Recently I came across a very good little program that will be just the job for many people who have got involved with digital photography.Picasa is supplied free by Google and is amazingly capable at organising and editing pictures. It is only about 5Mb in size and you can download it by going to http://picasa.google.com/.
When you first start it up it up it goes off and finds all the pictures on your computer so this might be a good thing to just before you go off to lunch. Once the process is finished, you are presented with a list of folders with pictures in them and seeing those pictures is as easy as selecting the folder.
You can then select a picture, or pictures, which you can then edit with some quite sophisticated but easy-to-use exposure and colour correction tools. You can crop and rotate pictures and apply a wide variety of special effects to them but the real bonus is that Picasa doesn’t alter your original images at all, meaning you can’t mess anything up.
Picasa has the facility to import pictures from cameras, card readers or scanners, send selected pictures as emails, backup pictures to CD-ROM, create screensavers, desktop wallpapers, and posters. There is an export feature which you can use to export pictures to a disk or flash drive to take to another computer or mini-lab for printing.
Last week I talked about blogging and a free service which allows you keep an web-based online diary to publish whatever its is that you have to say. On the subject of blogs, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they say, and I decided to see how easy it really was.
I spent half an hour setting up a FishNet blog where I’ll post past columns and anything else I come up with on the technology front. You’ll see past articles listed on the left and in the archives.
As it happens, Picasa makes it easier to publish pictures to your blog. You can publish a selected picture or pictures with one click of a button. Like this:
There is a search feature which will allow you to search through the archives for that half-remembered link that you now need to consult so badly. You will also have the opportunity to leave your comments on the articles by clicking the comments link at the bottom of each.
Please note that you’ll have to verify that you’re a real person, and not a spam program, by typing in code letters which you’ll be given. Your comments will not show up on the story pages until I have checked them; abuse I can handle, but spam I can’t.
A Picasa web-based photo album service is currently under test and you will probably soon be able to publish pictures instantly to that as well.