Friday, May 09, 2008

Picniking with lily of the valley

You all know that I love to play with my photos... a couple times people have asked what editing tricks I use. I've been hesitant to share any techniques because, well... I just play around with Photoshop until I find something that I like. Let's face it: Photoshop is cost-prohibitive and really-frickin'-complicated, so I don't see the point in trying to explain the little bit that I've figured out.

At any rate, just today I came across a free site that offers many similar effects without the multiple steps that I normally resort to and even some that I hadn't been able to figure out on my own with Photoshop. It's free and painless with
Picnik. Have a look at what I was able to do in just a couple minutes with this shot of a lily of the valley from my garden; I must have taken 3 dozen pics, none of which I was happy with:

Auto-fixed for color

Vignetting effect to add focus; an improvement I think.

Holga-ish; I love this and know it would involve multiple steps in Photoshop. This is my favorite of the lot and perfect for the subject-matter.

Inverted lomo-ish effect; certainly different!

Focal black and white + focal soften; there's potential in this effect, but this isn't the right photo for it, I don't think.

Have some fun... share the results... get creative with your pics!


Jayne said...

That's the wonderful thing about so many photo editing software programs. They adjust things for our lack of skill. We have Photoshop too and like you, it most of the time boggles my mind. This is a nice alternative! Love the effects you did with your flower Laura. :c)

Anonymous said...

Picnik is a lot of fun to play with! I do most of my photo editing in iPhoto (which is what I use to store -- but not organize because I'm not organized enough -- my photos). There are some amazingly simple tools available for use with photos that add to the fun of taking and sharing photos! Thanks for sharing some of your thoughts.

Dr. Know said...

Don't forget that there are also over 10,000 image processing plug-ins for Photoshop as well. The learning curve is endless. ;-)

On another note, since a lot of botanical types visit here, can anyone here identify this blooming tree; grows in Washington State, blooms in May?

Thanks, and nice Convallaria majalis, Laura.

KGMom said...

Ooooo a whole new place to play around with photos.
I think the only time I have wondered what you do is when you give a photo that lovely gauzy effect.
My son gave me a lesson, so if I were closer to him I would take "weekly" lessons.

John said...

I use GIMP for my photo editing. Unlike Photoshop it's free and open-source, but unfortunately it's just as complicated.

I'll have to try out Picnik.

Rabbits' Guy said...

OK OK .. what's the Washington tree .. hard to tell from the photo but there is sure not one close by here. Pretty thing! So is the Lily of the valley.

Adobe PhotoDeluxe Home Edition 3.0 came with Windows Me and it is sooo much easier than PhotoShop .. of course not nearly as capable, but it does not hog so much memory either.

Mungo said...

I use Picasa by Google. I recommend it to everyone. I have used Photoshop for years - but I use it for major design work and not really for photos I use on my blog. You can do all sorts of simple and many sophisticated edits to your photos, and I use it as my primary photo organizer. Plus - it is free. Free is good :-)



dguzman said...

I've used Photoshop professionally (in one of my many careers), and the thing I miss about not having it now is the pen tool for clipping paths. Picnik and others are good for color correction and such, however. Thanks for the link!

LauraHinNJ said...

dr. know: I've been pondering this... thinking it must be something exotic, but I decided that I really think it's some type of double-flowering cherry. The flowers and the bark especially say cherry, don't you think? The leaves have me a bit confused tho.