Monday, January 10, 2011

Scanners! Time to Embarrass the Kids Again.

..and give a little tutorial on Picnik in the process.

If I were to begin at the beginning, then we'll have to go all the way back to 1965, (or possibly 1964.. the memory's a little fuzzy), and you bring the first girl you ever loved to your backyard, where Dad has conveniently set up a pool. When that girl is in that fine turquoise bikini that she made with her own hands, you grab Dad's Argus 75 box camera, and pose the girlfriend all over the yard.

Fast forward to 2011, and you're still living the good life with that first girl you've ever loved, and you still have all those old 3½ x 3½ inch color prints from oh so long ago. And you've got a scanner to bring them into the 21st Century.

Enter Picnik, an ap that showed up last Summer some time on Google's Picasa. It's an online editing tool that has a free version, (which, being cheap, is the version I'm using... of course), and a pay version, which I've promised myself to check out. Eventually. It's loaded with most of the standard editing tools for exposure, sharpness, red eye removal, etc.) It also has a lot of creative stuff, some of which were applied to the image above.

So the first step in the process is to convert the original color file to a black and white file using Picasa, because I want to color the image myself. After sharpening and increasing contrast with Picasa, it's time to upload the image to Picnik. There, the image was colored using the paintbrush available with the Tint Option. Once it's colored, it's converted to what Picnik calls "Lomo-ish" appearance, which shifts the colors somewhat.. (making the skintones an otherworldly, John Boehnerish orange hue), and adding the "light leak" shadowing of the margins.  It also increases the contrast.

The last step is to use the "Museum Matte" option for a presentation appearance.  Then the image is saved back to the computer where, using Picasa again, I created the collage which appears above.

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