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Doing More with Your Photos

Learning Goals

  • Share your photos with others
  • Explore other photo editing features in Picasa
  • Print your photos
  • Create interesting photo projects

Practice Editing Pictures

One of the best ways to learn how to creatively edit pictures is to see some examples of how other people have modified special photos.  The website iheartfaces.blogspot.com has a great site of original photos alongside of edited contribution from a variety of authors.  Use these steps to start experimenting with more advanced editing on Picasa:
  1. Access the Fix It Fridays page at iheartfaces.
  2. Click on the photo you want to practice on.  The photos are stored in Flickr.
  3. Click the All Sizes icon above the photo
  4. Select the Larges size, and then Download into your download directory
  5. Open Picasa and try to edit the picture.  Refer back to commentary and see if you can emulate some of the examples on the Fix It Fridays page
Spend some time exploring Picasa's additional photo editing features. Refer to Picasa's on-line reference for detailed help on the various edit functions available. If you want more pictures to practice on, download the class practice pictures.

Bonus: There are lots of free online editing tools that let you do even more with your photos.  Try out Picnik  or Fotoflexer to get an idea of how these work.

Sharing Your Photos
It's easy to share your photos once you have them on your computer. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Emailing a photo can be a problem, especially if it's large.  It can jam people's email system, or fill their mailbox, stopping other email from getting to them.  Picasa provides a way to easily email reduced sized photos to your family and friends.
  2. Many photo sharing services, like Facebook, reduce the size and quality of your picture when you upload and share.  It's great for quick sharing, but not a good way to transfer a quality photo to someone if they want to print it.
  3. If you use Picasa, you can easily get up to 1GB of free photo sharing space using PicasaWeb.  Additional space can be purchased as required.  People can then view and download your shared photos at any time.

Using Picasa Web Albums

Here are the steps to using PicasaWeb:
  1. Set up an account if you don't already have one.
  2. Upload the photos you want to share.
  3. Share your Albums with the people you want to share with, or with everyone!
You can set Picasa on your computer to automatically keep any photos you upload synchronized with changes you make on your computer. 

Printing Your Photos

Many people enjoy the convenience of printing at home on your own inkjet, or photo printer.  Here is why you don't want to do this:
  • Printing photos at home is costly due to the amount of ink used for quality printing.
  • Inkjet paper and ink are inferior to professional prints in quality and durability
Bottom Line: Using a professional photo printing service may take a bit longer but will give you a high quality product at a much lower price.

Screen Size vs. Print SIze

One factor that people don't always consider is that a camera will typically take a photo using a 3x4 ratio.  This is photo size is slightly taller and narrower than a standard 4x6 print.  If you just send in your photos as is, a small portion of the photo will be cropped from the top and bottom to adjust for the size difference.  Hopefully there is no critical part of the picture you will lose in the process.  To avoid this problem, crop your pictures to the desired print size before sending them in to print.

Metric vs. US Measurements

If you are getting the wrong ratios (e.g. 9x13, A4, etc.) in your cropping tool, it is because Picasa thinks you are using European Metric settings instead of US or Imperial settings. To fix this, you need to set it properly in Windows:

  1. Go to the Control Panel
  2. Select Regional and Language Options
  3. Select the "Formats" tab
  4. Click Additional Settings
  5. Make sure that "Measurement System" is set to "US"
  6. Click OK.

Ordering Prints

You have two options for getting professional prints:
  • Take in your photos on a USB Drive, or CD to your desired printing location.
  • Submit your photos on-line.  Here are some local printing services - visit the links below for their latest pricing:

Fun Photo Projects

Once you have a quality Photo Library, it's easy to create all sorts of fun projects using Picasa, here are some of the things to try:

Making a Gift CD or DVD

Use these instructions from the Picasa Help file on-line to create a gift CD or DVD for any existing folders or albums in Picasa:
  1. In the Picasa folder list, click on the folder or album you'd like to make into a gift CD/DVD.
  2. Click the Create menu, and select Gift CD.
  3. Click the Add More button to add other folders and albums. Select the checkboxes in the Folder List for the folders or albums you'd like to include.
  4. Adjust your gift CD settings: Choose your photo size, include an auto-slideshow, include a copy of the Picasa software.
    Order of photos on the CD/DVD: If you select 'Include Slideshow,' photos will be copied in the same order that you had the photos arranged in your folder or album. Otherwise, photos will be copied in the same order as they are stored on your hard drive, most likely alphabetical order according to filename.
  5. Name your gift CD/DVD.
  6. Insert a blank disk. The number of disks required to complete the job is listed in the blue bar above the 'Create a Gift' CD options.
  7. Click the Burn Disc button.

Once you click the Burn Disc button, it's not possible to add more photos to the same CD or DVD. If you need to add additional photos, please use a new disc.

Creating a Collage

Following these instructions from the on-line help, you can quickly create a photo collage:
  1. Select the photos you'd like to include in your collage.
  2. Click the Collage button in the Photo Tray. You can also create a collage for all photos contained in a folder or album by clicking the Create Photo Collage button located in the folder or album header.
  3. On the collage creation page, use the Settings and Clips tabs to control the appearance and content of your collage
  4. Use the buttons above and below the collage to help select and arrange the photos included in the collage. To remove a photo from the collage, select the photo in question and click the Remove button above the collage.
  5. When you're satisfied with your work, click Create Collage. Alternatively, click the Desktop Background button to create the collage and set it automatically as your computer desktop image. Once you've created your collage, you can share it with friends by uploading to Picasa Web Albums, emailing, or printing it in high-resolution.

Slideshows and Movies

Refer to the detailed instructions on-line to make a slideshow or movie of your favourite photos or for a special event:

Desktop Background and Screensaver

Easily set your photo as the background image on your computer desktop:
  1. Select the photo you'd like to set as wallpaper.
  2. Click Create > Set as Desktop.
  3. Click the Yes button to replace your existing desktop with the new image.
Probably one of the most satisfying things to do is to enjoy your photos as a screensaver, letting your computer display your talent and great memories, when your not busy working on it.

Photo Books

An excellent way to show off and enjoy your photos is to create a quality photo book.  For high quality books that you can print and sell, start a digital scrapbooking hobby using Blurb.com.   If you want something quick, try a photo book at your local Photo Printing store.

Don't Forget to Backup!

Remember, whenever you make changes to the photos in your library, you want to preserve your hard work and awesome creations! Take a moment to use Picasa to backup any changes to your library.  Can't remember how?  Use the link below to refresh your memory: