Showing posts with label digital photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label digital photography. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Photo Editing Apps

There are so many photo editing apps available, but some are more robust than others. These are the ones that I find myself coming back to over and over again.

Snapseed This app has so many features it's hard to believe that it is free. There are 29 tools and filters including healing, brush, HDG, and perspective. It's easy to crop, tune, and edit your images so that they look like they were taken by a professional

Polarr Photo editing app with advanced auto-enhance tools and filters to meet all of your photo editing needs.

Adobe Photoshop Express Includes over 5 dozen free tools that allow you to make basic to advanced edits. Once you are finished editing you can share your creation directly on your favorite social networks.

PIP Camera-Photo Editor This is a fun app that allows you to get creative with your pictures. The filters allow you to turn average pictures into masterpieces! Choose from over 200 frames and more than 20 filters to create the perfect image.

Pixlr Use this editor to create collages, layer multiple photos, stylize your images and much more.

PicMonkey This app lets you make basic edits of your photos as well as draw on top of them. You can add stickers to your photos to create a customized, unique masterpiece.

Applications for Education
Instead of using pictures they find on the web for presentations, students could use their cell phones to take their own pictures. They could use one or more of these apps to edit their pictures, giving them more of a feeling of ownership of the content they are creating.

Friday, July 18, 2014

B-Roll, Photo Collages, and Writing and Math Prompts

A stray cat in my neighborhood.
I named him Geoffrey. 
One of the strategies that I frequently recommend to teachers as a way to help students avoid any copyright issues in their work is to use media from a classroom b-roll gallery. You can build this gallery by having students contribute pictures to a shared Google Drive, Box, or Dropbox folder. Students can add pictures from their mobile devices or contribute public domain images that they have found online.

Besides being a good place to find images to use in multimedia projects, having a b-roll gallery of images could be a good source of writing prompts. Students who struggle to get started on a descriptive writing assignment could benefit from looking through a gallery of interesting images. For example, the picture in this post inspired me to create a very short story about a lost cat.

Students who struggle to get started on a descriptive writing assignment could benefit from first creating a photo collage about the event or concept that they need to write about. In thinking about the images that they select, they're also thinking about what they will say about each image. PicCollage and PicMonkey are two good options for creating photo collages.

Earlier this year I wrote about the Math Photo A Day project. That project is over, but you could create your own Math Photo A Day project in your school. The project asks students to take photographs of things representing various topics and concepts in elementary school level mathematics. For example, a challenge that you could give to students is to take pictures of objects that have specific shapes in them. This could be a homework assignment that students do with their parents or you could make it a classroom assignment.

Another approach to the Math Photo A Day project is to take pictures of examples of bad math in the real world. Use those photos as the prompt for simple mathematics lessons. Read more about this idea in Fun With Bad Math In Pictures.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Photo Mapo for Archiving Summer (and other things)

This is a guest post from Lisa Johnson of, an advertiser on this blog.

While gathering resources to share with campus teachers, I stumbled upon the Photo Mapo app and quickly added it to my list of tools for summer archival. The intent was to provide a repository of tools and applications that educators could utilize in the midst of their staycations and vacations that could also be extended to the classroom. Photo Mapo is a FREE app that does just that.

Applications for Recreation

Transform your photos into mapped masterpieces with textual anecdotes, pics, and actual maps of places you visit. While map styles and formats change, each Photo Mapo masterpiece can include a photo, a textual blurb, and a map highlighting location data. As much of my summer is devoted to speaking engagements and delivering professional learning app-ortunities to educators, I thought it only fitting to include a sample to promote one of these events, The EdTechTeacher Summit, where I will be leading an exploration of S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR.

Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 12.05.22 AM

Applications for the Classroom

Research origins of famous people, historical figures, or events, and create a Photo Mapo to capture content in a visual manner. Consider assembling all student-created Photo Mapos in Book Creator FREE and add audio narration to create a historical travel guide or class travelogue. Take app-smashing to the next level and use Photo Mapo to create Augmented Reality postcards detailing facts about countries and landmarks. Visit for additional classroom integration ideas for this little digital gem. Truly, the instructional app-lications are endless. Imagine using this app with World Language students to practice contextual vocabulary in different languages or English teachers mapping the travels of a character from a novel. For more inspiration, scroll through Photo Mapo’s Facebook page.

Lisa Johnson is the author of the TechChef4u blog and will be keynoting Keystone’s Technology Integration Conference with Richard Byrne June 18th, 2014. To learn more from Lisa Johnson, you can hear her at the July 28-30 EdTechTeacher Summit. She will also be teaching a three day iPad Classroom workshop in Austin, TX this August.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Shutterfly Offers Tips for Taking Perfect Pictures - Interactive Guide

From graduation ceremonies to end-of-year field trips to summer vacation trips, this time of year presents many opportunities to take pictures of friends, family, and students. To help you take better pictures, Shutterfly offers an interactive guide to taking the perfect photo.

Shutterfly's guide to taking the perfect photo begins by having you select the type of camera that you are using. Choose either DSLR or smartphone or point-and-shoot. From there you can select a photo type, there are twelve to choose from, to receive a set of tips on taking the perfect photo. Some of the photo types include selfie, portrait, candid, and action.

Here's one of Shutterfly's tips for taking action photos with a smartphone:
Place your finger on the screen where you expect the action to occur. This will lock in focus so that you can take a photo quickly by removing your finger once your subject is visible in the frame.

