Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Photography Notes: Editing Tips

When I started this little photography series a month ago, I'd planned to show you some photo-editing tips using a free program called Picnik.  In the last week or so, Picnik has announced that they are discontinuing service April 1st. : (

I'm still going to show you how to use Picnik today, because it is a great way to get used to tweaking your photos even for just a couple months and I think you could transfer what you learn.  I will be on the lookout for a comparable replacement and hopefully share with you in the future. Maybe I'll even share about Photoshop Elements...

So I love to use Picnik for casual editing because it is so user-friendly and it's esp. nice for blogging, because it automatically re-sizes pictures, making them easy to quickly upload. 

So first, go to  You find a screen like this.  
Click on the "upload a photo" button and locate your picture file you want to edit.

My photo shows up like this.  It needs to be rotated.  The rotate feature is under "Basic Edits". 

 I also often use the "Straighten" pictures to right pictures that are slightly wonky.

 My next step is usually to go to "Sharpen" and adjust the "Clarity".  Here I adjusted to 23%, which is kind-of high.  Usually 12% or 15% is a enough to crisp the image just right.

 Then I go to "Exposure" (also under "Basic Edits").  Here, it's just time to play around.  For this photo I put my Exposure to 4; Highlights to 11; Shadows to 0; Contrast to 19.  Usually I do a little less highlight and contrast.

 Now go to "Effects".  My go to effect is "Cross Process"  When you first click on it, your photo will look like this.

 So I fade Cross Process down to 91%.  This is about right for most images to brighten them and add a little drama without turning them yellow.

Sometimes, I'll use the "Vingette" effect. But take the size down to 32%, Strength to 0% and Fade to 73%, for just a touch of framing.

 Since we're here I'll show you how I add the white border for my picture gallery.
Go to the "Frames" tab under "Edit" and choose "Border".   The Border color is auto-black, so click on the color square which will open up your color options from which you can choose white. 

Then put both the Outer and Inner Thickness to 100%. This will give you a nice thick border.  Like I use {HERE}.

 Finally, go the the "Save & Share" tab to save your image.  Always save it as a copy!

Whew!  I hope that was a little helpful.  Perhaps at least a place to get your feet wet if you've never done much editing before. 

In other news, hurray for February!  So glad it's here, it's such a lovely month.
Time to get a little Valentine's cheer about the house. : )


  1. I look forward to your blog posts and am also really sad that Picnik is going away. Please keep us updated if you find a similar program!


  2. Thank you so much for the tips! I'm so sad that Picnik is going away, but I'll definitely be using these tips anyway!


  3. Great tips!

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  4. do you know of any other free photo editing sites?

    1. I heard that Google+ is going to put out something similar...I hope it will be just as easy!

  5. can't wait to see your sweet Valentine decor!

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  7. I LOVE using Picnik & I LOVE the cross process effect! I'm super sad they are shutting down! I've been thinking about purchasing Photoshop Elements, so I would LOVE a little tutorial on it!

  8. you are GOOD, girlie! and let me know what you find as a replacement for picnik. hopefully something will be just as good. thanks for the great tips!

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  10. I recently was introduced to Picnik and I was sad to hear that their services will be ending, too! Thank you for the tips.... it is always fun learning new things!

  11. I'm sorry you're losing a favorite program! If you are a Mac girl, nearly all of the same features are available on iPhoto. You can also do more advanced editing with the programs that come with the camera--if you shoot a Canon. (can't remember what you said you use, sorry!) I'm still learning these programs as my hubbs just gave me the Canon EOS 600D of my dreams. :) But their capabilities are awesome.

  12. i am sooo sad that picnik is closing! i was told by a friend who's husband works at google that Google+ will have something very similar. i sure hope so! :)

  13. Still loving this series. I'm always excited when I see it in my inbox :) Pinning these ideas to my photo board. Thanks!!