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Flickr gets Picnik's online photo editing

The practice of photography is gradually moving toward the Web: Flickr members now can edit their photos online using Picnik's tools.

Picnik's image-editing tools now are available within Flickr. Flickr

Flickr members now can edit pictures online using Picnik's online tools, a significant change in the ability and focus of the photo-sharing site.

A new "edit this" option on each photo's page takes Flickr members to a "powered by Picnik" screen that permits them to change exposure, colors, sharpness, and other attributes, as well as add text, whiten teeth, fix red-eye, crop, and resize. The features duplicate those already available on Picnik's site.

Flickr and Picnik announced the deal in October, saying at the time it would launch "in coming months." Now the company announced the move on its Flickr blog. Some of fruits of the new option can be seen on the Flickr Picnikers group, including some images edited with Picnik.

Flickr pages now sport an 'edit this' option. Too bad all the options don't fit above the photo anymore. Flickr

Flickr got its start as a place to post photos, sharing and commenting and joining groups of like-minded photographers, but it's gradually growing beyond its roots. And the addition of the editing option marks a subtle change in how users could perceive the site: not just as the online mirror of a photo collection stored at home, but also a repository of finished images that don't exist elsewhere.

It seems unlikely that serious photographers will consider their Flickr photos to be their canonical collection, but the online editing does reflect a gradual shift of the photographic center of gravity toward the Internet. Along with sharing and editing, online sites offer services for printing, selling, geotagging, and archiving photos. And the sole superpower in the image-editing software world, Adobe Systems, is working on its own online editing tool, Photoshop Express.