Things 7 and 8 were to do with photo editing, which isn’t something I feel I have a particular knack for. I love photographs, but I take very bad ones, and I don’t really have a good enough eye for colour/style to feel confident doing interesting things to my pictures. So I thought this ‘Thing’ was going to be fairly quick and simple. I already have a Flickr account, which I use for keeping pictures of my crocheting in, so that didn’t need anything doing to it, and I figured I’d just prod at Picnik a little to see what it could do and leave it at that. My photos are already in sets, and although I can see the value of the map feature if you’re taking pictures of exotic climes, it’s not really much use for crochet! So I thought I’d be able to rattle through these Things in pretty short order.
As usual, I vastly underestimated how much time I can waste on the internet.
In all honesty, I’m not a huge fan of Flickr. I use it because it’s compatible with the widest range of websites and because Ravelry links directly into it. But in Livejournal, I usually post using basic html, which means I just want the URL of the picture so that I can insert it into my post, and I find Photobucket much, much better for that. Also, having got my pictures into Flickr, I can’t seem to work out how to get them out again, which is fine if I just want to show people them there, but what if I want to email them to someone, or save them somewhere else? How do I shift them from my Flickr to my Photobucket or Picasa (which I also use, albeit ineptly)?
I think Picnik may become my friend at this point. I was very impressed with the functionality, and the ‘autofix’ button is my new best friends. My pictures which were taken under horrible lighting conditions suddenly show their true colours, and I notice that I can save the results pretty much wherever I want, as well as uploading them to Flickr. I’m a big fan of web-based tools, since I spend so much time shifting from one computer to another, so being able to alter and re-save my pictures is going to be of real benefit to me.
To give you an idea of the improvements, below are ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures of some of my work:
All in all, I think that’s a pretty good result! I’m chuffed to bits with Picnik, and can see myself using it quite a lot for all kinds of things.
The only part of these Things I’ve had trouble with is adding my pictures to the 23 Things Pool on Flickr. Although I’ve been aware of Flickr Pools for a while, I’ve never really explored them (see above about not being a big fan). Again, it’s something that I see the value in, but can’t really see myself using very much. Also, in my browser, I couldn’t get the ‘add to pool’ button to work, and had to tab through to it in order to press it! For a group of friends or a regular club I can see how the Pool tool would be brilliant. For me, not so much.
Overall, I’m still not a big fan of Flickr for what I want to do with pictures on the internet, but this Thing has forced me to look at it a bit harder. I still consider the navigation to be poor and the functionality to be tricky, but I’m starting to see why it’s so popular. Picnik on the other hand, I’m an instant convert to, and if that means using Flickr as well, then so be it.