Favourite Photo Editing Tricks

June 12, 2012

I do most of my photo editing via Picasa by Google. It’s free and easy to use.

I’ve used this program for a while now, and experimented with many of the features.  I always fall back on the same two ways to edit my photos, depending on whether I want them in black and white or colour, and I’m sharing them in this tutorial. Many of the photos you see on the blog or my Facebook page, are edited using these methods. The idea is to make my pictures look gorgeous, capturing a concept, while staying true to the realness of the subject.

My aim is to improve my photography through practice, and when I do, I find there is less editing needed.

1. Black & White

I adore black and white photos. The simplicity allows for emotion to shine through.    To convert and enhance black and white photos, I follow these three steps.

Before

black and white editing with picasa

After

black and white editing with picasa

Step 1

Select the black paint brush tab (third across) and click the B&W button.

black and white editing step one

Step 2

Click to the lighting tab (second across) and adjust the fill light so the picture looks washed out (I slide the bar close to the right hand side).

black and white editing step two

Step 3

On the same lighting tab (second across) adjust the shadow guide to the right, putting depth back into the photo. Stunning!

black and white editing step three

2. Colour

This is the process I often use for colour photographs.  Although, if the subject is of a person close up, I don’t use this process but skip to step 3.

Before

photo editing picasa

After

photo editing picasa

Step 1

Under the pen/green box tab (fourth across) there’s a range of fun features to use. My favourite is  the HRD-ish because it brings out the colour, detail and the depth of the photo. However, I like my photos to still have that natural look so I apply it very subtlety. The first step is to click on the HRD-ish button under the tab fourth tab.

picasa photo edit favourite

Step 2

Then move the Strength and Radius bar right back to the left so the change is barely noticeable.

photo edit favourite with picasa

Step 3

Many of my photos are a little too dark so I lighten them a fraction. So the next step in this process is to select the light tab (second tab) and adjust the fill light tab, just very slightly.

picasa photo edit favourite

Step 4 (optional)

If I still want a little more colour in my picture, I click on the black paint brush tab (third tab) and click on the Saturation  button. Then I move the slide bar until it’s just off centre to the right. Again, so the change is only very slight.

picasa photo edit favourite

These little changes to my photographs make a big difference to how they look.  The wonderful thing is you don’t need any special skills or knowledge to do it!

It’s all about telling the story.

More Photography Posts

Getting Kids to Smile for the Camera

The Rule of Thirds 

What’s in The Background?

Setting Up a Photo Shoot

A Different Perspective

Make the Most of Your Mobile Phone Camera

Mobile Phone Picture Gallery

My Favourite Pictures (so far!)

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole MeyerNo Gravatar June 13, 2012 at 6:53 am

Hi!!! I love your photos!!!! Quick question…is all your colour photos on your blog using the HDR effect?? They are so vibrant!! I also use picassa and I am loving the 1960s effect!!!!

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar June 13, 2012 at 7:28 am

Thanks Nicole! Most of my recent ones are, yes. But I only apply the HRD slightly by moving the bar back. I also adjust the saturation on many photos just a fraction too (step 4). I love vibrant photos!! x

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Leonie CampbellNo Gravatar June 13, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Thanks Kelly
Since you put me on to Picasa I’ve been thrilled. Still getting use to the features. I used Picnik quite a lot so I have to get use to this new package.
Love your photos and am enjoying the blog
Cheers
Leonie xo

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar June 13, 2012 at 2:43 pm

YAY Leonie! So awesome to have a comment here from you on the blog! Glad you’re enjoying Picasa. xx

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Lisa WoodNo Gravatar June 14, 2012 at 10:37 pm

I have never tried Editing photos with Picasa by Goggle Before :) Now I am keen to give it a go!

Thanks Kelly for sharing your tips.

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar June 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Great to see you here Lisa! Yeah, give it a go! I really like it. Photoshop is great too, but MUCH harder to get my head around.

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veggie mamaNo Gravatar June 16, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Oh gosh, I really need to pay more attention to this! the end result is just so much nicer, isn’t it? You clever xx

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar June 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Yes, it’s is! x

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SheriNo Gravatar June 17, 2012 at 9:05 am

Thanks, Kelly! I’m going to try some of your tips to see if I can make some better pics! I ALWAYS LOVE yours and am glad you shared!

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar June 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Thanks Sheri! Enjoy!

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SanstarNo Gravatar August 16, 2012 at 7:39 am

Hi! I used to use Picasa a lot but changed laptops and tried out Photoscape, also free to download. I love what you’ve done to the photos in this post! I’m a new follower of your blog :)

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