Did you know that I edit all my photos in Picasa? Did you know Picasa is free? You don’t have to have expensive software or understand complicated techniques to have great photos for your scrapbook.*
My Favorite Picasa Tools
I don’t edit photos all that much. I use the tools below to do some basic touch-ups. I’m not into the artsy tools that recolor or make new photos look old. I figure they’ll look old enough when my kids and grandkids look at them.
Straighten – this blew me away when I first started using it. No more dealing with slightly crooked pictures (yes, it bothers me, I’m weird like that). The straighten tool puts a grid over the photo and you drag the slider til it’s straight.
I’m Feeling Lucky – This is the first thing I do with every single picture. About 70% of the time, the picture is enhanced and I’m done editing. Done and done. When it doesn’t work, sometimes it comes out wonky or doesn’t do anything. That’s fine, just it “Undo” and adjust the picture manually using other tools.
Tuning – These are basic but very powerful tools to help lighten, darken or change the color temperature on photos. Don’t underestimate the temperature tool! Some of the pictures I have of my trying on my wedding dress are crazy warm. I used the tuning tools to dial it down a bit before printing.
Boost – This is my new favorite tool! It boosts the colors in photos (obviously). This used to be a pay-tool in Picnik** but was recently added for free on Picasa (so download the update if you haven’t yet!). I know you’ve been here: you have a photo that’s wayyyy too dark, you lighten it but then the colors wash out. Boost to the rescue! It’s not perfect, but it really helps.
Want to see more tools? Here is a list of effects available from the Picasa website.
I’m just scratching the surface here. There are even more Picasa tools I use for my blog pictures. If you’re interested in learning about that, I’ll cover it in another post.
*Let me be clear: I’m sure there are even more fantastic things I could do with photos if I bought/learned PSE and maybe I will eventually. And eventually I’ll get/learn how to use a DSLR. For now, I don’t have the time in my life to devote to that and I’m perfectly content with the tools I have.
**Both Picasa and Picnik are owned by Google. I work for Google. My affiliation with Google in no way affects or sways my opinions on its products. The opinions expressed here are my own.