Another great freebie–Picasa 3
I covered some features of Windows Live Photo Gallery in an earlier post. Introduction to Windows Live Photo Gallery and that program remains my favorite all around photo program. Google offers a competing product call Picasa and no digital photographer should be without it either. Both programs have many similar features
Several of these are worth mentioning in Picasa. The “I’m Feeling Lucky” button is the equivalent of WLPG’s “Auto Adjust”. The Text button is useful for putting text into an image – WLPG does not have this feature. That green picnik button is interesting too. Picnik is an online photo editing service. It’s pretty interesting and has lots of useful features. I first ran across it a few years ago when it was integrated with Flickr. Later it was integrated with smugmug. By integrated, I mean that you can choose a photo on Flickr or smugmug and edit in online in picnik. A year or two ago Google bought picnik and integrated it into Picasa. So now, if you click that button Picasa transfers your image to picknik, let’s you edit it there and then saves it back to your computer. PIcnik is free but many of the advanced features require a subscription. Definitely worth exploring. I like to use the border feature sometimes to create something like this
Picasa has some nice effects
The graduated tint button can be used to put some nice blue sky into a photo.
Picasa has more features
Upload lets you upload to the free Picasa Web Albums. Try it out – it’s a good way to put some photos online to share.
By far my favorite feature though is Collage.
I’ve tried lots of different programs for creating collages and found most of them very weak or limited. Picasa Collage is very cool and has lots of different options. Here are a few that I have created.
So that’s it. I’m not a big user of Picasa so I’ll not be giving you an in depth look at how to best use it. But I definitely recommend installing it and trying it out. I think the interface is a little quirky but not that hard to learn. Between Picasa and Windows Live Photo Gallery you’ve got some very powerful tools to work with your photos and you haven’t had to spend any money.