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Easy Photo Editing & Tips to Win Photo Contests

4752 Views 18 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Vita
Each post in this thread has a different tip or technique to enhance your photos, even if you do not own your own photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop. Feel free to ask questions or share your own tips on this thread.


Table of Contents for Tutorials on this Thread

Post 1: Welcome, and Table of Contents
Post 2: The Snipping Tool
Post 3: Cropping, Rotating, and Resizing Photos
Post 4: Contrast and Lighting
Post 5: Ebay - Inexpensive used photo editing software
Post 6: Using Gradients (Pretty background colors, every color of the rainbow)
Post 7: How To Turn Your Photo Into Art
Post 8: Tips to Win a Photo Contest
Post 9: Thought & Speech Bubbles
Post 10: Poodle Photo Fun with Seasons & Special Occasions
Post 11: Making Magazine Covers & Posters
Posts 12-18: Fun with LunaPic Photoedits - I
Post 16: Using LunaPic's Famous Art Effects & the Slider
Post 17: Fun with LunaPic Photoedits II - Combined with Photoshop (Intermediate)
Post 18: More experimenting with different LunaPic effects!
Post 19: How to copy photos you like on PF or the Internet
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
The Snipping Tool

The Snipping Tool is your friend. It's ideal for copying a photo on the Internet rather than downloading it, which is not possible on Instagram (or even here on PF as a .jpg file since they made a platform change in Jan 2020). It's on every Windows desktop and laptop. It might be on Apple computers too, but I don't have one so I don't know.

If you don't know where to find it on your computer:

1. Click on your Start Menu icon on the far lower left of you desktop.
2. Select Windows Accessories.
3. Right click on Snipping Tool to pin to your Taskbar and/or Start Menu. I have mine pinned to my Taskbar. You can do the same steps to unpin it.


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How to Rotate, Crop, Scale, & Add Captions

Many cellphones and free photo editing software now make it possible for you to crop, rotate, and scale (resize) you photos. This is often just the thing you need to do to enhance some of your photos, and ideal for submitting to contests.

My favorite site for making photos look artsy is LunaPic. They also have the above-mentioned abilities. Go to their site and select Quick Upload:

Then select the "Edit' on the drop down menu. It's pretty intuitive from there. This photo is famous, from Andrius Burba's, Under-Dogs. He did a fabulous series.


I find the easiest way to save is to right-click on the photo and then copy to your desktop. You can then rename it.


After resizing, I uploaded Burke's photo again, and this time clicked on the Text icon, and added his name:


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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Contrast & Lighting

Even old photo editing programs like mine (Adobe Elements 4.0) will also have features that will adust the brightness, shadows, contrast, lighten or darken highlights, and turn a color photo into a black & white photo, etc.

Here's an unedited shot of Sachii as a puppy taken in June 2018 in a shady area:

Now it's been cropped, with a little contrast added and the shadows slightly reduced:


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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
EBAY - Inexpensive used photo editing software

If you want basic photo editing to enhance your poodle pics, you can find older versions like the 4.0, 5.0, and 6.0 Adobe Photoshop Elements from $12 to $30; just make sure:

1) The KEY comes with it!
2) It's compatible with your Windows or Mac version and that Adobe has an update on their site so it will work fine on your computer.

My Adobe PS Elements 4.0 was made for Windows XP and is really old. I'm still using it on Windows 10. Check with Adobe's site first before you buy, and again, make sure it comes with the key.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Using Gradients (Pretty background colors, every color of the rainbow)

I found a wonderful site, uiGradients - Beautiful colored gradients.

They have hundreds of free, large 1280 x 1024 photos in beautiful gradient colors. No account necessary.

After clicking "Show all gradients", you can see them all; couldn't fit them all on page:

Gradients can be useful for many types of photo editing.

Using Adobe Photoshop, here is where I cut 'n pasted two different pics on the purple side of the above gradient photo.

I then cropped it, and since the 1280x1024 gradient photo is so large, I used the scale tool to resize it to make it small enough to use as a screensaver for my desktop. All that was left to do was add the caption:

Sometimes I think, hmm, maybe I'll try this instead. So this time I moved the original two photos to the right side of the original gradient, when gave it a different color background; then cropped.

Once you get comfortable with whatever software program you use, you can create these very quickly. The the technical part was about 15 minutes, selecting a gradient and thinking about placement and picking out a font for the text took a little longer.

If you give this a try, let us know or show us how it worked for you, or if you use a different site or software that's better, faster, etc, share!

