I have always been interested in altering and manipulating personal photos. On my own computer I have a few programs such as Paint.Net and Adobe Photoshop that I use to play around with images. I never considered, prior to this course, about looking for a program to use online. Although Picnik was okay to use, I did find it a bit difficult to change my image in certain ways because a lot of the options only become usable when you sign up and pay for a premium account. After a while, it was frustrating me because I was clicking on different settings, however when I went to apply certain features permanently onto my picture it requested that I had to upgrade and pay to use what I had chosen (which I was not prepared to do). Therefore this limited what I could do with the pictures significantly. I did however like that I could see what each setting did to the picture and click cancel to be able to look at more options before making a decision of the changes I wanted to make. In the end, I did end up altering a picture I had uploaded to the site and made some minor adjustments to it. Even though I had only changed a few elements of the picture, it made it look totally different to the original.
In relations to using a program like Picnik in classrooms, it would be useful in a number of ways. For younger audiences, through adding in simple pictures onto photos would be great to add some character to student folios. For example, if the students were doing an activity looking at frogs, then a picture of the student/s engaging in the activity could be altered to have some pictures of frogs around the border, etc. By altering and manipulating photos, it can essentially bring elements to pictures that we cannot capture through just the original picture itself. Through using these programs, we can change pictures that may have some focus or colour impurities and in turn make it a higher quality picture than the original. Through manipulating images, it is also possible to crop out unwanted parts of the picture that may detract from the intent or key part of the picture.
With these programs, the options are endless as to what a picture can be turned into. It essentially to me is a form of art in itself to transform a simple picture into something that looks so beautiful, fun and/or interesting. A site I did come across talked about digitally manipulation and posed some questions that made me think about how they would relate to digitally manipulating pictures in education. “The important questions when we manipulate an image are, why are we doing this, and what are our purposes and intentions? Where do we draw the line? What is ethical in the digital manipulation and enhancement of a photo?” (Lodriguss, 2006). I am interested in hearing what other people would consider when answering these questions and how they personally see the use of altering pictures for educational purposes.
Lodriguss, J. (2006). The Ethics of Digital Manipulation. Retrieved July 25, 2009, from http://www.astropix.com/HTML/J_DIGIT/ETHICS.HTM
Picnik. (2009). Picnik. Retrieved on July 25, 2009, from http://www.picnik.com/app#/home/welcome