Picasa is My Friend

December 21, 2009

OK peeps, I think it’s time I spill the beans on how I take and manipulate my photos.  Several of you have sent me emails asking me about the camera and the software I use on this site.  I’m here to share.  Sharing is what I do.  I love to share, especially with those of you just starting out.  Ha, that’s funny.  “Just starting out.”  That’s me, like, nine months ago.  Strange, surreal, and completely true. 

But first, before I share, I have a few confessions to make. 

First confession:  Believe me when I tell you I am a complete amateur when it comes to photography.  (Some of you are saying, “Um, yes, we know that.”)  In fact, if you said the word “aperture” to me a few months ago, I’d have looked at you cross-eyed. 

Second confession:  I have a really killer camera that does half the work for me.  My weapon of choice is a Nikon D60 and it totally rocks.  Mr. CG bought it for me two years ago when I complained about my flimsy digital never taking pictures when I wanted it to.  You know that 3/4 second delay that misses the moment ?  That fleeting precious moment when your kid is doing the cutest thing ever ?  Then your camera never captures it ?  Hated that.  I complained constantly.  Tears welled.  I might have thrown my old camera a few times.  Then hubby bought me my Nikon. 

Yes, they’re expensive, but oh my goodness gracious darling, are they ever so worth it.  Mine has paid for itself tenfold with the quality of pictures it has given me.

nikon d60 

For example, take this most recent picture of chocolate covered biscotti from yesterday.  My friends, I simply set the camera to “no flash” and shot this beauty.  The camera did 80% of the work. 

biscotti up close

Third confession:  I’ve learned to never ever ever use a flash.  The flash is not your friend when taking up close and personal shots of your latest craft, project, recipe, or kid.  Turn it off, that’s all I can say.  Turn.Off.The.Flash.  Light is your friend.  The flash is not. 

Fourth confession:  I do not use Photoshop for my everyday blog editing.  I don’t have the patience, time, or in depth knowledge of Photoshop to manipulate every single photo.  Yes, I’m learning the program slowly, but I never turn to Photoshop for my everyday blog photos. 

I use Picasa.  Picasa is free.

Picasa is my friend ! 

And I’m not being paid to say this.  When it comes to the basic manipulating and uploading of pictures for this blog?  Picasa is where it’s at.  At least for me. 

Case in point.

Here’s a shot of a pair of platinum diamond rings taken at Tiffanys in San Francisco. 

Dark, uninteresting.  Not impressive.

tiffany 1

 

With Picasa I change the tuning by adding light and enhancing shadow

tiffany 4 temp

 

Crop photo

tiffany 5

 

Change temperature from warm to cooler, then pull saturation out

tiffany6

 

Crop some more

tiffany 7 crop

 

Sharpen picture

tiffany 8 sharpen

Now that’s worth looking at.  And all in about 7 seconds with Picasa.  Seriously.

 

You can also give it some glow too.

tiffany glow

 

Or add a soft focus

tiffanys soft focus

That takes about 3 more seconds. 

 

You go from this:

tiffany 1

 

To this, in about 10 seconds (once you’re proficient)

tiffany glow

 

And you’ll be proficient in no time because look how user friendly these tabs are:

picasa options

 

How about when you take photos at night?  First of all I must say I rarely take photos at night, because you always need good light to take a decent photo.  Unless you’re taking one of those cool “look at my candlelight glow” shots for effect.  But I hesitate to ever take a picture at night because the lighting simply stinks.  And I refuse to use my flash. 

See this cruddy picture of my holiday sideboard taken in the evening?  It has far too many warm tones in my book, but its completely salvageable.  

ex night 

Increase light, enhance shadow, change temperature from warm to cool

ex 3 temp

Crop

ex 4 crop

Reduce saturation

ex 5 saturation

Sharpen

ex 6 sharpen

Add glow

ex 7 glow

Before and After, in ten seconds:

before and after ornaments 

Yes, yes, Photoshop could do a heck of a lot better, and you real photographers know it.  But for everyday editing for this blog? I’ll stick with Picasa.  That is, until I master Photoshop. 

