The further confessions of a happy snapper

coverYou can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, and you can’t turn a poorly composed, badly lit, out of focus photo into an award-winning photo. That doesn’t mean I don’t try.

The libraries‘ computers have Picasa. This free download is so easy to use, and is designed to be a photo sharing tool, however I use its photo editing capabilties as well. These are divided into three categories: ‘Basic fixes’,’ Tuning’ and ‘Effects’.

‘Basic fixes’ allow me to do things like crop, correct red-eye and straighten the horizon. ‘Tuning’ is for changing the amount of shadow and highlight. ‘Effects’ allow me to be a little bit creative. I like using Soft Focus, which blurs the background, while keeping the main focus of the photo sharp. I also enjoy using  Focal B&W. It retains the colour in the centre of the photo, and the background fades to black and white. Picasa is something that you can click around and experiment with. If you need help, find books on Picasa at your library.

If you want a whole lot more than what Picasa has to offer, you might like Photoshop. I had Photoshop on my old computer. I would spend ages cropping and colour correcting my old photos. Then I would turn them into oil paintings.  To get the most of Photoshop, you need a manual. The library has quite a large selection; just make sure you choose one that matches your version.

Remember one thing, you can improve your photo to a certain extent with photo editing and you can have fun with special effects, but sometimes the best thing to do is use delete.

2 thoughts on “The further confessions of a happy snapper

  1. Roberta Smith 8 April 2011 / 4:32 pm

    I agree Valerie, you can have a lot of fun with Picasa. Things can be changed and unchanged at will – it certainly got me over the hump of being “precious” about my photos. I have also started taking digital photos of old photos – any tips on that?

  2. valerienl 9 April 2011 / 6:08 pm

    Hi Roberta, Some of my photos from the 1970’s have either a brown or blue tinge. I have tried playing with the colour settings and in the end I Picassa’d them in to black and white. Whatever you do, tag them in some way before you completely forget who, what, where, when, why… and enjoy the saunter down memory lane.

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