Photo Management with Picasa

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The holiday season ended about a month ago as I write this, and I brought home hundreds of digital photos of family and friends. Most of these photos were taken indoors, so some of them have all kinds of lighting problems (I refuse to acknowledge that for many of them I forgot to turn on the flash). I also have a really cute photo of my nieces and nephews playing together, but unfortunately all of them have glowing red eyes, seriously reducing the cuteness factor. My camera has a red-eye reduction setting, but it's a pain to turn on and off, and it really drains the battery.

Fortunately for me, I have a secret weapon on my U-PC that lets me fix all these problems, and it's from a company you might have heard of in the news: Google. Yes, Google has a free application called Picasa that works great with the Ubuntu operating system. Picasa can fix red-eye, crop photos, solve lighting issues, and much more. Once you start using it, you'll stop fretting over red-eye and other problems with your digital pictures.

Picasa is so simple to use that I worry this chapter might actually slow you down; it's entirely possible for you to begin using Picasa and learn as you go—it's that easy to figure out. But I still want to provide an overview of Picasa as well as some examples of tasks you'll likely perform often on your photos. So let me show you why you don't need to spend $100 or even $25 on any photo-editing software; Picasa is here to rescue your digital pictures.

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