You can make collages for your blog, like the one above, or like this one below. 

poinsettia decor

Purty huh ? 

Many of you already use Picasa, know of its virtues, and have sung its praises, so much of this is very old news.  But for those of you (like me) who are newer to this blogging thing, pay a visit to my friend Sarah over at Clover Lane for a brilliant tutorial on making a custom header for Blogger in Picasa. 

And the best part ?  Picasa is free.  Free ! 

A couple more tips from this self proclaimed complete and total amateur. 

If you have a PC, use Windows Live Writer for Blogger or WordPress to upload and publish your pictures.  You can adjust them to your exact pixel width and make a better impression with a larger photo.

Because.I.Cannot.Stand.Uploading.In.Blogger.Or.WordPress. 

It gives me nightmares. 

And if you have a great camera where you can manipulate the settings, keep your resolution on medium, not small, experiment with your Aperture and Shutter Speed settings, try increasing your ISO sensitivity to 400 or 800, and try to use your “Vivid” or “Soften” settings to change the exposure of your pictures.  It’s what I do, but I’m still learning.

But I’ve got nothing, and I mean nothing, on the Diva of Photography, Ms. PW.  That’s the Pioneer Woman, for those of you who just landed from Mars.  If you want a real lesson in photography, go visit, but beware, you’ll be lost in her tutorials for hours, they’re so good.  

So you see?  Picasa is your friend, especially for us beginners in photography!  If you haven’t already, download it now and give it a try.  

Happy shooting, cropping, and editing !

If you’re a blogger, or a gen-u-ine photographer, feel free to add your two cents on taking, editing, and uploading pictures.  Feel free to mock me.  Am I living in the dark ages ?  Is there something better out there ?   That’s free and user friendly ?  What camera or software do you use ?  Do share.  Inquiring minds want to know. 

*******  UPDATE:  I’ve downloaded Picnik based on all of your suggestions and like what I see !  Will report back in the New Year with its performance . . . .

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99 Responses to “Picasa is My Friend”

  1. Rene says:

    Wow. You get an atta girl for that. I think you deserve those cute little earrings from Tiffany’s. Thanks for sharing those tips.

  2. Erica says:

    I love Picasa too! I’ve also recently discovered Picnik (http://www.picnik.com) and it is just as simple and fabulous!

  3. TidyMom says:

    GREAT post!! I just got my first DSLR about 9 months ago as well!! I got the Nikon D40, wish I had gotten the D60 – what lens do you use the most? I do use my kit lens the most, I bought a zoom lens, but rarely use it because most of my pictures are taken in the house. I’d like a prime lens next! I agree…NO FLASH! but that makes picture taking this time of year hard – because it gets dark so early – I’m getting VERY frustrated with indoor pictures at night – I’m hoping a prime lens will help with that issue!

    I’ll have to try picassa sometime, right now I use picnik.com (it’s free too, but I pay for the premium) and I love it for editing my blog pictures!!

    ~TidyMom

  4. Rosaline says:

    How does Microsoft Picture Manager compare to Picasa? It’s want I use.

  5. Lisa says:

    Great tips! I was just telling someone yesterday about the NO FLASH rule. It makes a HUGE difference and your pictures turn out much better that way. Blogger photo uploading drives me crazy too, but I don’t have much of a choice with my mac. I may have to try Picasa instead of Photoshop just to see how I like it. Thanks for the ideas!

  6. So true, Picasa is so user friendly. I do the majority of my editing in Photoshop (I am a professional photographer) but you’ve reminded me of the benefits of the simplicity of Picasa. My favorite photo trick is to use the bracketing system on your camera if you have one. It takes one picture at regular exposure, one underexposed, and one overexposed. A lot of time it will show you how to improve your exposure.

  7. Marjorie says:

    I love Picasa, but if you haven’t already, take a peek at tp://www.picnik.com/ It does much of what Picasa does, but also has some nice additional features,frames, fonts, effects etc. It is sort of like the pepper to Picasa’s salt. Plus, you can link Picnik to your Picasa web albums, Facebook, Flicker and more. Gimp is also a nice free alternative to Photoshop if your budget (like mine) is nil/frugal.

