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Picasa – Google’s free picture and image editing and management tool

by Kelly Walsh on October 13, 2010

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Following up on Sunday’s post about free image and picture editing tools …

My feature post this week examined 5 free picture and image editing tools that I had read about in this article in Campus Technology magazine this month. One of them was Picasa from Google, and unlike the other applications which were purely online tools, Picasa had to be downloaded and installed. I’ve done that now and wanted to share my experience with this app.

The download and installation was quick and simple, and Picasa searched my hard drive for picture and image files for me to work with. It was then easy to try out some of the image editing tools. [One slightly odd artifact of the installation was that it found an old Desktop copy and images in it, and placed those images (about 10 of them) on my current desktop. I had never seen these pictures. That was weird.]

The picture editing functionality included a variety of picture correcting and enhancing tools, grouped into three tab sections: “Basic” functions like cropping, redeye reduction, color and contrast adjustments, etc.; a “Tuning” tab with sliders on it for Fill Light, Highlights, Shadows, and Color Temperature; and an “Effects” tab with options like Tint, Glow, Saturation, Sepia, Sharpen, and more. There is also a built in button to access the web based ‘Picnik’ applet, which provides more effects and functionality (I’ll be checking this one out more in the upcoming weekend’s post).

There’s a lot of functionality geared towards working over the Internet – uploading to create “web albums”, emailing, printing, shopping, etc. There is also a nice collage function that creates an instant collage from pictures you select, and a similar Movie function.

It looks like Picasa is a pretty useful free tool if you work with photos a lot. If you’re a user, please feel free to weigh in and share your experiences, likes, tips, etc.

Stop back again this weekend when we learn about some more free photo and image editing apps, and wrap up this brief series of posts with recommendations on which of the ten or so apps we’ll have looked at seem to be the most useful. 

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By the way, thanks to readers … who commented on Sunday’s post and provided names of other free tools for image editing - I’ll be checking those out this coming weekend!

Also, thanks to Kristina Campbell for this article in the Vancouver Observer, about last year’s popular post, “5 Reasons Why Educators Need To Embrace Internet Technologies“!
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Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
A closer look at 5 free picture and image editing tools
Video blog post, “A closer look at 5 free picture and image editing tools”
30 Posts About Free Education Technology Tools & Resources

About 

Kelly Walsh is Chief Information Officer, and an adjunct faculty member, at The College of Westchester in White Plains, NY and is the founder and author of EmergingEdTech.com. As an education technology advocate, he frequently delivers presentations on a variety of related topics at schools and conferences across the U.S. Walsh is also an author, and online educator, periodically running Flipped Class Workshops online. His latest eBook, the Flipped Classroom Workshop-in-a-Book was published in September, 2013 and is available here. In his spare time Walsh also writes, records, and performs original (and cover) songs (look for "K. Walsh" on iTunes or Amazon.com or check out his original song videos on here on YouTube ).

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