Programs for taking pictures: Would you like to be able to take pictures with your PC webcam and customize them with lots of fun effects? Are you tired of Instagram and are you looking for new applications to edit the shots you’ve taken with your smartphone? Glad to inform you that you have come to the right place at the right time.
Here are some unmissable ones programs to take pictures that will allow you to take pictures with your computer webcam, enrich them with many effects – both artistic and fun – and share them online with your friends. We will also see some apps for Android and iOS that allow you to meticulously adjust the appearance of the photos and apply effects of various kinds in a really simple way.
What else to say? Start taking a look at the list below and find out which software is best for you. There are both free and paid commercial ones (downloadable at no cost for a limited time trial). In short, you will be spoiled for choice: this is little but sure!
Webcam Toy (Online)
Toy webcam is a very popular web service that allows you to take photos with your PC webcam and enrich them with many different effects, from artistic Instagram-style ones to deforming ones that give an ironic touch even to the most serious shots. It works from any browser with Flash Player support and does not require registration.
To use it, connected to its home page and click on the button Ready? You smile! Then press on Allow to authorize the site to access your webcam and scroll through all the available effects using the arrows located at the bottom. If you want a more complete overview, you can view multiple effects at the same time by pressing the button More effects.
When you find the effect you like best, strike a pose and click on the icon camera (bottom right) to take your shot. The resulting image can be posted on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr using the appropriate “social” buttons or saved locally on the PC by clicking on the button Save (bottom right).
Pixlr-o-matic (Online / Android / iOS)
Pixlr-o-matic is another web service that allows you to take pictures with the webcam and enrich them with many different effects. Perhaps it is slightly less complete than Webcam Toy but it is absolutely worth a try, on the other hand it is free, does not require registration and works on all browsers with Flash Player support. It is also available as a free app for Android And iOS.
To take your photos with Pixlr-o-matic connected to the home page of the service and first presses the button Webcam and then on Allow (to authorize the activation of the webcam). Then pose and take a picture using the button with the icon camera located at the bottom right.
When the operation is completed, click on arrow and choose one of the effects available at the bottom of the screen. When you have found an effect you like, apply it by clicking on its preview and go to the next step by clicking on the icon arrow located at the bottom right.
Then choose whether to enrich your image with one of the additional effects available on the site (eg light beams), click again on the arrow which is located at the bottom right and choose whether to apply one frame to your shot. After this step too, first press on arrow at the bottom right, then on the icon computer and the image will be automatically downloaded to your PC (after you give it a name).
Photo Booth (Mac)
When it comes to programs to take pictures it is impossible not to immediately think of Photo Booth, the historic Apple application included by default in all versions of OS X (the Mac operating system). It is so intuitive that it would be useless to dwell on its functioning.
It starts up, you choose one of the effects available in the appropriate menu and take your own photo by pressing the button with the icon of camera. The final image is saved on the Mac, in the program’s library, ready to be copied and used wherever you want.
Cyberlink YouCam (Windows)
There are not many valid alternatives to Photo Booth for Windows, especially in the free sector. One of the few software that comes close to Apple’s for completeness and ease of use YouCam by Cyberlink which, unfortunately, is not free. It is available in a trial version lasting 30 days (which offers the download of annoying promotional content, fortunately avoidable) and then costs around 30 euros.
To try the trial version of YouCam, connected to the program’s website and first click on the button Download now which is at the bottom of the page and then on the button Download present in the next screen. Then start the executable CyberLink_YouCam_Downloader.exe and click on Yup.
At this point, remove the check mark from the item Including Norton products to avoid the download of additional promotional software (not harmful to the system but useless for the purpose of the application) and click on the button Start to start downloading YouCam installation files.
At the end of the download (approximately 325MB of data will be downloaded), click on Yup to start the YouCam setup and accept the conditions of use of the software by pressing on Forward And I accept. Then remove the check from the entry for Google Toolbar (to avoid installation) and click in sequence on Go out, Start YouCam And Try now to start using the application. If you are asked to participate in a software usage data collection program, check the item No thanks and press on Confirmation to move forward. If you are subsequently asked to register, skip the procedure by pressing Skip registration.
At this point, you are free to take your photos with YouCam. How? I believe there is no need for too many explanations. You can browse effects and scenarios available in the program using the tabs located at the top right, while to take the shot just click on the button with the icon of thetarget.
VSCO Cam (Android / iOS)
It is one of the best app to take photos currently available on Android and iOS. It not only allows you to take pictures in a very simple way (that you can also do with the default Camera app of the Apple and Google operating systems), but also to retouch them in a meticulous way.
It includes a wide range of artistic Instagram-style effects but in addition it also offers the possibility to manually control all the parameters related to color, brightness, exposure etc. This mix of features makes it an attractive solution for both photography enthusiasts and “common users” looking for filters to easily embellish their shots.
VSCO Cam can be downloaded for free from Google Play And App Store but to unlock all the filters you need to make in-app purchases ranging from around 2 euros to 7 euros (depending on the effect packs you want to buy).