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How to Customize and Edit Pictures for Free

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					How to Customize and Edit Pictures for Free

Overview




Photo editing is an enjoyable addition to the art and hobby of photography. It can be as simple as cropping to
emphasize a subject or as complex as creating multiple layers with several images to create a picture with the
look of a scrapbook page. Many professional photographers use expensive software to manipulate photos, but
almost anyone with an Internet connection can produce stunning images to print, display and share, all for
free. There are many web-based applications that allow a photographer to upload an image, edit and
manipulate it, print it out, and share it.

   ·     Picnik [http://www.picnik.com]
   ·     FotoFlexor [http://fotoflexer.com]
   ·     LunaPic [http://www.lunapic.com/editor/]
   ·     Splashup [http://www.splashup.com/]

Things You'll Need

   ·     Image file
   ·     Internet connection

Tips

   ·     You may want to upload photos straight from your camera, saving valuable hard drive space.

Warnings

   ·     Save your project to your Picnik Library as soon as you upload it.
   ·     Save your project again and often.

Section 1
Starting with Picnik

Step 1

   ·     Go to Picnik and click on the link.
   ·     Click on the "Get started now!" button, and then click on the "Upload a photo" button. That opens a
         Windows Explorer window, listing the files in a folder on your hard drive. It will usually go to the last
         folder your browser opened.
   ·     Navigate to the appropriate folder, select the file you want to work on, and click Open. You can also
         simply double-click the file to open it.
   ·     Your picture will open in a workspace with tabs and buttons at the top. The tabs include Home,
         Library, Edit, Create and Save & Share. The buttons include Auto-fix, Rotate, Crop, Resize, Exposure,
         Colors, Sharpen and Red-Eye.

Step 2
   ·     Click Auto-fix and Picnik's software will make the corrections it thinks your photo needs. Quick, but
         best for pictures that are almost perfect.
   ·     Click on Rotate and your workspace will change to include buttons for Left, Right, Straighten, Flip.
   ·     To straighten, move the slider to the left or right. A grid will appear over the photo.
   ·     This adjustment is especially good for photos that have a clear-cut horizon that may be a little crooked.
         It can also be used to add drama and vibrancy to action shots. When you've finished the adjustment,
         click OK to go back to the main workspace.

Step 3

   ·     Use the Crop tool to resize your photo to a specific size using the crop grid.
   ·     The button at the top has a drop-down menu that includes standard photo sizes like 2 inches x 2.5
         inches (wallet size), 4 inches x 6 inches, 5 inches x 7 inches, 8 inches x 10 inches, Square and Golden
         Ratio.
   ·     Move the grid around on your photo to create a composition that enhances the photo: stretch or shrink
         the crop frame with the little circles on the corners to include the subject(s). When you're satisfied
         with your composition, click OK.

Step 4

   ·     Adjust the lightness or darkness and increase or decrease the contrast with the exposure button.
   ·     Correct colors with the tools provided by the Colors button.
   ·     You can "warm up" or "cool down" your colors, increase or decrease the saturation, remove an
         unwanted color cast.

Section 2
Create Mode

Step 1

   ·     Select the Create mode for tools that include Effects like black & white, sepia, vignettes, pencil sketch,
         flowers, hearts, mattes and seasonal or event-specific frames.
   ·     All of the web-based apps offer a wealth of tools.

Step 2

   ·     Apply embellishments and effects to enhance your picture. Some are accessible only with a Premium
         account (Picnik's Premium account is $2.08 or more per month, as of May 2010).
   ·     There are enough effects and trimmings in the free accounts to allow photographers to create
         wonderful images.

Step 3

   ·     Use the Focal Zoom effect to give the photo a dynamic, high-action look.
   ·     It can be adjusted to highlight any area of the scene and offers sliders to adjust zoom intensity, focal
         size and hardness.

Step 4

   ·     Create layers with FlotoFlexor or Splashup to simulate scrapbook pages.
   ·     Layer and resize individual images and apply drop shadows to enhance the page.
   ·     This effect is not available in Picnik or LunaPic.
Step 5

   ·     Save your finished project on your computer; share it on Facebook, MySpace, Photobucket or Flickr
         and/or print it and save online.
   ·     You can email it and it will be inserted into a message in a reasonably quick-loading, small size.
   ·     Use any one of these browser-accessible apps to make your photos look professionally edited and
         showcase your creativity--all for free.

Skill

   ·     Moderately Easy

Keywords

   ·     Photo editing
   ·     Free software
   ·     Free photo storage

Resources

   ·     Photo Editing Software Review: Top 10 Photo Editing Apps [http://photo-editing-software-
         review.toptenreviews.com/]
   ·     Life Clever: 10 Free Web-based Alternatives to Photoshop [http://www.lifeclever.com/10-free-web-
         based-alternatives-to-photoshop/]
   ·     Find Inexpensive Software for Digital Editing and Scrapbooking
         [http://www.bukisa.com/articles/274665_find-inexpensive-software-for-digital-editing-and-
         scrapbooking]

				
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Description: Photo editing is an enjoyable addition to the art and hobby of photography. It can be as simple as cropping to emphasize a subject or as complex as creating multiple layers with several images to create a picture with the look of a scrapbook page. Many professional photographers use expensive software to manipulate photos, but almost anyone with an Internet connection can produce stunning images to print, display and share, all for free. There are many web-based applications that allow a photographer to upload an image, edit and manipulate it, print it out, and share it.