How Picasa Can Teach you to Take Better Pictures

Last night, my husband Jim and I went to see Paul Simon perform in Nashville on his ‘So Beautiful or So What’ tour.  Hard to believe that this man is nearly 70 years old and has been performing over 50 of those.  He looked and sounded like a performer at his peak. We thoroughly enjoyed the concert, as well as the venue – The Ryman Theatre in Nashville, aka the original Grand Ole Opry.  Our motivation for attending this particular concert was that a member of the band, Mick Rossi, was a friend of Jim’s in New Jersey back in the 70s.

Try Out Your Camera’s Settings

I decided that I would not take my ‘good’ camera with the big lens and lots of settings.  I just took my little Nikon Coolpix ‘point and shoot’ camera.  I was there to enjoy the concert, not to take pictures, but I still wanted to snap a few for posterity!  I had noticed a setting on the Nikon that read, ‘High ISO.’  Now, I thought that was a setting that helps you take pictures in low light situations, but I didn’t know for sure how it worked, so I snapped a few on the High ISO setting, and a few on the automatic setting, hoping that some would come out.

Use Picasa’s Properties to See the Settings

When I imported my pictures to the computer and took a look, sure enough, I had some that were too dark and some that were OK.  But how can I know for sure that it was due to the High ISO setting?  Picasa will show you.  All you have to do is click the image i button in the lower right corner and that will open up the Properties Panel.  Now, whatever picture you select in the library – all the properties of that picture will be displayed on the right side – including the ISO setting!

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Yep!  The dark ones had an ISO of 80 and the good ones were 1600.  Lesson learned!

You might wonder if you can just add Fill Light to the dark pictures – yes, but they will look very grainy.  You might also wonder how I added the names, Paul Simon and Mick Rossi – I used Picasa’s Text Tool.

Members may want to view the following tutorial video.

Adding Captions to your Photos

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This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, orbecome a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

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Picasa Tip: Use Captions

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a few words attached to a photo can say a lot too. Picasa makes writing captions so easy, you have no excuse not to identify them. Simply click in the space below the picture and type. No need to save – Picasa does that automatically when you move on or press Enter. All you need to do is just type … you’re done.(Member Tutorial Video: Add Captions to your Photos)

If you take just a moment to write a couple words with each of your important photographs, you will love yourself for it. Here are just some of the benefits of having captions written on your pictures:

  1. Every word in the caption is searchable
  2. Captions can be printed when you print the photo (new in 3)
  3. Captions appear in slide shows of your photos
  4. Captions will display with your photo when you upload them to Picasa Web Albums
  5. You can have captions display below the thumbnails of your photos in the Library view
  6. Captions are stored with the picture file itself, so are visible in many other programs.

If you like to share your life’s stories and pictures with family and friends, but writing a blog is not for you, you may find that adding captions to your photos is all you need. I generally type a caption on every photo I upload to my Picasa Web Albums. Here is a sample:

captions

If you click on the image above, it will take you to the actual web album. Then, find that picture of Jim teaching Google Earth and click on it. You will see that captions don’t have to be limited to a few words. I typed a whole paragraph on that one!

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

Members may want to view the following tutorial videos.  Not a member?  Join now.