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Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Improving the photo quality of my cards part 1 - using the software

Hi all and I hope you are all having a great week so far!  I have had a lot of questions about how I take photos of my cards so I thought I'd share some tips - so get a cup of tea while I TRY to keep this short!!  Today I am going to tell you about how I use software to improve my photographs and tomorrow I will tell you about how I take the photographs.

Okay, first off I am not very good at taking photographs and I don't spend a lot of time on trying to make my cards look good, but there are two things that I use to quickly improve my photos:
  1. A light box
  2. Picasa 3 - a free software download by Google  that helps you organize, edit, and share your photos

So to be contrary, I'll start with the latter.  When I first started blogging nearly two years ago, a wonderful crafter, Kirstin Eberline told me about Picasa 3.  You can download it here and for Mac users here.  Now I'm not going to go into detail about how to download it and the other gumph about it (you can find the easy start guide here), but just show you what I do with it.  I didn't read any instructions whatsoever (which is just my approach to most things in life) and found it extremely intuitive to use straight away.

So once you have downloaded the software and opened the photo you want to work on, it looks like this...


You can't see them well on this screenshot, but on the left you can see there are different functionalities you can use.  This is the functionality I use in the "Basic fixes" tab:
  1. Crop
  2. I'm feeling lucky
  3. Text (to type in my name and blog name)
  4. Then I select the"Effects tab" and click on 'sharpen'
  5. Then finally, File > Save
And that is it!  To compare, you can see the before and after...


A huge difference, I think you'll agree!! But hey, what about the card?!  I'll give you all the deets on it on tomorrow's post!  See you then!

7 comments:

  1. Hey Mary, thank you thank you thank you so much for this... when its dark for me to take photos I'm always taking loads of pictures and never am happy with them. Hubby got me a daylight lamp but still I find it better taking photos outside, so I will definitely having a look at this software now. Thank you xxx

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  2. Just the info i needed!
    Thanks so much for the tips, I'm not that great at taking pictures of my cards. I'm going to download and play now :)

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  3. Thanks for sharing with us, Mary J! I find it so hard to make nice photos! Can't wait for part 2:-) Hugs Delphine xx

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  4. I use a lightbox and Picasa too! Are you sure we aren't sisters somehow? I also go to tuning and will sometimes darken the contrast a smidgen, mine just look better that way but maybe it is the way I take the photo.

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  5. Wow! Once you see the same card side by side it's kinda amazing looking at the differences. Sharpen! Thank you so much for sharing.
    Kindest regards,
    Jennifer Ferrell

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  6. This may sound stupid, but, are you taking pictures to show on your blog or are you creating these cards digitally and then doing the final pictures? Sorry, this is all new to me! Love your cards!

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  7. This may sound stupid, but, are you taking pictures to show on your blog or are you creating these cards digitally and then doing the final pictures? Sorry, this is all new to me! Love your cards!

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Hello! Thank you for taking the time for any comments, advice or thoughts you may wish to leave for me - I really appreciate you taking the time!

Mary J x

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