Sunday, September 17, 2006

Fun with Picasa

When we set up Jimmy's Blog we also set him up with Picasa for managing and uploading his photos. Well, of course we did! We are Picasa evangelists after all. We showed him a few things about how to use the program, then we said, "What we'd really like to do is give you our Picasa seminar - then we'd know we covered all the basics." Jimmy said, "I'll bet I know a couple other people who'd like to see that seminar too." So, he spread the word and we gave our seminar last night. We set up our projector and screen in Jimmy's living room and 10 other folks showed up. Great fun! No one else had heard of Picasa before and they all take lots of digital photos. Believe it or not, we didn't take any pictures of the seminar. :-( So, I'll show you a couple other photos I took yesterday and how I edited them with Picasa. We took a nice walk on the beach and I got 'artsy-fartsy' with my camera. Heres a photo of my foot in the surf: Using Picasa, I made a few changes: 1. I cropped the photo closer to my foot (click on 'crop', drag the cropped area, click Apply) 2. I clicked on "I'm Feeling Lucky" Picasa's one-step color and contrast correction (1 click) 3. I clicked on 'sharpen' (I do this to 90% of all my photos - in fact I use Picasa's 'Batch Edit' feature to do this to all of them at once) Here' s the results: Then, I took this photo of Odie trotting along next to Jim's feet: In Picasa: 1. Crop (click on 'Crop', drag cropped area, click Apply) 2. Tint (click on Tint, select color, click 'Apply') to give it that walking-at-night-in-the-moonlight effect. 3. Increased shadow (drag shadow slider to the right) 4. Soft Focus (click 'Soft Focus', drag slider to smallest, click Apply) for blurry/dreamy effect I guess I should call these 'artsy-footsy'?! Then, there's this shot of the waves hitting the jetty: With Picasa: 1. Straighten (click on Straighten, drag the slider so the horizon matches up with the horizontal grid, click Apply) 2. Crop 3. Black and White (click on 'Black and White') 4. Sharpen. I clicked 'sharpen' twice for this one - each time you click, it sharpens more. And, the *best* part is that Picasa doesn't touch my original. I can play around with the effects as long as I like - then I can change my mind and just 'undo'. To learn more, check out my video tutorials on Picasa. The one called "Examples of Editing Photos, Basic Fixes, Tuning and Effects" shows the steps I did to create the photos above. 8/11/09 note: I have a whole new website now ... www.picasatutorials.com

4 comments:

Mick Gordon said...

I really like picassa but one of the things that I have been unable to figure out is, how to reduce the glare in an area that is overexposed? Darkening increases the shadows but the glare still remains.

zmarties said...

Very nice easy to follow explanation, and I note that your video tutorials are similarly very well produced.

I've written about them both at Documenting Picasa which as Picasa evangelists you may find interesting.

Chris said...

mick, RE overexposed photos: it's been my experience that there's not much you can do when a photo is overexposed because there's no color there to work with. If it is salvageable, you'll probably need something more than Picasa. Check out this article: http://graphicssoft.about.com/cs/photoshop/ht/apsoverexposed.htm
zmarties, THANX for the compliments! I'm going to go read 'Documenting Picasa' right now.

CQ said...

Very nice document! I will show it to my 9 year old boy who is a Picasa/Google fun.