Photo Editing with Picasa - Improve Photographs of your Handmade Cards

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Posted on 26th November 2014 by Lisa Sumpter
Filed under All Papercraft Tutorials, How to sell handmade cards, Design Team

Hello, it's Lisa here. I'd like to share some very basic steps on editing and enhancing photos with Picasa. By side-stepping the "I'm feeling lucky" feature, you can give your photos the look and feel that will really show your amazing makes in the best light.

Picasa is a free download.

I use patterned papers for most of my backdrops because I take my photos on the floor next to my patio doors which let in a lot of light. Good lighting = good phoos. This is what the unedited photo looks like. To import your photo into Picasa from your photos folder, right click on the photo and then click on "edit in Picasa".

This photo is slightly wonky so the first thing to do it straighten it using the straighten function. When you click on the straigten button, a grid appears to help you straighten out your photo. When you're happy with how it's looking, click Apply.

Next you'll want to get rid of the background details that you don't want in the shot by using the crop tool. I always use the manual crop but there are lots of preset shapes that you can use to crop your photo too (rectangle, square etc).

Now your photo is cropped to your taste, it's time to enhance it.  if you click on the next tab, next to the spanner tool, then you can fine tune your photo. The other tabs add effects like changing your photo to sepia tone, black and white and add Instagram style filters.

Use the Fill Light option to make your photo look brighter. This option is great for if you've taken your photo on a rainy day when there isn't a lot of light around.

The Highlight option makes the white and other lighter colours even brighter. Use sparingly to avoid washing out your photo

The Shadows slider makes your darker colours and shadows in your picture darker.

The Colour Temperature slider makes your pictures look cooler (as in more blue) if you slide to the left and warmer (more orange) if you slide to the right. With this photo, as it's a wintry photo and I've used a lot of white, I've made it cooler.

When you're happy with your enhanced photo, press save (or ctrl + S) to save your photo.

Even if I'm already pretty chuffed with how the photo looks, I still do a little bit of enhancing in Picasa. I used the Macro mode on my camera to take this close up. 

And edited slightly by increasing the Fill Light, Highlights and Shadow and this time, I made the photo warmer to make the yellows and the gold of baubles and bells really pop.

For more hints and tips - especially if you have a DSLR camera, Leo Kowal of SVG Cuts has some useful advice here.

Materials Used:

Falalala Card

  • Papermill Direct Plain White Card
  • Digital Stamp from Cuddly Buddly
  • Patterned Paper from Fancy Pants Designs
  • Silhouette Cameo
  • Ranger Stickles
  • Pearls from Stash

Floral Pillow Box

  • Papermill Direct White Linen Card
  • Digital Papers and Elements by Glitz Design (from Snap Click Supply)
  • Gems and twine from stash

Tagged: picasa, photography tips, photographing cards

3 thoughts on “Photo Editing with Picasa - Improve Photographs of your Handmade Cards”

Carol Allen

1st December 2014 at 4:33 pm

Have voted on favorite 2 but all are lovely.

Leo Phillips

2nd December 2014 at 4:46 pm

All lovely, but voted for my favourite two.

Norma Beckett

3rd December 2014 at 6:52 am

I have voted for my favourite three, but they are all valiant entries.  Well done!

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