Thursday, June 25, 2009

Steps to a New Header

Rebecca left a sweet comment on my photo post about liking my headers and wanting to know more about software. I responded to her comment, but I thought it would be fun to go through my process for the headers using Picnik, since I think that is just about all anyone needs. For around 25/year for Premium and regular updates to it I think it is a great deal.

Step 1: Find a photo I like. (this one is my purple flowering kale in the garden) It needs to have enough interesting detail in a narrow band for a header. Rotate it until you get the right angle.

I rotated this one left, once.

Step 2: Crop it. I know the general dimensions that look good and fit, I try to have a focal point, and I like to follow the rule of threes. Ever wonder why your camera has that nifty grid to divide the space into 9 parts, yeah, that would be it. I use it for balancing positive and negative space as well. Sometimes I just go for content, but the ones I like the best follow those rules. (left two thirds positive space, right third, negative space)

Step 3: Adjust exposure (this one was over exposed so I decreased) and contrast (I increased it a little, more drama)

Step 4: Play around with effects. Here we have Boost:

and Vibrance.

I went with Vibrance. They also have some seriously far out ones, and traditional like Sepia & B&W. For a lot of fun, go with Lomoish.

Step 5: Soften if needed. Sometimes I like doing this, especially if the colors are strong like in this one. This is the Matte effect.

Step 6: Rounded corners and add text. I love the text options, and I keep wanting to find reasons to use the really wild ones. Still, the ones I like best look like neat writing or retro typewriters. I was feeling purple, so purple text it is.

Step 7: Shrink to Fit. My Blogger header has a 890 pixel width. To make sure that it scales appropriately (instead of letting Blogger do it for me) I save the file as 890 pixels wide and let it scale the height.


tere said...

It's kale as a header!! love it and love you.

Marketing Mama said...

very cool. I think it's nice that you keep changing it so often with your awesome photography.

Rebecca said...

Holy schnikies. I'm excited to try this. You can do all that with Picnik, huh?

Rebecca said...

p.s. If I figure this out, I may make my first banner one of my son's bare butt from today's post. Maybe the boost feature will bring out some details! Ha ha ha ha.

jen @ negative lane said...

I cannot get over what great pictures you take with a point & shoot. They're like fifty times more awesome that the stuff I take with my DSLR.

I also do not understand how you find the time to a) take pictures and b) edit them. I'm lucky I find time to eat and shower every day.