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How To Turn Your Photo Into Art

This photo is from the PF February 2018 Photo Contest. Coldbrew & Jasper one the most votes in three categories. In addition to awards, Coldbrew was received a the gift award of his photo transformed into art.

This is easily and quickly done using LunaPic.com. As show in previous posts, you upload your photo. Then you select Art, and scroll down to the type you want to try.

Here, I used Fantasy, and it will generate the photo. If you don't like it, click the Undo button:

On the other hand, if you like it, you can do two things:

The easiest to me: You can right-click on the photo, select copy, and then paste onto your desktop, and rename it,

Or, you can click Save and you'll get these two options:

Afterwards, click undo again and try the many other creative and fun selections in the the tab bar, or exit. No account needed. Free!

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Tips to Win a Photo Contest

Enhancement: I saw a lot of photos that could have been enhanced by using a simple photo editor. Cropping and adjusting for brightness, shadows, and color saturation can boost your photo from very good to memorable.

Tip #2: Categories. Some of our contests have multiple categories to choose from. I saw several photos could have been entered in another category where it would have had a better chance of winning.

Tip #3: Making Memes: I grew up laughing at Far Side Cartoons by Gary Larson who was a creative genius in irony and giving animals thoughts and actions like people. Google for his old cartoons and you might pick up some ideas.

You can also photo edit two or three pics and combine them to make one funny shot. I'm no Gary Larson, but sometimes an idea will just come to you.

Here's a scene that many PF members can identify with and perfect for turning it into a meme.

"I know she hid the potato chips somewhere in here!"

"Bad" pics can be very useful. This shot is very ordinary in terms of photo quality, but someone turned it into a meme, making it quite funny. Find the human quality or irony in common scenes and you've got yourself a pic for the Storytelling/Caption/Meme Category.

Or this one:

"Why does he stare at me like I'm in heat? I've been spayed!"

Expressions: If you're lucky enough to capture a unique facial expression, use it. This one is from the February 2018 contest.


If you have some photo tips on winning with or without a photo example(s), share here. Please be kind, however, by not critiquing a fellow PF member's photos because we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Feel free to critique your own in before and after shots, or to ask for suggestions.

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thought & Speech Bubbles

This post is from 3/04/2018 and moved to this thread and edited to avoid being redundant:

Below, this photo is easy to find all over the Internet; after discovering a free online Speech/Thought Bubble generator, I used it for my meme:

Here's an online site where you can upload a photo and add a speech or thought bubble. It's here: Online Speech Bubble Maker - Create your own comic strips with Phrase.It

Kudos to PF member Juleshayashi.jh who is the first person I've seen to use bubbles on this forum, with her really cute and well-done photo story of her dog Salvatore in the February 2018 PF Photo Contest (link).

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Making Magazine Covers & Posters

The Cover Poodle category was one of several in the PF April 2018 Photo Contest, so these ideas and tools will help you make your own. Above is the final result as a sample I made.

Below I'll show you how simple it was, and will also direct you to links of a couple of online magazine cover generators.

One Way You Can Do This Using Photoshop or a Photo Editing Software Program

1. Choose a photo of your poodle(s).

As a sample, I used this photo from here:

2. You can use this black background I made, and change the color to whatever you want. The size is ideal for a mock magazine cover on the forum, so feel free to copy it.

3. Tweak your photo if you need to (in the one below, I changed the color of the soup in the upper left hand from the original pic, not perfect, but okay for now). Then copy and paste the image on the black (or whatever color you want) background, saving room for the title of the magazine:

4. Add text for the magazine story(s), and a barcode if you want. Here's a sample barcode for you, but you can google for other varieties too.

The first photo above is the final result.

If You Don't Have Photoshop

There are a lot of online Magazine Cover Generators and Movie Poster Generators, just google.

The best one I found so far is a section in Fotojet called Magazine Cover Maker (link). I like them because they have a very large selection of magazine covers, and you can add your own text. They also have a poster section but I didn't see a large variety specifically of movie posters.

Fotojet has a 30 day free trial period and otherwise costs $3.99. They aren't just a one-trick pony either; you can do graphic designs for any kind of social media, invitations, etc., as well as all kinds of photo editing options.

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Fun with LunaPic photoedits - I

As many of you know, this year I've been hosting the monthly photo contests, and I use photos of the winners poodles to make into screensaver gifts.

So far LunaPic is my favorite free photoshopping or photoediting site where you can turn a photo into something quite different. If you know of a similiar site that has hundreds of these features, please let me/us know.

