I am not some Photoshop genius, though I have taken a basic seminar at work. It's been years and I haven't had much use for it since I took the class. Also, Photoshop is expensive so it's not a program that I have on my home computer. There is GIMP, which is open source and works similarly to Photoshop. But, again, I'm not all that graphics savvy.
I did create my feature graphics and I'm pretty proud of myself. I've had others ask about simple graphic tips and tools, so I thought I would share my secret with you.
|Image via CrunchBase|
The first step is to find an image you want to use. For my features, I found photos in the free download section of Dreamstime.com. For the slideshow on the home page I usually use the book cover.
Next, I decide if I want to use the whole image, part of the image or want to make a background for it. For my features, I just uploaded the image straight to Photobucket. For my slide show, I usually choose a background "box" for it. I have several "boxes" uploaded to Photobucket. They are various colored rectangle images.
In the basic edit screen on Photobucket you will see the tools you have available:
There's a ton of things you can do to an image to spiffy it up. If you aren't too confident in your graphic artist skills, don't worry. It is really easy to resize, crop, make a photo look old, add text and borders, etc. When I use my background "boxes" I often add an overlay so that the background is not just plain and flat - I'm particularly fond of the retro poster overlay. With the options you have in Photobucket, you can make your graphics unique and professional looking.
I know this sounds like a advertisement, but I've been so pleased with what I've been able to accomplish with Photobucket. I love making graphics now.
There are a few limitations with the basic editor, but if you are looking for an easy to use, free photo editing software then Photobucket is great. If you have used their advance editor, I would love to hear your thoughts on it.