Picasa Tip: Crop to Zoom

This week’s Picasa tip takes us back to some basics of making pictures look better.  Almost every picture can be improved with a crop.  Crop can substitute for zoom.  If you have a good optical zoom lens on your camera, you can bring your subject closer when you take the picture.  If you don’t have that lens, you can crop the picture later to get closer.

Before Cropping After Cropping
RV in Oregon RV in Oregon
Kayak on Netarts Bay Kayak on Netarts Bay
IMG_7616 IMG_7616-001
2013-08-19 15.44.30 2013-08-020

When you use the crop tool, you have the choice of ‘Manual’ so you can make it exactly as wide and high as you’d like, or you can choose a width/height proportion like 4X6, or Square, or 16X10 for HDTV displays etc.  What you choose depends on the final destination for the picture.  I chose 4X6 for all of the pictures above just so they’d be the same.  Then you just drag a rectangle around the picture you want to keep and click Apply. 

Fullscreen capture 8202013 32929 PM

If you are a Geeks on Tour member, you can watch several videos that show different aspects of cropping as well as some other basic editing tools:

Published by

geeksontour

Chris is a teacher. Although she comes as close to an expert as possible in many areas of computer usage, she can still remember what it's like not to know these things! That means she can communicate with students in a way that teaches and doesn't demean. She really enjoys teaching one-on-one and for groups of people, but she reaches a worldwide audience with her tutorial videos on the GeeksOnTour.com website. She currently travels the country in an RV with her husband, Jim. As Geeks on Tour, they present computer seminars at RV rallies, computer clubs, and Senior Centers all over the US.

4 thoughts on “Picasa Tip: Crop to Zoom”

  1. I love Picasa and use it to organize and print my photos for our travels, especially the collage feature. But all of a sudden Google Plus is in the way — help, what do I do? I am having enough trouble with transferring photos from my iPad to Picasa on the laptop without this new problem!

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  2. You might want to tell people that when they crop the final image will have fewer pixels and may have less detail and less quality. It is always important to get as much out of your camera’s zoom as possible and to always have your camera set on the best quality so that the image has as many pixels as possible to begin with.

    Also, and this is a big one, it is critical that before you decide what you might be doing with the image before you crop it. If you want to make a 4 x 6 print the crop needs to be 4 x 6. If you do a 5×7 crop and request a 4×6 image the photo processor will decide what to cut away.

    Thanks for all your great tips.

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  3. G’day Chris,

    Thanks for you tips.
    I am using a Samsung Galaxy S3 phone for photos ( it is 8 something and my camera is only 5.
    I am also using a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet.
    My laptop (using Windows XP) has Picasa on it and is going well.

    Response –
    I have my phone camera set on my highest pixel range.
    I use separating my fingers on the screen to zoom in for a photo.
    When I open the photo and go in closer,as you said, it has fewer pixels.
    I often take photos of scenes I want to draw but then can not see the details.
    Is there a way it improve on this.
    Any thoughts?

    Peace be with you,

    David

    Question:
    Is there a version of Picasa I can use on my Samsung team, a note 10.1 tablet and a S3 mobile?
    If so, what is the best site from which to download?

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