Mar 032015

Picasa Saguaro at Picacho PeakWe pulled into Picacho Peak State Park yesterday in the rain. That’s unusual because this park is in the Arizona desert. Waking up in our motorhome this morning and looking out the window, we saw a dense fog with the desert sun just a shadow of normal self, trying to shine thru the fog. I know a photo opp when I see one, and I know they are fleeting, so we jumped out of bed, grabbed the cameras and started shooting.

Then came the fun part! Once I transferred the picture to my computer and opened Picasa, I started playing. Cup of coffee beside me and computer in front of me, this is one of my favorite things to do. I call it “Fearless Photo Editing” because I can just click on buttons in Picasa and look at the result. If I don’t like it, I can always UNDO it. Here are the buttons I clicked on to create what you see:

  1. Crop: I cut out some of the top and bottom, just to get closer to the Saquaro and the sun
  2. Pencil Sketch: that’s the main effect that turned this into artwork from photo. I dragged both the ‘radius’ and the ‘strength’ sliders over to maximum
  3. HDRish: to add even more definition to the lines
  4. Tint: to get the overall purple color
  5. Text: to add the words and I chose the odd “Jokerman” font
  6. Museum matte: since every work of art deserves a frame! And I used the color picker to make the outside frame be the same purplish color found in the picture.

Here is the original photo that I used. You can click on it to download a copy – then try it out!


If you are a Geeks on Tour member, here are some tutorial videos to watch:


  1. Basic Edits #261 Free
  2. Picasa’s 12 Effects #121
  3. More Effects 13-18 #253
  4. More Effects 19-24 #254
  5. More Effects #25-30
  6. More Effects 31-36
  7. Adding Text to Pictures #104
  8. Picasa 3.9 and Side by Side Editing
  9. Using Special Effects for an artsy-fartsy Miami Skyline
  10. HDRish is like a Super Sharpen #241

  7 Responses to “Photo Art with Picasa Effects”

  1. Love you lessons, can’t wait until a new one appears in my email.

  2. Crop: I cut out some of the top and bottom, just to get closer to the Saquaro and the sun

  3. A great demo of Picasa large scope of functions!

  4. Love it! I always learn from your Picasa tips. Keep up the good work.

  5. Great effects!!!!

    Have not been able to find any video or other mention of your adventures using the drone . . . just the amazing examples . . . please point me in the right direction as I am extremely interest in what you are using, camera, drone, control unit, etc. Looking forward to hearing back from you!

    Just Plain Bill

  6. I thought is was great, I will try it and I will use it.

  7. Love you lessons, can’t wait until a new one appears in my email.
    You teach so clearly &with illustration
    The new excel is so too,too complicated, who possiblly needs all those choices.
    My guess, 1-2% of Excel users.
    They need to go back and give people the product that worked for 98% of us stupid Professors of Medicine.
    I have been struggling with the new MS EXCEL…why not stray from Picasa
    and do some request for your admiring followers?
    Guess I could buy a book for dumbbells, but you are so much better in every way.

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