Some of you were curious about what free programs are out there to help you edit your photos. Annie mentioned Picnik.com and I figured I would try to achieve a similar result using their simple and free software.
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Here are some pros & cons before I get started:
1. The software is free and there’s no need to register or download the program to your computer.
2. It’s fairly intuitive and extremely easy to use.
3. It corrects very simple problems in your photo.
1. It is hard to tell if your background is pure white.
2. You can’t edit out unwanted images (ex. the peg on the mannequin or any background props)
3. Consistency is difficult to acheive.
4. The color is difficult to make natural.
I prefer the Photoshop result simply because the lighting is natural, consistency is easier to achieve and unwanted objects in the photo can be edited out. However, Picnik.com is about 10x easier to use though to achieve a white background, you sacrifice the realistic lighting of the photo. And, when you tilt your computer screen, you’ll find that the background is not actually white – which is hard to see when you’re editing it in the software. That means on other computers, the quality of your photo might not look as good as it does on your own computer.
1. Upload your photo to Picnik.com
From the front page, click “Get Started.” On the next page you will see a button that asks you to upload your photo.
2. Crop your photo.
Click the button on the top menu that says “Crop.” Once in the crop window, make sure you use the drop down menu to select “Original Proportions.” This will make sure the crop box doesn’t get skewed during the crop process. Once you have selected the area you wish to crop, click “OK” or if you would like to start over click “Reset.”
3. Resize your photo.
Again this step is optional but makes for a faster upload later on. Click the “Resize” link in the top menu. Then type in 800 × 1200 and click “OK”
4. Adjust the exposure and contrast.
In any photo editing software, Exposure and Contest go hand and hand. When you adjust one, you almost always have to adjust the other. Click the “Exposure” link on the top menu. Once in the Exposure window, move the dial up and down to get the desired exposure. Also move the dial for Contrast to make sure your photo doesn’t look washed out. Too much contrast will make your lighting look unnatural and too much exposure will wash your item out. Move both in tandem to get a desirable effect.
5. Adjust the color to match your item.
Adjusting the exposure and contrast can skew the colors of your photo, making it look unlike the actual item. To fix this, click the “Colors” link in the top menu. Once in the Colors window, move the Saturation and Temperature dials until the color matches your item. Saturation controls how rich the color of your item is. Temperature controls how cool or warm (blue or yellow) your item is.
6. Save your item.
Save your photo to your computer. Make sure you have it set to save in the highest quality.
Stay tuned for more programs. Feel free to suggest programs in the comments!