So first, go to LunaPic and select "Quick Upload":

Now we'll upload this original photo of Molly from her thread, The Lizard Hunt:

Now we'll use the drop down menu for Art, and select Fantasy:

And with the click of a button, boom! We have transformed a photograph into a work of art!

SAVING IT - There are two ways to do this. I try a variety of art effects from the drop down menu.

The Quick Way:

Right click on the photo, then select Copy, then paste on your desktop.

Rename the photo, i.e., Molly - fantasy effect:

The Slower Way to save:

Click on Save, and you'll find it in your computer's Download folder.

Trying other effects:

Whether you save or not, click the Undo button (#2 in above photo). Then try other art effects. This one is the Fairy Effect:

Whereas the first photo has a Spring quality, the second one has an Autumn quality.


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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Using LunaPic's Famous Art Effects & the Slider

I was very impressed with Doditwo's use of LunaPic's Famous Art Works. Here's where you will find it:

This is simple but very nice original Photo of a Spoo with an intact tail:

Intact Tail Spoo - Brave effect:

Intact Tail Spoo - Thermal effect:

Here, Doditwo used the Slider to adjust for color when using the Pasley art effect under Famous Art Effects. Here's another photo of Mimi:

This is what you will see initially - a black & white photo.
Use the slider to bring back and adjust for color until you get what you like if you want to:

You can also upload your own or someone elses art styles when using the Famous Art Effects.

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Fun with LunaPic Photoedits II - Combined with Photoshop (Intermediate)

In this lesson we will combine two art effects using LunaPic. It will require Intermediate Skill. You can try it too following the first step in Post 12.

This adorable photo is by our PF member, Bailey; the poodles are Pixie & Cricket, used in the August 2018 photo contest. I love it. Here's the original:

Copy and upload it (or your own poodle-in-the-water photo) to LunaPic and select Animation on the tab and scroll down to Reflecting Water and select.

The photo will now be twice as long and the water on the lower half will have movement. Copy and paste to your desktop and rename something like Reflection1:

Switch to Photoshop: Since the photo is so long, ideally you can cut out (not crop) part the middle but as far as I know, you'll have to use PhotoShop or a similar program, like this on Photoshop:

Now merge the two together and save, naming it something like Reflection2. You should get something like this:

Now upload the above photo and have fun selecting different art effect. It's probably easiest to begin with the Art tab. Note: you will see more options after you upload your pic.

Reflecting water with the Delaunay effect:

Reflecting water with Floating effect:

Reflecting water with Watercolor2 effect:


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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
More experimenting with different effects!

Poodlebeguiled's Maurice



Note that the after shot was also slightly cropped at the top and bottom.​

... I love the edit on Maurice’s photo - never seen one like that. I may need to try and figure out if I can do that myself on lunapic.
I hope you do try! It only takes a few minutes to artsy up a photo.

Go to Lunapic --> Quick Upload --> Art --> Famous Artistic Styles -->
Count seven rows down and select the Waves Art Effect. Voila!

Right click on your mouse, click copy, and save to your desktop, then rename, OR click save and find in your downloads folder.

I like Waves Effect best on black poodles. Here's the original shot frozen from your video entry back in the Sept 2018 contest using any computer's Snipper Tool.


Waves Effect:

The tan brown coloring with the bubbles just doesn't work for me, especially when it encroaches on white poodles, but this effect usually works for blacks, as you can see in Maurice's before & after photo.

While playing around with this, I randomly picked the Acid Art Effect of this pic of Luna and I think it's interesting to look at. It's just a little too blue on the topknot area, but still makes for nice screensaver. Each photo will turn out differently depending on the placement of the subject:

Here's a small sample of the different selections in Lunapic's Famous Artistic Styles category:

So try different effects; Lunapic has a lot of them. Good luck and enjoy!

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
How to copy a photo from PF or the Internet

EVpoodle asked how to download the screensavers from the photo contests. There are at least two ways to do this.

1) Right click on the photo and select View. It will look like this:

Then right click on photo again, select copy. It will look like the photo below.

Then paste on your desktop on laptop and rename if you want. Do not delete the part of the name that says .jpg or .png. So an example of a rename could be something like MyPoodle-5-2019.jpg.

2) A second way is to use the Snipping Tool on all Windows computers (not sure about Apple). See Post 2 on this thread for this easy feature.

This is a workaround for getting copies of photos where you click on them, and they take you to the website and you can't download.

I've also noticed that with photos uploaded here by Tapatalk, the "copy" won't be a copy, it's some sort of web folder. Just delete that and use the Snipping Tool.

I'm don't know how you would do any of this using a cellphone. If anyone here does, let us know!
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