tag: picnik

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sometimes, i take terrible photos (see below).  lucky for me {and you!} there are plenty of ways to aid our poor photography skills!  i switch between a few programs when editing photos and working on posts, but one of the easiest, not to mention free, programs i use is picnik.com and today i’m going to walk you through editing some photos..

picnik tutorial

terrible photo number one.  this is me, with my bird nest in full mode.  it’s hard to be your own photographer sometimes, but i set up my tripod and give it my best go.  first things first, go to picnik.com and upload your photo.

picnik.com screen capture 2010-4-28-11-48-28

for my picture, the first thing i want to do is cut out all the excess surroundings- i.e. crop the photo.  at the top of picnik’s header, go to edit then crop. crop according to the size you would like, then hit ok.

picnik tutorial

whew! that’s better.  now for my favorite feature on picnik- the exposure tab! click on over to exposure, and since many of us won’t always have perfect lighting, here’s is where you can compensate for it.  generally, all my pictures look a bit better when i slide the exposure up, then slide the contrast up until it’s looks good. you’ll have to play with this back and forth, but it can make all the difference in your photo.  here the exposure is set to 24 and the contrast is set to 23.  hit ok when you’re done.

picnik tutorial

now it’s time for another setting that many photos can benefit from- the colors tab. if you want to bump the saturation (i.e. enhance the colors) here’s where you do that.  it’s easy to go overboard here, so make sure you’re only enhance the colors to where it looks like it does in real life.  many times, the camera or lighting can drone out the colors, so my goal is to only enhance photos until they look like the original again.  here, i bumped the saturation up to 13.  temperature can compensate for different color casts your photo may have.  sliding to the right makes it warmer, and sliding to the left makes it cooler.

picnik tutorial

finally, you can play with your photo!  picnik has hundreds of frames, stickers, effects and text features that you can doll up your photo with. here, i’ll keep it simple and add the word ‘flowers’.  click over on the create tab, then click on text.  type your desired text in the box (top left) and hit add. then, it’s simple to pick the color via the box on the right, and choose your font from the options on the left.

picnik tutorial

here’s the before and after! how thankful i am for picnik!

picnik tutorial

you can do tons of other things with picnik as well, for example, make simple collages. head over to the collages tab and choose your layout from the options at the left.  you can also choose at the bottom, where you would like your photos from (i.e. your computer, photo bucket, picasa web albums etc.).

picnik tutorial

from the list at the bottom of your screen, simply drag and drop your photos into the desired spots.  you can also edit the spacing between your photos and what color you wouldlike that spacing.  here i’ve chosen 4 for the spacing and white for the color. after you’re happy with your collage, hit done.

picnik tutorial

then, you can add effects, borders, text and the like to your finished collage!  here, i added a simple border.  click on create then hit frames. i then clicked on border from the list on the left.  i chose the color yellow for the outer border and white for the inner.  you can also edit the spacing and caption height.

picnik tutorial

and voila! a simple collage that looks great and only took about 3 minutes!


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