Monday, April 26, 2010

Online Photo Editing

I am a flickr fan from way back. I have had a flickr site for awhile and I'm in my second year of having a pro account. It is hard for me to even look anywhere else because my "love and devotion" to flickr is that strong. Some of the best things about flickr include
1. an inexpensive way to back up my photos online and have access to them anywhere.
2. a great way to gain feedback on my photographic work from fellow artists.
3. a fabulous way to travel the world without ever leaving home
4. a wealth of new ideas and inspiration about art, photography, knitting and all the other hobbies and things I endeavor to do!
5. meeting people from around the world who share my interests.

I love flickr groups and contacts.  I have people looking at my photos from all over.  They offer honest commentary.  Usually in the summer I go back and forth with my contacts, most of whom I've never met in person, but with whom I do share a love of good photography.  The downside of flickr is that it is a bit cumbersome to edit photos with, but I have Photoshop so why would I edit images online? :)

See my flickr slideshow at the bottom of the page.

I decided I'd try new things anyways since that's what this class is about so I visited TagGalaxy and Picnik in addition to revisiting Flickr. TagGalaxy it turns out is based on Flickr and appears to be a 3-dimensional collection of images from flickr organized and grouped by the tags they've been tagged with. I couldn't really get the images to actually download or allow me to do anything with them other than just look at images related to a certain tag. This was interesting for awhile, but didn't allow me to do anything with the images. I also wondered how TagGalaxy got the images from Flickr. I consider some of my photos works of art so it concerns me that someone could just gather things by tags and have them.

Picnik had a lot more image editing capabilities and reminded me of iPhoto. It was a bit annoying to be reminded repeatedly that if I wanted to do more I had to pay for the premium version. I also didn't like that that picnik library doesn't save the edited versions of the images only the original uploads. The edited versions are saved to your computer and then you'd have to re-upload them to use in picnik. There were some cute collages, but most of the ones I liked were part of the premium package.  Here are some of the photos that I edited in picnik.  They had already been edited in Photoshop, but I went a bit farther with them just to try the tools.

Picnik and Flickr are of value for the art room. I already have students using Flickr to save their images and to research other artists and their techniques. I think Picnik could be fun for students to do basic editing. It's interface is based on Photoshop so students would understand it easily and it would give them free tools to use when they're not in the mac lab.

I had a blast with the photofunia site. I could spend a long time there although again knowing Photoshop I could choose to do most of this there. It is fun to see the random results of merging my images with somebody elses. Here's a couple of the results. The dancing gif is my favorite for sheer kitsch!  Unfortunately the animation doesn't appear to be working here.

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