Friday Faves – Picnik.







I remember the first time I touched a computer. 1983.

I was working as an engineering tech for an oil company in Midland, TX.  BTA Oil Producers.  An IBM PC was brought in to the office.  One.  For the whole company.  You could only touch it if you had permission and training.  The floppy disks were about 12″ x 12″.   Well, maybe 5″ x 5″.  ANYway, I was one of the lucky ones who got to touch the computer.  The only software we used was WordPerfect and Lotus.  Was that IBM software?  I can’t remember.  I could create a mean spreadsheet with Lotus.

An engineer for whom I worked moved to Houston, and called me a few months later.  Because I was trained on the PC, he wanted me to come work for him.  I got a huge raise.  I was single, and one of my best friends lived in Houston, so heck, why not move?

Of course, the oil business being the oil business, the company for which I moved to Houston closed their doors three months after I arrived.  And bought a brand new couch from Fingers Furniture.  And signed a year lease on a brand new apartment.

Well, long story short, it all worked out.  And here I am 25 years later, sitting with a laptop in my lap, feet up on the couch.  Watching a flat screen TV hooked to a DVR while texting on my cell phone.  Editing digital picture files I took with a digital camera.  Shazaam, we’ve come a long way from that one sacred PC in the oil company office.

So I love taking pictures.  Alot of times, they look better in my imagination and my mind than on photo paper.  So then I need photo editing software to help improve my reality.  I know Photoshop is the Cadillac of photo editing software.  I’ve used it some and for me, it was overwhelming.  It could have been that I didn’t use it enough to get the hang of it, but for whatever reason, I never took to it.  So I looked around for some easier programs that would still give me good results.

Enter PicnikPicnik!

Picnik is a photo software editing program that you use online in your browser.  You can edit with  auto-fix, rotate, crop, resize, exposure, colors, sharpen, red-eye.  You can also create with effects such as black and white, fancy focus, gritty, sepia, matte.  That’s just a small listing of what’s available.  You can also insert text, put stickers or frames on the picture, and do touch-ups.  You can create collages and slide shows.  You can upload your photos from your computer, from Flickr, Picasa, Facebook, My Space, Photobucket, and many other sources.

You can use many of the tools for FREEFREE. If you want to use the premium editing tools, $24.95 a year will make you premium.  Airbrush, wrinkle remover, premium fonts, hair highlighting, detailed color correction are just a few of the premium tools.   You can use the free program at first and if you like what you see, upgrade to premium.

Picnik works for me.  I don’t feel overwhelmed trying to use it.  Sometimes I wish I could download Picnik to my computer, but on the flip side, I can work on my pictures anywhere I can access the internet.  I can start working on a picture at home, then finish it up during lunch at the office.  While we were on our Alaskan cruise, I found little internet cafes in the port towns where I could load my latest pictures, edit them on Picnik, then post them on this blog as clues.  Another neat feature is that Picnik saves a copy of all the pictures you save, so you can go back later and rework it, or download it again if you can’t remember where you saved it on your computer (no one but me does that I’m sure).  This is the history feature.  That’s been very handy for me.

Here’s an example of what I can do with Picnik.







EDITED PICTUREIMG_9884_0080_080fix



Well, there you have it.  One of the secrets of what makes me a legend in my own mind.  And by the way, Picnik did not pay me or ask me to endorse their product.  They don’t even know who I am.  I said when I started my blog that I would talk about some things that make my life better or more enjoyable, and Picnik is one of those things!  I am just an everyday Lifer who likes to take pictures.  Try it out for FREE and see what you think.

Chime in and tell me what you use to make your pictures look great.

All photographs and writing property of LoneStarLifer. 2009.


7 Responses

  1. what a wonderful post…I am packing my basket and heading out for a Picnik!

  2. Deb “stole” my comment…wasn’t quick enough :o{ Tin pic-a-nic baskets are one of my collecting weaknesses, so the alliteration popped up fast. {I love using big words this time of day…lets me know the brain is still functional!} :o} Piknik sounds awesome…I have photos in like 4 diff places on my PC and I’m not real thrilled with any of them…all free, of course…I’m too chea…frugal, to spend the big bucks on a photo program. Can’t wait to try this one! Also can’t wait to see what the postman brings me from Alaska!!! Have a great weekend *elaine*

  3. I just learned about Picnik from Lynn at Vintage Nest and I love it. I’m still playing around with it, but you are so right. It is easy even for someone like me with limited computer skills and even less photography skills.
    I just did a little fun thing this morning using it.
    Keep the info coming.

  4. As My Memory, Cognitive Abilities & Focus Continue To Decline, I Love To Try Out Tools Of The Trade That Are Simple But Effective For Those Of Us Who No Longer Have The Ability To Put Together A Portfolio, Not That I Ever Did Have Those Skills…lol…Intyway, I Can Not Wait To Try Out PICNIK b/c In This Day And Time, Especially For Me, It Is Particularly Difficult To Focus On One Project And Learn Enough About It To Remember How To Use The Tools That Can Make Editing Much More Creative As Well As Having Content That Is Easy Enough To Grasp For Those Of Us Who Have A Difficult Time With Retention To Start Off With.

    Many Years Ago (PAULA), (My Dad/DUB EVERETT) And (JACK CRAFT) Were The Only (2) Professional Photographers In (Snyder). They Were Old School. When They Looked Through A Camera, They Had The Ability To Not Only See The Things Within The Scope Of The Scene That Could Grasp A Special Meaning For Each Portrait Or Landscape, But, They Had The Ability To See In Their Mind’s Eye, The Things That Did Not Need To Be Included In The Pictures They Shot.

    I Obviously Did Not Inherit That Gift From Him, Because When I Take A Picture That I Think Has Grasped The Spirit Or Intent Of A Lovely Photograph And I Look Back At The Pictures I Have Shot With My Digital, I Am Like “What In The Samhill?!! When I Actually Do Shoot A Photograph That Is Really Good, I Assure You It Is Quite By Accident!…lol…I Look Forward To Looking Into The Editing Tool PICNIK. Thank-You For Not Only Sharing Your Info. With All Of Us, But, I Am Truly Blessed By Your Ability To Blog All Of This Info. On Your Website To Us. I Would Not Have A Clue How To Do That On My Own. And I Am Loving The Pictures That You Post As Well. (GOD) Bless You (PAULA)!…BEN~

  5. Love it!! Your talent and art shines through your writing and photography. Keep it up!!

  6. […] use Picnik for photo editing.  I wrote about them earlier here and here.  A lot of the photographers on I ♥ Faces use Photoshop and it works beautifully.  […]

  7. […] use Picnik for photo editing.  I wrote about them earlier here and here.  A lot of the photographers on I ♥ Faces use Photoshop and it works beautifully.  […]

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