photo edit.

Let me just start out by saying that I am not a professional photographer. At all. I like taking pictures and I like making them look good.

A reader of mine recently posted a question:
What program do you use to edit your photos, make collages and most importantly, how do you "round the edges" of your photos?

So, Johanna, here's my secret--I use picnik.com. I stumbled on this website 5 months ago or so, took a browse around it, and bought a membership. I can't remember how much I spent on it, but you can get a year membership for $24.95. With that, you can use all the Premium features of the website.   I like it because it's easy to manage and I like how simple it is to add a personal touch to it.

Here's some of my picnik work using the premium setting {again, I am by no means a professional-why else do you think I edit all my pictures?}

01. Here is a straight out of the camera shot of my sister, Laura, and I in 2007 in Seattle. 

02. Picnik has a feature that allows you to 'auto-fix' every shot.

03.Did you see that Laura has her camera in the bottom of the shot? That got cropped right out of the shot--now the picture is 4x6 which would make it easy to put in a frame {which I also love to do}.

04. Our faces are really shiny, so I used the "shine-be-gone" to dull that down a little.

05. Like I said, it's so easy to personalize your photos, so with this one I added text and rounded the edges {found under Frames}.

Let me show you another photo I edited, focusing mainly on faces this time--

01. The straight from camera shot of Chad and I at my cousin's wedding in 2007.
02. I used autofix again, but as you can see, nothing really changed.

03. That's when I had to go in and adjust the contrast and the exposure. I always just play around with these settings until I'm satisfied.

04. My next step is to use the 'shine-be-gone' setting {seriously Amanda, meet a powder brush} and I do a little airbrushing just to smooth our faces {not too much because I don't want it to look unnatural.}

05. The final step that I do is whiten our teeth {again, not too much since I want a natural look} and round those edges again.

Picnik is a perfect editing tool for me--it's easy to navigate, which I love. There is a lot of unnecessary things on the website {like Pixelate and making the shot into a Puzzle}, but I've never had any problems with it. You don't have to round every single corner of your pictures like I do, but I just like the old-school look of rounded edges. It's something that you can use if you're into editing but don't want {or have the funds} to invest in Photoshop.

Anyone else use Picnik out there? What are your thoughts on it?

P.S. Thanks Johanna for the question! If anyone else has any questions about editing or anything in general, please ask---I like it!


bethany said...

I adore Picnik and use both it and Picasa each for different functions. Picasa I find easier to change fill lights and highlights if I find myself in a desperately dark situation, but it lacks the ability to do anything "pretty" like the rounded corners that I so love, or add more creative looking text like Picnik can do. Picnik is clearly the best free choice out there...I specifically love that it's web-based and requires no downloading...something that is endlessly helpful if one blogs from several different computers depending on where you find yourself inspired!

Love that you're a Picnik lover, too! :)

Johanna said...

Amanda, thanks for the awesome and detailed answer- I've done a little bit with picnik but bnow that I see that you can do moe with it, I'm gonna give it a better look. Thanks so much for this!
Happy 4 more days till Christmas!!!

Emily Ryan said...

I totally am in love with Picnik! It's so nice to be able to edit your photos without a large expense!

MoreThanMyOwnLife said...

I love love love Picnik! I just used it yesterday to make a new Christmas background for the laptop. It is so much fun to play around with and very user friendly.


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