In about a month, my favorite editing site, Picnik, is shutting down operations. This has spurred me to action on two fronts.
Photo editing sites
According to Flickr,
"Picnik is closing on April 19, 2012. That means that after that date, you will no longer be able to edit your Flickr photos in Picnik. But don't worry! We already have plans in the works to make sure you're still able to edit your photos on Flickr. We'll post more about the new and exciting editing options on the blog when they are fully baked."
One of the benefits of Picnik, in addition to its array of tools and effects, is the fact that it links directly to Flickr, eliminating a few steps in the editing process. While the following sites don't have that option, they might match, or (in the case of Aviary, in particular) even exceed, Picnik's capabilities:
- FotoFlexer - touted as a Photoshop replacement. Export/Import your pitures from Flickr, MySpace, Picasa, and Facebook, and others. Save photos and create albums. An account registration is required. For a comparison with Picnik, read this review from PCMag.
- Pixlr - free online photo editor, no registration required. A key weakness seems to be its import and export options. TopTenReviews evaluates Pixlr's features.
- Aviary - offers a suite of tools, including image and effects editors, a music creator, and an audio editor. Free, registration required. One of the drawbacks mentioned by reviewers is the "fairly intense learning curve" for novices. Read more about Aviary in the Women in Business review. [one big plus for educators, as mentioned on Free Technology for Teachers: "If you are a Google Apps for Education school, Aviary can be added to your suite of services to allow students to save their works within their Google Apps accounts"]
- iPiccy - free, no registration required. This reviewer found iPiccy's options to be very similar to those on Picnik. The site is still in beta, so I would be sure to keep backup options in mind. More information, and a link to the iPiccy video tutorial, can be found on MustSeeOn.net.
With Picnik disappearing from my life, and mindful of horror stories about deleted Flickr accounts, I've also been considering digital curation options:
- One photographer suggested using "NAS (network attached storage) with RAID 1+0 or RAID 5 (redundant disks in case one fails)" and pointed to a wiki with vendor links. I need to do a bit more research about this, and consult with my in-house tech support (my very knowledgeable son-in-law).
- External hard drive. No, I don't have one yet, and yes, I need to buy one!
- CDs or DVDs. Storage, and longevity issues make these unsuitable for use as the sole backup for photos.
- Desktop apps. After reading a few reviews, including one from a member of my online network, Kevin Jarrett, I decided to purchase the Pro version of Bulkr. My initial backup took a few hours, since my Flickr account has over 16,000 photos, with more added each day. Now I update about once a week.
I hope that Flickr will continue to survive and thrive, and that there will eventually be another site that mirrors the ease and flexibility of Picnik. But I'm not willing to risk my photographs on wishes and desires.
“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever... it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.” -Aaron Siskind
"She glances at the photo, and the pilot light of memory flickers in her eyes." -Frank Deford
"Remember" by dmcordell