The Picture your Camera Captures vs. the Picture Picasa can Give You

Here is the picture my camera captured:

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After Crop, Boost, Increase Shadows, and Graduated Tint, here is the picture that Picasa can show me:

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It’s a subtle difference, but it makes all the difference. The second picture is what I remember seeing. The beginning of a crimson sunset, with the dramatic Morro Rock in the distance and the natural beauty of green grasses and and other dune vegetation in the foreground.

Watch this 3 minute video to see just how easy this transformation is with Picasa.

You can undo any editing feature that you use, so don’t be afraid to experiment. That’s the beauty of Picasa, you can try as many of the editing buttons as you want and see which ones you like. Don’t like it? Just Undo.

As part of our Geeks on Tour Learning Library, we have nearly 100 tutorial videos on all aspects of Picasa. Here are links to just a few. Notice the ones that say “free” anyone can watch. To watch them all, you need to be a member of Geeks on Tour.

  1. Overview of Picasa #156 Free
  2. Folder Manager #233 Free
  3. Basic Edits #261 Free
  4. Ways to Save #140 Free
  5. Google+ Auto Backup and Auto Awesome Free
  6. Short Course on Organizing your Pictures w/Picasa – 8 Videos
  7. Adding Text to Pictures #104
  8. Picasa’s 12 Effects #121
  9. More Effects 13-18 #253
  10. Resizing Pictures
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Picasa Tip: 4 Clicks to Dramatically Improve your Photos

 

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I got an email today from someone asking me about my camera because he likes the pictures in our blog so much.  I do get compliments on my photos often – thank you!  But, I answered him the way I answer all the others – “Yes, I have a good digital SLR camera (Canon Digital Rebel) but I believe what makes the difference is just a few seconds spent with each photo in Picasa!”

The picture of the split rail fence above was in my blog post from yesterday and it’s one of my current favorites.  It was taken in a city park in Winterset, Iowa.  The main attraction of this park is a covered bridge.  I like taking photos of things that aren’t the main attraction.  This is just an old fence and big tree trunk off in a corner of the park.

I liked the picture right from the camera.  But I *really* liked it after 4 clicks in Picasa …

  1. I’m Feeling Lucky – this is a one-click automatic color and contrast adjustment.  I click on this with every picture.  If I don’t like what it does, I just click on Undo.  I liked what it did on this photo. (Member Tutorial Video:Basic Edits)
  2. Sharpen – this is on the effects tab.  Right now you have to hold down on Shift as you click it to see the results.  (See past tip on sharpen) (Member Tutorial Video:Picasa’s 12 Effects)
  3. Saturation – this is a button on the Effects tab, just one click and it applies an automatic amount of saturation – you can adjust the amount with the slider, then click Apply.  Saturation means more color.  Just like adding another coat of paint.  Saturation makes your picture richer and brighter.  Not always something you want, but you can Undo if you don’t like it.(Member Tutorial Video:Picasa’s 12 Effects)
  4. Shadows – this is a feature on the Tuning tab.  I just moved the slider to the right a tiny bit.  It does exactly what it says … increases the shadows.  For this picture, I think it made it richer. (Member Tutorial Video:Tuning)

So, that’s it.  I spent no more than 4 seconds on this photo to turn it from a nice picture to a really nice picture.  Click ‘upload’ and now it’s on the web to share.

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.

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