Letters To The Editor: What Editors Really Want To Buy

Have you ever seen something in a newspaper and felt the urge to write to the editor about it?

You know, a kind of ‘Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells’ type piece?

Well, if you have, you could turn that enthusiasm into a very simple way to make money from writing…. by writing letters to the editor. Because writing letters is one of the simplest ways to make money from writing there is.

Actually, you might not know it but the editors of most newspapers and magazines are pretty desperate for letters to the editor and will be glad if you write to them!

(And here’s an interesting fact for you. Apparently the term dates back to the 1950s. The editor of the Tunbridge Wells Advertiser was so desperate for readers’ letters that he asked his staff to write in. Horrified at having to do this and not wanting to reveal their real name for obvious reasons one simply signed his letter ‘Disgusted, Tunbridge Wells’!)

If you do want to make some cash by writing letters to the editor there is a bit of a strategy to it….

Firstly, don’t send letters out willy-nilly. Research each publication’s requirements for letters to the editor and write accordingly. Start with magazines and newspapers you read yourself, so you can see exactly what’s needed. (Not all publications pay for letters to the editor so, obviously, check that they do before sending anything!)

Send the type of letter that the editor is looking for. For example, is the tone of the letters that are published mainly serious or humorous or whatever? If that’s the usual type of letter used make sure you follow that style.

Also, many newspapers and especially magazines have a special theme for letters they like to publish. Such as a ‘tip of the week’, ‘my real life story’, ‘a funny thing happened to me’ and so on. If it’s a serious newspaper they might be looking for political letters, or travel letters, or sports-related letters. You’ll obviously stand a better chance of getting published if you follow that theme.

If you’re writing in response to something that’s recently been published, even better.

One thing…. not many editors are looking for really vitriolic, vent-your-spleen type letters. Middle of the road letters tend to be sought after. So although it’s good if you’re passionate about what you’re writing on keep everything fairly civil and good-natured.

A few tips on length: Letters to the editor, ironically, aren’t usually edited. You should try to write a letter that editors can just cut and paste into the page. And keep them concise. Many editors like letters under 100 words and have very little use for letters over 300 words.

One more tip. A growing number of newspapers and especially magazines are also looking for photos to go with letters they publish. This might be a photo of you or something related to your letter. You know the sort of thing…. Are You Being Framed style photos of your cat chasing a Rottweiler and so on. Always try to include a photo if they publish them, as you can make twice as much money in some cases. (In fact, have a look through your photo albums. If you have any photos that you could write a letter around that’s a very easy way to get started.)

If you find a publication that likes your letters then write more letters to them from time to time. They’ll usually be glad to keep paying you if your letters are good.

How Be A Good Photo Editor Without Photoshop?

Everyone wants to be good in what he or she does. To become the best is impossible without particular knowledge, certain skills and much practice. What if you want to be the best photo editor without Photoshop knowledge?

Photoshop is undoubtedly an extremely professional and complex tool to study. But nowadays a lot of other tools available online completely free can allow you to be an excellent photo editor even without it. Wanna know how? Here we go.

A Routine of a Photo Editor

If you are a person who is a specialist in charge of illustrations in some periodical or at website, you often need to urgently handle the pictures, and to install Photoshop I may be neither possible nor desirable at the eleventh hour, even if you are well familiar with the tool and have excellent skills using it.

Newspapers, magazines and websites always need photo illustrations, just like they need photographers or designers, and copywriters. However, an editor not only is looking for photos, collects them, edits and proofs, but it’s a person who is involved in the process of an article creation, builds a number of illustrative ways to explain the idea of the text and gives it an additional meaning, emotional content and so on. An experienced photo editor has a well established communication and management of photographers environment, works with them, formulates the tasks for them.

Well, if you call yourself an expert, you probably know that a photography and a photo editing are the two essential components of photojournalism. The higher the level of each of them, the better the result is. And a good photo editor contributes to the photographer much.

Editor evaluates the quality of the images, is involved in the post production of the product, in other words, co-sponsors and manages editing and photography.

Unfortunately, in modern practice, photo editors may sometimes be refereed to ordinary photographers, moderators or illustrators. Although the level of a professional photo editor presupposes much more. He or she must have not only the taste and erudition, but also know a lot about the art of photography, enjoy imaginative thinking, understand the laws of fine arts and design and be able to use modern tools like Photoshop, etc. Sometimes even graphic designers, designers with a good education in the humanities that work as editors but do not use Adobe Photoshop are prejudiced. There are at least a few ways out of this situation to prove they can be the best even without much Photoshop obsession.

