I’m pretty much new to the digital scene, but rarely does a month go by without me discovering more fascinating opportunities, unavailable to the average person ten years ago. Digital photography. Music. Videos. E-books and magazines. Open Source software. Web 2.0. Today, anyone can publish their work and interests online, usually for free. People then pay for upgrades if they wish to.
Although I’m still finding my way round Picasa, I must say I’m seriously impressed with what I’ve already seen. Picasa belongs to Google, which means people need to create an account first. (Also check out Google Docs, a free online word processing suite that includes document creation, spreadsheets and presentations.) Users download Picasa to their hard drive, then upload photos to Picasa web albums.
On my computer, the Picasa 3 shortcut appears on the desktop. When I click on the icon, Picasa opens and I can do a number of things – let Picasa search my hard drive for photos, edit photos already there, or upload albums to my web albums. The layout is impressive, almost like a snazzy colour version of negatives. The editing tools include a great feature – I’m Feeling Lucky – that brings photographs into sharper focus. I’ve used this quite a lot recently.
The web album offers a lot of space. The 135 photographs I’ve already uploaded have only taken up a small amount of megabytes, leaving room for many more photographs. Admittedly, I haven’t used Picasa for long – two weeks at the most – but I can imagine using it on a long term basis, along with the other excellent photo sharing site Flickr.