Taking a so-so Photo and Making it a Great Photo
So you take a photo and download it to your computer only to find it didn’t come out as you had hoped – lighting’s not good, it’s crooked, washed out or it’s too dark, not a lot of vivid colors. We’ve all been there, but there is hope and that is where Picnik comes to the rescue!
Below you will see how I took a bleached out, crooked photo and turned it into a great photo....
1. Go to Picnik and you will see “upload photo” – you can upload up to 6 at a time - hold the CTRL key and pick your photos.
2. Now you’ll see all six photos – click on the one you want to edit and it automatically brings it into edit mode – see option bar above your photo.
3. If your photo is crooked, click the “Rotate” icon. You will see in my example below that I needed this feature. Now you will see a “Rotate” and a “Straighten” bar – (Ignore ROTATE – that’s not what you want.) slide the straighten bar until your photo is perfectly straight using the automatic graph that pops up.
4. Next you can “Re-size” – I like 900 horizontal - (Picnic automatically proportions the photo) so I don’t lose clarity, but that’s just me.
5. Next I “Crop” if necessary – you can always undo this but I crop most of my photos for better detail of my subject.
6. Next, go to “Exposure” and “Colors” icons– (again, they are found above your photo.) I always start with "exposure" and play around with it and then go to "colors". (You can use Auto Fix on the left side, but I usually don’t like the results and do it manually – you learn more this way.
7. Play around with it until you get the feel – you can always click the “Undo” button on the right side if you don’t like it and start over. (I don’t use “Sharpen”, haven’t had great results.)
8. When you are done editing your photo, click on “Create”. To keep this simple this is where I add my signature by clicking on “Text” – 3 icons over from the left and a box appears. Choose a font and color and write your text. It will appear in the middle of your photo - drag it to where you want it to go and click outside the box and you’re done.
9. Next you can Frame it (click the “Frame” icon – 6 over from the left – again, above your photo. I usually use “Museum Matte”, but there are plenty of options so play around with it until you find one you like – again, you always have the option to “Undo” and start again.
10. Now click on “Save and Share” and download your new photo back to your computer. You should now have a framed, beautiful photo that you love. The more you do this, the better you get at it – trust me on this one!
First I straightened and cropped and then the fun part....
While still in edit mode, I used "Exposure" making the photo darker and added "Contrast". Next I enhanced my picture using "colors" which brings up "Saturation" and "Temperature". When I was done I hit "Okay" icon on the left side, Then I clicked "Create" and added my signature and frame (Museum Mate) and changed the inside color to green for effect.
Here is the final result....
One more example - same process...
These are the basics and I'll do another more technical post on enhancing your photos in the future, but you will get outstanding results with the information I've given you!
Best of luck to all and I’ll be on the lookout for some fantastic photos from all of you!