Jan 132009

I took a photo this weekend that I really liked. My Mom came with us on a short RV trip and she was enjoying our cozy cab-over bunk and the view out the front window. It was kind of dark and I didn’t want to use a flash, so I hand held a timed exposure to get the shot. Not surprisingly, it came out a little blurry.

I almost deleted it, then I decided to embrace the out-of-focus quality of the picture instead! I used the Soft-Focus effect to make the edges even more out of focus. Then I used the ‘Glow’ effect to lighten it up a bit and give it even more of a dreamy look.

Using Picasa's Soft-Focus effect

When you click on Soft-Focus, you will see your photo get out of focus, all except for a circular area in the middle, around the crosshairs.

Picasa's Soft Focus options

You will also see options for size and amount. Size refers to the size of the circular area to keep in focus. Amount refers to just how out-of-focus you want the rest to be. Just drag them one way or the other and watch your picture. You can also drag the crosshairs around in the picture itself to move the focused part around. When you like the look, click Apply.

For my picture I also clicked on the Glow option which softly brightens up all edges, making it look somewhat dreamy. You also have some sliders to adjust the amount of glow. Click Apply for this effect to take place as well.

Here’s my finished photo:

Using soft focus and glow makes the photo look dreamy!

You may have pictures where these effects create a more dramatic result, but for me, this just makes it look like I intended it to be out of focus!

Geeks on Tour Members can view a video that explains all 12 of Picasa’s special Effects.

  4 Responses to “Picasa Tip: Out of Focus? I meant that!”

  1. Judy, Hopefully you read my next article on ‘When your pictures get all messed up’

    Marian, I have no way of knowing whether your pictures are truly repeated without looking at your computer. If you see two photos exactly alike in your folders (the yellow folder icons) then, odds are they are duplicates, and you should delete one. If you see duplicates in your ‘Albums’ – the blue book icons) they are not duplicates.
    The way to know for sure is to see where exactly they are on your disk. Just right-click and choose ‘locate on disk’.
    See this Geeks on Tour Newsletter for an article on preventing duplicates:

  2. I attended your sessions in Wilmar, Mn. Loved every minute. Had Picasa downloaded, had never used it.

    Question: Are ALL those pictures – repeated as they seem to be – on my computer all those times as they seem to somehow get into different folders and files I didnt think I put them in?

    Does that ‘clog up’ the performance of my computer?

    I thought Picasa was easy to use, my new PC has a picture thing of its own, so does my new printer – now what?

    Keep this info coming, love it.


  3. I learn from all your tips. I have a complication which I am reluctant to fix on my own. Recently my photos have started appearing out of order often from other folders, with different pix showing when I select them. Picasa’s Troubleshooting questions suggest that the Data Base needs repairing. The “fix” instructions include a preliminary Back Up process which for me is rather complicated. Since I have thousands of edited pix in many folders, and don’t want to loose them, I need some advice. Perhaps you could address this.

  4. Thanks, great tip.
    I use Picasa on all my pictures and getting better after reading your tips.

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