As great as it is, there are times when Photoshop is just plain overkill.
Maybe you simply need to nuke some red-eye before emailing a photo, or fix the exposure on a snap you’ve already put on Flickr. Picnik to the rescue!
Crop, rotate, resize, one-click fix, color adjustments, sharpening, saturation, even histograms. 95% of the stuff you’d do in Photoshop, you can do in Picnik more easily. Grab photos straight from your Flickr (and replace them with edited versions), from your computer, or the web; send your edited photos to your blog, to email, photo sharing sites, make a nifty slideshow, or even have them printed.
Picnik is fast. Better, it’s easy peasy, free, and filled with friendly features. (Example: Unlimited undo. Even for photos you edited months ago. Not even Photoshop can do that.)
We’ve been on the lookout for a halfway decent online photo editor for a while, and we’ve test-driven more than we care to admit. We’re done looking. Using Picnik is nicer than lying on a blanket in a grassy field on a sunny day.
Thanks to Sahadeva for the tip!
Got a photo you just adore and want a unique way to show it off?
Behold! Photo Pop-Outs!
Gather up a bit of foam core, a bit of tape, a knife, and 20 minutes and we’ll show you how to give your photos an eye-popping 3D effect — no special glasses required!
But wait, there’s more! We’ll even show you how to make a nifty tabletop stand when you’re done.
Pop on over to our tutorial to find out how…
Everyone has ruined a perfectly good group picture by blinking.
What to do? Put your math skills to use, my good friend.
Thankfully, Nic Svenson and Piers Barnes of the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization have already done the heavy lifting. Their research calculates the number of photos you must take to virtually guarantee that nobody in a group will have their eyes closed.
Here’s their rule of thumb: For groups smaller than 20, divide the number of people by three if thereâ€™s good light and two if the light’s bad. That’s how many shots you need to take. See their paper for the nitty gritty.
Now if only they’d come up with a formula to eliminate bunny ears…
p.s. These two won a 2006 Ig Nobel Prize in mathematics for this work. The Ig Nobel honors achievements that first make people laugh, then make them think.
– Nicole Ramsey, PJ Intern
Published on February 16, 2007 — See more Tips
Wanna blow up Uncle Lou to Leviathan-like proportions without breaking the bank?
Lou might be a Luddite, but you’re not. So before you head out to get an expensive enlargement made, hit the web.
BlockPosters.com will turn any photo into a poster using the printer in your home or office. Tell it how many sheets you want to use, upload your pic, and seconds later it’ll spit back a PDF.
Hit print, piece together the sheets, and you’ve got yourself one pixeliscous photo poster!
p.s. Eagle-eyed Jojo Fans might recall the similar Rasterbator we covered last April. The difference? Rasterbator gives your photos a newspaper-like dotted quality, while Block Posters preserves the appearance of the original photo. Both are pretty nifty!
p.p.s. Hallmark Day’s comin’ up. (Typically a big deal over here.) If you’re still searching for the perfect thing, it might be a great time to start a mailable mosaic to someone you love. Also: Craft: Magazine selected our photo blocks as one of their Valentine’s Day projects. Can’t argue with that!
It should as come as no surprise, then, that cubes constructed from your photos also rock.
Sit down with this Photo Cube Tutorial, six photos, a blade, and some double-sided tape and you’ll have a creative frame or a gift box in no time. Rockin’!
p.p.s. The latest Hey, Hot Shot! photo contest accepts entries up till next Monday.
Reckless, stupid, downright insane. Camera tossers have been called worse.
Camera tossing is, well, just what it sounds like. Set your camera on long exposure or self-timer mode, press the shutter, and toss it into the air just before it goes off. Catch the thing (or have it land on a soft surface), and ogle the results.
Why would you do this? Quite simply, it’s the photographs: beautiful, abstract images you can’t get any other way. Many photographers also find the technique liberating, as it forces them to exert less control over the final image.
We won’t blame you if you decide not to try this one. (And we won’t take responsibility if you do.) But if you decide to give it a shot, we’d love to see what you come up with in our flickr group!
See also: Camera Toss Flickr Group
Ever find yourself longing for the disheveled good looks of a drug-addicted Keanu Reeves living in dystopian, near-future Orange County?
This past summer’s A Scanner Darkly used a beautiful posterized live-action animation style that gave it a thoroughly unique look. The effect took thousands of hours of work and a frame-by-frame repainting of the movie in a process called digital rotoscoping.
Fortunately, applying the technique to a photo isn’t nearly as time consuming, and with this tutorial from one of the film’s animators, you’ll be well on your way.
p.s. Our pal Nick Gray tells us Amazon’s got some crazy great pricing on Sandisk’s superduper fold-it-up-and-stick-it-in-your-usb-port-no-card-reader-necessary memory cards: $25 for the 1GB (was $40) and $49 for the 2GB (was $90). Find out why we love these in our 2006 Holiday Gift Guide.
When you first see the swooping, curling, technicolor tendrils in Graham Jefferey’s work, you can’t help but wonder how he can manage to make ordinary gray smoke so beautiful.
Our pal Haje recently collaborated with Graham on a piece that delves into all the details: the lighting, the exposure, the best way to create the right kind of smoke, even the photoshop work needed to create the effect.
Unconvinced? Flip through Graham’s examples and you’ll be fired up to make your own!
Published on January 29, 2007 — See more Tutorials
Dazzling. Soft, elegant, glowing.
The Orton Effect is a fast way to give your photos a dreamy look. Michael Orton uses this technique with multiple images taken on slide film.
Thanks to modern image editing magic, you can get the same watercolor-like appearance with a single image.
Even better, it’s a great way to improve slightly out-of-focus shots!
p.p.s. Thanks also to our friend Saber Zohir for helping to spread the word about Photojojo! To the hundreds that recently signed up via Chris Pirillo’s pick list, welcome! (And to those not on the list, check out Chris’s great newsletter: firstname.lastname@example.org)
The great snow gods have not been kind to us this year. If you’re still pining for wintery white, or just hoping it’d go away, we recommend a quick (and heartfelt) appeal.
Luckily, we have just the thing to melt their frosty disposition: Photojojo’s Make-Your-Own Photo Snow Globes.
Grab a bottle, photo, glitter, and corn syrup and you’re on your way to making an offering not even the gods could refuse.*
* Rigorous, double-blind studies have also proven Photo Snow Globes effective in melting the hearts of spouses, friends, and children.
Made on Omicron Persei VIII. Designed on Earth. © Photojojo