Sunday, June 01, 2008

TGIF - June 2, 2008 - Picasa

I just got back from a trip to Holden Village for a May Holden Youth Weekend, coordinated by some of the students at Trinity Lutheran College. It was a great event and we had a great time, both on the trip over (all 400+ miles of it) and our time at Holden Village. We worshiped, played, sang (with my friend Rachel Kurtz ) and thoroughly enjoyed our time together. The trip back ran more than halfway through the night and was an unfortunate requirement of the experience! Of course, since we were having such a great time, and wanted to remember our experiences, we took a lot of pictures on the church's camera. Additionally, the participants took pictures of their own and will be e-mailing them to me. Now what!?!

There are quite a number of tools designed to edit and sort photos. The one I settled on using many moons ago was Picasa, which was once an independent program, and has now been purchased and updated to version 2 by Google. It's not available for the Mac (you have iPhoto), but is available for Windows and Linux machines. It does most of what most of us need to do to digital photos easily. It is not as good as Photoshop or The Gimp at editing photos, but it is easy to use and works well for simple photo editing like crops, color fixes, and red-eye reduction. It also allows you to tag (and even geo-tag) your photos, sort them into albums, and upload them to Picasaweb albums so you can share them.

Once you download and install the program getting photos in is remarkably simple. I just take the card from my camera and slide it into my computer. The image acquisition box pops up and I put the photos into Picasa. Then I go through each of the pictures, deleting the ones that didn't turn out well, fixing the ones that need some help, adding captions, tags, and geo-tags. Once I've designed my album, I can upload it to Picasaweb with a few clicks. I can also send it to a variety of online photo printers like Wal-Mart digital photo center, PhotoWorks, Walgreens, Ritz Camera or Wolf Camera, Shutterfly, Zazzle, Lifepics Network (local camera, photo, drug and grocery stores including Ritz, Wolf, Safeway, Albertsons, H-E-B, Hy-Vee, Wegmans, MotoPhoto, Woodmans, & many others), PhotoCentral, Snapfish, CVS Pharmacy, PhotoStamps, winkflash, or Kodak EasyShare. Many of these services allow me to pick up photos locally in about an hour.

I can also click a button and post pictures to my blog or create a link from the web album to my blog which will display a slide show there. One of the things I really like about Picasaweb slide shows is that they look like you're playing them off the machine hard drive. They scale up to full screen and look great. I can even set the pictures of my and my friends albums to be my screen saver using Google Photos Screensaver.

There are ways to post photos directly to Flickr and Facebook using extensions to Picasa. This keeps you from having to create the same album multiple times on different services. I haven't made it through all my pictures yet, but sooner or later they'll be available in a variety of online locations. (I didn't get back until 3:30 a.m. from Holden, then I had a sermon to write, and I'm refereeing soccer this weekend at our area's major tournament, Three Blind Refs!) I'll update this when they are available.

God's blessings on your daily life and ministry,
Pastor Andy Arnold
ELCA Youth Ministry Network Tech Geek

No comments: