Over the last two days I’ve been learning a new (to me) piece of software. I was looking for a way to organize my photos as the sheer number of digital photos and movies that I have is large and growing at a near exponential rate. I now have three digital still cameras, cell phones that take photo and video and a MiniDV video camera. Not to mention the tonne of digital images that I produce on a regular basis in the form of graphics, 3D model stills, drawings and blueprints. I need a way to organize. I was using Adobe Photoshop Album Starter Edition 3 but I felt that I needed something with a little more flare and juice. Out of curiousity I downloaded and tried Google’s Picasa 3. This is yet another example of the fine products in Google’s stable. I use a multitude of Google products every day including Sketchup, Google Reader, Google Calendar, Google Docs and now Picasa.
Picasa went through my hard drives and cataloged all of my media and put it in one, easily navigable place that offers many viewing, sorting and editing options. It is the editing options that I like the most in this package. Picasa offers some simple, easy to use photo “editing” tools. I say editing but really they are tools for doing things like colour correction, exposure correction and blemish repair. It also offers some great artistic “effects” like turning your image into a Sepia tone image or, one of my favourites, a filter called B&W focus where the selected centre point of an image is in colour and slowly disolves in a circular area to black and white. Now these filters or effects are not for every photo and could easily be over used and become quite tacky. However, if used sparingly they can be quite effective. Another feature that I have been messing with is the Make a Movie option. In which, you can take a selection of photos and turn them into a slideshow complete with music. I have tried a few other programs for this function and I am still up in the air as to which I prefer. I tend to like Windows Movie Maker’s option of changing the length of each frame as well as being able to change the transitions that are used during the movie so that you don’t have to always use the same one. But, there is something to be said for Picasa’s simpleness and it’s all-in-one-ness. I also just like how slick it looks. So, after this more than ample amount of time of playing with Picasa, I attempted to make a video slideshow. The result is below.
In November of 1995, my best friend and eventual best man, Mark and I took the year off school and bummed it around Europe for 84 Days. This was a fantastic trip and helped me to get my mind around many things that I was dealing with at Architecture School and to grow up a little bit (just a little). Not only that, it was a really great way to spend some really great time traveling with my greatest friend of all. It is an opportunity that not everyone gets and I cherish those days wholeheartedly. Mark and I never argued, never cared when we got lost or stuck in the middle of a french rail strike. I learned a lot from Mark on that trip and I hope he learned a little something from me. So, here is what I did for 84 Days in 95/96. Sort of.
You can see a High Quality Version on YouTube here.
**Edit: Link to High Quality Version Fixed.
***Edit to Edit: Embedded video is now High Quality after messing around with embed code for a bit. And reading this post