iPhone or Samsung Galaxy may be a convenient way to get a quick pic but the results would not be mistaken for those taken by a professional travel photographer. The colors can look drab. Shadows are more pronounced. The lighting isn’t quite right

But there is a free fix for lackluster pics. Adobe, the same company that provides the high-end Photoshop software used by professional photographers, also offers Photoshop Express for free. It can be a great alternative for amateur photographers who aren’t ready to invest in the premium software.

There are two sets of photos below. The photo on the top is the original. Directly below it is the photo I edited using Photoshop Express.

Moorish Keyhole in Toledo, Spain – Original Photo

 

Moorish Keyhole in Toledo, Spain – Edited Photo

 

Twilight in Toledo, Spain – Original Photo

 

Twilight in Toledo, Spain – Edited Photo

The editing software is easy to use. Go to Photoshop.com and select “online tools” from the home page menu.

It will take you to the Photoshop Express homepage where you can test it out or go ahead and sign up for a free account which comes with 2GB of free storage. You don’t have to store your photos in Photoshop Express but it is an option provided to users.

Once you’ve signed in, you can upload photos and begin editing. I tend to make the most use of the following tools:

  • Auto-correct
  • Exposure
  • Red eye
  • Saturation
  • White balance
  • Highlight
  • Fill light
  • Sharpen
  • Soft focus

I always save the original and my edited version. If I think the edited version looks artificial, I may create a second edited version and compare the original, the first edited version and the second edited version until I settle on the one that I like.

Photoshop Express also allows you to add special effects and captions to your pictures as well as edit video – although I have not tried video editing yet. Photoshop Express also offers free smartphone apps that allow you to edit directly from your iPhone or Android device.

Have you used Photoshop Express for your photos and videos? If so, what was your experience?