Nov 032009
 

This Friday, November 13, you can watch a one hour Picasa Seminar on the Web.  Geeks on Tour will be in Mountain View, California to co-host this webinar with Google. 

You can check it out and register for the event by visiting the Picasa Help page. 

Here’s the Webinar description:

New to Picasa? Want to learn how to edit and organize your photos? The Picasa team, along with Chris Guld from Geeks on Tour, will be hosting a free webinar tailored to Picasa newcomers. You will learn quick and easy ways to crop, add effects, change the coloring and improve your photos. Following the demo there will be a Q&A portion hosted by the Picasa team and Geeks on Tour. Hope you can join us!

Register for the event

Oct 062009
 

The latest upgrade to Picasa came out on September 23. They’re calling it 3.5. The biggest change is in the ‘Import Photos’ screen. In the prior version, Import was on 2 screens; first you selected what you wanted to import (All, or Selected, Exclude duplicates or not) then the next screen asked where you wanted them – the folder specification. In Picasa 3.5 it’s all on one screen. So, you have to specify the target folder before you click ‘Import All’ or ‘Import Selected.’ (Tutorial Videos: Import from Camera)

Notice in the screenshot below the Import From, Exclude Duplicates and Progress note are in the upper left. Everything else is at the bottom. Your procedure, therefore, goes from top, to bottom – then left to right.

Picasa 3.5 Import

A couple things to notice:

  • Picasa creates a folder name for you with the current date (2009-10-05 above.) You don’t have to accept that – and you probably shouldn’t. You can delete 2009-10-05 and type anything there that you want. I usually put all pictures in a folder for the month, so I put 200910 in that place. In the older version, it would remember the folder name where I put the last imported batch of pictures – I could just select 200910 from a dropdown list. It doesn’t seem to do that anymore, but I can just type it in again and the pictures all go to the same place.
  • There is a new option to ‘Upload.’ This means that you can upload to your web albums at the same time that you import to your pictures on your computer. I would never do that, because I like to look at the pictures and do a little editing before uploading.

 

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

Members may want to view the following tutorial videos.  Not a member?  Join now.

Sep 152009
 

by Chris Guld of Geeks on Tour:

I sometimes feel like a broken record, telling people to backup their photos.  Just when I figure that *everyone* has the idea and I can rest, I read something like this post in the Picasa Help Group where someone lost 15,000 photos when their computer crashed.  !?#!!??@!!

How can anyone possibly collect that many pictures without at some point wondering, “What would happen if my computer crashed, or it got stolen, or it fell out of the car, or it burned up in a fire or … “

One of the biggest reasons that I recommend Picasa so highly is that it makes backups SO easy.  First, let me make sure we understand each other with the term ‘Backup.’  It means having a copy of your photos somewhere separate from your computer.  These are for emergency purposes.  I recommend using CD-Rs or DVD-Rs.  I buy the discs in bulk, they come 50 to a spindle.  I make a backup every month, of that month’s photos.  Then I put the backup discs on an old spindle and keep them in a cupboard.  I’ve been backing up photos and other important files this way for over 10 years.  I had occasion to look thru some of the older backup discs the other day, and the pictures were in perfect shape.

Here’s a step-by-step of how you might back up Pictures, using Picasa, for a whole year:

  1. Tools, Backup Pictures
  2. Click ‘New Set’ give it a name of 2009
  3. Check the box next to every folder of pictures in 2009 (that’s easy for me because I store all my pictures in folders by month)
  4. Picasa reports that I’ve selected 4,347 files and I’ll need 18 CDs or 3 DVDs.  I choose DVDs ( I use the DVD-R type)
  5. Put a DVD in the drive and click ‘Burn’
  6. Wait until it completes that DVD.  It will spit it out and display a message requesting the second DVD.  Then it repeats for the third.
  7. When it’s all completed, label the disks with a Sharpie marker then take the disks to another computer to test them.  There’s nothing worse than thinking you have good backups and finding out much later (when you need them) that they didn’t process correctly.  When you first put them in the drive, you should be prompted to do a Restore.  You don’t want to restore, you just want to look and see that the pictures are there, so cancel the restore prompt.  What you want to do is ‘Explore’ or ‘Open Folder to View Files.’  If you see that option, just choose it.  If not, you can go to My Computer and right click on the DVD drive, then choose Explore.  You should see a folder called $My Pictures. That’s where all your photos are. (Tutorial Videos:Backup your Photos to CD)

Do it!  Do it now!  Here’s a very short video I made a while back that goes thru the process:

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

Members may want to view the following tutorial videos.  Not a member?  Join now.

