Thursday, July 16, 2009

Anyone for a Picnik?

Had a chance to work with Picnik this week. I had a lot of fun with it. So I am going to review it this week and provide some feedback how I used it and the many uses it has for students in the classroom.

To the left, I took a few pictures today as I headed out on my big camping trip in the mountains. - Sure got to be thankful for free Internet outside hotel lobbies :) Silly me, I forget to change the settings on my camera. For those of you who know a little about cameras, I left the ISO at 1600 for indoor photos, instead of using a 200 setting for outdoor pictures. So the picture was completely overexposed as shown in the left.

So I logged on to my Picnik account and uploaded this picture. In a few minutes I began to work the contrasts and exposure and add a few simple effects to the picture. What an improvement! I was able to take a poor photo and turn it into a quaint little photo. I realize it's not perfect, but when I think about the potential for students to use it, I'm very impressed.

I've used expensive software, like Photoshop, but not everyone can afford to buy these kinds of software, especially schools that can barely equip their computer labs with P4 computers or better. Here's a great online Web 2.0 tool that students can access from their classrooms without having to install anything special on to the computer. Anybody and everyone can access this for themselves.

Students can edits photos with great ease. It didn't take much to use the tool. Changing the exposure, brightness, cropping, touch ups was very straight forward. Adding a few effects like a drop shadow, or a 1960's look, or changing a photo to look more vintage, or softening the photo was as easy as making one simple click, and it was changed. A person can add text, do touch ups that eliminate blemishes as quickly as they edited the photos.

I would encourage any student to use this tool just to learn about colour and presentations. As a student plays with some of the adjustments, they immediately see the effects of the changes. Quickly, students develop a sense of what makes a good photo, because they see the improvements before their eyes. I would want students to then use the photos to enhance their presentations, which I will talk about next week.

In closing, here's another picture I took today. The antelope was too far away to zoom in anymore. So I cropped and zoomed into the photo with Picnik; I think it turned out okay.

No comments: