©2016 by Donald R. Snow
Sections of the Class Notes This page was last updated 2016-02-13.
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  1. Instructor is Donald R. Snow ( ) of Provo and St. George, Utah.
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  4. This class will discuss ways to organize and present your digital photos using the free programs Picasa and Photo FilmStrip.

  6. Preliminaries
    1. Be sure to set the date, time, and GPS setting, if it has one, on your digital camera.
    2. Be sure your digital photos are backed up somewhere other than just in your own home, so in a disaster you don't lose them all.
  7. My procedure for downloading photos from my camera                                                                                                                                                 
    1. Remove the card from the camera and put it in a USB card reader connected to my computer
    2. Go through the photos on the card and delete the ones not to keep 
    3. Copy the photos from the card to a subfolder labeled by the year YYYY in a folder called "Photos by Date" 
    4. Move the photos from the card to a subfolder labeled by the year YYYY in a folder called "Graphics Originals"-- these I keep so I can always go back to an original no matter what I have done to the copy in "Photos by Date"
    5. Use a freeware program to rename the copies in "Photos by Date" by extracting the date and time of the photo from the metadata and putting that in front of photo name; I use the International Date Format YYYY-MM-DD so they sort chronologically; NAMEXIF is a free program that will do this --
    6. Add PHT- at the front of the names, so all photos can be selected (or unselected)
    7. Later add additional descriptive terms to file names, e.g. people and location, and put those after the date and time, but before the camera photo numbering which is something like IMG-####; I keep the camera photo numbering so I can find that photo in the originals, if I ever need another copy of the original
    8. This procedure makes it easy to find photos by date, person, location, etc., by using freeware program EVERYTHING -- 


  8. Free from Google -- -- very helpful to organize your digital photos; also does some image editing
  9. Tutorials and helps
    1. -- Much information starting with installation -- good place to start learning about Picasa
    2. -- Google helps for PICASA
    3. -- Free tutorials
    4. -- many free tutorials about PICASA, but looks like some may be for earlier versions of PICASA
    5. -- Tutorials by Geeks on Tour -- some are free, but most are $ 
  10. PICASA does NOT copy or change your photos, only puts links to them
    1. Albums are PICASA storage places for information and links to your photos -- So deleting an album in PICASA only deletes the links and information and not the photos from your computer
    2. People albums are PICASA storage places for links to that person in all the photos
    3. Folders are your hard drive storage places for photos, so DON'T DELETE A FOLDER in PICASA, unless you want to delete all its photos from your computer
    4. Repeast:  ONLY DELETE ALBUMS, not folders in PICASA, unless you want to get rid of the pictures
  11. Before you run PICASA set the preference to tell it which folder or folders to work on or else it does your entire hard drive
    1. Duplicate photos get indexed more than once in PICASA, so move duplicates out of the folder you set it to work on  
    2. AWESOME DUPLICATE PHOTO FINDER -- -- is a helpful freeware program to help you find and delete duplicate photos
  12. Tagging faces in your photos --
    1. When first run, PICASA looks at all photos in the prescribed folders, puts small boxes around faces and forms thumbnail views of all faces
    2. PICASA uses facial recognition to sort the thumbnails into groups that it thinks are the same person in all the photos
    3. You name the thumbnail group to form a "People Album" for that person
    4. Single clicking a thumbnail shows a list on right side of screen of other people in that photo
    5. Double clicking a thumbnail shows the full photo so you can see the context and other people in it; double clicking again takes you back to the thumbnails
    6. For people that don't need to be identified, e.g. strangers on the street, click the Ignore button
    7. PICASA gives you options to confirm or deny thumbnails it thinks belong in the group
    8. As you confirm additional thumbnails in a group PICASA now has more information, so it suggests more thumbnails it thinks might be that person and asks you to confirm or deny them; to see just the new suggestions click on the box near the top right of the group; the facial recognition algorithm isn't perfect, but is very helpful
    9. If a person wasn't "thumbnailed" automatically in a new photo, you can manually thumbnail them with "Add a Person Manually" (lower right hand side) -- PICASA seems to have a bug and this button doesn't always show up when it should; try going out and back into the photo from a different screen to get the "Add a Person Manually" button to show up
    10. Slider arrow on lower right expands or contracts the thumbnails and photos
    11. To have the name tags saved in the EXIF data of the photo go to PICASA > Tools > Options > Name Tags > Store Name Tags in Photo -- Then by clicking on a person album and selecting thumbnails it will store that name tag in the EXIF data of each of those photos and will do this as you go to the person album for each person in the photo
  13. When viewing the full photo you can show the EXIF data, including name tags, by clicking the "i" button (lower right)
  14. PICASA has some photo editing capabilities when viewing full photo -- editing tools are on upper left, e.g. cropping, red eye, color correction, and straighten 
  15. Easy to do a slide show of an album -- highlight the album and click View > Slideshow -- shows successive large views of the thumbnails or photos for that person or album
  16. If your PICASA database gets corrupted, you can rebuild it, but first read the directions on the Help menu, so you don't lose all your previous work
  17. PICASA does much more than discussed here, e.g. there is a way to backup your photos with the PICASA database to transfer to another computer 

  19. PICASA will do some slideshows
  20. FASTSTONE IMAGE VIEWER -- -- Freeware image viewer and editor, many features, easy to learn, does slideshows of images in any folder -- see Overview of FastStone Image Viewer
  21. IRFANVIEW -- -- Freeware, popular photo editor and viewer, many features, easy to use, be sure to download the plug-ins too -- see Irfanview Tutorials 

  23. Freeware program that makes "Ken Burns-type" slideshows of selected photos easily-- see YouTube Video About Photo FilmStrip
  24. Download from -- click on "en" (upper right corner) for English
  25. Step 1 - Select photos and music
    1. Go through photos and put what to include in a folder -- Which photos will tell the story best
    2. Sort the photos the way you will want them in the video, e.g. chronological or by subject or in any other order; easy to sort them by putting numbers in front of names, e.g. 010-PHT-SnowFamilyVacationTripToYellowstone-1995...jpg -- I use numbers spaced apart, e.g. 10, 20, 30, etc., so I can rearrange them by changing the number to one in between where I want it
    3. Select music, if desired, and edit for length -- must be in wav or mp3 format for PHOTO FILMSTRIP
    4. Can make a title slide by an image program, text editor, screenshot, or PowerPoint template
  26. Step 2 - Start a new project and customize the motion paths
    1. Set parameters -- aspect ratio, length of time or include audio file and that sets the length of time
    2. Drag and drop photos from folder into the film strip
    3. Can apply several picture effects - black and white and sepia
    4. Some transition effects - roll, fade
    5. Set starting and ending rectangle motion and time to get “Ken Burns” effect
    6. Can add subtitles (captions) to identify people, dates, places, and events
  27. Step 3 - Render the video (render = make)
    1. Render a draft copy of the filmstrip at medium resolution so you can make changes before doing final rendering which make take several minutes
    2. For viewing in North America set the type to NTSC -- default is PAL, which is for Europe since the program was written in Europe
    3. Final formats can be VCD, SVCD, DVD, or Full-HD (1920x1080) resolution
    4. After rendering the video, save the project in PHOTO FILMSTRIP before you exit so you can re-edit it later -- If you don't save the project, you have to start over to modify it, even though you have the finished rendered video.

  29. Photos are a major part of family history and organizing, labeling, and finding ways to present them, is an important part of doing family history.
  30. FamilySearch Family Tree now has a good way to upload, store, and show photos with individuals and we are encouraged to do so.

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