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Managing Photos with Picasa by Glenn Euloth

I am a geek and I have been a geek for a long time. ‚So, when I first started man­ag­ing my dig­i­tal images I never thought I could trust a piece of soft­ware to look after the files on my com­puter. ‚I would use Win­dows Explorer to copy the files off of my cam­era and into a folder on my hard drive. ‚If I wanted to edit an image I would make a copy first and then edit the copy. ‚It worked great but it was very time consuming.

I tried the Kodak soft­ware that came with my first point and shoot but it was very slow and clunky and didn‚„t come with a decent image edi­tor so I gave up on it and went back to copy­ing files in Windows.

Google bought Picasa from Ide­alab in 2004, branded it, and started giv­ing it away as a free down­load. ‚The Google fan-boy that I am I decided to give it a try and it was instant soft­ware love. ‚I don‚„t know how much of it was Ide­alab and how much of it was Google but I found Picasa to be a won­der­ful piece of soft­ware that did every­thing I needed in a slick, easy to use package.

First up was image import. ‚I no longer had to launch two explorer win­dows, cre­ate a folder and copy the files from my SD card to the new folder. ‚Instead, insert­ing the SD card into my lap­top auto­mat­i­cally launches a win­dow that asks me if I want to import the files into Picasa. ‚All I have to do is click OK. ‚Picasa looks after the copy process and deletes all the images off the SD card after con­firm­ing the copy so I‚„m ready to go shoot­ing again.

Next is the easy edit­ing tools. ‚Once the image is in Picasa I can quickly nav­i­gate to an image and per­form a num­ber of easy edits.

Picasa soft­ware — Click to enlarge

  1. Red-eye removal
  2. Sat­u­ra­tion and sharpening
  3. Con­vert to black and white or sepia
  4. Crop to any dimen­sion or aspect ratio
  5. Facial recog­ni­tion
  6. Straighten the image
  7. Tag and Geotag
  8. And much, much more…

Not only do the edit tools work eas­ily and quickly but Picasa auto­mat­i­cally cre­ates a backup copy of the image and per­forms the edits on the copy so if you make a mis­take or if you want a copy of the orig­i­nal you can always find it or revert back.

I ran into a bit of prob­lem orga­niz­ing my images ini­tially as I was not using Picasa so I had cre­ated a 2009 folder and in it I cre­ated Jan­u­ary, Feb­ru­ary, March, etc. ‚After I started using Picasa I had a very sim­ple way to upload images to Pica­s­aWeb for shar­ing with just a click of a but­ton, how­ever, it used the folder name as the album name on Pica­s­aWeb. ‚This became a prob­lem when I started upload­ing ‚“Jan­u­ary‚ images from 2010 as they got put in the same album on PicasaWeb.

To solve this prob­lem I devel­oped the fol­low­ing strat­egy: ‚At the begin­ning of the month I cre­ate a folder in Picasa with the for­mat YYYY-MM (Mon­th­name), so for exam­ple I have 2011-01 (Jan­u­ary), 2011-02 (Feb­ru­ary), etc. ‚This allows me to store and man­age the images by date with­out wor­ry­ing about dupli­cates and when I want my hol­i­day pho­tos I can eas­ily search for ‚“December‚.

If you are not sure how to man­age your pho­tos or if the soft­ware you are using is awk­ward and not work­ing well for you then I highly rec­om­mend you‚down­load and install it. ‚At the very least you should check out the‚video. ‚Come back next month and I‚„ll talk about advanced image edit­ing with­out hav­ing to spend a lot of money on expen­sive software.

Liv­ing in Hal­i­fax, Nova Sco­tia, Glenn Euloth enjoys trav­el­ling on the pho­to­graphic jour­ney. ‚Visit‚www.euloth.com to join him on the trip or find him on our pho­tog­ra­phy forum under the nick­name of Iguanasan.

Comments

  1. davis_g1 says:

    A nice intro piece to Picasa Glenn. I use Picasa as well and one of the things I love about it is its speed.

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