A Simple Shooters Guide To Cool Photos

kimi tony pixlr-o-matic

I get a lot of comments about my photos. Some say they love the warmth of them, others are digging the loud colors. The best part is that I do have a really good camera.  I do!  It’s a Nikon D80. But the thing I think is so best is that I use it like a point and shoot. I know nothing about photography.  I have a couple tricks. The ‘landscape’ setting that I use all the time cuz it shuts off the flash and the flip switch from auto to manual focus (a huge plus for closeups). I’ve learned a lot about light….that’s key and I have a cool tripod.  That’s the camera part, now for the real goods. I’m mega low tech, no photoshop for this girl.  I wish, but I just haven’t put the time into learning and this is why.  I have 3 super easy secrets…and they’re all free!


The top pic is the Tony filter. The original shot is below. I really like it as is, but sometimes it’s fun to add in a little drama. Pixlr was my first venture into digital online filters. I used it to create the photo I use for my logo on this blog. The one way up at the top with the luchador and the pixie.

kimi encarnacion pixlr-o-matic filter how to make a picture look really cool

Picasa’s ‘I’m feeling lucky’

Ha…this is almost silly to admit but it’s my most used technique.  If ever there was a secret I wanted to hold onto, this is it!!!  It’s a button.  That’s it.  No adjustments, nothing, just hit the button on the Picasa photo viewer. Meet the before and after! See how it makes the pic more vibrant? Easy!

picture before filters and enhancement how to enhance boost pop photos    picasa I'm feeling lucky photo enhancement easy without photoshop

Pic Monkey

This site is GREAT!!  So many things you can do to a photo. I use this when my photos are just OK and I need them to work, fast! The Pic Monkey filters can transform the look of an entire post with uniformity. I think it gives photos a little case of the warm fuzzies. If a photo’s a bit stark, you can easily tone it down and tweak the colors. See how soft these chairs became? Click HERE to see the entire post. It was just an ordinary trip to the laundromat and I happened to have my camera with me.  The pix were flooded in fluorescent light and really hard looking before I shot em with a tranquilizer.

DSC_0125    vintage pink chairs laundromat

And who doesn’t love a milky glow?

DSC_0889    kimi encarnacion pic monkey tranquil

Before California Pixie I had no idea about this stuff.  Anyone can do it. A tiny adjustment can make a photo really sing, don’t ya think?
I have run to the end of my photo know how.  I’m ready to learn how to really use this camera. shutter, F stop, the works. People give me little quickie lessons but it’s confusing. I hear the dummie books are great. Maybe I’ll start there…any recommendations?

19 thoughts on “A Simple Shooters Guide To Cool Photos

  1. Pingback: Blood orange color junkie | California Pixie

  2. Pingback: Orange glow | California Pixie

  3. YAY Nikon, representin’!! It seems that a lot of people are using Canons these days, so it’s nice to hear about Nikons for a change. :) I am still using my D40 with my 35mm lens. I hope to graduate to a higher end camera someday. Have you considered Adobe Lightroom? It’s more tailored to photo editing. Currently I use Photoshop because of work but I hear Lightroom is pretty great for simple photo editing and file management. Love your blog!!

  4. PicMonkey RULES!!!! I just discovered it recently too!!! You have an amazing eye for composition + color! My dad gave me his old DSL + for the life of me I can’t figure out how to do depth of field!!!!!! AAAAARRRRRGGHH!!!!

  5. you still definitely have an eye for photography, something which i DON’T have haha! I love instagram and other photography apps on iPhone but your photos are still really GOOD. i almost flunked photography class in college haha but having apps with filters nowadays makes me feel somewhat like a photographer already hahaha. believe me, you are really good – i love all of your photos in this blog! ;)

  6. I am certified in Photoshop but I cheat and use an app on my iphone called BeFunky and also of course Instagram. BeFunky isn’t all sketchy with its sharing ( like instagram has lately) so I like it better plus it has more control over the border shapes. I use a Nikon too. I have some photos from the nNikon uploaded to the phone so sometimes I use BeFunky on them. It also makes my Iphone photos really pop.

    • Janine, BeFunky, huh? I haven’t heard of that but I don’t Instagram, either. I just love that you can do some great stuff with little know how. OK, so since you are the photoshop queen. How long would it take a full out newB like me to get it down. I do have a kid that knows it. He says he’ll teach me. Ha!!! I should take him up on it. We’re slowly switching over to macs around here so….I just might go for it!!! kimi.

      • Dear Kimi- You should get the Photoshop thing down in a few weeks. Glad u have support in the house that way if you have questions you have someone right there. There are a bazillion things you can do with Photoshop and you don’t need to know them all. I personally LOVE the rubber stamp tool! I have cats and I use it to get rid of a piece of fur in a jewelry shot, a wrinkle on a hand model, or any small blemish or spot you want gone. It picks up color and texture from a few millimeters away and stamps it where you want it.Good Luck!

    • Oh thanks!! I’ll gt on it for sure! Been up to my eyeballs on de-cluttering…still!!! Not like i had a mess…just stuff! I finished then went through again! I always have a clothing project!! You’ve come to the right place.

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