Overcome the fear of technology – An introduction to Picasa

When I was still a little younger and internet was new to the world I was actually one of the people who was really into that topic and I spent loads of time in front of the PC in order to install new programs, learn about computer hardware and software and I liked to play Computer games. When I grew older my time was limited because I found other hobbies more interesting. But as I stopped engaging in computer stuff new technologies were invented and I did not keep up with that development.

Now I honestly have the feeling that I become like my mum who does not even know how to use the satellite TV. Of course, it is not that bad but there are so many programs on the market now which are very useful and facilitate your life but I am simply afraid to invest so much time in understanding these sophisticated seeming programs and applications. I like photography and always take many pictures when traveling. It is not always easy to handle all of them. Furthermore, many pictures need to be edited which I did not really do recently. But as I will travel again soon I decided to spend some time on exploring Google Picasa a little bit more. The program can be downloaded here (for free). Picasa is basically an image organizer and viewer which combines photo editing and photo sharing. The name is a blend of “Pablo” and “Picasso”, an homage to the great artist. Since 2004 it belongs to the Google group.

Picasa can scan all your hard drives for pictures automatically or you can choose which data should be imported. You can find all the files in the “Foto Übersicht” section. You are given the opportunity to create albums now out of all your folders. At the same time you can edit your pictures easily.

There are many options, just normal red eye reduction, editing of color and contrast ad shadows. Picture can be resized and/or cropped. That is very useful, especially when you want to upload these pictures later and don’t want them to be too big in size. If you are a more professional user there is another tool called picnic which gives you plenty of opportunities to edit your pictures. This is an online application where the pictures will be uploaded to an online platform where you can work on them. After finishing they will be sent back to Picasa. This tool really offers many options. It is basically free but if you want to use some extra tools you will need to upgrade and become a premium member.

After editing your pictures you can also tag people in them (That was new to me too). The program can recognize faces in pictures. You name them and have the possibility to sort your pictures by people who are in the pictures. You could decide further to create a video or slideshow out of your pictures which can be directly uploaded to Youtube. If you are a user of a blog Picasa gives you the opportunity to upload the pictures directly to your blog, which is very convenient because you don’t need to do it via the website anymore.As Picasa is a Google brand it is most useful for Blogger users, but I found a way to use it for WordPress as well.

There is also the option to connect Picasa to Facebook. I honestly have to admit that I did not know that all the online applications are already connected with each other. Admittedly it takes some time to do all the installations and configurations but once everything is done it works very well and can save you a lot of time.

There are so many things to do with Picasa. You can even use geo tagging via Google Earth.

I think I found a lot of interesting features for myself and realized that you should only take some time and invest it in discovering new online applications. Once installed and understood they simplify life (especially important for work life later). Try it out !

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