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Sharpen your photos with Picasa

By Chris and Jim Guld
www.GeeksonTour.com 

Motorhomers can edit photos using Picasa. 
Motorhomers can improve their pictures using Picasa. 
I received an e-mail from someone asking me what  type of camera I use, 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 was in one of my recent blog posts and is 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 a big tree trunk off in a corner of the park.

I liked the picture right from the camera.  But I really liked it after four 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.

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.

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 -- and 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.

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.

So, that’s it. I spent no more than four 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.

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