Our motorhome is currently parked in Salem, Massachusetts. A little city park called Winter Island. We’re using this home base to sightsee in the area, including Boston. For our day in Boston, we decided to take the ferry. Nothing better than a boat ride to start the day, and what a great way to see Boston for the first time! See our blog post on this wonderful day.

The weather was setting record highs … 95 degrees, and there was a lot of haze or smog in the air. You couldn’t even see the skyline of Boston until we were almost right on it! Not a good day for taking pictures.  I was glad I had my SLR camera with a Polarizing filter, that helps cut thru the haze a bit.  Jim has a little Nikon point and shoot (no filters) – I figured my pictures would be much better than his!

But with just a few clicks in Picasa – here’s Jim’s picture:



Here’s what he did:

  1. Basic Fixes: Straighten
  2. Effects: Sharpen
  3. Tuning: Increase Shadows*
  4. Tuning: Increase Highlights*
  5. Basic Fixes: Add Text

*I’m Feeling Lucky does almost as good, with one click, as increasing shadows and highlights.

The ‘before’ picture I wouldn’t want to show anyone.  The ‘after’ picture proudly went on our blog!

For more information on using Picasa – see our website PicasaTutorials.com.

Chris and Jim Guld,

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  9. Dan,
    It is a misconception that Picasa ‘decides how the shots should be stored.’ It does not. I have 22,000 photos and also have my own filing system. Picasa just allows me to see my folders in ‘Tree’ view (just like Windows Explorer) or in ‘Flat’ view – Picasa’s preferred method that lets you see every single folder sorted wither by date or by name. This is a very common misconception – see my article, including screenshots of Flat vs Tree view, at http://picasatutorials.com/2008/12/picasa-tip-nested-folders/

  10. Dan Kennedy

    I used to use Picasa for file management but stopped because it decides on how the shots should be stored. I’ve got about 12000 pictures on my computers and prefer to use my own filing method., otherwise I have trouble finding specific shots. Now I use FastStone to manage files (it’s an excellent free download) and Gimp for fine image manipulation.

  11. Jerry

    No debate *grin* – just thought the info would make a nice sidebar for anyone interested in taking it further.

  12. GIMP is an excellent, and free, program for image manipulation. If you need more editing features than Picasa offers, I would recommend it. It’s basically a free Photoshop. So, for example, if you need to lighten the shadows on someone’s face without affecting the rest of the photo – that’s beyond Picasa’s capability. Picasa only works with the whole photo – except for its limited ‘retouch’ tool.

    BUT, Picasa does everything else people need – import from camera, organize photos, add captions and tags, upload to a photo sharing site, Backup to CD or DVD, and email photos. All with single-click ease of use. And, the editing that it does do (actually fairly extensive) – it makes single-click easy. No need to learn about layers, masks, or filters. No need to make a copy first just in case you royally mess up. Just click and see if you like what it does … if not, click Undo.

    See my overview article on Picasa at:

  13. Jerry

    GIMP is a freeware PhotoShop clone originally designed for Linux operating systems, but now available for the Windows and Mac platforms. A superior program, if you’re interested.

    Google it and you’ll find it.