Thursday, May 24, 2012

Side by side (by side. . .)

I did this picture the other night and it brought tears to my eyes.  How fast these babies grow.  Thank goodness for pictures!!  It helps me stop and reflect when I can see those images side by side. . .
 plus the little scientist in me just loves COMPARING. It is so fun to see how our boys grow, or how much they are like each other at the same age, or how much I change!  Here are a few of my favorites for inspiration, and some details on how to do these with very little computer skill.  :)

Me, 9 months pregnant with Josh (left), Daniel (top) and Philip (bottom)

Bringing each boy home from the hospital Josh (left) Daniel (top) Philip (right)

Each boy on their favorite blankie on their baptism day

Each boy in my favorite little St. Pat's outfit.

My bestest friend Kristin and I in 1998 and 2011.  :)

First of all, I am not fancy.  I just like to look fancy.  My husband can use Photoshop and do all kinds of incredible things with it.  It's like another language (Layers?  What are those?)  But he speaks it since he uses it every day at work, and I take advantage of his skills any time I can!  But since I don't want to bug him every single time I want a photo edited, I have picked up some easy things I can do myself.  Thanks to my tech-savvy husband, I have been using Picasa to organize and edit my photos for years now.  It is free, it is awesome, and if you don't understand Photoshop (like me!) it can give you some powerful tools to edit your pictures.  Even if you do use Photoshop, Picasa makes a lot of decisions for you that can make your editing much faster for those times you just need to be speedy!

Here are some things I love about Picasa, in no particular order. . .

1.  Face tagging.

Picasa has a face tagging feature, so if I want to find every single picture of my Dad, it's easy-peasy!

2.  Photo uploading.

I can put all of the photos I want in the tray and upload them to facebook, google plus, a blog post, send them in an email. . .all from Picasa.  It's so simple and visual.

3.  Shopping

Picasa also supports uploading to lots of online retailers I use like Walgreens, Snapfish and Shutterfly.  It makes uploading photos to shop very straightforward since you can see all of the folders and pictures you have at once instead of clicking around in your directories.

4.  Collages

Any time I have a series of pictures I love and I can't choose a favorite, I make a collage.  The collage tool within Picasa is very basic but it gets the job done quickly, which I like!
5.  Adding text

I love to add text to my pictures, especially for gifts.  The picture below is a collage that I made and then added text to (a poem by Meiji Stewart)

6.  Picnik integration

To be honest, I had no idea what Picnik was when people would talk about it.  I figured it must be sketchy because they use a letter "K" where there should be a "C" and that stresses me out.  But I noticed Picasa had added a Picnik button and casually clicked on it.  Now I am IN LOVE.  I can make a collage and then add text to it with all sorts of trendy fonts.  Typically when I see a font I love I have to do some detective work to figure out what font it is, download it, etc.  In Picnik, you can use all of the fonts they have to add to your pictures and it is so easy to move the text, change the color, resize, etc.  I am hooked.  Picnik is really kool.  Just be careful to make a copy of your image before you edit it in Picnik if you do not want to overwrite your current image forever.  Here's a little image I did for a fundraiser for my sister's orphanage in Uganda.

At the end of the day, I really can't imagine using anything else to manage my photos.  Our memories are so important to me, so I love having everything accessible and integrated so I can manage printing, uploading, editing and other memory keeping in a very user friendly format.  Thank you, Picasa, for helping me feel fancy!!
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  1. Stumbled on your blog from Becky Emerick's blog. I, too, adore Picnik but wanted to let you know they shut down their site and integrated with Google. Their tools (well some of them anyways, I was a premium member of their site and it was superb to anything else on the net, I even loved it more than PhotoShop!) are on Google+, so if you upload your pics to Google+ you can use "Creative Kit" to edit pictures.

  2. Thank you so much!! I had no idea! I wondered why Picasa was letting you use the Picnik tools so seamlessly all of the sudden. . .that makes sense now! :)


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