Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Picasa

One thing many of us struggle with is taking good pictures of our work for Etsy or other similar sales venues. There are challenges of lighting, cropping, etc.

Some use Adobe Photoshop and similar and some use lesser cost or even free packages. Each has it's strengths and weaknesses and the learning curve to effectively use them probably ranges all over the map.

I found a free package, Picasa, and, so far, it seems to do a pretty decent job on processing our raw pictures from the camera.

Picasa is one of the Google resources as is the Blogger package. One can transfer images directly from Picasa over to their blog although I pick the images up from my hard drive or portable drive.

I like Picasa for its organizing of the images and the ease of tabbing through the thumnails to preview and make editing adjustments as necessary. By clicking on a thumbnail from the Library you are taken to a screen of Basic Fixes, Tuning and Effects. So far I have been able to do everything using Basic Fixes. You can crop, Auto Contrast, Auto Color and Fill Light. A "I'm Feeling Lucky" button automatically does some of this for you. I've found the Fill Light to be very useful in adding more light to my images and for many of the beads it really helps to show the colors.

Another thing I like about Picasa is it seems so easy to process the raw image, preview it on the screen (the preview window is almost 2/3 of the screen so one can easily see the changes to the image as you apply the effects), then save the image into another folder for use in uploading to Etsy.

Wife Barbara and I are taking our pictures together. I then use Picasa to make these editing enhancements. I then put them on our portable hard drive so she can access the files from her laptop, located in a different room. This seems to work out the best for us. We list each item with a descriptive name so I can save the images and assign a sequential number. She then previews each image and decides which best work on the Etsy listings.

If you are looking for an easy to use and free package I'd recommend Picasa. You can download it from a Google website. It also allows you to upload your images to a web album and has several other bells and whistles. I have not used Photoshop or some of the other packages and, at this time, I spent my budget on the light tent and a nice digital camera so a free package that offered the tools to crop, adjust colors, contrast, etc. seemed the best way to go for us.

Ken - Magpiedreams

1 comment:

Jewelry Elegance by jill said...

Ken
Really enjoyed your blog on Picasa!
Early this morning I tried Picasa for the first time, had some trouble, but after reading your blog, it's time for me to learn Picasa. Thanks for the helpful blog....