  8. kelly says:

    very good to know. thanks!

    kelly

  9. Karena says:

    Oh would I love that camera!!! The biscotti shot looked perfect…professionally done. I use Picassa for my blog photo storage however haven’t used it for editing! I will figure that out unless you have more tips!!

  10. Karena says:

    Oh, I did not scroll down enough, I think I can figure this out, and I agree I never use flash, it is the worst for good images.

  11. m says:

    Hmmm… I shall have to give that Picasa a look-see! I just use the IMAC program, but I’m not in love with it by any stretch! Thx for all the practical tidbits!

    m ^..^

  12. I heart my Nikon D6o too! awesome camera. Thanks for the picasa ditty. I just started using gimp2….after a week, I barely figured out how to resize my pics, let alone fix saturation levels! lol I’m totally going to try picasa. I’ve wanted to for awhile, but been a chicken. Thanks for the nudge. Merry Christmas!
    Linda

  13. Pat says:

    Great tips and tutorial, however, you lost me at saturation, aperture, glow, etc. LOL Seriously, I am so new to this but I am willing to learn and I think it’s great when others share their tips. You have an incredible talent for photography! Well, for everything it seems. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and an abundant & Happy New Year!

  14. Brenda Kula says:

    I use Windows Live Writer and absolutely love it! Makes all the difference in the world. I admit to not cropping however. And my New Years resolution is to make that a part of my photography posts. I agree about the flash. I wish they’d just leave it off the camera. I will not under any circumstances use the flash. And I have a dark house. Overhead light is far better that resorting to flash! Good points here!
    Brenda

  15. Christa says:

    how do you get the curved edges on your pictures?

  16. Carli says:

    This is an excellent post! Thank you so much for sharing, I want an SLR camera sooooo bad! My hubby won’t smack down the $500 for it at this time though, Boo!

  17. LeAnn says:

    Thank you so much, I am not very good at photos yet, my daughter is a photographer and I need to take time to learn from her. But you have given me a great tip on Picasa today. Thank you so much. I even posted a pic I did there today. Merry Christmas!

  18. YES! I love Picasa! I have and am VERY fluent in Photoshop, but I actually use Picasa most of the time. It’s easier, faster and I love it!

    Now to get Windows Live Writer!

  19. Shea Lynn says:

    Hi Kate! I also have a D60 and LOVE it! I think it was one of the best purchases I have made! I also purchased the 50mm 1.4 AF-S lens about 6 months ago and it is incredible, especially for portraits. I don’t really use Picasa but I am getting better with Photoshop every day. It’s like learning a new langage and I’m not great, but getting better. I’d also reccomend a tripod. It opened up a whole new world for me because I also always turn the flash off and it’s hard not to get a blurry shot in low light.

    I hope you and you family have a wonderful Christmas. I’m looking forward to reading more in the New Year!!!!
    Shea Lynn

  20. Kathryn says:

    I love Picasa! Used it for quite a while, and it does everything I need. I used the collage feature to make a poster of pictures from the production of “The Diary of Anne Frank” I directed for our community theatre. So easy!

  21. Thanks for the tips! I’ll have to try Windows Live Writer…at this time, Blogger photo uploads don’t bother me (possibly because it gives me a sense of accomplishment after a looong google search to figure out how to enlarge my pictures-haha!) but I can imagine it’ll get old quick.

    I use Picasa mostly and occasionaly Picnik and have used Gimp a couple of times. I have not tried to make a collage in Picasa so I’ll be trying that, too.

    I have heard the tip before about not using your flash–but (and there’s a good chance it’s just my camera) when I don’t use flash, my picture is soft and fuzzy (sorry, I don’t know the technical words)–is that because I don’t have enough light? Currently I’m using a 3 year old point and shoot but am scouring Craigslist for a nice, used SLR. Or would the sharpening tool help that?

    It’s amazing that you have been doing this for just 9 short months…it’s clear that you are one talented women!

  22. Meredith says:

    Thank you so much for that post! This was exactly the information I needed as I’m currently finding my feet as far as all of this goes. I’ve used Picasa a bit but have had it in my mind that I really need to get Photoshop. Nice to hear that’s not necessarily true. I’m sending a link of this post to all my photo friends.

