View and Enhance
Now that you have some photos in Shutterfly, you can do alot to make them better. If you're using the Shutterfly Express Software, these functions are available within the software. You do not need to be online to use the software.
Let's look at how to edit your photos on the Shutterfly website. Once logged in there, click the View and Enhance tab at the top of the screen.
Choose an album to work with. The photos are shown in a grid of small photos, so you can see many at once. Each has a checkbox underneath. To select that photo, make sure the box is checked.
In this area, here's what you can do with your photos:
- View as Slideshow
- Enhance and Fix Photos
- Edit Titles and Descriptions
- Organize Photos
- Delete Photos
- Rotate photos
In the main View window, you can change the size of the thumbnails using the buttons at the bottom for Small, Medium, and Large. At the top of the page, there's a Find button. Search for photos by date taken or uploaded, for photos marked Favorites, by text ( filename, caption, or description), and whether you've used the photo in a print or gift order.
To work with a photo, I usually click it or the Details button at the top. This will give you info about the photo. I like how it tells me what size the photo will print best.
Enhance and Fix Photos
Let's have some fun! I recommend that you fix and crop your photo first, then add effects and borders.
In the right-hand column, go to the Fix tab. This is a tool to help you correct red eye in your photos. Follow the 3 steps to select and correct the red parts. In the first step, click on a red-eye in the main photo. You'll see a close-up of the eye in the small preview on the right. Next, it will ask you to click the red area in the preview window. Then it will color-correct the red pixels out. If the effect isn't right, click a slightly different part of the red pixels.
Next, we crop! Cropping a photo cuts away part of your photo, around the edges. It removes distractions that interfere with the focus on your subject. Removing distractions from your subject can improve the picture dramatically.
The Shutterfly Crop tool makes it easy to see the effect. To see your cropped photo, change the amount and space removed with your mouse. The frosted area around the edges will be removed.
The default tool is the EasyCrop tool, which helps you crop your photos to standard print sizes. If you know that you will print an image as an 8x10, then choose that option, and it will keep your photo within that proportion. Click the custom crop tool if you want to crop without a fixed ratio. You may have a white border around the photo when you print them, to fill in the space.
Time to enhance! There are a few special color effects in this area. Used wisely, they can add to your photos and their story. In the screenshot here, I've added Soft Focus to highlight the facial expression on my dog, Max. The background was irrelevant to the image, and soft focus blurs it slightly. You may have noticed - I jumped ahead and added a caption. I couldn't wait to write down what he was saying to me. We'll go there, next.
Let's recap the Effects section:
- No Effect - use this to remove effects
- Black & White - great for a special event album
- Color Tone - add sepia tint or any other color
- Saturate - makes your colors more vivid
- Soft Focus - softly blurs the background and adds subtle focus
Most effects have adjustments to help you get just the right look.
In the left-hand column of this page, there are some useful links. You can see them in the image above.
Revert to original removes everything that you've done to the photo.
Save a copy when you've made a change you'd like to keep. You can save edited images to a new album to stay organized.
Apply the same effect to other pictures in the same album - a great timesaver.
Shutterfly automatically corrects all photos, but if you've already corrected the image in another program, check the box at the bottom, and it will not change it.
Next stop - Borders. In the right-hand column, click the green tab for Borders. Here's where you can go crazy - borders and more borders. There are hundreds of borders.
The drop-down box shows you the first few dozen categories. To see the rest, choose the last option, More... Many of the borders are themes - holidays, thank you, seasons, moving, parties, sports, patterns, and even calendars.
Other borders are edges and captions. Edges add an effect to the outer edges of your photo. They add a rough look or a soft blur or an elegant edging - lots of choices. Captions let you add a title or comment to your photo in the frame or on the photo. Some captions can be combined with some edges, I noticed. You'll have to try different combinations to set off your photos.
Share Photos Online
Create a place online where you friends and family can view your photo albums. Choose the Share Online tab at the top of the page. Click here to go to Share Photos at Shutterfly.
You can view your photos by album or thumbnails. All of the tools for enhancing your photos are available here. It's great to design an album and then work on the photos, too. When you're ready, click the purple button in the upper right that says Share Pictures.
Choose your photos by selecting the checkbox underneath each one. Click the links in the upper right of the album to select all your photos at once. Click Next to set-up or add to a shared photo album. A shared photo album can be very different from your own Shutterfly albums. You can create a single album or start a collection.
Collections are an online album that your friends and family can contribute photos to, and add comments to photos. Your collection has its own web address at Shutterfly. You can set some options for your collection:
- Whether visitors can add photos and albums,
- Whether visitors can add comments
- Receive email when a visitor adds photos or comments
- An optional password to view your collection
Choose an album or add to your collection. Enter some email addresses in this form to invite friends and family to view the photos. Your friends and family do not have to join Shutterfly to view your pictures. This form sends them an email with your optional message and a web link to view your album. By default, Shutterfly will send you a copy of the email. I leave this box checked so I can forward the email later to anyone I didn't include in this form. I also usually let Shutterfly save the names in my address book for future use. From this window, you can also change the order of your photos -click the link to arrange photos.
After you send the invitation, the next page will display a link to the album, so you can copy it or bookmark it.
I bet you can't wait to see Max's album.