Flickr Friday: Picnik, anyone?

One of the neat things about Flickr is that not only do you have a great place to share your photos, but Flickr also offers you ways to do neat things with your images. Flickr has partnered with several great companies to deliver amazing photo products, and recently, Flickr has teamed up with Picnik—a free online photo editor. (You can pay for a premium version of Picnik, which costs $24.99 a year. The premium version is ad-free and offers a lot of funky image-editing tools as well as more control over photos with the ability to adjust curves and levels.)

My photo-editing tools are Adobe Photoshop CS3 and Aperture, but if you’re not looking to make serious edits and just want something for quick post-processing, Picnik is perfect. I’m always uploading new photos to Flickr, and the fact that I can edit an image and add a dash of pizazz to it while working in Flickr is great.

Yesterday, I decided to edit my Project 365 photos in Flickr, and I really like the way they turned out. I added a vignette to my “Pull for Light” photo (I did the black and white conversion in Aperture). And for my “Nothing To Wear” photo, I added rounded corners (I adjusted curves in Photoshop and then brought it in to Picnik). For some reason, I’m really digging the rounded corners on photos. (For more vintage goodness, check out my post on cross processing.)

If you’re curious about all the stuff you can do with Picnik, here are some editing tools available through the free version:

  • Auto-fix
  • Rotate
  • Crop
  • Resize
  • Exposure
  • Sharpen
  • Colors
  • Red-Eye

But of course my favorite part about Picnik is the “Create” option! You can pull in photos and totally process them for whatever look you’re going for. It’s so much fun! You can apply different effects to your photos:

  • Basic effects: Black and white, sepia, boost (like saturation), soften, vignette, and matte
  • Camera effects: Infrared film, Lomo-ish, Holga-ish, HDR-ish, night vision, cinemascope, Orton-ish, and 1960s
  • Color effects: Tint, invert, duo-tone, heat map, and cross process
  • Area effects: Focal B&W, focal soften, focal pixelate, and focal zoom
  • Artistic effects: Pencil sketch and neon
  • Miscellaneous effects: Doodle, Gooify, pixelate, posterize, film grain, and snow

You can add text (and the font choices are awesome), add shapes, touch up certain parts of the photo, whiten teeth, zap pimples, and add neat frames to your photos. For example, you can make your picture look like a Polaroid—which will probably be a really valuable tool to use in the near future when Polaroid stops making film. (An aside: Visit http://www.savepolaroid.com and do your part to save Polaroid film today!)

My sushi photo above was made by using the following Picnik tools: Colors (for some saturation), Boost (for extra BAM! to the colors), Vignette, Lomo-ish, Text, and Rounded Corners. And voila! I have a new and different image!

Picnik is like candy.

There’s a Picnik group on Flickr, so if you’re looking for ideas for fun editing to apply to your photos, check it out. But you don’t need to be a Flickrite to use Picnik. Picnik works with most anything. You can edit images saved on your computer, and…

Right now Picnik makes it easy for you to pull photos straight from any of several photo sharing sites including Flickr, Picasa Web Albums, Facebook, Photobucket, Webshots. You can also enter the URL for ANY website (your blog, MySpace page, etc.) and Picnik can pull photos from there for you to edit as well.

There’s also an option to e-mail your Picnik’d pics to friends and family! Just click on the “Save & Share” tab in the upper right corner of the site.

So, if you’re like me, and it’s raining outside on a Friday night and you don’t have much to do, hop online and start playing Picnik. It’s so easy to use, and so much fun. It’s addictive. (You’ve been warned!)