 

Sep 092009
 

You will love the fill light slider. Pictures you thought you needed to throw away can be saved. When a photo is dark, just drag the fill light slider (right on the basic fixes tab) towards the right and it will fill it with light!(Tutorial Videos: Basic Edits)

image

Just drag the slider to the right and it will take you

From this:

image

To this:

image

or From this:
image
To this:
image

This tip is taken directly from the ‘Beginner’s Guide to Picasa .’

If your original is *really* dark, the fill-light effect will make the photo grainy, reducing the quality.  But, hey!  It can make the difference between a photo that you would just throw out, to one that is viewable!

From this:
fill-1
To this:
fill-2
This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

For Fun Members may want to view the following tutorial videos.  Not a member?  Join now.

Feb 172009
 

Many people use the software that came with their camera to import pictures to their computers. That’s fine. Picasa doesn’t care how your pictures get onto your computer. As long as they get saved into a folder that is being watched by Picasa (like your Pictures folder), you will see them next time you open Picasa.

But you can use Picasa to do the import process as well. Then, you don’t need the software that came with the camera. picture-autoplayAs soon as you plug in the cable from your camera to your computer, or insert the camera card into a card-reader in your computer, you should see a screen pop up that looks like this image. (Member Tutorial Video:Import from Camera)

You may have more options. You may even have another pop-up window from your camera’s software. You can ignore, or close, any other popups and select ‘Copy pictures and view them using Picasa3’, as shown in the image at left.

Once you click on ‘Copy pictures and view them using Picasa3’, you will see the ‘Import Tray.’

import-tray4Can you tell I’m writing this tip right after Valentine’s Day?! The roses Jim gave me keep getting prettier every day. I just have to get out the camera and take a few more pictures as they unfold! I even got a little creative and laid my black bathrobe on the ground to make the background go away.

Ok, anyway … this will take a minute for Picasa to see all the photos. Wait till you see the message ‘Copying 15 of 15’ – your number will be different – the point is that it has finished getting all of them. Then click on ‘Import All.’ Now you will see this screen:import-folder1

If you want these photos to get saved into an existing folder, you just click the Browse button and find the existing folder. If you want to put them into a new folder, you first make sure the ‘parent’ folder is selected in the ‘Location’ field, then enter the name of the subfolder you want to create in the top line. Make your choice for what to do with the camera card after the copy, and click ‘Finish.’ I usually choose the ‘Safe Delete.’ So, every time I use Picasa to transfer photos from my camera to the computer, the end result is a clean card to put back in my camera.

So now all my photos of the roses show up in Picasa and I can crop, sharpen, make collages and add text. Wanna see the end result?

 

Rose Collage

You can do it too — watch the member tutorial videos. Not a member?  Join now.

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

Members may want to view the following tutorial videos.  Not a member?  Join now.

 

 

 

 

Feb 112009
 

This is so odd. For all of my 25 years teaching computer software, I’ve repeated over and over again to “Save your work!” “Save often.” With most software that is important. But, with Picasa I never use the Save command!

You really don’t have to. Picasa remembers everything you’ve done to a picture. As long as you use Picasa, what you see is what you get. But, if you use another program to view that picture on disk it will see the original photo without Picasa’s edits. To use a photo in another program, you must either Save, or Export. I use the Export command to create a new original. Export is the only way I can make the photo a different size as well.

Geeks on Tour Members can view Tutorial Videos on

Not a member?  Join now.

If you want to use the Save command, let me tell you how it works. I’ll use the example of a photo I took of a hay field. I think it would be more artistically pleasing as a black and white, so I use the B&W effect in Picasa, and I see it in Picasa as a B&W photo. But, the original, color photo is still what’s on the disk in My Pictures. If I use Powerpoint, for example, and import the Hayfield photo from disk, I’ll get the color one.

