Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Wonders of Picnik

I am obsessed with Picnik.  I really am.  All that time I spend "hiding" in my room?  I'm consoling myself for the deficiencies of January scenery by beatifying photos.

functions used: polaroid & cross process

I take a lot of pictures of the sun... (functions used: winterize & cross process)

I really love making things "perfect", and Picnik lets me do that.  I can take my bits of real life and transform them into fairy tales.

It's a princess!  (In real life, my sister.)  Functions used: orton-ish, crown sticker,  and I forget what else.  This was a while ago.

Of course, once it's edited, it's no longer real life.  (That's why you always should save a copy of the original!)  Sometimes I do feel a little guilty about that, especially when I edit a picture of myself and then people who've never seen me in real life tell me how pretty I am.

Now that I have the premium membership (THANK YOU MOMMY), I can really make people look different.  For instance, take this one:

That's me.  But I don't have auburn hair (though I'd love that), my skin is a different shade, and I don't wear blue eyeshadow. 

See?  I changed the haircolor, airbrushed the skin, added blush & eyeshadow, darkened the eyelashes, added a texture, and I don't know what else. Talk about unrealistic. :p

An eye... my camera doesn't like artificial lighting, so the coloring and quality of this is terrible.  I took it to Picnik and...
....totally fixed it.  Made my eyes green, too.  I'm rather proud of this one, I must say.
It just goes to show that you can't trust pictures, I guess.  And if I can do this much, just imagine what big corporations can do to their models.  Once my mom showed me a video of how they change a person's looks for a billboard...ah, here.  I highly suggest that you watch it -  it's very short, and quite worth it.

Anyway.  Picnik.  I wish I was the sort of person who could give methodical, practical information on stuff....but I'm not.  So you get the whatever-comes-into-my-head-first post instead.  I'm sorry.

Christmas lights on slow exposure.  Also, a rather accurate representation of my brain. (Functions: vignette, clarity, slight desaturation.)

I recently read a post about how one ought not to "overedit" one's pictures.  I must confess that, in my Picniking zeal, I hadn't ever thought about the possibility of overediting.    After much internal struggle, I have brought myself to make some rules about how much editing I can do to a given image.

  - When using the functions under "camera", never fade out less than 60%.

 - Lomo-ish looks good on very few photos.

 - Use Matte with light-colored photos, Vignette with dark ones.  Use Vignette sparingly, and fade out both, to some degree.

 - Be VERY CAREFUL if using the touch-up functions.  Too much will look totally fake.  This goes especially for teeth whitening, highlights, and wrinkle remover.  (Tip: Wrinkle Remover is quite useful, in moderation, for harsh smile lines.  Also, if you don't have Premium, very carefully-applied Soften can work like airbrush.)

 -  Not every photo needs text.  (To my dismay.)

Text, cross process, frame, slight posterize, basic edits.

-  Clarity is EXTREMELY helpful in making point-and-shoot pictures more professional-looking.  Again, don't overdo!

 - Some photos really don't need any fancy editing at all.

Minimal exposure and clarity (basic edits), text.

One more thing.  My favorite thing to do is take pictures of things like pretty notebooks, illustrations, etc., edit them, and make collages.  It's not the most original thing ever, but it's fun and it looks pretty.

Three pictures on the side (& background of main pic) from a notebook I found at JoAnn.  Functions used: text, collage, stickers, polaroid, gritty, orton-ish.

Pictures from a "real life" herb poster. Collage, orton-ish, clarity, saturation, velvia (in the "advanced" section.)

Pictures from a science book.  Texture, vibrance, collage, some basic edits.

Pictures from the same science book as the above.  Same functions.

Well, hopefully you got something out of all that. Congratulations on making it to the end of this post.  If you have any questions, comment and ask me!  I'm always happy to answer them.


  1. That's so cool! I like playing with Picnik too, but I don't have premium, nor much time lately it seems. Is collage part of the premium package? I haven't noticed it when I'm messing around.

  2. Meggy, you can do some basic collages without Premium, but you can only put up to (I think) four photos in it. Premium lets you do tons at once.

  3. Those are awesome! Now I really wish I had Premium...


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