Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Google ‘dream’ for photographers

By DK Wilson

Google makes some pretty cool toys. And invests in those which catch their eye.
When they saw Picasa, they saw potential. And planned or not, the potential for photographers and artists alike are mind-blowing.

Google bought out Blogger, Picasa and by default, Hello and then unveiled an incredibly feature rich publishing tool for anyone that likes to showcase their work online. Seamless integration between the three elements, or each as a standalone item, gives the ‘publisher’ complete control over what they display, when they display it and how it looks.

The interfaces are all seamless, user friendly, and bold, without being too simple. Bold parallels in colour scheme over the ‘skin’ of both Picasa and Hello give the impression of structure – and graphic displays of progress keep users abreast of what it’s doing, without leaving too much to the imagination.
Processing is also fast, with a healthy transfer rate matching your internet speed quite handily.

Picassa is a streamlined photo organisation tool – with the ability to now edit lightly without the need of taking your images into your favourite photo editing software, a great way to store and organise your works, and most importantly, search capabilities, Picasa is a great, lightweight piece of freeware for all of your graphic needs.
Paired with Hello, it gives you the ability to select a ‘tray’ of photos and send them to anyone else with the Hello software. It’s also got built in chat capabilities, allowing you to discuss what the other party is viewing.

Picasa for beginners

Most digital photographers have a hard time dealing with the workflow of getting their images onto their computers and off to the final destination from their memory cards. Thankfully, there IS another way.
It does require the download and installation of Picasa (from Google) but it’s well worth it.
Plugging your device into your computer, Picasa should be offered as a download option – simply allow it to grab the images from your device, name them, rotate them, crop them, and delete any you don’t require, in the import preview interface and then let Picasa create the folder of images.
It’s default save path stays with your ‘my pictures’ folder, handy, if like me, you save images wherever the computer happens to be saving to.
Once imported there are several cool features that Picasa offers. From viewing your images in a slideshow, to editing lightly, you can preview, review, and ‘repair’ minor issues with each image before moving to the next, though, most importantly, Picasa preserves the original – it doesn’t save your edits until you export, always leaving you with the first image intact.
Exporting is also easy – either to a brand new folder, a current one, or to Hello, to send onto friends or Blogger.
It also features the opportunity for users to upload images and order prints, subject to local availability.
High quality gift CD’s, backup, printing…this is a complete productivity suite rolled into one and makes owning a digital camera as effortless as keeping your prints in a box by your PC.

Combining all three

Picasa and Hello together have the ability to post images from your computer, direct to your Blogger powered weblog.
Simply select the images you want to publish, send them to the Blogger bot, add optional captions, and just like sending a message, hit return.
Blogger does the rest, uploading, storing and optimising the images to your setting sizes.
So the next time you despair creating a gallery, consider Picasa, Hello, and Blogger.

Make a photo collage and share it online!

Picasa allows users, among its numerous features, to create images made up of several others. Photo collages, grids, contact sheets and ‘multi exposure’ options make for fun multi image creations – and allow for extra expressionism when using Blogger, Hello, and Picasa in conjunction with one another.
Try it – create the collage, send it to Blogger via the button on the bottom interface.
It really is that simple, and cutting the html out of publishing an online gallery, it puts a sense of fun back into sharing portfolios.
And given Blogger CAN be configured to FTP to your own site, it’s a perfect option for anyone with a little web savvy, a little time, and a sense of adventure.

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