Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Picnik integrated into Picasa Web Albums

So, Google have integrated Picnik into Picasa Web Albums, following their purchase of the web app some months ago. Of course, it's long been possible to edit photos in your Picasa Web Albums from the Picnik interface, but it was always a bit fiddly, and this makes it far more accessible to the casual user. Picnik has long had a nice range of simple to use tools with which you can make real improvements to your photos, and while it may be no Photoshop, it allows for some casual playing about with photos that you might not otherwise bother with.

My only grumble, and it's not a major one, is that Google are pushing the "premium" features of Picnik quite hard. So as you edit your photo, you'll find that a number of features are labelled as "Premium", and you might even get the occasional pop-up asking if you want to upgrade. Google is usually more subtle than that, and it would be nice if the premium features weren't quite so "in your face". In addition, it would be nice if, in time, some of the editing features of Picnik made it into the Picasa app itself, and weren't just available for online editing. Whether Google has plans to go in this direction only they can know, of course.

As an example of what you can do with Picnik, I spent about 5 minutes turning this photo from my Drop Box:

into this:

OK, not much of a picture I know, but a definite improvement on the original, and a fun five minutes.