We finally took some new family pictures. I put it off for 2 years, hoping that we would have added another little one to our family in that time, but since that hasn’t happened yet, it was time to get some new pictures so we can remember our cute family how it is, right now.
My sister Rachelle took the pictures (like last time) and did a great job, even using my camera of which she isn’t used to.
The way I like to edit my pictures is a combination of Picnik and Picasa. I downloaded the free Photoshop Elements trial, but it seemed like the learning curve was pretty high and I don’t have much time to devote to learning it right now.
What I use (and don’t use) in Picasa:
-I love the retouch tool. It quickly gets rid of imperfections in my pictures—I like to use it to get rid of plants or other distracting things in my photos. In the before picture above, you can see some white stuff above my head in the before. Bird poop? Not sure, and it’s not a huge deal that it’s there, but it is something that can distract. That retouch tool gets rid of that quickly and easily.
-The highlight tool. For some reason in Photoshop Elements I could not get things brighter without losing color. I’m sure this is just something I wasn’t able to figure out and it’s perfectly able to be done, but it’s just so much easier in Picasa to me! I always brighten the picture first with the highlights. Sometimes you can go too far, as I’m sure you’ve all noticed that the whites can become a bit purplish if you adjust the highlights too much. A lot of times I add a little bit of the shadows back in. If the subject of the pictures is still too dark, I’ll start messing with the lighten bar.
What I use (and don’t use) in Picnik:
-The autu-fix occasionally. If that doesn’t look good I undo it and continue on.
-I crop the image and then…
-soften it just around the edges (depending on what the picture subject is). I love this when too much is in focus behind the main subject (I believe that’s called the depth of field). A lot of times at this point I’ll save the image and continue editing in Picasa with the highlighting and retouch tool.
-I’ve been loving the cross processed look. You can adjust it of course. What I like is that even if a picture is slightly out of focus, putting this effect on your photos helps a lot. But when I’m done editing I make sure to save it as a different file rather than replace it because someday I might think, “I wish I hadn’t ruined all those pictures by putting that effect on them.” Things go in and out of style so quickly and I don’t want to mess with the timelessness a picture can hold if you save the original file.
-teeth whitener when doing the cross process effect. This will help the teeth not be so yellow as a result from the effect. I also like to do this on the whites of the eyes.
-I also think the sharpen tool looks better in Picnik.
Thoughts from left to right: D… “I’m so tired of smiling. Mom, don’t you know it’s like 90 degrees out here and I am wearing a flannel shirt over another t-shirt?” C… “Oh B, you are so cute!” Dillon… “I could be napping right now.” Me… “please turn out pictures, please turn out!” B… “kiss it mommy. Kiss it. And no I’m not going to smile. And I want my heart underwear to show.”
And that’s all for today! Thanks to my sister Rachelle for the pictures!