Most of the images on this blog are mine. The few that I did not take, myself, are used with permission, licensed under creative commons, or public domain images. But I prefer to use my own, and as digital cameras and camera phones improve in quality and usability, they also produce much larger files that need to be compressed to manageable size before sharing or posting on the blog, without losing quality. Until recently, it wasn’t so easy to resize smartphone images. It’s meant downloading photos from my camera to my PC, modifying them in PaintShop Pro, and then uploading them to my blog. Or blindly trusting a plug-in like WP Smush to reduce the image size in batches. I learned about that plug-in from my friend Mitch Mitchell, and it works great to rescue your blog from the slow loading demons of years past. I use the free version here, but it’s the lazy way out, doesn’t work well on all images, and, sometimes, it’s just better to have more control over the initial image size and quality – before uploading it.
PaintShop Pro is still my favorite image editor, by far. To call it “the poor man’s PhotoShop” is unfair; not only do I prefer its price, but it’s packed full of similar features and its user interface is a bit more intuitive.
Still, it’s a bit heavy for a simple crop and compress. And there are too many manual file transfers to make that an efficient workflow for anything but the most awesome photos. For quick and simple, I love Photo & Picture Resizer by farluner apps.
This is not a fancy, full-fledged image editor. I’ll cover some of my mobile image editors in a future post – but this isn’t it. It’s not a replacement for your favorite filter app for Instagram. It does three things, and does them well: it lets you crop and/or resize smartphone images, and makes it easy for you to share them. You can use it for free, or pay less than $8 to remove all the annoying ads. I upgraded, once I started using it on an almost-daily basis.
After installing this lightweight little app, just open it and either find an image on your phone or take one using the camera. I uploaded a quick demo so you can see how fast and easy it is to use:
You can open the app and select your photos using the menus, or you can share a photo to the app (e.g., from Gallery or another photo editing app). You can resize a single photo, or select multiple photos and resize them all at once. I typically take photos that are around 3MB and reduce them to around 300KB with little or no loss in quality for online viewing purposes.
The icons at the top of the app, from left to right: resize, crop, share, and most frequently shared to. Notice that last one is showing the WordPress icon? Before posting images to my blog, I run them through the Photo & Picture Resizer app. I crop and resize the images. I can then share them to my WordPress media library just as soon as I’m through, from wherever I happen to be, using the WordPress app.
It’s just so easy!