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Flickr and Picnik: Online photo editing made even easier

It's go time in the world of online photo editing. Flickr has joined the party with a selection of on-screen options that allow you to monkey with your pictures

It's all go at Flickr at the moment. Having just tweaked their maps and launched a new uploader application for beta testing, the popular photo-sharing site has debuted photo editing capabilities right there in your Flickr account.

Clicking the new 'edit photo' link above each image prompts you to allow Picnik to connect with your account. You then get a selection of options to monkey with your picture however your want. There are slightly more options than Google's Picasa application, which you download to your desktop. As well as sophisticated resizing and cropping options, you can use sliders to alter exposure, contrast, sharpening and assorted levels.

Premium options require a paid upgrade. Paying £13.50 will give you access to advanced save and undo options, more fonts, shapes and clipart, and advanced editing options like unsharp masks, tweakable settings and effects like Predator-style heat vision. When we tried it, however, the premium option photo filters actually worked on our photos, even though we hadn't paid a dime. Yoink!

It's an interesting time for online photo editing. Paint.NET and Gimp continue to be mentioned as viable online -- and free -- alternatives to Photoshop. Gimp does have a needlessly complicated installation process, the streamlining of which would surely bring out the gimp in many more users.

We were also impressed by FotoFlexer fiendishly clever 'seam carving' image resizing technique. Speech bubble-adding photo site PhotoCrank has also recently added support for Safari, which is great news for at least three people. With all these options to choose from, we're off to take some more photos. -Rich Trenholm