Thursday, April 22, 2010

Moving to Picasa

When it was first launched I downloaded and tried Picasa as a means of organising my photos it did not provide the features I wanted so I looked for another tool.

When time permits (and it doesn't too often) I use Adobe Photoshop to edit new photos and restore old ones to their former glory but I like to have a simple tool that allows me to apply Metadata, do simple fixes and search and retrieve photos easily.

Initially I used the free Adobe® Photoshop® Album Starter Edition but it just couldn't cope with the number of photos I had (around 30,000 at that time). I moved over to Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 and have been using Elements 6.0 since its debut. This program struggles with my collection of 65,000 digital images on an external hard drive. As I have read some unflattering reviews of Elements 8 I have not bothered to upgrade to version 8. As version 6 still works (albeit slowly) I have not actively looked for another product to replace it.

I was recently on a Caribbean cruise that featured photographer, Peter Simon, as a guest lecturer and workshop presenter. Peter, a gentle man who has been taking photographs for 50 years, was a willing and enthusiastic tutor. In the few hours we spent with Peter my husband and I took on board many tips that we applied to our holiday snaps and that should enhance our future photographic efforts. We and other cruisers noted that Peter was using Picasa to download and organise his photos. In the workshops as he showed us examples of his stunning work and imparted his knowledge we were able to see various features of Picasa demonstrated. Peter suggested using Picasa as a 'staging post' to initially organise and edit photos. He then suggested using Photoshop to do more complex edits.

After Downloading a few thousand holiday snaps I decided to trial Picasa. The free download was easily installed and my photos imported. I quickly found that this program is a delight to use. So pleased was I that I imported the folders containing my 65,000 photos into Picasa. This happened very quickly and y photos were imported with their tags attached.

I find this tagging facility very easy to use although I would like to be able to nest my tags into categories. I love the ability to drag and drop photos into albums and the ease with which one can move files from folder to folder. Being able to upload pictures directly to Blogger is a bonus I hadn't expected to find. See my first uploaded photo in the previous post. The quick edits functions are situated conveniently on the desktop and so easy to use. That Picasa is a free application just adds icing to the cake.

I am going to say goodbye to Photoshop Elements and use Picasa.

Genealogists, if you are looking for a simple, user friendly program to organize your photos Picasa is worth a try. Thank you Peter Simon for your suggestion.

2 comments:

Carole Riley said...

I've been using Picasa for organising and simple editing for a while now. It has the easiest to use tilt fixing I've seen. One catch is that if you use it to edit photos that you've scanned in a different format it saves them as jpegs, which you may not want.

Shelley said...

I've had a play with Picasa, but wasn't that taken by it. Maybe I should look again!

When you say 'apply Metadata', do you mean eg a system of tagging or something more?

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