Apps I love for Windows 8/RT- Fotor

Disclaimer: While I have been trained on Windows 8 and other Microsoft services, and part of my job is to promote their services and products, the ideas and opinions expressed in this post are solely my own. I have received no compensation for this post. I just genuinely like the software presented here, and wanted to share my thoughts and experiences with my readers.

Once I bought the Surface, I began to use my iPad less and less, until I was only using it for one thing: photo editing with snapseed.

I’d developed a routine in editing my photos, one particular filter in SnapSeed (Drama 2, if you must know) that I liked so much that I used it on almost everything. It’s a great enhancement to all kinds of shots, from the mundane to the already spectacular (bragging on my photo locales, ie, Stonehenge, not my photography prowess). Not everyone would like it, but I do, and I liked that it made all my photos similar in style, which is always useful for the blog, or for my plans for many gallery walls of travel photos in my someday home. Also it was easy, just two or three taps and I was happy with my new image.

Before snapseed:
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After snapseed:
IMG_0028
IMG_0065
IMG_0192

The problem? I want to trade in my iPad for a future tech purchase and only use the Surface, but SnapSeed hasn’t made an app for the Windows Store yet. (I hope this is a “yet” and not a never, but it’s hard to tell). They do have a desktop app that I could purchase, but I would only be able to use this on my laptop, not on the Surface, which is all that I’ll have with me on my next ship.

So I began the search for an adequate replacement. Luckily, the Windows Store has lots of great photo apps, unfortunately, some of them are still in need of updates, because they tend to force close if you try to do too much, frustrating when you’re just trying everything in order to see all the possibilities. The app I finally landed on was Fotor.

It’s free (SnapSeed is not), has tons of filters ranging from standard black and white options to super artistic vintage looks, and has all the standard stuff too (crop, color and exposure correction). I found that with a combination of an increase in contrast, a slight sharpening of the image, and the real illusion filter, I can recreate the “Drama” look that I love so much in SnapSeed. Plus I’ve had fun experimenting with other filters and effects as well, and there are tons to choose from. It also has a tilt shift tool and you can add text to your images and even create collages.

Fotor Process:
Screenshot (25)
Screenshot (28)
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Before Fotor:
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DSCN4485
After Fotor:
6150111 edit
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As you can see I’m creating photos that look more dramatic than the typical snapshot.  But besides being effective and easy, Fotor is also extremely convenient.  Fotor lets me open photos that are saved on the device I’m using, but I can also retrieve photos from SkyDrive. I can save on the computer or in the cloud (SkyDrive), which is great since I don’t want to take up to much space on the Surface. And I’ve used it on about 40 photos now, but so far no crashing.

If you’re looking for a great, does it all photo app for Windows 8, this is the one I’d recommend. Keep in mind, I mainly use it on the Surface, but it will work on any Windows 8 PC, even if it doesn’t have a touchscreen (works just as well with mouse).  And if you’re not using Windows 8, but think you want to use Fotor, you can do it all online at their website, completely free, no registration required.  They also have a desktop app if you prefer that.

For those of you that ONLY want the basics, and prefer a desktop application, or for those of you that aren’t using Windows 8 yet, I highly recommend Windows Photo Gallery. It is also free, and all of my images go through this software first for basic photo edits, I only use Fotor for images appearing on my blog or displayed in my home.

Anybody use Fotor? Any other great cheap/free/easy photo editing apps out there?

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