Applications for Education
I often encourage teachers to have their students collaborate on the development of a picture gallery that they can use whenever they need images for slideshow and video projects. That gallery isn't terribly useful if the pictures aren't good. Shutterfly's guide to taking the perfect photo could be a good resource to review with students before sending them off to take pictures to use in slideshow and video projects.

Monday, April 16, 2012

PicMonkey is Like Instagram on the Web

Earlier this morning I was asked for a list of alternatives to Picnik for editing and adding effects to photos. I had this list handy, but I have another good photo editor to add to the list. I learned about PicMonkey from one of Jim Sill's Tweets last week and I finally gave it a try this morning. My initial impression is that it is a lot like Instagram except that it functions on the web instead of as an Android or iOS app.

To get started using PicMonkey you can upload an image by simply dragging it from your desktop to the PicMonkey editor. From there you can change things like saturation, contrast, size, and sharpness. You can then add custom frames and special effects like "Polaroid style" to your images. Want to add text to your images? PicMonkey provides a slew of font styles for your use. And if you have just one tiny part of an image that you want to enhance or obscure, PicMonkey gives you tools for that too.

Applications for Education
PicMonkey doesn't require any kind of registration in order to use all of the photo editing tools. That lack of a registration requirement makes it perfect for use with students that don't have email addresses. If you want students to experiment with editing images for use in slide or other presentations, PicMonkey could be just the tool you need.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Picozu - A Nice Free Online Image Creation and Editing Tool

Picozu is a free online image editing tool. Using Picozu you can touch-up existing images or you can create new images from scratch. In the Picozu editor you will find tools for adjusting color saturation and clarity. The editor also includes tools for creating images containing multiple layers. And if you want to include text in your image Picozu has options for that too.

Picozu offers the option to register and join their community or you can use the editing tools without creating an account. If you do choose to create an account you can save your images on Picozu and add them to the community albums. If choose not to create a Picozu you can save your images to your computer, send them to your Facebook account, or send them to your Dropbox account.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for a nice tool for students to use to create images for their digital presentations, Picozu is worth giving a good look.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Panoguide -View Panoramas and Learn How to Create Them

I've previously written about some good sites for viewing panoramic images here, here, and here. I like panoramic images that can be zoomed and scrolled through because compared to standard images they provide students with a better sense of what a place really looks like.

Panoguide is another site on which users can browse through galleries geolocated on a Google Map. For students and teachers who would like to contribute panoramic images of their own to the gallery, Panoguide provides detailed directions on how to get started. Panoguide also provides user discussion forums through which you can learn even more about creating good panoramic images.

Applications for Education
Creating panoramic images of sites in their communities could be a good activity for both photography students and geography students. Specifically, I'm thinking that students at my school could create panoramic images of some of the lakes and mountain tops in our community. Panoguide could provide the direction needed to get some students and teachers on their way to doing just that.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

ZangZing - Group Sharing of Photos from Many Sources

ZangZing is a new service, currently in an invite-only beta, that will allow you to collaborate on the creation of an online photo album. There are many services that allow you to do this now, but what makes ZangZing different is that you can pull in the photos you already have on other photo sharing sites. You can pull in photos from Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, Instagram, and other popular photo sharing sites. You can also email photos directly to the album(s) you create on ZangZing. Each collaborative album you create on ZangZing has its own privacy setting so that you can create a combination of public and private albums within your account.

Applications for Education
Thinking back to my experience in elementary school (I've never taught K-6) I remember parents always snapping photos at school events. Later, in middle school I recall classmates taking pictures at school events. In both cases there were always people asking each other if they would make "doubles" to share. Services like ZangZing allow everyone to get "doubles" by simply creating a group photo album for the members to view. A group photo album could be created on ZangZing by a teacher or "class parent" to record the memories of a play, field trip, or school concert.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

DropEvent - Collaborative Photo Albums via Email

Drop Event is a free service for creating public and private group photo albums. To create a group photo album you do need to register for the service, but contributors to your photo album don't need to register. When you create your photo album it is assigned an email address that contributors can send photos to through email. To invite people to contribute to your album, just give them the email address assigned to your album.

Thanks to Kristen Swanson for the info about Drop Event.

Applications for Education
If you've ever wanted to have your students contribute to a group album, but were deterred by the requirements for students to create accounts, Drop Event could be the solution you're looking for. Using Drop Event photography students could email contributions of their works to an album. Recently take students on a field trip? Have them and their parents email contributions to a group album.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Two Good Free Guides to Digital Photography

Yesterday, Make Use Of released a 59 page ebook titled The Essential Guide to Digital Photography. The book covers everything from selecting a camera to using your camera to editing your images. It's not the most in-depth guide you'll find on any of those three topics, but it does provide a nice overview of everything an aspiring photographer should know.

Make Use Of directed readers to Scribd to view The Essential Guide to Photography before downloading it. While on Scribd I looked at some other ebooks on digital photography and came upon the Absolute Beginner's Guide to Digital Photography. The Absolute Beginner's Guide is a 381 page soup to nuts guide for anyone delving into the world of photography as a hobby or art form. I've embedded that guide below.
Absolute Beginners Guide to Digital Photography

Applications for Education
If you're considering purchasing digital cameras for your classroom or your school, both of these guides should offer you some good advice on what to look for in your purchase. These guides could also be handy references to have in your classroom when you decide to have students start using digital cameras for multimedia presentation projects.