Picnik’s pro photography effects.

You may be a Photoshop (or GIMP) wizard, but if you’ve a Flickr account (or Facebook, MySpace, Photobucket, Picasa…) you might want to connect it to Picnik, the online photo editor.

I’m not entirely sure when this happened, but Picnik have set up some really cool and useful “pro” effects for their users, whether they’re paying for the premium features or freeloading like me.

Here are four of my favourites — I’ve used the default settings for each, and transcribed Picnik’s description for the corresponding effect. As you can imagine, more optimal results can be achieved by playing around/mixing & matching, etc…

Default Tiger

Default Photo

Here’s Andrea James Lui in a press photo for Asiansploitation, a local comedy troupe I direct.

Lomo-ish Tiger


Imitates the look of the popular Lomo toy camera.

Holga-ish Tiger


Plastic cam quality without the plastic cam! Holga-ish mimics the wondrous Holga camera when using the sublime combination of black and white film and a red filter.

HDR-ish Tiger


Emulate the uber-popular HDR look with HDR-ish […] Try it with shots of city lights or landscapes with clouds.

Orton-ish Tiger


Use our Orton-ish effect to mimic the usually-way-more-complicated effect named for Michael Orton. Unlike his method, though, this one requires no in-focus over-exposed-by-two-stops overlayed with an out-of-focus-overexposed-by-one-stop technical mumbo-jumbo. Just a pretty, nicely saturated glowy look to your pictures.

… Now here’s something you probably didn’t know: When you use Picnik (on Flickr at least) your photo is saved with layers and history intact. This means that you can go back and re-edit your photo at any time or undo edits you’ve already made.

That’s fairly awesome.

The only thing I can think of that would make Picnik even better would be if pro-level Flickr users could get the premium features included at no extra cost. Even as-is, though, Picnik has some fantastic photo-editing features that rival plug-ins you’d probably have to buy for Photoshop.

Or, put another  way, Photoshop ain’t no Picnik…


  1. Nice! I’ve never bothered since I do have Photoshop but were I on the road using internet cafes… well that would be damned useful to have. I don’t understand the obsession with the HDR effect but it’s nice to know there’s a way to fake it.

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