Tuesday, September 24, 2013

PicMonkey Tutorial! I love that Monkey!

Today I got the pleasure of training many of my Nomad├ęs sisters in some PicMonkey "How-To's"!!!  I wanted to share a step by step feature of one of the photos we edited during our training, for those that didn't get to join in and for anyone else who is just beginning to use PicMonkey!!!  I absolutely love this photo editing program online.  It's FREE....and they have a royal version too, but it's amazing how much you can do with just the free version!  

Above are the BEFORE and AFTER shots of the jewelry photo we edited today.  Below you will find the step by step on how we did this.  

1.  Open www.picmonkey.com and click EDIT photo. 

2.  Next find the photo that you want to edit on your hard drive.  

3.  Next I begin with the Basic Edits.  

4.  Click on Rotate (for this particular photo I want to change the way the photo orientation is just a little.)

5.  Slide the "Straighten" bar to where you would like it.  Realize that this will change the size of your object in your photo.  So I recommend to not crop until after rotating an image, if you know you want to rotate.   Click Apply

6.  Next we went to Exposure.  

7.  You can first try to Auto Adjust...if you like click apply.  One of the hints I like to give for our jewelry photos, is that many times it helps to Brighten the photo just a little.  A dark photo isn't seen as well.  So in this particular photo I added some Brightness to it and also a little Highlights.

8.  Next look at Resizing.  IF you plan to print this photo, I don't recommend resizing at this point.  IF you only plan to use on the web, just go ahead and resize.  A rule of thumb for me is I always make my longer side of my photo 800 and have the box clicked that says Keep Proportions, so it will automatically adjust other side of photo.  If I am doing a square photo I usually change to 500x500.  

9.  Above is what it looks like so far.  

10.  Next we looked at the Effects features.  And I showed how you can use the "Clone" feature to clean up a photo.  This is harder to explain in print, but basically you make sure the Source button is highlighted in blue, chose the color from your photo of what you want to clone and then use it like a paint brush to fix.  I fixed the double shadow a little in this photo to demonstrate   

11.  Above is with the new fixes, but honestly this will take more time and effort than I had today to do to make it blend better. (Because we are going to place another effect over this photo later, this is good enough for now).

12.  Next we began to add text to our photo.  Click on the Tt and then find the font you want to try.  Click on Add Text and you will see a text box pop up in the center of your photo.  Type in what you want.  You can edit color, size, style etc in the pop up box where arrow 4 is pointing to.  

13.  We added 82nd AIRBORNE and then decided to turn it a little.  You do this by placing your cursor over the small circle on top of the text and turn how you would like.  To move text boxes just place cursor over the box until the move arrows appear and click and drag to where you want it.  

14.  Next we added more text.  This time we wanted to match the color of the text directly with color that is in our photo.  

15.  You do this by clicking on the narrow color bar where arrow 1 is pointing.  It will create a eye dropper, just take that to the color you want to copy and click.  Your text will now be that color from your photo.  (I LOVE THIS FEATURE!!!)

16.  Above is just a photo of the eye dropper for you to see!  

17.  Next we added a few overlays.  First we chose a star.  There are many free overlays....so if you don't want to upgrade to royal you do have plenty to chose from too.  We did chose a royal star for this element here.  We resized it just like we did the text and changed it's color just like we did the text.  Then we moved it to where we wanted it.  

18.  Next we wanted to send it behind the text.  This is simple, just rick click (or if you are on an Apple laptop like me two finger click) and it brings up a pop up window.  Chose "Send to back"  It will drop behind text.  

19.  Next we wanted to fade it out into the background a little more.  Just click the fade bar and move to where you like.  

20.  Next we added some Postal stars also from the Overlays. Again sized, colored and moved just like we did the text.  

21.  We also sent these to the back.  

22.  And faded them out the same way.  

23.  WaLa...this is where we are so far.  

24.  I just wanted to take a moment to show how easy it is to add a frame to any photo.  You just click on the Frames square icon....and then click on a frame to try.  This is the Museum Matte and you can even change colors and etc.  Very cool.  We didn't keep this feature for our photo today, but wanted to demo how you could.  

25.  Next we went to Textures.  The particular one I chose for this today is a royal feature, but they do have many that are free too.  We chose the Edifice brick wall.  It's sort of scary when you first click on it, but we can fix that.  

26.  First thing we did was fade it out so that it wasn't so overpowering.  Next we wanted to bring our jewelry back to bright and not have the texture over it.  We want it to appear to be laying on the brick wall.  SO we use the brush to erase away wherever we don't want the effect to be.  You can change your brush size where the arrow is pointing too.  

27.  It takes a moment, but carefully erase all the texture over where you don't want it anymore.  

28.  Next we could have done this earlier on Overlays, but noticed it now.  So we decided to remove the stars on the circle overlay that were on top of the necklace, so that we make it appear that they run behind it.  Just click back on that overlay and a box will appear.  Click on Eraser and adjust your brush size.  Then just erase those two stars.  

29.  Again WaLa!!!  We are done.  Much better than what we started with.  Now on to saving it.  

30.  Click on the SAVE tab in the top middle of the page.  Then click on file name and name your new photo accordingly.  Next you get to decide how high of quality you want.  For print, I recommend "Sean"....just for social media "Pierce" is fine.  If you are working with a limited hard drive then chose "Roger".  Next click Save to my computer.  It will pop up a save window where you can decide where to save on your computer.  

Again here is the BEFORE &

AFTER photos.  

Not bad for a simple iPhone shot taken of your jewelry.  

Remember to try and take your photos in natural but not direct sunlight.  And be patient.  Trial and error is the best way to get it right.  I take hundreds of digital shots to find one or two I like.  

Good to know guidelines for resizing photos for different social media:
Facebook Profile Pix = 180x180
Facebook Cover Pix = 851x315
Google+ Cover Pix = 2120x1192
Google+ Profile Pix = 250x250
Pinterest Profile Pix = 165x165
Pinterest Photos = Always sized down to width is 235 (no matter what they are....so vertical photos are better for Pinterest over horizontal.)
Instagram = Square photo....doesn't matter pixels, they resize it when you upload it....even if it is not square.  

If you found this to be helpful I have a few other PicMonkey Tutorials on my site.  Here is the one on how to create a Facebook Timeline:

Thanks for stopping by today.  If this was helpful, as a thank you please help us grow our social media pages by following The Patriotic Pam!!!  

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  1. I use PicMonkey all the time! It's my favorite photo editing site. And I still learned a thing or two from this tutorial. Thanks! :)

  2. fun time! Thanks for all the photo widths.. I love the monkey too

  3. This was just a great tutorial. I use picmonkey, but did learn a couple things so thanks for that.

    Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon

  4. I never realized you could use the dropper!! That would've made things SO much easier! And I believe the clone feature is only for royal memberships, which is frustrating, because I know how to use it (from other programs). Thanks so much! This was super helpful!

  5. If you're planning to print your work, you'll be better off considering a more nuanced photo editor like here that will give you the fine control you need to make your photos look perfect, even at high resolutions.