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Author Topic: Tips for people who dont want to use Photoshop / ACR / Lightroom - part 2  (Read 844 times)

Offline theqca

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The first part of this tutorial is posted here ? http://photographyclubofindia.com/boards/index.php?topic=1089.0

Now that you?ve already shot a photo using the best possible in camera settings that you can push your camera to achieve the rest of it is quite simple and I?ll post step by step instructions in this tutorial.

Some assumptions
1)You?ve shot in jpeg using the best possible settings
2)You?ve tried to get everything right in camera including the best possible exposure
3)You will not be printing your photos professionally and you merely need to take prints which are smaller in size or just need to do a web
4) you've transferred the image from your camera to a computer

There are a number of free software?s which are easy to use and can be downloaded. This tutorial is about software called picasa which I personally use and find very suitable for the usage outlined above.

It meets all the requirements that I usually have for jpeg images. The tutorial is for the current version of Picasa on a PC that is running on windows 7.

Download a copy from here - http://picasa.google.co.in/

Start Picasa and it will ask you some questions for setting it up like searching for photos etc etc. I don?t use any of the online options connected to picasa since I don?t want to link it to any gmail ID of mine so I don?t sign in with gmail on Picasa. It?s merely a quick photo editor for me so I?m going to just restrict this tutorial to the tools in picasa I usually use when I shoot in jpeg. The tool has a lot of other options but I don?t use them so they are not in scope of this tutorial.

First open the image in picasa. Click on ?file? and choose an option that says ?add file to picasa? ? you will get a pop up box from where you select the photos you want added.

Make a copy of the image you want to process. Click on File - Save As and save a copy of your original image. ? Since you?ve shot jpeg always work on a copy only and do not mess up your original image. Keep that one safely archived. Picasa has an option to undo all the changes that you make on a photograph however would still suggest you always work on a copy and not your original jpeg.


Step 1 - Start off first by turning the image around in case its not vertical / horizontal as needed. To do this you right click on the image and choose the option that says ?rotate image?

Step 2 ? We?ll start with the tab that has a spanner icon and contains some basic tools.The first button to work with would be crop. Just click on the crop tool and crop the photo as needed. You can choose from the crop presets in the drop down menu or manually crop the image by clicking and dragging the cursor over the photograph. Click on the button that says ?apply? when done.

Step 3 ? correct the tilt / straighten the horizon. This is icon next to the crop icon. Just press this button and then move the slider as needed to correct the tilt. There are grid lines which will appear and you can use these to check if the horizon is straight or if the slider needs to be moved.  Press Apply when done.

Step 4 ? move to the tab that is next to the one you were just using. It?s got a symbol that looks like a ?sun?.

There are 4 sliders that you can see here.

Fill light - will increase the light in the image in case you feel it?s a bit too dark.

Highlight - will increase the light but also increase the exposure a bit ? be careful when you use this as you may blow out the highlights
and loose details.

Shadow ? this will add some black to boost the contrast.

Colour temperature ? This will further tweak the white balance that you set earlier in camera - when moved towards the left will give a bluish tinge. When moved towards the right will give a warm tinge to the image. Move this a little bit and check if you prefer the warmer colours or cooler shade.

Move the fill light slider first and then the highlight one so you?ve got the image a little brighter than you want it to be. Then move the black slider a bit to add a bit of contrast which will also reduce the overall brightness. Move the colour temperature slider a wee bit to correct the colours if needed.

Step 5
Move to the next tab that has a paint brush type of a symbol. Here you will find a number of options with images. We will use just 3.

a)Click on the one that says saturation. Increase or reduce the saturation of your image as needed. Depending on the type of photo you may find that you have to move this slider a little bit.

b)Now click on the one that says sharpen and move the slider to sharpen the image. Sharpen as much as needed provided to don?t see any post processing artifacts or halo?s around the edges of the photo. Sharpening needs to be done just right. If you are going to upload the image on flickr then please remember that flickr will automatically apply some amount of sharpening to your photo.

c)The only other option you may want to use on this tab is ?black and white? for a quick black and white conversion however after converting to black and white please go to the previous tab and adjust the highlights / fill light and shadow sliders as the settings for a black and white image are different so that you can get the best tones out of your photograph.

Step 6

Move to the last tab that has a paint brush and a blue box as its symbol. Here you can add a frame to your photograph.

Choose the option that says ?border? and use just the first two sliders which say outer thickness and inner thickness to give your image the sort of frame you need. You can choose any colour under the sun but I?d suggest you stick to black and white as colours for the border. Click on apply changes when done.

Step 7

Now move back to the first tab that has the spanner symbol.  Now choose the icon that has ABC and says ?Text?. This can be used to add your name to the photograph in case you are really into water marking your photos.
I don?t do this as I feel that anyone clever enough to copy my photograph would be clever enough to remove the water mark too. Type whatever you want in the required font and size. Then move it to wherever in the photograph you want to place it. Move the slider that says transparency a little bit so that the letters look good on the image and do not look too bright or out of place. Click on apply when done.


The good thing is that all these changes can be undone and none of these are permanent in Picasa. You can always use the undo option at the end or at any stage and go back a step or to how the image was before you started processing.


Step 8
Click on File - Save. This is needed so that all the changed you've made so far are saved on the file.

Step 9
Now look at the very bottom of the picassa window and you will find an icon that says ?export?. This is used for resizing your image for a web upload incase you want to reduce the file size.

Click on the export button and you will get a box that has a slider that says ?resize to?. Move the slider so it shows 1600. This is the largest resizing possible.

From the drop down that says ?image quality? ? leave it as ?automatic?.

Chose the location where you want to export the image and click and the button that says ?export?.


Your post processed jpeg with the border and text is now resized and ready for upload to flickr / facebook or whever else you usually post your photos.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 09:21:57 PM by Ayaz »
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Offline Jasii

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Re: Tips for people who cant use Photoshop / ACR / Lightroom - part 2
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2014, 07:50:37 PM »
Excellent wite up! Thank you.
 :like:
You Rock BIG Time !!!!!!!!    8)
A Year young with my DSLR and loving it.........
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Offline Fake ID

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great post, real good.

Keep Posting.

Anil George

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Offline pratik

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Useful information. Keep up the good work.