  23. Megan says:

    Thanks for the information. I used to have a great camera but got rid of it and am now using an older camera that doesn’t give you many options. So I feel that Picasa will allow me to cheat and make beautiful pictures :)

  24. sharon says:

    Thanks for your tips … and the link to the other tutorial. I’m going to do this after Christmas!!!

  25. CentsationalGirl says:

    I’m off to try Picknik today. Thanks so much everyone for these great responses !

  26. Amy says:

    I love picasa..it makes it so easy to organize photos! But I never have used it as I should. Thanks for the tutorial~

  27. I tried Picassa after you told me about it, and I really like it a lot!!! I still have a hard time figuring out how to upload them from the “software” on my desktop to Blogger, but I love the softening feature!!! It took a good photo of Michaela Byrd and made it great! :)

  28. Thank you CG! I too am a major amateur in the photo world. I have used Picasa a few times but definitely need to get more comfy with it. You rock! :)

    Merry Christmas,
    Leslie

  29. Yolanda says:

    I had no idea Picassa had all those features. I will totally recommend it to my non-designer friends. I’m not a professional photographer and I shoot with a Canon Powershot Si 700 (regular, pocket-sized, point n shoot). I abhor flash and take a lot of my shots in manual mode these days, but I still get *lots* of imperfect shots. Using the Pioneer Woman’s Actions have absolutely saved me. I use them in Photoshop CS, but I believe Actions work in Photoshop Elements as well. They are awesome. So, if you are looking for a little more power and control, but without spending the big bucks, then Photoshop Elements ($80)+ a good point and shoot (<$300) is the way to go.

  30. Allyson says:

    THANK YOU!! I recently got a D60 and am just starting out in the blog world. This was very helpful!

  31. micah says:

    That was very helpful! I have been using picasa for a couple of years (just had to upgrade my storage) but never noticed the collage feature… DUH!

  32. Kara says:

    I actually have Photoshop but I use Picasa because it is sooo much easier to understand. You taught me a few new tricks though, so thanks!! :)

  33. Kristin says:

    I’m still working on the hubs re:SLR. I’m dying for a Rebel!

  34. I’ve been blogging with Windows Live Writer since Day 1 and love it! Also, I’ve used Picasa but I much prefer Picnik. I think it’s even easier than Picasa and has lots of cool effects you can add to your photos…FREE. I really love the “blemish” touch-up tool and use it on lots of things besides faces. (But it’s pretty good at zapping away wrinkles too. Ahem…not that you would know anything about wrinkles yet! )

  35. Jessie says:

    Holy mackerel, I never knew you could do so much with Picasa! I’m totally downloading it now. Thanks!!

  36. I use and LOVE Windows Live Writer, it makes blog posting SO MUCH EASIER. Blogger is just totally frustrating.
    I REALLY need to improve my blog photos, so I’ll check out Picasa, thanks for the tips and recommendation, girl!

  37. Lisa O says:

    One goal in 2010 is to learn how to use my camera… Thanks for these easy to use and understand tips. You’re beyond amateur.

  38. Sue says:

    Thanks for all the info…I’m learning as I go. I could use a camera upgrade, but I’m making do with what I have. I use Picnik sometimes when I need to “fix” a photo.

    Sue

  39. I just bought a Nikon D5000 and LOVE it! I took photos of my parent’s house because my mom was so frustrated because none of the pictures she ever took with point and shoot digital cameras ever looked like she saw the house. My camera did the trick and all of the pictures came out perfect without any editing for most of them. She is happy because she had started thinking her house wasn’t as pretty as she thought it was. It definitely is as pretty as she thought.

    I downloaded Picasa but also downloaded a free trial of Photoshop CS4. I have PS 7.0 which is outdated and doesn’t support PW’s free actions. I might get CS4 because I can buy it at the student price, but we’ll see. Thanks for sharing this, it is helpful!

  40. Meeks says:

    I think you have converted me to Picasa! Thanks for generiously sharing your knowledge with us! It is much appreciated (isn’t it amazing that we all still find time to blog and read blogs during this “silly season”! Love it!)