Edited, how it appears in Picasa
hayrolls-bw
Photo file on disk
hayrolls-color

You can save your edits to disk by using File | Save, or by right-clicking on the photo and selecting Save. Now the photo file on disk will also be B&W, and therefore, if you use Powerpoint to insert the file, you will get the B&W version.

But, what if you should change your mind sometime and want the color one back? No problem, Picasa won’t allow you to lose your original. When you use the Save command, Picasa creates a hidden folder called ‘Originals’ and puts your original, color photo in there. After you save a photo, Picasa’s ‘Undo’ button will show, “Undo Save.” If you click on that, Picasa will retrieve the original from the hidden folder and put it back in the file position.

originals

So, go ahead and Save if you want to! It doesn’t hurt anything, you can always ‘Undo’ the save. It just takes up extra space on your disk for the originals. And, it certainly is less confusing when the pictures on disk are the same as what you see in Picasa!

Picasa even provides a button to save all the edits in any given folder. Look in the upper right corner of any folder in the Library view. In the example below, Picasa tells me it will save the edits on 88 pictures if I just click the ‘Save to Disk’ button. That would also put 88 originals into the Originals folder.

saveall

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

 

Members may want to view the following tutorial videos.  Not a member?  Join now.

 

Jan 272009
 

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a few words attached to a photo can say a lot too. Picasa makes writing captions so easy, you have no excuse not to identify them. Simply click in the space below the picture and type. No need to save – Picasa does that automatically when you move on or press Enter. All you need to do is just type … you’re done.(Member Tutorial Video: Add Captions to your Photos)

If you take just a moment to write a couple words with each of your important photographs, you will love yourself for it. Here are just some of the benefits of having captions written on your pictures:

  1. Every word in the caption is searchable
  2. Captions can be printed when you print the photo (new in 3)
  3. Captions appear in slide shows of your photos
  4. Captions will display with your photo when you upload them to Picasa Web Albums
  5. You can have captions display below the thumbnails of your photos in the Library view
  6. Captions are stored with the picture file itself, so are visible in many other programs.

If you like to share your life’s stories and pictures with family and friends, but writing a blog is not for you, you may find that adding captions to your photos is all you need. I generally type a caption on every photo I upload to my Picasa Web Albums. Here is a sample:

captions

If you click on the image above, it will take you to the actual web album. Then, find that picture of Jim teaching Google Earth and click on it. You will see that captions don’t have to be limited to a few words. I typed a whole paragraph on that one!

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

Members may want to view the following tutorial videos.  Not a member?  Join now.

Managing Digital Photos with Google’s Picasa

 Getting Started, Picasa  Comments Off on Managing Digital Photos with Google’s Picasa
Jan 152006
 

I’ve been using a variety of computer software, and teaching others how to use it, since 1983. I’ve taught everything from DOS, to WordStar, to WordPerfect, PageMaker, Microsoft Access, Visual Basic, and dozens of others in between. I have never seen anything as quick and easy – and powerful – as Google’s Picasa

And it’s *FUN*. And it’s *FREE*.

I first looked at Picasa a year or so ago. The first thing I noticed is that it doesn’t display the ‘tree’ structure of your folders. I didn’t like that, so I never explored the program further. For a variety of reasons, I decided to look again. It still doesn’t show the tree structure, but it makes it SO easy to find your photos that I understand the reasoning.

With Picasa2, I can guarantee you will find photos on your computer that you had forgotten all about. It makes it so easy to email, print or post photos to the web. It also has several ways that you can enhance your photos – cropping, color enhancements, and effects that make your photos look great. And, it does all this without touching your original, so you’re safe to play with the effects to your heart’s content.

I was able to put together a 2 hour seminar that covers the majority of the programs features. The short length does not reflect on the lack of feature, rather, it reflects on how quick and easy the features are to use. If you’d like to review those features, you can download my outline here. Just please use it for personal purposes only.

We gave the seminar at Palm Creek last weekend and a few people brought their laptops with them. Even during the class, they found pictures they had forgotten about, and they really had fun enhancing them. The following photo was taken during class, transferred from the camera to the computer (using Picasa) and posted to this Blog simply by clicking on the ‘Blog This’ button. Try it! You’ll like it!