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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Blogging Tips & Tricks #1

How and where to get FREE photo manipulation software

One of the things you will use the most once you start blogging is some sort of photo manipulation software. Some of you are blessed to have things like Photoshop or Lightroom, but for those of us who are not yet to that level, or haven't saved enough funds yet, there are several great FREE programs WE can use!
I will cover four that I know of and have used to some degree. 


Here are a few I know of and their links:


 


  • With this program you can edit photos, videos or vlogs, make collages, etc. A lot of people us this program for all their blogging purposes. I have it, but I haven't taken much time to navigate through all it's options but from what I have seen, it is a great resource. You can host all your images on it as well.  
 To get Picasa just click on the link above and download it to your desktop. If I remember correctly it immediately starts uploading all your pics to it so that you can work with all of them on the program.
{I have never used this one to make a header or anything for my blog, so I can't tell you too much about this one.}



This is another great and free option. You can create an account for free and even upgrade for a small fee, where you will have even more options.
Have you seen the cute pictures with the rounded corners? 
Like this..
These rounded edges are something you can create in Picnik. 
Here is a quick tutorial on how to get rounded edges...

- Upload your photo 
- Go to the CREATE tab
-Go to FRAMES tab
-Go to ROUNDED EDGES
-Choose the size
-Save & Share

It's that easy. You can figure all the other features really easily as well. From lightening or darkening your photos, adding stickers, or changing the visual effects, it is very user friendly! 
You can also make a header in Picnik, but I will be covering that in a future tutorial as well as how I made mine.

Go play and see what your options are! I highly suggest this program if you are just starting out with your pictures. It is pretty clear cut and their aren't so many options that it is overwhelming.


The one I like and use the most is

You can download this for FREE to your computer and use it for all kinds of things. It is similar to Photoshop and has tons of tools, all of which I am still learning to use. But once you know how to do the main things it is pretty easy and VERY helpful!

Here is the basic outlay

With this program I do all my photo manipulation. It has so many tools. I am loving the brushes for designing, the options for making buttons (I will show you all about these in an upcoming tutorial) and editing my photos.
If you guys would like a more in depth tutorial on GIMP (at least my knowledge of it) please let me know in the comments.


Also most of you most likely have a photo host by this point, but if you don't you will need one to make buttons or add certain HTML images to your page. I use


If you don't know, Photobucket is is a site where you upload your photos and then can get HTML codes or direct links to your them.  You then are able to  place them around your blog, mostly in your sidebar. You can also edit your photos in this, re-size as well as make collages. You might be able to even make a header there, although, I have never tried that. I only really use it to host my photos.  Most people, in my estimation, are familiar with photobucket or some kind of photo hosting site, but if you are not I can also go into this in more detail.
(again let me know in the comments).

So these are a few things to get you started!!
Next week I will cover:
How and where to get FREE fonts for your blog or software


28 Thank you for your thoughts:

Jessica.B said...

This is very helpful! Thank you for posting :)

-Jessica
http://mommiesblog2011.blogspot.com/

Katie said...

I love it sweets! I have Photoshop but Picnik is quick and much easier. I use that majority of the times for photos on my blog :)

xoxo
Thanks for all these tips. I didn't know about some of the others!

Venassa said...

I have Photoshop but I also love Picnik. My only issue with Picnik is that I can't seem to get my photos to save directly to my computer - I always have to email them to myself and that takes a lot longer than just using Photoshop. I love the rounded corners feature though.

Two Shades of Pink said...

I use GIMP and also photscape which is surprisingly versatile. But you did a great job posting about the options available and its benefits. What a great resource!

Chrissy said...

Ooh, didn't know about Gimp! Will download it right away! Thanks for sharing!

Liesl @ FabulousFashions4SensibleStyle said...

Very helpful! For quick edits, like rounding the corners on my pictures, I use Picnik and love it...otherwise Photoshop is my best friend! :)

Liesl :)

Sherri said...

Wow! This is super helpful, thanks for sharing:)

Found you through Katie's blog & am so happy I did! Your newest follower:)
mamasherri.blogspot.com

shah wharton said...

This is really handy -wish id had this in October when I began blogging - or was it November? Anyway, I have tried two three of the above and found photo-bucket best. It has limited edit options though so if your have a lot of editing to do, best to edit elsewhere then take it to photobucket to get the codes required. This is so much easier than learning trial and error. Great article - I have no idea about the fonts place so will be back _ youre in my diary ;) Shah .X

shah wharton said...

P;S I tweeted this article to the cyber ether - many will benefit from this easily accessible info. Shah .X

Natalia Lynn said...

Great post! I didn't know about GIMP, I will be trying that today, thanks! I made my header on picnik, it was super easy and didn't take me long at all. Thanks for the tips!

a moderate life said...

Hi! Visiting you from creative girl friday and now following your blog. I love and use picnik the most because it is the easiest. I think gimp is very good but the learning curve for non-graphic design experts is rather steep! Love your blog design! All the best, Alex

jacin {lovely little details} said...

you know what else is great, PowerPoint! it does the image changes like the rounded corners, etc. and is a great one!

Fran said...

I love, love Picnik I use it ALL the time. I used to have GIMP but I wasn't very good at it so I didn't bother to re-download it once I got a new laptop so I would love more tutorials on it :)

sarahworldcook said...

Thanks for the post- I needed this. I would like to see a tutorial on GIMP. What program allows you to take out things you don't like in a picture and change colors, etc- more like photoshop?

my3littlebirds said...

Thank you for a great post.

Terry said...

Awesome. Thanks for this, the timing for me was perfect. :)

Faith Hope Cherrytea said...

brilliant!
THANK YU!
a deliteful surprise to find you where we're both linked at serenity now ~
tea's on at FHC ~ Welcome!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Good tips! I use Picasa for all my editing...they actually have a Picnik button within their editing features. You can click right over to Picnik, edit, and then save it back to Picasa. Love it!

Thank you so much for linking up with my Weekend Bloggy Reading party. :)

Dawn said...

i never heard of gimp-thanks for letting me know about it-i love picnik and picasa-those are the two i usually use

Nicole said...

Thanks for posting this! I use picnik, but think I'll try GIMP if you can download it!
I'm now following for more awesome tips.

Nicolette @ Momnivore's Dilemma said...

Coming at you from WBR @ Serenity now...

Does GIMP and Mac work okay together? I just tried downloading it on my MAC and it didn't work...Hmmm...

Great post. Thanks!

Candace @ Candace Creations said...

Thanks for the tips and resources!!! This was really helpful!

amazey said...

Thanks for the info! I need all the help I can get here.

WAM Family said...

Thank you so very much. I didn't realize there was more than Photobucket out there.

I would love to see more information on GIMP. I have a blog, but don't to much on making it very nice. I post, but not much more.

Thank you again,

Kathryn
http://wamfamily.blogspot.com
wamfamily at surewest dot net

The Scott's Crib said...

I love these posts...they are so informative. I actually just asked you a question about this in the other tip about branding and I kept reading and found my answer! Thanks so much!

Wegan said...

Just downloading GIMP so yes tutorial would be great :)

M x

Inspiration said...

Thanks so much for your help! I was very lost until I found your site. I will keep reading.
Beth :)

simone said...

i have never seen or heard of GIMP and i would love a tutorial!

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