Jun 102009



I got an email today from someone asking me about my camera because he likes the pictures in our blog so much.  I do get compliments on my photos often – thank you!  But, I answered him the way I answer all the others – “Yes, I have a good digital SLR camera (Canon Digital Rebel) but I believe what makes the difference is just a few seconds spent with each photo in Picasa!”

The picture of the split rail fence above was in my blog post from yesterday and it’s one of my current favorites.  It was taken in a city park in Winterset, Iowa.  The main attraction of this park is a covered bridge.  I like taking photos of things that aren’t the main attraction.  This is just an old fence and big tree trunk off in a corner of the park.

I liked the picture right from the camera.  But I *really* liked it after 4 clicks in Picasa …

  1. I’m Feeling Lucky – this is a one-click automatic color and contrast adjustment.  I click on this with every picture.  If I don’t like what it does, I just click on Undo.  I liked what it did on this photo. (Member Tutorial Video:Basic Edits)
  2. Sharpen – this is on the effects tab.  Right now you have to hold down on Shift as you click it to see the results.  (See past tip on sharpen) (Member Tutorial Video:Picasa’s 12 Effects)
  3. Saturation – this is a button on the Effects tab, just one click and it applies an automatic amount of saturation – you can adjust the amount with the slider, then click Apply.  Saturation means more color.  Just like adding another coat of paint.  Saturation makes your picture richer and brighter.  Not always something you want, but you can Undo if you don’t like it.(Member Tutorial Video:Picasa’s 12 Effects)
  4. Shadows – this is a feature on the Tuning tab.  I just moved the slider to the right a tiny bit.  It does exactly what it says … increases the shadows.  For this picture, I think it made it richer. (Member Tutorial Video:Tuning)

So, that’s it.  I spent no more than 4 seconds on this photo to turn it from a nice picture to a really nice picture.  Click ‘upload’ and now it’s on the web to share.

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.


  8 Responses to “Picasa Tip: 4 Clicks to Dramatically Improve your Photos”

  1. Hi Picasa informed me that I was short of space? Yet every time I turn Picasa on my PC it appears to run, duplicating just about every photo file. I have tried exporting to my hard drive – then deleting ? Nope ? Whats going on? Help?

  2. I have tried a number of different programs but most of them are simply too complex with literally thousands of different adjustments you can make or effects you can add. Unless you’re a professional photographer it seems as though you are never going to get to grips with most programs. I was pleased however to find that this was not the case with Picasa and I am having great fun and some really cool results with it.

    • I have been using Picasa with sports and holiday photos for many years. I love it! I took a class at Wolfe Camera and they suggested it — I’m so glad! This Shutterfly user switched and have been pleased since.

  3. I have recently purchased a new Dell computer running Microsoft windows 7 and I downloaded Picasa 3.6 as Picasa 3 was freezing up on my screen. The update did not correct this problem resulting in the only way to close Picasa is to do a hard reboot using my start key. No other function works with Picasa open.
    Any advice as to how to correct this problem.

  4. How do I move photos around in an album to put them in a special order? I have 400 photos in one album that I need to put in order. Are there any shortcuts?

    • If you’re talking about a Web Album, you can click on Edit at the top of the folder, then Organize and Reorder. Once there, you can drag photo into th eorder you want, or click on Sort Photos by … date or filename.
      If you’re talking about a Picasa Album, you can just drag them around – but realize this order will only be maintained while looking at your photos in Picasa. See this article, Keeping pictures in Order.

  5. We’re already members. Can we extend our membership for one more year for $29?

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.