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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.
When using the palettes, you can use them in sequence or in nonlinear way. The third one that I'm going to use is the Effects palette. This is a series of effects that can overlay in a nondestructive way on a RAW image or a JPEG. You can choose to keep the histogram open or you can close it. One of the nice things when looking at a very specific part of the image is you can zoom in, denoted here or select on the Fit View, which fits the entire image in. So a couple of things I want to do to illustrate. There is Sharpen, Sepia, Black and White, not to be confused with Filtered Black and White.
Filtered B&W is a little different. If I select on B&W, it will just use the default B&W. I'm going to undo that now. When you choose a Filtered B&W, it's as if you had put or simulated a lens or a colored filter over your lens at the time that you've shot the photograph. This is what I mean. Let's say you wanted to put a red filter over and simulate the red filter. You can see as I move the color dropper over this Color palette, you can see the subtle differences in how the grays and the blacks are represented.
This is really helpful if you want to start to pull out different parts of an image. So that's how I play with Filtered B &W. I'll go ahead and cancel that. Here's basic B&W, here is Filtered B&W. The Sepia is a default Sepia. It will basically give you some adjustments and unify it on a default way. What I like to do is what's called Tint. Tinting gives you chance to give much more control over essentially the Sepia or the Tint. I'll show you an example.
I'm going to go into the Color palette, something that's my choice of a color of a sepia, something more-- but now, I can go into the Color Preservation. I can start to adjust and bring a little bit of a color directly into this. This is a nice way to give a sepia with a little bit of color. If it's too saturated, you can combine these. So I can take what is essentially a tint and combine it with a saturation.
Now I can pull some of that saturation out of the image and I still have a nice, warm image. Again, to get back to the original, all I need to do is undo saturation. Undo the tint and I'm back to where I was with the Tuning. Use these effects as combinations of things that are built on top of each other. You can start to see that each time you use them, it gives you a little history, by which, what you've already used. Another thing I like to use is the Graduated Tint.
In skies, for example, you can see how just by pulling the Graduated Tint down, may add some darkness to the sky. I'm going to adjust the Feather, to adjust the gradation and then the Shade itself. By adjusting this, it gives a nice effect into the sky. And you can play with this with both the angle and the location. Another thing that's somewhat fun to play with is the Glow.
What the glow does is give a nice softness to some of the images. You can play with the Intensity here. What this does is it gives a little bit of softness around the whites. Let's zoom in to here. You kind of see a little bit of the softness. For those that really like sharp images, this may not be for you. You can start to see the difference between, with it there and not there versus Sharpen. You can see a subtle sharpening of the image itself, with a slider bar into the degree of sharpening.
So whatever your preference, these effects are used to help combine in to offer some really nice and booming effects into your images. One nice thing that simulates an effect is this Soft Focus. This gives you a chance to drag an area around the screen where something might be in focus, and adjust the width and height of the circle as well as the amount of the blur. You can use this as a really neat way to simulate tilt effects or a type of lens that might be on your camera where it gives more of a depth of field.
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