Thursday, February 16, 2012

Iconic Picnik Effects

Clear skies, full heart . . . can't lose.  

Coach Taylor got it right and I adapted it for my photography purposes.  After watching the final season of FNL and finding myself in the pleasant world of happy endings, I edited a few of the Golden Gate Bridge shots from the movie tour.  I was happy, the sky was happy, and all seemed right in the world.  

I'm admittedly a dunce when it comes to PhotoShop.  I tried Corel PaintPro for a while because we had the software, and I was able to make minimally better edits.  Then I adopted a full Google approach to blogging and it changed the way I blog.  I upload my pics to Picasa, edit in Picnik and pull into Blogger.  Then . . . Picnik announced it was closing.  BUT, all the functionality will be available in Google+.  So, the next round of uploads that I do, I'll be uploading pics to G+, editing in G+ and then pulling into Blogger.  I'm a huge fan because all of those tools are free.  Music to my little ears.

Now, I edited these in Picnik, but remember that all of the actions are still available in G+.  First, I'll show you the Straight out of the camera (SOOC) shot, then I'll show you the edited shot detailing which action(s) I applied.  For someone without the bandwidth to sit down and actually learn/pay money for editing software, this is a super convenient way to bump up the power of my shots.  Could I do better on my own with a little dedication and education?  Maybe, but for now I'm content with the results.


1960's Edit
I'm digging the color bump in the bridge and the fade across the sky.  Rounded corners without my thumb going numb punching corners? Yes, please.  For practical uses, I'm thinking of greeting cards with a message in the sky. It also would have been cool for moving announcements.


Lomo-ish Edit
What I like about this is that the sky and the bridge suddenly come alive.  The brick wall and the seagull in the foreground take a more prominent role.  I think this would be a cool gallery wrap.  I picture this gallery wrap above a black enamel parsons desk and some mod office accessories.   Really, the colors are just making me chair dance because they're so happy.


Boost and Vignette Edit
I wanted the colors to pop to dramatize the patriotic feel so I boosted first.  Buuuuuut, it was too POW at first and there wasn't a lot of interest outside of the middle of the photo.  I played around with a few other actions and then started layering them.  The vignette action seemed right to me for the aesthetic I was going for - focusing on the subject and adding a layer of interest.

CinemaScope and Sepia Edit
After my first edit, I just wasn't done.  I loved the colors but wanted to make edits that would focus more on the subject.  I wound up edited all of the color out.  With the Sepia tones, the focus becomes the flag and bridge's relationship.  The CinemaScope edit further focused the photograph with a crop and slight frame.

Anybody else using free editing software?  What's your favorite action?


  1. Ohh, love the boost and vignette edit with the flag/bridge. Actions are fun :)

  2. Hi Melinda,

    Thanks for the effects walk-through. I LOVE the black & white Golden Gate photo with the flag, it looks so bold!

    I stopped by because I saw that you were talking about Picnik closing. I just wanted to give you a sneak peak at a photo editing project that some former Picnik employees are working on: PicMonkey. We haven't launched yet, but you can bet it will be sooner than you can shake a monkey tail at. We'll launch with all the favorite features and the rest will surely follow.

    Sign up and we’ll keep you updated on a launch date. Also, feel free to send me your feedback, feature requests, and, of course, any questions you have!