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In Picasa 3 Essential Training, Dane Howard demonstrates how the latest upgrade of this free program from Google will allow photographers to organize, share, and edit digital photos more easily and effectively than ever before. Dane shows newcomers and experienced users how to archive and share photos from a desktop or online. Exercise files accompany the course, but using personal media is encouraged.
Now, I think everyone has cropped an image, but this is called effective cropping. And I think by adding the word effective to creative process, you begin to think about where you want the eye to go and what you want the photograph to say. So, we're going to experiment with that in the next couple minutes. In the previous movie, we added some more contrast. We began to think in black and white. You can see here that there is really no rules but the tools allow you to play very creatively.
So, just by using the Straightening tool, I'm essentially cropping, aren't I? Let's move on to another example. Now a horizon line, by straightening the image, does it make it more interesting or less interesting? It's really up to you. In some regards, tilting the image might be more interesting. It might give it more energy. It might give it more of an effect, an emotion. So, use the Straightening tool to even bend or break the rules a little bit.
And do the same thing with the Crop tool. What is going to make this a more effective image? Well, immediately, I'm kind of drawn in by this format. This is something that's presented to me by the automatic cropping tool. This is a nice start. Something that starts with a little bit of energy is reinforced with this type of aspect ratio. I may like this a little bit more. In fact, I might like it combined with a little bit more highlights in there to give it a little bit more contrast.
Let's move on. Horizon line, most everyone thinks, oh, that needs to be straight across. Well sure, you can use the Straightening tool to straighten a horizon. But does that make it a more interesting composition? It's right in the center. We're combining the rotation in the Straightening tool with cropping. You start to get something you didn't have before. If we preview that we may have something very interesting. If we extend it a little bit more, we've something that we didn't have before.
So, in this respect, I have something that's more focused on the city. If I re-crop this in a completely different way by clicking Undo Crop, I can start over and completely enjoy a different composition here. So, this one is going to be focused on the sky. And very quickly I'm going to go into the Graduated Tint and I'm going to emphasize the Feather and the Shade. I'm going to make this much more interesting. I'm going to go into the Effects and then make this a Glow and then I'm going to go into the Tuning palette and it combined all the tools that we had before.
Let's say you wanted a version with the sky and you wanted a version with the city. Well, let's go into the Tools palette. I want to a little retouch here. That's too big of a brush. I'm going to give it a little tiny-- We're going to take out this little blemish, there. It's gone. That's a good use of the Retouch tool. Now I've got this version. Well, I want to also have a version of the city. Well, let's do this. Let's go ahead and export this image. Let's create a copy and I'm going to call this my city_crop.
Now I'm going to use the original size, so it doesn't resize it. I'm just going to go ahead and hit OK. It shows me that it's exported it. But let's also see what happens in the Library. Notice down here under Exported Pictures, I've this version called city_crop. Well, that's fantastic! But let me go back to the original edit and let's change it even further. Let's go to our Travels folder and there is that version. Well, this is the one that has all the retouches.
So let's go ahead and undo these retouches. That's going to think about. That's going to undo the tuning. That's going to undo all the little pieces that we had. To quickly do this, you can right- click and Undo All Edits on the image. And again, this is non-destructive. So you can see that I've the original image back. Well, remember that other version here. Let's go and let's really start to play with this again. And to do this, it just gives you a total amount of freedom to be able to play with this image.
And to create varieties of it in a really prolific and interesting way. This one I'm going to think I'm going to do in black and white. I'm going to pull out some of those pieces, bring out the Highlights. Darken the Shadows a little bit. Warm it up just a touch. And I'm going to do something kind of crazy here. I'm going to replicate the fact that I might have a tilt lens, because I want to bring the eye right into this building right here. I think that's pretty interesting.
And then I'm going to go into the sky just a little bit. I'm going to bring down the Shade just a touch. See how that looks. Wonderful. I am going to export this and I'm going to call this city_crop2. Use the original size and export that. So, now I've got two versions of this photograph. I basically can move them into the same thing. I can rename, skip this and it will rename it for me. Let's go ahead and rename it.
Now I have, within city_crop, I've got this really wonderful version. If I hold down the Shift key, I can drag this entire thing back in into the Travels folder, or remember our Organizational tools. We go into our Tags and I'll call this cityscape. I'll add a tag called cityscape. So, when I go back to my Travels, I'll add this guy, add a tag. We'll call this Cityscape. So, if I want to keep track of this, all I've to do is go back to Search for Cityscape.
I've all three of my versions that are easily accessible within my world. Here we're starting to bring all the tools together. We're using Organization, we're using Edit, we're using Export. This is the beginning of the power of Picasa, all working together. Now, it's time to have some of these principles and I want you to take some of these and create different variations and different edits of the same image.
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