  41. Sometimes, I wish I have a better camera… But, when I am with the kids, I am always in a hurry, and sometimes take pictures just by pressing the button… Sad, but true :-) Regarding the flash, I learn the “hard” way: when taking pictures of the doll clothes that I am making, they turn terrible when taking close-ups with the flash.
    I use Picasa for holding all my Digital Scrapbooking, as it allows me to tag things, and therefore providing me “multi-dimensional” categorization. I LOVE PICASA. For posting on my blog, and fixing the pictures, I use Gimp. Once you learn a few things, you can get the “job done” pretty fast (you do have to get very focus, ans not distracted with the zillions of possibilities). However, after your post, I will give Picasa a try to fix the pictures too. Thanks for sharing.

  42. I. LOVE. PICASA!!!! We finally got a new camera (Merry Christmas to us!) and thankfully, it’s so good that I rarely have to edit my photos anymore. However, adding a glow or changing tints or cropping or saturating are so easy, that I usually do it anyway! YAY for another fellow Picasa lover!!

  43. Leah says:

    One flash tip: you can use the flash, but you need to alter how you use it. Try stepping back, zooming in, and then using the flash. It takes a bit of practice, but you can take really nice photos once you get the hang of it. I used to sell on ebay, and that’s what I’d do for all my photos to ensure good light.

    Also, if you’re taking pics at night, a lot of cameras have a “night city scene” mode for taking pictures of people outside at night (or something like that — buildings with a moon). The camera will use the flash. The key is to hold really still (or find something to prop your camera on). The flash will illuminate the people, and then the camera will stay open for a little while longer to get the pretty city lights.

  44. Gwen says:

    You have no idea how much this post helping me! THANK YOU!

  45. Pony Girl says:

    I LOVE my Nikon D40! It has changed my world! Okay, I am a Picasa user too….but recently discovered two new programs, that are FREE, that do MORE and you will love! Try Photoscape.org, and, Picnik.com. Really cool stuff. I rarely use Picasa now that I have discovered them. Someone suggested GIMP for me too, but it was too complicated. Photoscape was a lot easier to just play around with and figure out on my own.
    Now, I want a new lens. Like you, I find the flash horrid (although set your camera on black and white and try it, it’s not so bad!) taking pics inside, unless the sun is streaming in the window, gives them a yellowy cast, or blur. I can’t wait to get a lens that lets in more light!!!
    Thanks for sharing your tips! Merry holidays!

  46. Elisecreates says:

    I love love LOVE Picasa. I actually have used Photoshop for ages, love it. But once I discovered Picasa, I was converted. I do all my simple edits (lighting, saturation, cropping, etc.) In Picasa and then if needed, I play more in Photoshop (hiding bra straps, making someone skinnier, and so forth).
    Picasa is my BFF.

  47. Holly L says:

    Great info…I love using photos in my post…always do! I tried photoshop, but do not have the itme to learn that! I am so going to try this one out asap! Thanks!

  48. Bonnie says:

    I posted this Christmas gift post, referencing Picasa and your Picasa post today. http://theboatwrightfamily.blogspot.com/2009/12/house-prints.html

    Thanks for the great tips – I can really use them!
    Bonnie

  49. Sarah says:

    Thank you for the tips. I recently bought a Nikon L100, not as sophisticated as yours…but more complex than a regular point and shoot. And I do agree a great camera can do wonders, and spend as much as you can when purchasing a camera. :)

  50. Wonderful post!

    I’m a true blue Picasa fan and wouldn’t post even one pic without using it!

    I just have a point and shoot camera too so there’s proof right there that good pics can be had with a cheaper camera plus Picasa magic. But would I prefer a good one one day? Ohhhh yeahhh…

    Two major things that make for great pictures in my book are excellent lighting AND using a tripod.

    I swear, every time I use a tripod, I rarely have to sharpen the picture. I cannot believe the difference.

    As for the lighting, I carry around a lamp tree to cast the light on the ceiling so it bounces back on my object. Or better yet, I carry the object outside (if possible) and find a buffered area that diffuses direct sunlight. Underneath the patio corrogated plastic roofing is wonderful. The key is to avoid the harsh shadows from direct light (which is what a flash causes) and the only way around that is diffused light.

