Thursday, July 16, 2009

How to Use Picassa 3 to Create Cool Photo Effects

As I have mentioned in a few previous posts, I use Picassa to edit my jewelry photos. It's free to download and also very easy to use.On top of that, it can actually create many cool effects to make you look like a (semi) professional photographer.See the photo above? It was taken with a Canon Powershot SD750 and then extensively edited using Picassa. Here's the original photo --
If you are thinking "oh wow!" (and I hope you are) then I know you will finish reading this post.It took me a while to pick an example photo in which I (on the right) look half way decent. The pretty smiling girl next to me is my best friend Rana.I won't be going through the very very basics of the Picassa in this post, and I'm going to assume you have played with it a little bit and know there are three tabs that we use to edit photos. The version I'm using is Picassa 3, in which the three tabs are called Basic Fixes, Tuning and Effects (left to right) and we'll be using a few Effects today.
Since you are reading my blog, I assume you may have more interest in me than my friend(even tho she's apparently prettier than me), so I'm going to crop(under "Basic Fixes") the photo now... Here's me.The first effect I choose is "Soft Focus".It blurs out the background.Move the mouse to determine your focus, and use the slide bars to determine how much soft focus you want to use..
The next effect is glow.It makes the photo..uh..glow...The photo will look like it was taken in a beautiful sunny day :)
Now we're going to switch back to "Basic Fixes"(the tab on the left) and use the "retouch" function under this tab.You can adjust the brush size and remove unwanted spots.Carefully compare the following picture with the one above.Notice the difference? Hehe, I have removed the mole below my lips using the retouch function, and also made my skin tone look more even.Now I look like I have put on some concealer and foundation...
The picture still looks a little plain to me, so I'm going to add more contrast.You can adjust the contrast under "tuning".I tend to use more "Hightlights"(gives a spotlight effect) and "Shadows"(makes the darker part darker) than "Fill Light"(makes the whole photo looks lighter).I am pretty happy with this picture now already, but since we're doing a tutorial, I'll show you one more effect.

Click "B&W" under "Effects", and you will get a black and white photo as shown at the top of this post--

Oops, and now I just noticed my eyebrow was poorly trimmed, so I decided to use "retouch" again to paint my eyebrow.Can you see the difference? :)

Did you have fun so far? There are a few more effects that I have not used, but you can click around and play with everyone of them before deciding what you like the most.

have fun!
mollie xo


nyegik said...

helo my friends.....introduce me, i'm harry
is my first time to visiting here, wow ur blog is very nice with good articles, i'm glad to be here and read least i found something in here to be learn

Dorothy said...

This post on Picasa 3 is great. I've been playing with it and having fun, but I can't seem to figure out how to send a photo from there. I don't have gmail. I usually go through Photobucket, but can't seem to get the photos over there. Any tips?

mu-yin jewelry said...

I'm not sure what you mean by "how to send a photo from there".I'm assuming you mean how to "save" the photo you edited onto your computer?If so, you need to click the green push pin icon on the lower left side then select "export"(the icon that looks like a folder), and then you can choose to save onto a folder on your computer..

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