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Personal Tech For Women: 5 Things You Need To Know About Photo Editing With PDX App

Monday, June 01, 2015


Although the name has little to do with picture taking, BeFunky claims to make amateurs into professional photographers. And the numbers are indeed looking good for this Portland-based company. This spring, the photo editing app and platform set a record with 45 million active visits per month from desktop, tablet, and mobile users. So if you’re not already using it, here are 5 things you need to know about BeFunky – and how to turn your quick snapshots into personalized works of art.

1. Over 300 hundred effects

It’s true that while Instagram applies some artful textures and tones to your smartphone pics, BeFunky offers a library of over 300 effects and filters in its photo editor, which you can also combine to make your own look. Play around with charcoal, color pinhole, cooler, cartoonizer, and even pop art effects. It’s for serious art or silly fun. Make your next selfie a sepia-toned 1920s portrait-meets-Andy Warhol cartoon. You can also layer hand-drawn graphics and choose from tons of fonts to add texts to your images. And no photo editor would be complete without a collage-maker – this one’s got 50 templates.

2. Fix your botched photos

The beauty of the app is that you don’t have to learn a whole new expensive program, like the early days of Photoshop. BeFunky can perform like a professional platform but is simplified for those with no expertise who curse at the tedious technicalities of editing software. And if you’ve shot sloppy pics, no worries, its photo editor has enhancement tools that can remedy poor lighting, digital “noise”, fuzziness, and nasty red eye, as well as add “light leaks” to dark photos and mesmerizing bokeh, which are those orb-like blurs in the out-of-focus parts of an image. 

3. It’s for anyone

BeFunky is as user-friendly as it gets, whether you’re a mom looking to collage family photos, a crafty scrapbooker, a business that needs to refine product pics, or a budding photographer wanting to break into the art world. “Today, the world is driven by images,” said CEO Tekin Tatar in the company’s most recent press release. “It is estimated that over a trillion photos are stored on mobile devices alone. Our goal at BeFunky is to make it easy for anyone to make any photo exceptional, whether it is a simple edit to brighten a face or whiten a smile, or an artistic application of awesome effects.” 

4. The pioneer of photo editing

Tekin Tatar’s claim-to-fame is that he pioneered online photo editing at a time when only graphic designers were savvy enough to navigate professional editing suites, circa 2007. Remember, this was before everyone had smartphones and became addicted to snapping random pics and instantly publishing them to social media sites. The key to Tatar’s success is that he not only created uncomplicated software, he also made it free. And even at no cost, BeFunky still comes with hundreds of editing features. If you want to upgrade, BeFunky Plus will cost you $4.95 per month.

5. Get inspired

BeFunky’s blog offers tips on everything from black and white photography to how to take great self-portraits and style blog photos (indoors) on a rainy day. There are also tutorials on turning a photo into an oil painting (imagine your landscapes and portraits as mini Van Goghs), and using the miniature effect – you know the one where cityscapes look like tiny toys? BeFunky is a cross-platform photo editing suite too, which means you can start editing a photo you took with your phone, and then continue editing at home on your desktop computer.

Melanie Sevcenko is a journalist for radio, print and online. She reports internationally for BBC World Service and Monocle Radio (M24) in the UK, and for Deutsche Welle in Germany. Melanie also reports for the online news source GoLocalPDX, in Portland, Oregon. Her work has been broadcast by CBC in Canada and the Northwest News Network, and published by Al Jazeera English, Global Post, Pacific Standard, the Toronto Star and USA Today, amongst others.


Related Slideshow: The 7 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Here is a list of some of the most obsession worthy health apps.

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MapMyRun is the number one selling running app for a reason:  it is easy to use, offers community support if you want it, and tracks and stores your exact routes for you.  If you are training for a race or a serious runner, users say that the extra perks in the upgraded paid version are well worth it. 

Made for iPhone, Android and Blackberry 

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MyFitnessPal seems to be the clear favorite amongst everyone polled.  It is helpful not only for the fitness tracking aspect, but everyone polled mentioned how much they loved the food/diet aspect as well. From carb counting for diabetics to recipe ideas to complement your fitness goals, users love this app. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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JeFit is another fitness app that has rave reviews.  It not only tracks progress for you, but offers a huge database of workouts.  While many apps offer community support, JeFit allows you to sync workouts with friends who use the app, offering a (real) virtual buddy system.

Made for iPhone and Android

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Strava gets the highest mark of all the cycling apps.  While it is also great for runners, the cyclers seem particularly inclined towards the fierce competition that can be ignited by this app.  You can track all of your rides via GPS, then you can compare your efforts to those logged by others in the community on the same stretch of road.  You can also join ongoing challenges that can net you great prizes (in addition to bragging rights). 

Made for iPhone and Android

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YogaStudio gets the top vote for Yoga apps.  It has a lengthy collection of full class-length videos available at your fingertips.  Unlike many other apps, this one also allows you to customize your own video yoga class.  All of the poses are done by qualified yoga instructors, and you can find classes suitable for all levels of yogis.

Made for iPhone only

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SimplyBeing meditation app offers the best of both worlds.  You can choose to run this app as a background for your meditation with soothing music or natural sounds that run for a set amount of time.  Conversely, for those of you who have trouble focusing during meditation, you can choose a soothing voice-guided meditation. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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Fooducate is an app all about educating people so that they make healthier food choices.  Although not perfect, this app is easy to use (you can even take pictures of bar codes to instantly find foods in their database).  It gives food a letter grade, tells you the pluses and minuses, and gives you better ranked alternatives.  You can also use it as a weight loss tool by tracking your daily calories. 

Made for iPhone and Android


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