Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Enhance your photo with free online Pixlr Editor

Hello dear readers,
it's Wen here today with a how-to edit your photos.

*** For this week's linky party please scroll down, below this post. ***

There will be a series of DIYs here on Our Beautiful World.
Ros has already given us two awesome video tutorials here and here.

Today, we begin with a relatively easy project.
More DIYs with increased complexity will follow later here on OBW,
where we'll give more options and go in more depth.

How to make your photos look a bit brighter and with more depth?
Like the example below?

My original photo (left) was quite dull and grey-ish with little depth and colour.

So let's see how to enhance a photo like this.

There are several photo editing programs available.
Some you have to buy, others you can use for free (online or offline).

Today I'd like to focus on the program Pixlr Editor.
This program you can use for free online,
and it gives you a lot of options to enhance your photo.


Let's go through the process step by step.

To get a better view of the images, please click on them!

1. Open the program

2. Open your image

When opening the program you'll (probably) get this screen:


Here's my original image opened:

(It opens without the red circles and arrows of course.)

The areas we'll be focusing on are:

1. is the MENU bar with drop down menus for example for adjustment,
2. are your TOOLS, like the type tool to add text to your image,
3. you can choose your own LANGUAGE if you'd prefer that,
4. we'll be working in LAYERS (like in photoshop), here you'll find your layers.

May be it's a bit intimidating at first to start working in layers,
but in the end it's more user friendly than working without.


Let's say you'd like to change something later.
You can re-open the file later to change something in your layers.
Especially when we'll be adding more changes in later diy's, you'll see it's very handy.
If you don't work in layers, you'll have to start from scratch again with your original image, because all steps in between the original image and the changed image are lost.

3. Duplicate layer

Click on LAYER in your menu bar and choose DUPLICATE LAYER.

Now you'll see in the side bar on the right that there's a layer added. (See picture below.)

4. Adjust Brightness and Contrast

Click on ADJUSTMENT in the menu bar and choose BRIGHTNESS & CONTRAST.

A little pop-up will appear on your screen. (See image below.)

Adjust the brightness and contrast by dragging the sliders.
Just play with these and see what happens with your photo.

Increase = drag slider to the right.
Decrease = drag slider to the left.

My photo needed more contrast.
To add more contrast I dragged the contrast slider to the right.
Then I thought my sky was too bright.
I dragged the brightness slider a bit to the left.

When done, click OK.

5. Optional: Add Text

Then I wanted to add text for copyright.
You can skip this step of course if you want to,
but if you're using your photo on your blog for example,
putting your blog name on the image is well worth considering.

To add text to your image click on the A in your toolbar left.

Click on your photo on the place where you would like your text to be.

(Later you can drag the text to another place when needed.)

Again, a little pop-up will appear.

Here you can change the font, size, colour, style and allignment of your text.

Type your text and click OK.

How to add copyright symbol

For copyright you could type (C) like I did in the bottom of these screen images.
Or add the copyright symbol © by pressing the "alt" key and holding it down while typing "0169" on the keyboard

6. Save your changed photo

We're going to save two different files.
First the image including all the layers you added (a PXD file),
the file where you can add or delete changes in the layers later when needed.
After that we'll save the JPG image.

The PXD file

Click on FILE in the menu bar and choose SAVE...

A pop-up will appear.


Click OK.

The JPG image

Again, click on FILE in the menu bar and choose SAVE...

Then in the pop-up, this time choose JPEG (GOOD FOR MOST PHOTOS) under FORMAT.

Also in the pop-up, under NAME give your image a different name.

Or else your original image will be lost.
I typed the file name "OBW pixlr after image".


Re-open the files if you'd like to see the difference.
The PXD file still has all the layers.
The JPG file has only one layer left.

Here's the "after" image of my photo.

You can see it's much brighter in colour and with more depth than the original photo below.

Feel free to use my original photo if you'd like to give it a go but would like to follow the instructions as close as possible before trying it on your own photos.

I hope you enjoyed this DIY and that it will help you with enhancing your photos.
We will be back with more in-depth DIYs later.

Wishing you a happy day!

~ Wen ~

(PS: The photo is taken in Dorset, UK.)


Lululiz said...

Excellent tutorial. Haven't used this before ( I normally use picmonkey ), but will certainly give it a go, its about time I got to grips with layers ;-).

Wen Sylvestre said...

Thank you Liz :) And have fun!

Ros Crawford said...

Well done Wen ... great tutorial!

Lizzy Hill said...

Really enjoyed your tut. Easy to follow, clear and simple to understand :)

Kirsty Vittetoe said...

Awesome, Wendy!!!! Thanks so much for the tutorial!

Dorthe said...

WOW Wendy, you are a pro, here, I too have not been working with this program, but heard from many that they love it, I will surely try my hand on it ,also.Thank you dear friend.
Lovely to see you back !!
Hugs Dorthe

Wen Sylvestre said...

Thank you ladies for your sweet comments :) Enjoy!