9 Free Editors to Process Photos Without Photoshop

In fact, many of us are faced with the need to process variety of images in variety of life situations. As a rule, Photoshop program is needed for the most basic image editing options which is not quite cheap and not cheap. That is why there are programs that allow professional photo editing without spending time and money on Photoshop. If you occasionally need to crop the photo, or make a collage, there are many free alternatives (software and online services), that will do even if you are a professional. In order to make your life easier, we will talk about 9 most popular free editors for processing photos and being a good editor without Photoshop.

1. PhotoFiltre

This is an excellent and pretty universal editor for the Windows operating system. If you’ve ever used Photoshop, you will notice the similarity of its user interface and PhotoFiltre. This editing software is suitable for both the beginners and advanced users. Despite some “cut-down” set of features, PhotoFiltre can replace Photoshop easily. Of course, this excludes the editor user control for some tools, but leaves enough room for playing with color, saturation and other effects. If the number of possible filters will seem clearly insufficient, there is an opportunity to expand them by connecting additional plug-ins (you can find them on the website of the developer on demand).

Advantages: levels, a lot of color correction and light / shadow options.
Disadvantages: layers, appropriate tools settings.
Comparative characteristic: if Photoshop gets a 10, PhotoFiltre then gets 6.

2. Photoscape

This one is a free photo editor, performing standard features to view and edit images. Most likely, this program will be much sought after by the female audience, thanks to all kinds of filters, frames, etc. You can create interesting collages and postcards. In Photoscape, you will find one of the simplest interfaces you’ve ever seen. Therefore, even a 6-year old child can deal with it easily.

Advantages: it takes up little space on your hard drive, batch photo processing, simplicity.
Disadvantages: suitable for basic, non-professional operations mostly.
Comparative characteristic: if Photoshop gets 10, then Photoscape receives 5.

3. Paint.NET

It is impossible to ignore such amazing graphics editor as Paint.NET. After analyzing the huge amount of readers’ comments on various forums and sites dedicated to photo editing, it’s possible to come to the conclusion that the Paint.NET is a real find. Despite the fact that a step-by-step installation of Paint.NET is a real bore, this editor still can compete with Photoshop at the proper level. By installing this program, you can adjust and create gradient layers, use a large assortment of effects and filters. Even a novice user will cope with the instrument panels and palettes which are very similar.

Advantages: layers, full-featured toolbar levels.
Disadvantages: sophisticated color correction, and certain tools.
Comparative characteristic: if Photoshop gets 10, the Paint. NET receives a solid 8!

4. GIMP

Many people like this photo editor very much. Today, GIMP is available for most operating systems (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, etc.). Since its start (launched in 1995) GIMP has taken its place among the competitors, and even surpassed Photoshop in some ways according to the numerous users. The interface is clear and simple. This is an editor that allows you to easily cope with such tasks as: program formation, the development of animations, image processing, preparation of graphics for WEB-pages, registration of printing products and many other things. Not bad, huh? GIMP is almost nothing to criticize, because there is simply no better free Photoshop alternative at the moment than this one.

Advantages: the”lighting” effect, a complete set of brushes.
Disadvantages: Adjustment layer, some preview moments.
Comparative characteristic: if Photoshop gets 10, GIMP receives 11! Since it provides the users with 90% of Photoshop features completely free. Fair enough.

5. Aviary

Meet the brand new editor online. Aviary is an editing software for devices based on Android, which offers basic options and the ability to import photos from photo sharing site such as Flickr, Picasa, and a variety of social media sites, such as Facebook. Editor offers four applications with fun ‘bird’ names. Before downloading one of them, you need to decide: what with and how you want to work. If you need to prepare a photo for a social network, choose a simplified version of Photoshop – ‘Phoenix’, thanks to which you will be able to use a tone correction, insert text, overlay different layers, etc. The remaining 3 applications are suitable for those whose interests are not limited to basic ways of photo processing. Vector Editor ‘Raven’ will help in the creation of drawings, lines and diagrams. ‘Peacock’ is characterized by its developers as a “visual laboratory” and looks pretty interesting. But you run the risk to get lost in a variety of settings and elements. Finally, ‘Toucan’ is useful for the graphic design. With this editor you can find the right color palette for the site, and even evaluate the accessibility of the site (!) especially for people with different forms of colorblindness. Choose and test what you like!

Advantages: toolbar, filters, keyboard shortcuts.
Disadvantages: it depends on the type of application.
Comparative characteristic: if Photoshop gets 10, the AVIARY Phoenix – 9, AVIARY Peacock – from 2 to 8 (depending on how much time you can spend studying the editor), AVIARY Raven – 5 and AVIARY Toucan – 6.

6. Splashup

This is another member of the online editors family. Generally, Splashup interface is similar to the Photoshop interface. However, it should be noted that the service functionality is considerably inferior to Photoshop. But if you want to quickly process images without clever effects, Splashup will do. This editor can be called ‘Photoshop: Light version.’ Very light version.

