Teens Know Web 2.0: iHCPL for Teens is a self-paced discovery learning program designed to help teens make the most of free Web 2.0 technologies, such as photo editing sites, productivity tools, online videos, social networking and sites for sharing music.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Photo Editing

So you’ve got a Flickr or other online photo-sharing account. But, before you upload certain pics, you’d love to be able to tweak them a bit. And for that – photo editing – you’ve got plenty of places to choose from.

Unless you’re a professional photographer, you don’t need a chunk of change to make use of the latest and greatest Photoshop software to create cool effects or adjust an image. Like photo-sharing sites, there are more than the world wide web’s share of photo editing tools to choose from. And the best part is that most of them are free.

Just a simple Google search for the term “photo editing” will retrieve literally millions of hits (click here if you want to see), with the most popular spots, as always, near the very top of the list. And though each of the sites may have more or less features than another, most should cover the basic image-adjustment options.

Need to trim your shot a bit? Try cropping. Do you love attractive, bright colors? Try saturating. Do you prefer less color and instead take pleasure in the simplicity of shadows and shades? Desaturate the colors and convert your pic to black and white. Do you want to do less work AND enjoy a vivid, well-balanced image? Try auto-adjusting. Do you want to get really ridiculous with your shot? Mess around with distortion effects.

Little touches like these are often that special magic touch which makes the difference between an average snapshot easily forgotten and an eye-catching image worthy of hanging on the wall.

As already mentioned, there are plenty of sites to choose from. Lately, one of the bigger names in photo-editing has gotten into the game of free with Photoshop Express, which offers up to 2 gigabytes worth of uploadable photo space. With FotoFlexor, another popular site, you can enjoy image tweaking with cool functions that’ll trim a person out of a background, recolor hair, and even animate. Another popular site, Picnik, will work with your photos wherever they are on the web, whether Myspace, Flickr, Facebook, Photobucket, or Picasa. Best of all with them all – no moola necessary.

Discovery Exercise:
Create an account with one of the photo-editing sites mentioned above. After uploading a picture or two, tweak with some of the basic functions like cropping or color-adjusting. Try most of the other effects.

Once you’ve tweaked at least one of your pictures enough, upload your favorite result to your favorite photo-sharing site with the account you created in the previous module.

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