    If one is using Picasa to store and save their photos, it’s wise to burn a disk of the images before you enhance them. I keep the untouched on cd’s and the ones on my computer are free game. Enhancing removes quality if you ever wanted your pics published for a different format down the road.

    Picasa AND photo fanatic on good pics, Donna

  51. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    I’ll give Picasa a try. I do upload my photos from the camera card to Photoshop. Still need to try Live Writer {although I did download it}. My problem is I’m a shaky person. When I shut the flash off on my camera {which I just figured out this month} the pictures are blurry. I don’t take enough to get something over my Canon Powershot, so I guess I still need to play with some settings. Thanks for the tips though!

  52. Thank you for this, Kate. I’ve never used Picasa and will give it a try. I also have the D60, bought it last summer, but I’m so intimidated by it that I’m using my old little digital and my pictures frustrate me to no end. The Nikon just sits there….I’m going to pull it out during the next 2 weeks I have off from work and become familiar with it. Thanks for the inspiration!

  53. Thanks for the info. I’ll have to try Picasa. Now, I want to know if you got one of those platinum and diamond rings!

  54. Maddy says:

    I’ve been begging “Santa” (aka my husband) for a Nikon D40 for Christmas. Everything looks 100x better!

  55. But don’t you think they SHOULD pay us? :) Thanks for the link…you know I’m a fan of yours and I have just as strong LOVE for Picasa as you. I don’t do as many edits because I’m lazy and not a perfect perfectionist like you, (but wish I was.) Now you’ve got me a little more motivated!

  56. Lisa Prather says:

    Thank you so much! I have been using Picasa to crop and store photos, but haven’t tried editing them yet. I just played around with it a little and am loving the effects! I also love the tutorial on Clover Lane to make a header- I am so excited! Thank you both! I do have one question, how did you get your corners round? Can you do that in Picasa?

  57. this was great! I am new to blogging and shooting so this was really helpful! I’ll have to check out Picasa. Thanks!

  58. Janell says:

    My husband just bought me a Nikon camera this past weekend for my birthday! I absolutely love looking at your blog and all of your beautiful photography! I am so excited to hear about Picasa and trying it with my new Christmas pictures!

    I also live in Northern California and really enjoy it when you highlight local spots! I keep telling my husband about visiting some of the wineries that you have shown on your blog!

    Keep up the great blog! Merry Christmas!

    P.S. I want to decorate my office just like yours! It is stunning!!!

  59. Jenny says:

    This was perfect timing as the husband and I were going back and forth about Picasa versus Photoshop Elements. I am getting a new Digital SLR for Christmas and I want to be prepared. I had him sold last night on Photoshop, but now I am rethinking it. Thanks for the info!

  60. Wow! Thank you for sharing some of your secrets! I use Photoshop because I have for about 15 years but I think I’m going to give Picasa a try. It seems like it’s a lot faster and user friendly. Sometimes I get too involved on Photoshop because of all the choices. Merry Christmas:)-Jennifer

  61. Thanks for sharing your photo taking/editing experience. I haven’t used Picasa because they started off only supporting PC users. This Mac user took offense to that. :)

    I use PS3, but when I want to edit something quickly I use Picnik. It is inexpensive and easy enough for my girls to use. They have a lot of fun features too (which the girls enjoy).

    As for your warm tone pictures. Have you tried changing your white balance settings? I find that either using the custom WB or fluorescent setting can knock down the warmth out of your picture.

    Happy Holidays!

  62. Amanda says:

    Thank you for this post. I downloaded Picasa last night and started working on my banner. Not bad for my first one!

  63. Juice says:

    Oh my goodness – this was SOOOOO helpful! Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I’m going to have to play with Picasa in 2010.

  64. I also use a Nikon D60 and it’s perfect for me. I use Picnik which is online. There’s a free option, or you can upgrade for a low yearly price. I use it a ton now. I don’t have the time or energy for photoshop. I have some older photos in Picasa and love that too.

