The easy way to edit photos, for free!

Update 05/11/2012

Since Picnik closed down back in April, I have been using another photo editing site called PicMonkey. It uses very similar tools to Picnik and produces similar outcomes so please do read on for photo editing inspiration!

What’s great about PicMonkey is that it is a completely free service and you do require registering to use; it even has premium features, that Picnik allowed only paid users to have, for free!

Another site I’d like to brag about is I’ve been using it for a couple of years now and couldn’t say a bad word about it! Picnik is photo editing online, in your browser. It’s fast, easy, and offers tons of powerful tools, artistic effects, stickers, frames, touch-ups, scrapbooking tools and more. The best thing is, that’s all available for free!

There’s even more available for Picnik Premium members: More tools, advanced effects, seasonal content all year long and more! As a regular user I began to experiment with the effects available to free users for 6 months or so then decided to purchase an annual subscription, which is surprisingly cheap! The site is based in the U.S so is priced in $’s, I pay a membership fee of $24.95 annually, which I think works out at about £16 or something.

As a premium member there are no constraints to what tools you want to use. When I was first able to access the premium features I loved playing around with the Touch-Up tools, where you can remove blemishes, airbrush, change your hair colour, eye colour and even remove wrinkles! It’s pretty hard to make your photos come out professional looking but it’s still fun to see what you’d look like with shiney blue eye and barbie doll skin!

Before and After edit of Miss Hannah Small

As, I’ve spent more time on Picnik I’ve learnt how to use the tools to better photos that lack colour, sharpness or effect. Picnik offers a selection of ‘ready’ effects, from Black & White, Orton-ish, Holga-ish, Cross Process and Posterised.

I used the Vignette effect on the above photo, which darkens the edge of the photos. I also sharpened the image to make the buds on the dying flower more predominate. The above photo was taken using a Nikon D40.

Another tool accessible to free users under effects, is the Black and White painting tool. It allows you to colour or ‘un-colour’ areas of your photo which you want in black and white or to remain in colour. The image below was taken in a green field, I decided to grey-scale the green while leaving the blue sky and the figure in colour.

My favourite thing to do on Picnik is to create collages! Collages let you mix up all your photos together to create beautiful collages. Here are some examples of the collages I have made in the past…

This collage is made up of photos I took at Beach Break Live in 201o. The festival took place in Pembroke, South Wales in early June. The weather was beautiful!

Last summer, I made a daisy chain, I took photos from beneath it, while it was held above me. It created beautiful summery photos of the blue sky in the background. The photos were taken using a Nikon D40.

The next collage incorporates the Black & White painting effect as well. The photo was also taken using my Nikon D40.

And finally, I will leave you with a wintery collection of photos all taken in Woodbridge, Suffolk last winter. Although I think this collage is far to overcrowded I wanted to mix a number of colours and textures with photos taken at different times of the day.

Have a go at creating your own Picnik creations for free!

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