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Picasa 3 Free Photo Editing

Updated on July 6, 2011

Wonderful Photo Editor

Picasa is a very cool photo organizer and editor indeed.   There are so many great features about Picasa that it is hard to decide where to start.  

The free photo manager from Google, Picasa, is wonderful. Beside organizing your photos and video clips, it works really great for sharing and viewing photos in a practical and useful way.


This is one of those software applications that you just have no idea how you lived without. One of the best features is that it is free. The interface at first seems confusing, but the interesting thing about that is that its look and initial feel is based on how you have your pictures organized.


If you are like me, you have photos all over the place on your computer. The most obvious place that I have them is in documents, on the desktop, in downloads, with folders in movie making photos, and in some places that I never look and can't remember.


In my documents folder>my pictures, I have around 50 folders neatly named to completely confuse all searches for photos named 01245 01265 21367 and so on. You know what I mean? I rarely take the time to rename all the photos that I download, and with digital cameras and huge hard drives, comes the amazing quantity of photos that people can have, not to mention all the pictures that I download from my cell phone, email, and the internet.

Picase Sees Where You Hide Your Photos

When you download Picasa and install it, the first thing it does is search your computer for all of your pictures and displays a list of the locations with a thumbnail of each of the pictures.


This is where it seems confusing at first, but ends up being a huge help in just about every way for organization. Picasa does not organize your pictures, it just finds them for you and tells you where they are. It is not the fault of Picasa that you have your pictures saved all over the place, that you have unnamed photos, and lots of folders that are named New Folder, New Folder 2, etc. This software is just telling you where all your photos are.


When you download photos, or import them, you place them on your computer. If you are highly organized, then you probably know where all your pictures are. Me, I have no clue because I just import a batch and put them in a folder that seems okay at the time and then have literally thousands of pictures and can never remember where I put them.

Picasa Does Not Change the Original

Picasa makes it simple to find your pictures, look into folders, rename photos, tag them, identify faces, correct the photos, share them in a 'so simple' way, store them on line, re-size them, order copies of favorites, share albums, etc.


Picasa does not import all your pictures, it does not make copies of them and does not automatically save versions of your pictures, this protects the original versions of your pictures. Okay, so you made a lot of changes to your photo and you want to save the changes. This is fine, you have the ability to save them as a new copy, over the original, or in a separate folder.


1st Cool Feature

The first cool feature of Picasa is how it shows you where your photos are stored.  It does not change where your photos are, it simply tells you where they are.   It lists all folders on your computer where you have photos.  It does this by listing on the left all the folders where photos are stored.

The folders can be viewed by creation date, name, latest changes, or size.  If you want the latest photos saved to your computer, simply change the folder view to latest changes and it displays the most recent photos first and so on.   Likewise for name date or size.  Easy as pie.

And that is one of the best features about Picasa the whole interface is easy as pie!

Picasa Folder Listing

Editing Photos, the Next Cool Feature Basic Fixes

There are a surprising number of things you can do with Picasa to edit photos including:

Cropping, Straighten, Red eye removal, I'm Feeling Lucky, Contrast, Auto Color, Retouch, Text and Fill Light.

These tools are easy to use and work very well. You can take a poor photo and make it pretty good.

Cropping has a variety of settings from retaining aspect ratio for standard size photos to freehand sizing for complete cropping control.

Straighten is a cool feature that allows you to take a photo that has the horizon out of balance and to straighten it. This is really neat as it can be used to take a tilt out of a photo or to add a tilt to give your photo new interest.

Contrast and Auto Color are self explanatory.

Retouch is a cool feature that lets you remove blemishes or telephone wires in a photo. It works very well with different brush sizes and increases the photo to 400% for easy retouching.

Fill Light is a powerful tool that lets you increase the exposure so that the entire photo has new light and saves many low light photos.

Click on each of the thumbnails below to see the progression of the basic fixes.  Awesome and so easy!

Basic Fixes

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Original PhotoCropToolStraighten ToolFeeling Lucky ToolFill Light Tool
Original Photo
Original Photo
CropTool
CropTool
Straighten Tool
Straighten Tool
Feeling Lucky Tool
Feeling Lucky Tool
Fill Light Tool
Fill Light Tool

Basic Tools and Fixes

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Original PhotoCropStraightenFeeling LuckyFill LightAdd Text Tool
Original Photo
Original Photo
Crop
Crop
Straighten
Straighten
Feeling Lucky
Feeling Lucky
Fill Light
Fill Light
Add Text Tool
Add Text Tool

Re-Touch Tool

The re-touch tool allow you to use a variety of brush sizes on you photos up to 400% magnification and easy re-touching.    See the re-touched photo below that was taken from my front deck.   It only took a few minutes to re-touch the photo with stunning results.

Re-Touch Tool

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Original PhotoRe-Touched Photo
Original Photo
Original Photo
Re-Touched Photo
Re-Touched Photo

These are but the basic tools that can be used on Picasa, I will provide future demo hubs of other Picasa features soon.    

This is an easy to use simple editor that does a lot of stuff without much effort.  Make your photos better in just a few clicks.

Download and install Picasa for trouble free editing and sharing.

Comments

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    • profile image

      james 

      6 years ago

      how to make the photo more interesting edits

    • mulberry1 profile image

      Christine Mulberry 

      7 years ago

      I haven't used Picasa too much, but I do love that Straighten feature!

    • SteveoMc profile imageAUTHOR

      SteveoMc 

      7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      Hey Richieb, glad to see you come by. All Picasa photos/albums are controlled by you, there are several choices, but they start as completely copyrighted, here is what the TOS says: Your content is automatically granted copyright under the copyright laws of most countries, including the U.S., Canada, Japan, and EU countries. This is the default setting for content uploaded in Picasa Web Albums. In addition, you have the option to select Creative Commons licenses for your photos.

