Welcome to iHCPL: The Next Generation. This site was created as the next step in Harris County Public Library's iHCPL Learning 2.0 Program; a discovery learning program designed to encourage staff to explore new technologies. The original iHCPL program was adapted from The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County's Learning 2.0 Program.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

You Oughta Be In Pictures #89: Basic Photo Editing

With this module, will examine images on the web. We will take a basic look at photo editing, find ways to share your photos online, and tour a variety of fun image related sites. Completing all three posts in this module is worth 2 training hours. This module is available through July 31, 2010.

Buying a Nikon doesn't make you a photographer. It makes you a Nikon owner. ~Anonymous
It doesn't matter if you are an excellent photographer or you chop off everyone's head in each picture that you take -- photo editing tools can help enhance or correct any photo. They can help you do anything from adding captions to correcting red-eyes, from cropping to adding special effects. Luckily, there are now a wide variety of free options that are very easy to use.

I find Picnik to be very intuitive and it has a wide variety of tools available for free. You don't even have to register, though you receive more benefits if you do. You can also choose the "premium" service to get even more options.

Let's start with Red Eye. The photo being edited is of my dog, Buster. He's looking at me with a heart full of love and the flaming eyes of a demon. Picnik has a quick fix for this. Upload my photo, go to edit, select Touch-up, select Red Eye, and choose "Furball." It also works for non-furry individuals.

Now, we'll move on to cropping. I like the picture of Buster, but I'd like to take out the part where you can see the dust bunnies on my floor. [Cropping is available under Basic Edits.] You can also crop to get rid of the date imprinted on your picture, if you forgot to turn that camera feature off.

Now, to everyone's favorite part: photo bedazzling. We'll change from the "edit" tab to the "create" tab to see what kind of effects are available. You can add visual effects, like sepia or neon, insert text, fix the subject's skin problems (yes, from acne to wrinkles!) or even decorate your photos for a particular holiday. Remember, anything labeled "premium" will require a membership, but I think you'll find plenty to work with free of charge.

We've looked at these effects using Picnik, but there are other quality free photo editing sites out there, it's all a matter of preference.

  • Photoshop - The free online version of Photoshop has a huge variety of tools and effects (fun effect: Pop Color), but I find it a bit more difficult to use than other sites. Registration is required.
  • Fotoflexer - Similar to Picnik, but without the many inaccessible premium parts. Very straightforward with nice effects (fun effect: Cartoon).
Tip: To resize photos (file size) for use on the web, Microsoft Office Picture Manager (available as one of your Office programs) is quick and easy to use.

  1. Upload a photo to Picnik, Photoshop or Fotoflexer. Use at least one editing feature (red-eye fix, cropping, sharpening, resizing, etc.) and one creating feature (framing, adding text, touching up, captions, etc.). Post the edited photo on your blog.

  2. Which photo editing features are important for your use? Which of the listed sites would best meet your photographic needs? Post your answer in your blog.
This module brought to you by Linda Stevens, Grace Lillevig and Veronica Garza.


Photo Editing Services said...

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Photo Editing Services said...

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iSTAR said...

For tips on taking good library photos, see the Take Pictures & Tell Stories series at ALA tech source:
- Staff Portraits
- Photography Basics
- A la Mode
- Library Events

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this a lot and had fun trying all the different photo edit sites. Thanks for sharing. :)