Life’s a Picnik

By Erica Blake

One of the best things about dining al fresco is getting in touch with nature and saving a little money – essentially picnics are a chance to get back to the basics and in touch with nature.  You supply some tasty treats and a bottle of wine and find a cozy outdoor spot to enjoy your delicious meal. 

The creators of Picnik must have had those same ideals in mind when building the free, user-friendly, photo-editing tool.  Adorned with grass and blue skies, Picnik’s interface reflects an outdoor setting and the site walks you through an easy process of upload, edit, create, save and share.  In addition, the editing options are straightforward so you can hit the ground running and get started right away.

The good…

Arguably, Picnik’s most enticing attributes would be that it is free to use, requires no downloading or registration and works with Mac, Windows and Linux.  Additionally, with Picnik, users can either upload from their hard drives or pull pictures from their MySpace, Facebook, Flickr, Photobucket, Picasa or Webshot accounts to edit and apply different effects, fonts, shapes, and frames.  The library also remembers the past five pictures you worked on in the event you want to revisit them. 

The bad….

You get what you pay for.  A potential Picnik negative is that without upgrading to Picnik Premium, the tool is fairly basic.  You can still upload, edit, create, save and share your photos without registering for the $24.95 yearly package, but full access to different backgrounds, frames, etc. is limited.  However, if you do choose to upgrade, you can enjoy a completely ad-free experience while gaining access to all of the effects, frames, fonts, shapes as well as Picnik’s advanced editing tools (Curves and Levels) which have many of the capabilities of expensive software packages, but come equipped with one-click defaults.  You also have access to Picnik’s support/help feature, new feature previews, professional FontShop fonts, the ability to transfer photos between different photo sites and an unlimited photo history.

The adorably cheesy….

After playing around uploading different pictures, making the most of all of the editing tools, applying multiple stickers and rotating through backgrounds, I decided to share my final cheesy, yet simple Valentines Day inspired love of SHIFT with all of you.  

Overall thoughts….

While not as dynamic as a Photoshop type of program, Picnik can provide your clients a free or low cost alternative to traditional photo-editing sites.  I would give it 4 out of 5 slices because it is easy to understand, offers a wide variety or touch-up tools and recently added new advanced editing tools for more in depth projects.

3 Responses to “Life’s a Picnik”

  1. 1 Kimberly February 17, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    I love the SHIFT Valentine! I hadn’t heard of Picnik, but it seems like even the free version is a good photo-editing tool. I’ll check it out!

  2. 2 Christina F February 17, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Very helpful! Nice to be able to offer clients a free tool 🙂

  3. 3 Colleen W February 18, 2010 at 6:02 am

    Great review…insightful & entertaining. I’ll definitely check it out. Thanks!

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