Use Pixlr to give your pictures a weathered and worn retro look
Traditional image-editing programs offer an effective way to fix a multitude of photo flaws. Many also offer a range of effects that can be applied to pictures to give a different look. Currently, for instance, making new photos look like vintage snapshots is all the rage.
The trouble is that achieving this effect using some Windows photo applications can feel like a chore. But in this workshop we will show you how to get the same style of effects, overlays and old-fashioned photo borders using a free online tool called Pixlr. We’ll explain how to upload a photo, apply the different effects and then save the result back to your computer.
Start by visiting the Pixlr website. The site is also home to an advanced photo editor but for this workshop we are just interested in using the built-in styles, so click the ‘Retro vintage effects’ link to continue. At the next screen you can play with Pixlr’s sample photos, click the webcam icon to take a photo using a laptop’s built-in camera or pick a photo from your hard disk to work on. That’s what we’re doing here. Now click the computer icon.
When the dialogue box opens, use the Open box to navigate to the folder where your pictures are stored, select one and then click the Open button. Note the unusual controls at the bottom. The film icon opens more effects and borders, the crop icon (two L shapes, overlaid) will trim your photo into a square while the shuffle icon (the interwoven arrows) applies a set of random effects to the photo. Only click this last icon if you’re not feeling creative, as it removes all choice.
However, we are feeling creative, so we have begun to explore the first of Pixlr’s set of effects by dragging the filmstrip from right to left with the mouse pointer. As we click each one, the relevant effect will be previewed in the main window. One of Pixlr’s quirks is that, while other photo editors name their styles in a conventional way (sepia, mono and so on), Pixlr names them alphabetically after people’s names - the effect we’ve chosen here is called ‘Bob’. Found a good effect? Continue by clicking the blue sector of the bottom dial.
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