- Blogging with photos – you will need a photo editing program – Picasa is my suggestion or use your favorite. The tools supplied with Vista could be an alternative, but I think they lack my favorite not modifying my original.
- Word’s photo editing tools are not good enough.
- When publishing JPG:s inserted from a file Word 2007 makes silly resizing of the bitmaps.
- I publish with Word and catch up the silly names given. After publishing I copy the correctly sized JPG:s to remove the silly copied by Word!!
- Very, Very Annoying!! Especially after republish my copies are gone again…
- Don’t use the advanced photo effects in Word with pictures copied inside Word. Insert them and edit to achieve the correct result.
Since my blog vision includes posting rocky photos I will have to find out a descent way of handling photos in a smart way. Since more than one year I am a big fan of Picasa from Google. It is a simple tool to keep order on my digital photos and to make them look much better than raw from the camera. I have been a digital amateur since I bought my first digital camera 1999, Nikon Coolpix 100 with 480×640 pixels and storage for 20 pictures on a pcmcia card. Today I am on my third, an Olympus CF-70 I bought two years ago. When I bought my new computer this autumn Corel Paint Shop Pro was available for free for testing. I tested it but didn’t manage to get up in speed and didn’t find was I was looking for sp I gave it up and uninstalled it some month ago. Many of my friends using digital cameras like me just dump their photos to the hard disk and never tries to edit and correct them.
In this blog I will try to compare the functions offered by Word with those of Picasa to figure out a smart way of doing what I am planning to do. Let us take a photo I shot when I was out walking last Sunday with my wife in our village, Bjärred in the south of Sweden. I downloaded my photos to my hard disk, in my camera I always use best quality JPEG with 7 Mpixels. On many of photos I have problem with the white balance making them look blue, uninteresting and flat. When loaded into Picasa one of them looked like this:
I chose to do some corrections so I chose the middle tab showing the adjustment tools, which are simple to use. With the tool I chose a gray, white or black area. The cover of the field in the foreground I knew was white so that is where I point with the tool. Other spots to look for are clouds in the sky which might be blue instead of gray. You get an instant view of the photo after the correction, and if you fail you could easily undo it.
After grayscale correction you will often find the picture a little bit over exposed, but most of the time I use the upper for my second correction.
As you might see on the sliders that a correction is done for the second and third which are contrast and shade. This auto correction made the photo a little bit too dark in my taste, so I will do a little adjustment of shadow until a result I accept.
With the final correction of the photo will make it look like this :
Picture after what I call ‘The three click wonder of Picasa!’ Crisp and clear with depth.
With the cropping tool I select the part I would like to use in the blog:
The photo ready for being used in a blog.
If you leave Picasa all your modifications of the photo is stored so when you return you will see the modified picture. But what has happened with your original – NOTHING. That is the main reason why I like Picasa, in most other photo editing software I have used I have had to store the modified photo somewhere else, with Picasa I keep the original and in a small tine file in the folder a file name picasa.ini the modifications are stored. If you look into a folder you have included for Picasa editing it may look like:
Where my original is saved together with the screenshots, actually there are two copies of my original photo, and if you look at one of them with another program than Picasa you will see it is still unmodified. Looking into the ini file we could see how Picasa stores our modifications in text format. (Happily not in XML so it is easy to understand..)
When all corrections are done I select the photos I want and do an export to another folder in Picasa where. In that process I could decide the width and what quality I want for the JPG:s.
I make them 500 pixels wide so they will fit into my 510 pixel width in my CSS for the blog, and the get small and feasible for using for blog purposes.
The cropped and revised photo aimed for publishing in the blog is just 19kb and sized 500×313 and I think it is good enough for a blog.
With the tools in Word After changing contrast and sizing and cropping I get the following result
Result of editing photo with tools in Word – and the picture is diffuse due to error in white balance.
And as expected it is resize after publishing so it is cut to the right when viewed in the blog! Microsoft, please correct this bug ASAP!! I think reading without any picture might make a lot of readers bored!
View on my blog screen in Word it looks like this:
This makes it a PNG with correct size and lost colors – and growing from 15k to 88k!!
And now let us have a look on the features available in Word but lacking in Picasa. There are almost endless possibilities to add effect in both programs but I think Word is stronger in this part so here are some variations of the selected photo:
This is called Preset5.
Black border with shadow.
Soft edges 10 points.
As you see above none of the effects where moved to the blog. When looking at my screen it looked like this:
Instead of copying this picture is inserted as a JPG and the softened which make is correct but since it is a JPG it is resized.
The solution is that for the above samples I did a copy and paste inside Word, which made Word believe I published the same picture four times and not doing a correct transfer to my FTP-site. If I instead insert my JPG with the insert picture function it will be correctly displayed with the effect, but since it is a JPG is incorrectly resized!
You can’t win them all!!!