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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.
Well, this is where the fun begins. We're going to start photo- editing some of these images. This gives us the chance to edit, crop, resize, adjust the color. This is where the fun begins. What I really love about Picasa is that it allows me to do these basic tasks very quickly. All of my image organization, all of the speed and performance is right in front of me, and allows me to adjust the photos. In this section, all of the images that I edit will be available to you in the exercise files.
When you download the exercise files, this folder Travels will be available to you, so that you can compare and edit, even have some images to compare against. So the first thing we're going to do to go into photo-editing mode is simple,. Just double-click on any image that you may want to adjust. Some Basic Fixes are the default tab. This gives you the chance to crop, straighten, remove redeye, adjust automatic color, and even retouch the photograph right in place. It gives you chance to edit and add some text or adjust the fill lighting.
So they've put some of the basic controls that were across most of the photographic needs on one palette. So first let's talk about cropping. You find an image that I'd like to crop a little bit. So I'm going to go to this image. There's couple of things wrong with this image. I think it's little too dark. I also think it could benefit from a better cropping. First thing I'm going to do is I'm going to crop and everything inside Picasa is nondestructive, which means that I can edit and change and undo without hurting the original.
This is really helpful. So we'll see that it defaults to a manual crop, but it gives me some choices here. They've done a real nice job of creating some previews. If I select a preview, it starts to give me an idea of different types of crops that could be applied. Use this as inspiration or a starting point. So I like the panoramic approach. I'm going to do more of an aggressive crop on this particular image. I still like the offset and they've added the preview, which gives me a chance to look at it without committing.
So it will temporarily give you a preview and then go back to the Editing tool. If you like what you see, go ahead and hit Apply. Now the second thing that I think about this image is I like it to be a little bit lighter and I could go in and lighten some specific areas, but I want to, overall, lighten the image. To do that, go ahead and click on Fill Light. This will lighten the image and give more detail to some of the things in the shadows. Other things you can do is adjust the straightening. So I can just adjust this just a little bit, hit Apply, and some of the compound adjustments relate to Auto Contrast, which is just an algorithm that combines the overall image and just gives you a chance.
We can click on this if we want. You can see that it just gave you some auto contrast. And again, everything is undoable. You can try out I'm Feeling Lucky or Auto Color. You can see what that does. In this case it warmed it up a little bit. These are just experiments, we'll explore some of these other tabs later. It's a way to combine and add more complex edits across this. But for right now, let's click out of this image and edit one more. Here's an image I shot in black and white. One of the first things I want to do is lighten this image a little bit and I want to straighten it.
Next thing I want to do is crop it. I'd be inspired here by a couple of their suggestions. Now I'll use that as a beginning point for the edit that I want to do next. I'm going to preview, go ahead and apply. So use this as a way to move through your images and look very quickly to begin, as you can see, I'm hitting the Right Arrow key and making these adjustments very quickly, and use them as a way of triaging your images in such a way that's really, really fast and equivalent.
Now oftentimes you can apply the same type of edits to a JPEG as you can, a RAW image. So here is a JPEG and here is a RAW image for my camera. If you have a camera that shoots in both, Picasa does a great job at allowing you to look at the histogram and to be able to really make subtle nuances on the actual RAW image itself. And again, these are nondestructive. We'll talk a little bit more about some of the more advanced editing a little bit. But use the histogram as a way to look across the information to see exactly the details that you want.
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