Remember when I told you that I was going to share some Picasa tips with all of you? I haven’t forgotten about that…and I’ve even had some posts ready to go. Other post topics have just gotten in the way. I did really want to start with a post about doing black and white photos, but that post isn’t finished yet and so we’re going to talk about sepia toning first. Because this series doesn’t have to be perfect to bless people, right?
As a reminder, we’re using Picasa because it’s free (that kinda goes with the theme of my blog.) and because it’s super-easy to use. You can do some great stuff to your photos without having to buy and learn Photoshop, and I’m going to show you how.
We’re going to use a photo that Joshua took for me. Though I try to make it simple by setting things up properly when I hand him the camera, odds are good that the photos he takes will need some editing (Who are we kidding anyways? A lot of the photos I take need editing!).
You can click on each photo or screenshot to see a larger version. When you’re finished, just click the back button on your browser to return to the post.
In this photo, I’m tickling Lisey and Sonia and I like the realness of it. It’s sort of dark, though, the colors aren’t that great, and I think it could stand to be cropped a little too.
A handy tool for lightening a photo is the Sepia toning tool. For some reason, adding the sepia tone lightens a photo considerably.
To do this, click on the Effects tab, and then click on Sepia.
Now, this photo is lighter, but it’s pretty lacking in contrast. So, I just click back over to the Basic Fixes tab and hit the Auto Contrast button in the middle. This will add some shadows and increase the highlights.
Now the photo is a bit dark for my taste, though, so I added a little fill light.
Sepia tones can vary a lot, and I prefer a color that is not super dark. So, I fix this by decreasing the saturation a little bit. The Saturation slider is found on the Effects tab.
Finally, I use the crop tool to make the shot a little bit tighter.
If you want to view the photo outside of Picasa and keep your edits, just right click on the photo and click “Save”. If you ever want to undo your edits, you can always right click the photo in Picasa and click “Undo Save”.
So, here’s the before:
It’s not a perfect shot, but I think it’s a lot more appealing than it was initially.
Of course, depending on how you like your photos to look, you could make your photo darker by skipping the fill light step, and you could skip the desaturation step if you prefer a browner-looking sepia tone. It’s really all a matter of personal preference.
Go give it a try! It’s super easy, and could save a bum photo of yours.
Today’s 365 post: This is my award from Sonia