Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Picnik Online Photo Manipulation

Picnik is an online photo manipulation program that allows you to do quite a few "fixes" and "effects" quickly and easily. It can be used as a free program and you do not even have to register. Of course, you can also get a paid version with a yearly subscription that gives you a few extra effects. However, if you have a photo that you want to do a quick fix and are not on your computer with your photo manipulation program, you can quickly and easily do it in Picnik. It is the most user friendly online program I have found. Even the free version is more comprehensive than most other programs.

I did a quick red eye fix in the following photo using the free version of Picnik:

When I saw how easy that was, I thought I would try some other things. My friend, Walter Zimmerman, took several photos of my son's jazz performance with his band at a local café. (I will be writing about that more in another post, including photos, but I still have to view all the photos -- 3 CDs worth -- and choose which ones to upload). I did take one of the photos and played with it. It is one of the nicer photos I have come across of my son and me. I cropped it, added the polaroid border, and some text:

Having a lot of fun with this, I decided to try a few more effects and fixes. I have a photo that I may be working from as a reference for a portrait (I have not decided which of the dozens of photos I will actually be working from). I purposely scanned it without cleaning my scanner bed so there were some glitches on the image. I then cropped and cleaned up the image in Picnik.

Original photo

Blemishes fixed

Vibrance added

Sepia added

There are many more effects and fixes that can be used in the free version. If you want to upgrade to the full version, it is only $24.95/year and it gives you a few more things to play with.

All in all, I am pretty impressed with application. Of course, you cannot compare it to Photoshop or other high end applications. However, for quick fixes and a few fun effects this is a pretty powerful and accessible application. It gives you several options for saving your final image, including saving it directly to Picassa, Facebook, MySpace, and others, and, of course, back onto your computer.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful tip Ana!! Have you tried is remarkably similar to Photoshop...and it's free! The photos are great by the way!