Monday, November 14, 2011

Editing Photos in Picnik

In Friday's post I briefly mentioned that I had edited all of the photos in Picnik.  If you've never used it, Picnik is a free, online photo-editing program.  Just upload your photo, edit, save, and you're done!  You can even print from Picnik.  I know, how sweet is that?  So today I thought I'd delve a little more into the world of Picnik.  This also gives me an excuse to post 23857 pictures of my dog.  ;)

So, here's the original photo.  It's not a bad one, but it could use a little touching up.  Note that Bear's ears are in the "I just heard the phrase 'do you want a treat?'" position.

I uploaded my photo into Picnik, cropped it a little, and then used the Auto Fix function.  This button is magic.  MAGIC, I tell you!  Just see for yourself:

Let me just say there are about a billion functions in Picnik, but I'm just going to highlight a few of my favorite effects that I use on a lot of the photos I take.  

This one is called 1960s.  It gives the photo that nice warm tone of those old photos you find in a shoebox in your mom's basement.  Because of the orange tinge, it's really great for picking up blues in your photos.  You can also opt to round the edges of your photo for an authentic look, or keep them squared.

This next one is called Cinema Scope.  This one also gives a nice warm, almost Sepia tone to your photos, and adds a slight film grain.  In this function, you can choose to letterbox your photo, which automatically zooms to focus the center of your picture.

This next one is called Cross-Process.  It gives that trendy greenish tinge that has been popping up on photos recently.  It's definitely one of my most-used effects.

Lomo-ish ups the contrast of your photo and also softens the photo from a central point (it's called a "bloom") while also adding in a soft black outer edge for a slightly telescopic effect. 

Orton-ish has a slightly similar effect, but adds even more contrast and brings up the highlights and softens a lot more.  It lends a dreamy, romantic look to photos.

Soften does just that - it softens your photo!  A tip: there's a brush function that un-softens (is that even a word?) wherever you want.  When dealing with a human or animal subject, I always un-soften the eyes.  A photographer friend once told me that if you take a picture and the entire thing is out of focus, but the eyes are in focus, your picture will always look... in focus! (I wasn't aware it was possible to use the word "focus" so many times in a sentence.  Sorry!)

And of course, you can always combine effects for a unique look.  In the below photo, I used Cross-Process at 50% fade, and then applied HDR-ish with a radius of 15, strength at 81%, and fade at 0%.

So have you used Picnik before?  If not, hop on over and check it out!  I'd love to see what you come up with!

1 comment:

Lacie Josephine said...

What an awesome program!