Advantages: not overloaded with unnecessary menus, work with layers, cross-platform.
Disadvantages: the levels, vibrations.
Comparative characteristic: if Photoshop gets 10, then Splashup gets 7.

7. Cinepaint

This is a GIMP close relative, primarily focused on the image editing for films and animation. And it is worth noting that in this area Cinepaint is excellent. Besides, Cinepaint is a powerful image editor. In general, there is much to work with.

Advantages: much-improved interface (as compared with GIMP), a lot of different interesting effects.
Disadvantages: a small number of filters.
Comparative characteristic: if Photoshop gets 10, then Cinepaint gets 7.

8. flauntR

This is perhaps one of the weakest competitors of Photoshop. Despite the quite considerable number of functions, this editor has still not enough instruments for a more “serious” image processing. But if you’re just starting to learn the basics of editing, try flauntR. You can create a themed compositions, emulate surfaces and materials and understand the other decorative effects.

Advantages: ease of use.
Disadvantages: the toolbar filters.
Comparative characteristic: if Photoshop gets 10, then flauntR gets only 4.

9. FotoFlexer

This fast online service for image processing causes only positive emotions. The plain editor is perfect for basic operations, such as creating collages, simple image editing, etc. Of course, it cannot be compared to Photoshop, but it’s simply due to the fact that its developers never pursued such idea, indeed.

Advantages: ‘magic stick’, Liquify, and other easy-to-use filters.
Disadvantages: settings, “brush” equivalent.
Comparative characteristic: if Photoshop gets 10, then FotoFlexer receives 5.

Of course, there are many other software solutions you can come across on the web, designed especially for photo editing, and which can help you in your every day photo editor’s routine for both individual and professional use and still make a good editor of you.

Do not forget to consider and use Picnic, Pixen, Pixia, ChocoFlop, Krita, iPiccy and others. It’s hard to say if they are worthy of professional editors attention, but a detailed description, and use would improve your skills and enrich your knowledge anyway. You might get bored as there’s nothing special, except their capabilities similar to FotoFlexer, Splashup etc., but still they are not Photoshop to learn and use. So, go ahead! Now that you know even more Photoshop alternatives, it will be easier to be a good photo editor and cope with your daily editing routine!

Digital Photo Editing Software For Free

Part of the fun of taking digital photos is editing the final version using software to get the exact final result you want. There several great free software programs from the simple to the advanced that can help any amateur photographer. Here’s my top four picks for free photo editing software, based on what type of editing you want to accomplish.

Ifranview – both Editor and Viewer

Probably the quickest to learn and easiest to use for basic cropping, adjusting colors, and basic special effects is called Ifranview. It’s been around for years and if you just want to crop, or rotate, change the format, or fine tune the color balance of any digital photo, this is an excellent choice. Extremely simple but also easier to learn than any other photo editing software. It’s small in size, fast in operation, and can be used as a slide viewer too.

Photoscape – Free Easy To Learn Photo Editor with Lots of Features

If you want to get down to pixel editing and making advanced changes Photoscape is a very good choice. It is loaded with features and also very easy to learn. Photoscape has several modules for different editing chores that include a viewer, editor, batch processor, converter, layout print tool, screen capture, combining photos, and even a face search feature. This is a great photo editing software for kids, ages 8 and up.

GIMP – Only For the Serious Amateur

For the serious amateurs who need powerful photo editing functions, GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a raster graphics editor that provides high-end functionality. Much like the commercial Adobe Photoshop software, you can do many sophisticated editing tasks with GIMP. In development since 1995, it is available on just about any platform including the MAC OS. The features are extensive which means there is a serious learning curve too. But for serious armatures it’s a great choice and can provide many of the same abilities of popular and expensive popular photo editing software. But there is also a ton of tutorials and help forums that can get a new user up to speed quickly.

Picasa – Best Combo Photo Editor And Online Sharing

And if you want to both edit and share your photos online, Google has an online application called Picasa. One of the many new online applications Google has brought out in the past few years, Picasa has many features and is very easy to learn and use. You can edit your photos, then organize into web albums and share with anyone online with the Picasa Web Albums application. This also gives you a great way to backup photos just in case disaster strikes your home computer. You can also order hard prints and even different items with photos printed on them as gifts.

All of the software above has some good features and provide the novice with a good free solution for photo editing. You can find their website by searching by name at Google (too many links to put in article). All of the software programs have a lot of support and it’s fairly easy to find any answers to questions online. Some provide tutorials, some don’t even need tutorials they are so easy to learn and use.

With the holidays rapidly approaching, it’s time to get out the digital camera and start taking pictures. Even when you don’t get the perfect photo, you can go in and make any changes or improvements with this great list of free photo editing software.