      However, you can choose a variety of Creative Commons licenses for photos which allows the use of your photos by others. The photos should have their license listed for you.

    • Richieb799 profile image

      Richieb799 

      7 years ago from Cardiff, Wales UK

      I have found Picasa photos when searching the web for free stock images, do you know if they are genuinely copyright free?

    • SteveoMc profile imageAUTHOR

      SteveoMc 

      7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      @skye2day Thanks for the read and the comments. I great work around could be to open a gmail account, then have all you contacts imported from yahoo. It works flawlessly and you can have the same email as the Yahoo account. I have several email accounts two of them are exactly the same user names for both yahoo and gmail. Also, you have the option of forwarding all your mail to the yahoo account. I have two gmail accounts that forward to a folder in the third gmail account. It makes is handy because I have them skip the inbox and go directly to a folder. I can open the folder once a day or so to see if there is anything important.

      You will not regret the use of Picasa, it is a great way to get organized.

    • skye2day profile image

      skye2day 

      7 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      great hub steveomc I have used Picasa I still have it filed. I got confused around all the details but you have sure cleared the air for me. I thank you.

      You answered a question for me about emails it seems to work OK. Yahoo my email carrier requires updating to yahoo plus for a fee. I can go around it though it is a bit of a hassle but will work thank you for information. I so appreciate all the tech help I can get. Hugs

      You have a new fan. I look forward to more reads.

      Welcome aboard the hubs of love.

    • SteveoMc profile imageAUTHOR

      SteveoMc 

      7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      Surf traveler Picasa really does help a lot. I can find stuff I forgot I had...you can then open folders or move contents or move the whole folder. Glad you are convinced, you won't regret it.

    • surf traveler profile image

      surf traveler 

      7 years ago

      I really need to organize my photos. I haven't tried Picasa Photo Editing. My father-in-law has been telling me to check it out. Your hub has me convinced, with all the great features you described on photo editing.

    • SteveoMc profile imageAUTHOR

      SteveoMc 

      7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      @Nell Rose You are right, this is perfect for organization. Wait until you discover the share feature. Yep, this is where we live, the photo is from my front deck this summer. Also a great place for a BBQ and to gather with friends, which we did several times this summer. This morning it is 13 degrees, oh how I wish I could go back to one of those 80 degree days. Thanks for the support.

    • SteveoMc profile imageAUTHOR

      SteveoMc 

      7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      @Peggy W PhotoShop is awesome, and in another league. Picasa is not meant to be like that. This is more a simple editor for quick fixes, organization, and sharing. You should still use it for those features. I will do some more on the other features. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      7 years ago from England

      Hi, this sounds exactly what I am looking for, as you said, we seem to place photos everywhere, and like you, I can't find half of them! I love the re-touch photo, is that really where you live? wow! I definitely need to use that for some of my photos, bookmarked definitely! and voted of course! thanks nell

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Steve,

      I have used Picasa for photo editing but never used the storage feature. Now I have purchased PhotoShop and have to learn how to use it. Never enough time in the day! Like you, I have photos all over the place and am actually deleting a bunch out of the Hubpages photo capture area. Just recently found out how to do it and I have thousands to go! Informative hub! Rating this up and useful.

    • SteveoMc profile imageAUTHOR

      SteveoMc 

      7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      @saradean Glad you found it useful, thanks for stopping by and reading.

    • SteveoMc profile imageAUTHOR

      SteveoMc 

      7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      @agusfanani Thanks for stopping by appreciate the comment.

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 

      7 years ago from Indonesia

      Yes, I agree it's a cool software for photography. Thank you.

    • SteveoMc profile imageAUTHOR

      SteveoMc 

      7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      @drbj Oh you and me too, this is such an easy way to find everything, and it even shows duplicates, which is a big problem for me, I decide to make copies and then instead of throwing them out, I just squirrel them away in another folder.

    • SteveoMc profile imageAUTHOR

      SteveoMc 

      7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      @Hello, hello, Glad you liked it, I hope it helps, I love it myself. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

    • SteveoMc profile imageAUTHOR

      SteveoMc 

      7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      @Scribenet It really is a neat program. I L-O-V-E Picasa. You must have it and I will tell you more. Thanks for the kind words.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      7 years ago from south Florida

      This hub is very apropos for me, Steve. I have hundreds of pictures, photos and graphics all over the place on my computer and flash drive. I welcome any method that will help me to organize them all. Thanks for the research and the useful info.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank is a fantastic information. Thank you for a well written, explanatory hub.

    • Scribenet profile image

      Scribenet 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Wow, thanks for this..there is always something new and great to learn! Picasa looks like something I must have!

      You are awesome!

    • SteveoMc profile imageAUTHOR

      SteveoMc 

      7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      @Danatheteacher You are so right bud! Love having you stop by to read my hubs.

    • SteveoMc profile imageAUTHOR

      SteveoMc 

      7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      @justom I know, organization is my biggest problem. That is the beauty of Picasa, it find them for you and then makes a list of where they are. Toooooo easy! Thanks for stopping by Tom.

    • danatheteacher profile image

      Dana Rock 

      7 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      I agree that Picassa is awesome! I use it every day!

    • justom profile image

      justom 

      7 years ago from 41042

      Great hub Steveo, I had to laugh about the way we get and save photos I kind of do that but it didn't take me long to figure out I needed to name them. Organization, now that's another story. I use Corel Draw and PhotoSuite for all my editing and foolin' around fun. I went to school for photography years ago and am so happy to do all that darkroom crap on the computer. I'm not sure if this is something I need but I'm going to check it out just in case, you never know. Peace!! Tom

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