Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Google's Picasa2 Makes us Photo Monsters!

I'm still evangelizing for Picasa! And, I'm creating monsters. Yesterday, I gave my little Picasa seminar for Liz and her friend Mary Ann. They had never seen it before. Our training session was from 4 to almost 6pm. At 11:30pm Mary Ann was still exploring her photos! I think Liz lasted till 10. Cool. As for me, Picasa has given me access to all those thousands of photos we've taken since we hit the road 2 years ago. I've been putting keywords on them anytime I notice a picture I like. So, now, when I think of a photo of Odie that I liked, I just type in 'Odie' in the search field and there they all are - instantly! So, I'm thinking of different ways to use the pictures other than just in chronological order in my Blog. Then I think of ways to play with them to express myself. Before you think that Picasa can add that text, I need to tell you I did that with Fireworks. But I credit Picasa with giving me access to all my photos, and getting me to play with them. I don't want Picasa to add all those other features that I need Fireworks for. The beauty of Picasa is it's speed and ease of use for doing 90% of the things that you want to do with photos. It's not bogged down with the other 10%. There are so many ways to use your photos with web-based services now. I found a website - Zazzle.com where you can make your own custom stamps. These are real stamps. I've used them to mail a couple things. You don't want to use them for everyday mailing cuz they're expensive. A set of 20 .39 stamps will set you back $17 which works out to .85 per stamp. But, is this cool or what? This is a photo of my actual sheet of stamps. I used a sunset photo that I took in Ocala National Forest in Florida, and I added the text: www.jimandchris.com. I think I'll do another one with a photo of the motorhome on the road. And, just in case you'd like to have some jimandchris.com stamps of your very own ... you can do that. Just go to http://www.zazzle.com/chrisguld . You will see the picture. Click on that and you can purchase the stamps. We will get a percentage of the sale, as will Zazzle - thus the 85 cents! The other site I've discovered is lulu.com for publishing ebooks and calendars. Using Picasa, I tagged all the photos I might like to use for a calendar. When I filtered to just those photos it made it easy to pick one from each month. In case you haven't gotten a 2006 calendar yet check out "A Year of Living on the Road". The cost is $18.95 which includes, once again, a percentage to me and to LuLu. Just click here, and then click on the link to "A Year of Living on the Road". Here's the photos included. Notice that there are 13 of them - it goes thru January 2007. This is the first time I've done anything like this - used websites to create and sell stuff. Any questions, comments please email me and let me know. A link to our email is in the sidebar just under RV and Personal Links.


Diane said...

Since you are the Picasa-guru (actually, my guru for all things computer!), have you played around with the cd-backup and slideshow cd features of Picasa? My Jasc Photo Album has a VCD creator, but it's a little problematic.

Have Fun!

Chris Guld said...

Hey Diane - Yes, I've used the backup feature of Picasa. Actually it's quite important to use that if you want to maintain your Picasa edits. I also LOVE the 'Gift CD' feature. In my experience, it *just works* with whatever CD or DVD drive I give it. I'll email you to see what's going on with yours.

Louise said...

I've been using Picassa for about a year and never knew about the "label" feature. Wow, that will be handy! Thanks for the tip.