Camera is still in service, which gives me plenty of opportunities to play with some online image editing tools. So a couple of days ago, I tried using wiredness. It was decent but the whole operation was not without numbers of flaws. Today, I decided to try Picnik. I was really impressed for the following reasons.

1. It can retrieve images by a number of ways: Flickr (yes!), picasa web albums, local computer, website, yahoo search, flickr search, and webcam photo. I only tried it with Flickr today.

2. Directly save back to those sources! I can save and replace an already uploaded image on Flickr, or I can save it as a new image.

3. It comes with a small set but very well made editing tools. Rotate, crop, resize, exposure, colors, sharpen and red-eye. (Oh boy, I love the red-eye tool. ).

Let me give you an example of what I mean by “well made” tools. For rotating images, not only can you rotate it left or right by 90 degrees, flip it horizontally, or vertically, you can also do “straighten” that adjusts the title of the image by some amount. The amount can be specified by a degree slider or better yet, a drawn line on the image along which the edge is straight. This was always a hassle in the past when I needed to fix a picture with a horizon that’s not parallel to the edge of the photo. I absolutely think this feature is great.

4. Intuitive UI design. Rolling my mouse wheel forward and backward will zoom in and out, similar to google map.

5. A good set of fun create tools which lets you transform an image into sepia, black and white, boost, soften, rounded borders, and more. I tried it with B&W. One filter I loved on stabilize.net was redgrayscale. Picnik not only lets you do grayscale, it allows you to pick the filtering color, and fade % (amount of color faded). This is just so much better.

It look like Picnik will be rolling out with more features since this is still a beta version available. One thing I would really like to see is batch editing. There are some little UI things that can be improved. For example, it uses a lot of sliders for say color saturation, fading scale, etc. But slider is clunky sometime when you want to set the scale at say 3, but it might take a couple of small and careful maneuvers around 2, 4, 5 before I could get the scale right on 3. A text entry setting on the slider would be much better.

Here are a couple of images that I tried:

before:                                                   after:

before:                                                  after:

(from Jason C) me and Angelo,  New Year's Eve

In conclusion, I’m very pleased with how quick and easy I can edit my flickr photos. I might still need to fire up my photoshop for some serious editing on a great picture. For everyday usage and more, Picnik is definitely something I would keep using.

This entry was posted by Maya.

4 thoughts on “picnik

  1. Does it do RAW? For that matter, do you usually shoot RAW and upload that to flickr, or use tools to downconvert to jpeg first and then upload the jpeg files?

  2. Great question. No, it doesn’t do RAW. Raw is canon’s proprietary format. So I do have to download it to my desktop, convert to jpeg, and then upload the jpeg to flickr. A lot of trouble especially when I actually do leveling and unsharpmask on every photo and there isn’t a good batch tool for that.

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