  65. I just used your tutorial plus the one at Clover Lane. I am in love with the outcome. Please check it out if you have a chance. I can’t wait to play around some more now.

    http://persnicketypeacock.blogspot.com/2009/12/peacock-christmas.html

  66. Ashlee says:

    I just got a D60 in August for my birthday from my wonderful husband and love it! Even though I have barely scratched the surface of learning how to use it! Thanks for the tips…I’ve never used Picasa because I have iPhoto, but will maybe give it a try so I can compare. (especially if it is easier when it comes to uploading!)

  67. TXMom2B says:

    I sometimes have problems with Picasa, at least trying to get it to make a movie slideshow of pictures. The interface is very user-friendly, but sometimes it just doesn’t work.

    One free program I do love is paint.net. It isn’t as user-friendly to learn, but I use it to make photos smaller so that they upload faster to Blogger. It’s good to know about the features of Picasa, though, for when I have a salvageable picture.

  68. Marya says:

    Thanks for the tips. Tried them out here (if you’re curious!): http://thelotustree.blogspot.com/2009/12/playing-with-picasa.html .

    Using Live writer is much nicer than blogger for photo formatting! Blogging is going to be so much easier from now on in!

  69. Stephanie says:

    Thank-you for your tips Kate! I own that camera ( I have had my Nikon for 2 yrs now!) yet I still don’t know the word ” aperture” . Yes! that is me looking at YOU cross-eyed!? lol

    Turning off the flash! That is a great start for me! haha! I will try that. I am off to a dinner party and that will be my assignment. Focus on things and see if I can finally get some nice shots. Like you said, the camera does a lot, but I still need to learn the different controls.

    Wonderful advice! thanks again!

  70. Kathryn says:

    I didn’t even know Picasa had all of those neat editing features. Thanks for sharing this information in such a user friendly way.

  71. Melanie says:

    Thanks for your information. I have a Nikon D40 and have had it a year. I love it but I can’t get it to stay in the center for the focus. Can anyone out there help me? I took a one day workshop with the fabulous Karen Russell and learned a lot so now I am signed up to take her online class. I can’t wait. I have PS Elements 6 and I don’t know how to use it. I have Picasa but haven’t played around with it. I will check out the blogger who has a tutorial on it.

  72. I cannot thank you enough! Absolutely fabulous!!

    Cat

  73. I will try Picasa as I’m not very good with Photoshop and have ended up not editing my photos at all. Thanks for the info!!! I shoot with a Canon D10 and love it.

  74. Thank you for this! Recently my computer died on me and they had to wipe out all the programs. Thankfully my files were saved but all my photoshop and other programs had been wiped out. This will come in SO handy!

  75. Karina says:

    HI Kate! Just found my way over to you from Tales of an OC cottage. How fun to find you! I am so inspired re. this article. I am a novice to digital photography and will be trying out Picasa as well as checking out the tutorials you mentioned! Love the office remodel as well! Glad to have found you. Happy New Year.

  76. Lacey Thrope says:

    Easily, this article is really the most informative on this deserving topic. I agree with your conclusions and am eagerly look forward to your future updates. Just saying thanks will not just be enough, for the extraordinary clarity in your views and writing. I’m signing up to

  77. Brenda Moore says:

    Forget the Photography lesson Kate!!!
    WHERE DO WE GET A HUSBAND TO BUY US THE CAMERA ?? :]

    Wonderful job as always lady,

  78. Nicole says:

    I love people like you :0)

  79. Sophie says:

    I just signed up for Picasa because of this post. And I love it. Me! One of the most tech-challenged people ever. So, thank you!!!

  80. Kate, you just keep getting better and better! Love this tut and your organization series is perfect for this time of year. I have a house in Cali on my blog today~anywhere near you?? :) Have a great weekend~

  81. Jessie says:

    I have a Nikon D5000 and Love it so much. I read and followed what you said and now I love Picasa! Thanks. 2 quick questions. How do YOU upload more than 4 pictures? It seems like it will only let me do no more than 4. Also, how do you get the great rounded edges on your photos? Any tips will help. Thanks for your blog…I Love it, am inspired by it and I am attempting to do alot of your projects…so thanks for the step by steps. Thanks!

