Category Archives: image editing


I’m perpetually amazed at how I’m always late and a day behind regarding stuff like music and Web 2.0.  Case in point: I’ve just noticed the additions to the image editing site BeFunky.  As if the functionality wasn’t groovy enough,  they’ve compiled even more options for optimizing the gonzofication of your photos.  Use the cartoonizer, warholizer, scribbler, inkifier, charcola, etc to add varying degrees of wowza to your pics.  It’s a perfect tool to use for editing when using comic life.  Not to mention seamless integration into your networking sites has been taken care of.


I almost feel badly that the site is free and I have little creatistic ability to begin with.

digitization – the scanning part

So, assuming you have thought a plan and planned your thought, you’re ready to digitize.   Creating a decent collection using an application like CONTENTdm is surprisingly straightforward. Indeed, this second phase, if you know what you’re doing, takes the least amount of time.

Regarding the actual digitization, you don’t need the most current or advanced equipment, only a little knowledge of the scanning and archival process. When working with photographs, here are some considerations:

  • Always create a layer of copies: Create a master set of copies that will not need any touchup.  These are the true backups; save them in the TIFF file format – though they will be large in file size, they will remain uncompressed and unchanged. For images that will be touched up with Photoshop or Piknik/Fotoflexer, etc, use the JPEG format – there’s little sacrifice in quality with good compression.
  • Watch your resolution.  We use Epson scanners, and when working with textual documents, we will scan with 300 PPI/DPI.  For photographic images, here’s our process: Take the longer side of your image and divide 3000 by it; this will be your approximate scanning resolution.  Inaccurate resolutions will create scans with both inaccurate clarity and file size.  To be avoided.
  • Make sure your metadata is created beforehand.  This streamlines the process and avoids confusion with similar photos.  Also, your metadata dictates the the how thorough your collection is.  Your collection is only as good as your metadata.
  • Save your copies/backups in numerous places.  If you’re fortunate enough to have server space, place your masters and working copies there, as well as on a writable disc.  If in an academic or business institution and you have a shared drive, place them there.  Keep your physical copies in acid-free containers in your archives or wherever it’s consistently cool and dry.
  • Be consistent in your work and the workers you choose for the projects.  Inconsistency will create inconsistent metadata, collections, etc.
  • Start small; don’t get involved too early with compound objects (multiple images for the same object); they’re not necessarily complicated to scan, but using CONTENTdm’s compound object functionlity is not all that intuitive.

These are just a few considerations.  For more on the terminology, take a look at my LibGuide for digitization terminology, formats and whatnot.  It deals with a little more detail concerning the basics.

image editing on the fly: Picnik or FotoFlexer?

dispatch from the compound, fellow gonzofreaks. My spirits are soaring, for I have come across a perfect pair of doodads to electrify one’s virtual space with flashy graphics and buzz-pics, all at the cost of zero moolah.

For those like myself who are impatient enough to read through a Photoshop manual or video tutorial, I’m pleased to find both Picnik and FotoFlexer freely available (with paid upgrades, of course) on the InfoWebbosphere. The plethora of options contained within each are just too good to pass up an afternoon otherwise scheduled for catalog maintenance and Web design. Originally, I started using Picnik, but after a steamy soiree with FotoFlexer, I became torn, figuratively speaking. Which to court as my editor of choice?

Quick rundown:

Picnik has a user-friendly and streamlined design, fun effects and advanced tools to make either quick editions on the fly, or even more complicated images of the more mundane snapshot. I especially like the “Gooify” option under the effects tab (as you may have noticed in my header and avatar pics) and numerous fonts for adding text.

altered with fotoflexer

FotoFlexer, on the other hand, has pretty much everything Picnik does, plus a little more. The ability to insert multiple images into one workspace, use layers, cut images, add simple animations and even morph images makes FotoFlexer very impressive indeed. Where it falters, though, is the interface. Not as streamlined or user-friendly as Picnik, FotoFlexer’s workspace is a bit bland; lot of white space, a little clunky when uploading images, and confusing when creating an account.

cutting to the chase, fellow infomaniacs, Picnik or FotoFlexer? Both, I say! I think creating some sort of master image in Picnik will be a good starting point, and then making more complicated alterations in FotoFlexer when needed is not a bad way to go. Surely, there are probably tons more editors out there equally as good, but these two are boss for now.