One of the things I absolutely loved about using a MAC at my last job was iPhoto. It was such a great tool for managing digital photos, uploading albums, facial recognition etc that I found myself managing a ton of personal photos on my work computer. I knew that probably wasn’t a great idea so…
A year or so ago I started looking around for something akin to iPhoto that I could use on my Windows machine at home and landed on Picasa 3 from Google. For the past year or so I’ve been managing my photos in Picasa and enjoying it, until today. Today I discovered I love it.
I take a ton of pictures. The photo above, from my son’s rugby game last Saturday, is one of about 500 I took at the game. Obviously I need an easy way to manage that many pictures. So why do I love Picasa? Let me tell you…
Picasa imports my photos into folders grouped by when the pictures were taken. Even if my memory card has several events still on it Picasa separates them into unique folders. It even groups folders by year. This makes is easy for me to either allow Picasa to give the folders names by date, or for me to create unique folder names based on event. Downloading from my cameras memory card into multiple folders takes all of about four clicks.
Not only that, Picasa will also look for images folders already on your computer and index those for you as well. Taking pictures with your iPhone? No worries. Picasa easily imports those too.
Now don’t get ahead of yourself here. I love Photoshop and will always use that for precision creative stuff. But Picasa has some quick editing tools that are pretty powerful.
What is GOLDEN about this though is that while I could do the same thing in Photoshop I would have to save it as a separate image, doubling the space taken up on my hard drive.
With Picasa I do the edits in the software digitally. Picasa shows me my edited version, which I can export as I did for this post, but it doesn’t change the original. That means I can fiddle with edits all I want without doubling up on memory OR losing the original.
Obviously photo sharing is a huge deal these days. For the rugby parents I created a group room on Walgreens Photo so that anyone could easily order pictures of their son without having to get hold of me to provide it.
Picasa has a share button that connects you to multiple options, Walgreens Photo being one of them, which allows me to, with only about three clicks, upload my edited album to the web.
I was able to crop, color correct, and edit around 85 photos today in just under two hours, including uploading the album to the web. I didn’t lose ANY of my originals and I didn’t have to create multiple folders on my image hard drive.
I thought I just needed Picasa as a viewing tool. Now it is a central piece of my work flow and I think I have probably only just scratched the surface. What more can you ask for for free?
What do you use to manage images on your computer?