  82. [...] I was answering a question about what kind of camera and photo editing software I use.  In that post, I shared that I use a Nikon D60 and also declared Picasa to be my friend.  Several friends [...]

  83. Chris says:

    Wow, I think I need to use Picasa. I am so glad I didn’t bother investing in Photoshop yet. I am going to check it out. I take pics without the flash with my rebel, but they are looking a little yellow. Iphoto wasn’t helping enough.

    Thanks!

  84. [...] spoken before of my love for Picasa.  It’s my go-to editing software for most of my pictures.  [...]

  85. Sarah says:

    I love Picasa!! I just discovered it at work (I think that I actually downloaded it to my computer by accident, and then every time I plugged in my camera, up popped Picasa!) I am still learning, but so far I’m loving it.
    Thank you so much for posting the tip about Windows Live Writer…I’m a new blogger and I’m always frustrated with trying to insert photos. What a pain it is on Blogger! Thanks!!!

  86. Kara @ KSS says:

    I have a Cannon Rebel XTi and I also use Picasa for most of my editing. It’s just so user-friendly, and it gives me the results I want! If I take the time to use another program (such as photoscape), I can sometimes get the pics to look even better, but it usually doesn’t seem worth the time.

  87. Felicity says:

    I’m a huge fan of Picasa as well. And a new fan of your blog. Lovely!

  88. janet says:

    Thanks! I am loving your blog and I thought I was the only one who didn’t use Photoshop. (photoshop scares me!) Love your pictures and your tips. Can’t wait to read more!

  89. casey says:

    You are amazing! How do you get those great rounded corners on your images? Thx!

  90. Shay says:

    How do you get all of your photos with the rounded edges? Do you manually do all of them?

  91. Carrie says:

    I’m a fan of your blog; you and others inspired me to make my own blog! :) The info/tips are truely helpful for beginners like me! I currently use picnik, but I will be downloading picasa now too! Thank you so much!

  92. Ellya Brill says:

    Hi Kate, first of all thank you for sharing the above. I have a question about the above camera. What is the difference between Nikon D90 and D80. It is quite expensive to get a camera for beginners like myself. You are absolutely correct ! That common digital camera ; I have just like that it delays before it captures the picture and by then your arm moves so well…, you what I mean you have to have steady arms….I hate my camera but that is what I have now. Can you suggest if you happen to know similar camera to the one you own that is not so costly but does the job beautifully. Thank you so much Kate…..!! If all failed to get better camera I will also beg my husband to get me that Nikon D80/90..Hahahaa…oh well..!! Thank you so much Kate ?

  93. Karen says:

    i had no idea that the sharpen tool made such a big difference. thanks for the mini tut

  94. Allison Williams says:

    Kate,
    I read your suggestion of turning off the flash. I have the Canon Rebel. Do you have any idea how to do this?
    thx

  95. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Alison, you can shoot in manual or look for the symbol of the zig zag arrow with a line through it… that’s what it looks like on a Nikon, that’s the automatic no flash setting.
    Kate

  96. 玉芳 says:

    Hey! These are the pictures that I’ve taken! It is so much better!!
    http://hollywood-cerise.blogspot.com/2012/02/amigurumi-mario-star.html
    http://hollywood-cerise.blogspot.com/search/label/Tutorials
    Thank you SO much for the tips!!!! XXX

  97. angie granata says:

    Thank you so much Kate for the great info on taking pictures. Yes, I have one of those oldies automatic type of camera. Exactly the ones that you were talking about and I have been using flash. Great information.

    I have never used Picasa, and I am not that computer savvy, so am wondering if I will be able to do it.
    I just started a blog, as I also LOVE to diy, but hate my pictures. I have been just uploading them from my computer but not enhancing them in any way. I think I need to start learning Picasa…..lol and get myself a new camera.

    Thanks so much again, what a great site this is.

    Angie

  98. I don’t know how to use photoshop and don’t like to use it for editing. I use to use picnik, but now it’s no longer free. Picasa it is! Thanks for the tips!

  99. CentsationalGirl says:

    Try PicMonkey too Britney!
    Kate

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