DIY Ooky, Spooky, Halloween Photo and Picassa

The other day I was sitting in Mini-Me’s bedroom and I looked out the window to see a beautiful bird sitting in a tree.  Since it has been storming here, the sky was grey and it looked very “Halloween” to me.  I jumped up, grabbed my little digital camera and ran outside to take some photos.
Spooky Spectre-4
Now, please realize my camera is not the best for an 18 month old’s mom.  Nor is it great for a DIY Blogger, but it is the best I have right now (Mr. AK got the wish list camera mentioned briefly here).   Until my wish is granted, I am loving my Samsung L730, because it is dutifully helping me record every last baby milestone.  Kiss kiss, Samsung.
I retrieved my newly acquired photos using a great software called Picassa.  I am relatively new to Picassa; but I must say it does some wonderful tricks!  While I am by no means a photographer; I have always believed in hanging my own Personalized Wall Art.  I have snapped pictures, uploaded them into Windows Photo Gallery, Paint, or any other software I could find on my laptop.  I’ve never been unhappy with the results, but when Google introduced me to Picassa; I discovered a whole new world of neat!
Crop  I cropped my photo in the “Basic Fixes”.  Once I had it just right:
Color Photos-2 I chose “Effects” and changed the photo to black and white "(“B&W”).  I also played around with the “Filtered B&W” and the “Focal B&W”.  Once I liked the color (or lack of); I used “Sharpen” and I added a “Graduated Tint”.  The tint is my favorite aspect of this particular photo.  I can choose how much and how feathered or sharp I want the tint.  It really gave the photo that extra oomph I was looking for.
My picture was coming along nicely, but I wanted more of a Halloween look so I decided to upload it to Picnik.  Picnik is the online editing that can take your picture from “Great” to “Fantastic”.  There are so many options that I haven’t even yet discovered, but the ones I have make all the difference, as you will see.  Using Picnik is as easy as clicking the button in “Basic Fixes” of Picassa (of course you do need to have an account, but that is easy as pie, too). Color Photos-3
Since I already have a Picnik account through Google; all I have to do is click the button and Picnik does the rest.  My picture magically pops up online and I can immediately begin editing it.  I choose “Create”.
Color Photos-2
Picnik has a lot of Seasonal cheer!  They make creating fun, holiday photos and greeting cards (and a whole slew of other things) easy!  You can add Halloween stickers, borders, text, even ghosts to your photos.  Some of the add ons require a Premium account, but if you’re like me and haven’t yet got one, you can very easily distinguish between free and Premium by the convenient banner across the tabs.
For the photo  I used in the Eye of Newt and Toe of Frog post; I chose “Effects”, scrolled to “Vignette” and used the sliders to chose the size, strength and fade of the frame.  Once happy, I clicked “apply”.  I then did the same thing with the “Holga-ish” effect.
When I was pleased with the outcome, I clicked “Save to Picassa”.
Color Photos-4This whole process, takes about 5 minutes unless you’re like me and you spend a loooooot of time playing with all of the effects available. 
I can’t wait to begin my Christmas cards!  They will be awesome this year!
As a foot note; I want to mention that I do realize you can do the whole process mentioned above while in Picnik, but for the sake of this post I wanted you to see how little or how far you could take editing a photo.  To use Picnik, I must be online.  If I am writing a blog to post later (without internet access) I have the convenience of Picassa.
On Picnik, I can do everything I want with a photo.  I also utilize the options in the Library.  You will definitely want to check these out.  There is even a choice to connect to Photobucket (another favorite photo editing tool).
While waiting for items to load; I adore the messages in Picnik such as “Letting the ghosts out”.  It makes waiting so much more entertaining then looking at that little timer so many sites have.
Let me know what tricks you have found on Picnik.  I would love to hear how you use it too.
*I wrote this post to simply let you know how I make my photos.  These are my opinions.  I have not been compensated for them.*

3 Comments - Click Here! Love to Hear from You.:

Faith, Trust, and a Little Pixie Dust said...

This is really fun. Thanks for sharing these ideas & for stopping by my blog! Nice to "meet" you.

Warmly, Michelle

Creative Mind said...

Hi,Nice blog...thanks for your visit at my blog...

Anonymous said...

What a stunning photo!

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