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Your photos just got rad.

So you might have heard that Picnik is closing.  This is sad for those of us who use it.  Really sad.  Why?  Picnik is free and offers a lot of great photo features.  I have Photoshop and I still choose to use Picnik a lot of the time because it produces great results and is so easy to use.  If you are a Picnik-er, you know what I’m talking about.  Some of the Picnik features are being moved to Picasa/Google+, but not all features, so people have been looking for an alternative.  Enter PicMonkey.  PicMonkey was created by a couple of the people who worked on Picnik and it has a lot of the same features, including the price: free.  I personally like the new format better and find it easier to navigate, which is saying something because Picnik was already pretty easy.  If you’ve been reading this thinking, “Huh, picnics and monkeys?  What?” don’t worry, this still applies to you.  I’m guessing you take digital photos and if you take digital photos, there are bound to be times you want to do some editing.  Even if that just means drawing a mustache on Aunt Gladys in the photo you took of her at the family reunion.

I thought I would give you a mini tour using a picture of mine so you can see just what it can do.  This photo is straight off the camera, unedited, and on the PicMonkey editing screen.

using PicMonkey | the hobby room diaries
I added the Orton effect here which intensified the colors and white balance.  You can see there are sliders to customize the amount of effect you want.
using PicMonkey | the hobby room diaries
Here is the Cross Process look which is one of the filters that gets used the most on Instagram and adds kind of a retro or advertising feel to the photo.
using PicMonkey | the hobby room diaries
This the Focal B&W feature which looks great here, but would look particularly nice on any photo of a child with a flower or a balloon or some such.
using PicMonkey on your photos | the hobby room diaries

This is Fancy Focus and this one is pretty similar to Focal B&W, but I like it better on this particular picture.  I’m sure you’ve noticed all along that the rest of these have had sliders to customize the effect, but this is the effect I really took advantage of them on.  Also, clicking on Fancy Focus prompted me to enter my e-mail to get a coupon for a discount on PicMonkey Royale which will be the paid service they introduce down the road, kind of like Picnik Premium.  I never had Picnic Premium because free Picnik was pretty great already, but if I recall, it only cost around $24 a year, so I’m guessing that PicMonkey’s premium service will be comparable.

using PicMonkey on your photos | the hobby room diaries

This is the Fancy Focus-ed picture Posterized and I think this one is kind of fun.  This might not be a great choice for your adorable kid pics, but it seems great for still-life photos.  I could be totally wrong though, so if you give it a try, I want to see posterized photos of your loved ones.

using PicMonkey on your photos | the hobby room diaries

The tagline on PicMonkey’s website says “Your photos just got rad.  You’re welcome.”  And to that I say, thank you PicMonkey, thank you, my photos are rad.  So get out there and make your photos rad, too.  And no, I am getting nothing from PicMonkey for this review, I just really think PicMonkey is, well, rad.


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  1. Thanks for taking the time to show how PicMonkey works and it really does look cool. The extent of my photo editing is snapping the picture, loading into iPhoto and applying the quick fix, but I like knowing I've got options 😉

  2. Alyssa Ann says:

    Thats awesome, I have been pulling my hair out since getting the email that picnik was closing down. I have lightroom but Picnik is SOOOO much easier to navigate/user friendly! So excited to try PicMonkey!


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