Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Week 4: 31 Days to a Better Photo

Here's my recap on what I learned this week...

Day 22: Post Production
I don't use, and don't plan to buy, Photoshop which is Darcy's main focus for the next few days in the Better Photo series. Right now I'm trying to decide between using Picasa and Picnik for minor photo editing. You have probably noticed that my photos are a little different (hopefully better) starting with my ruffle pillow post. Those are done with Picnik. We'll see which one comes out on top! Heck, I might even use only iPhoto once I'm back at my casa (but I already think I like Picnick better).

Day 23: Levels vs. Curves in Photoshop through Day 26: Photoshop Actions & Resource List
Umm. Not a lot to say about the info for these days since I've got no PS. Instead, here's a sample of editing done using Picnik this past week...

Both were resized to 900x600 for easier blog viewing and a watermark was added. The first is SOOC.
But, in the second pic I slightly tweaked the exposure and adjusted the sharpness and clarity. I also used the Effect '1960s' to get rounded corners on the image (I loooooove rounded corners!). But, I think I like the first pic better (with added round corners of course). Which is totally awesome because that means I'm learning to use my camera correctly! Woo to the hoo!

Both of these pics were rotated to portrait, changed to 600x900, and given a watermark using Picnik.
Then for the 2nd image I slightly increased the Highlights and Temperature, as well as adding rounded corners with the 1960s Effect. I think the 2nd image is better in this case. And I can tell you exactly why. I had my white balance set to Tungsten lighting but then was using natural light by the window so the pictures were slightly blue-ish. Voila! I'm able to recapture G modeling her newly made pop-it jewelry (she's been playing with my old toys and its SO fun!).

And my review of the two programs so far...
+ more free options
+ don't have to be online to use it (good for places with no wireless)
+ looks like I can send pics straight to blogger
- the help menu wasn't very helpful (I like step-by-step such luck)
+ its easier for me to navigate
- seems to run super slow sometimes

My feelings will probably change after I use them both more. Also, I've done a brief tutorial for Picnik (here) so I need to do the same for Picasa (here) to even things out.

Day 27: When too much is too much
I'm hoping to take Darcy's advice and use photo editing software to enhance my images slightly. My real goal through this month is to use my camera more effectively so that my SOOC (straight out of camera) shots are almost good enough to toss directly in a frame or throw on the ole bloggeroo.

Day 28: How to Resize your Images to Use on the Web
I love, love, love that Darcy shares resizing info for Picnik so that those of us without Photoshop can still make this important change for our blogs. But actually, I didn't need it because earlier this month Shelley from House of Smiths posted a mini tutorial for Picnik and I started resizing my photos then. I feel like such a schmuck because I haven't been doing this all along. Maybe I'll go back and resize and reload all the pics from my previous posts.

Ha! Not!

Anyway, only 3 days left in the better photo series but then we'll start 31 Days of Photo Tips. There are a few other 31 Day series starting Saturday also. I plan on joining in on the fun! Do you?

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