©2014 by Donald R. Snow
Sections of the Class Notes
  • Welcome and Introduction
  • Photos From Your Digital Camera and Scanning
  • Photo Editing with Picasa
  • Photo Editing with Windows Photo Gallery
  • Photo and Image Editing with Other Freeware
  • Comparison and comments
  • Conclusions
This page was last updated 2014-05-19
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  1. Instructor is Donald R. Snow ( ) of Provo and St. George, Utah.
  2. These notes with the Internet links active are posted on .
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  4. The problem:  How do you deal with and edit photos from your camera, screenshots, or scans? Most of our time will be spent discussing PICASA and PHOTO GALLERY.
  5. We have dealt with screen captures (screenshots), scans, and organizing your images in other classes -- see my notes on Screen Captures and Organizing Your Photos

  7. Preliminaries
    1. Be sure the date and time and the GPS setting, if it has one, are correct 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.
    3. Use whatever procedures work for you; these are my procedures and may give you some ideas
  8. Photos from my camera
    1. Put the card from the camera into a USB card reader on my computer
    2. Go through the photos on the card and delete the ones I don't want
    3. Download the remaining photos into a folder for the year, a subfolder of "Graphics Originals"
    4. Copy those photos to a folder called "Photos by Date" into a subfolder labeled for the year and month, YYYY-MM
    5. Use a freeware program to rename these copies by extracting the metadata date and time of the photo and putting it in front of photo name; use date and time as YYYY-MM-DD-HHh-MMm-SSs so they sort chronologically; a free program that does this is NAMEXIF from
    6. Add descriptive terms to the photo name after the date and time, but before the camera numbering (like IMG-####) -- I keep the camera photo numbering so I can find the photo in "Graphics Originals", if I ever need to go back to the original
  9. Images from scanning
    1. For images of documents and portraits of people I label them with my naming system so they alphabetize chronologically in the person's timeline
    2. Example -- ManwaringDiane(Snow)(1934-2012)-2012-10-10-Death-Obituary-SaltLakeDeseretNews-2012-10-13-Ancestry-com--2014-04-10.pdf
    3. My naming system -- "SurnameGivenNames(Married name)(birth year-death year)-(Event date YYYY-MM-DD)-(Event or Topic)-Description--DateScanned.ext" -- see more details in my Screen Captures notes
    4. For scans of photos or slides I usually have to guess at a date and put that in front
    5. For archiving I usually scan documents as pdf's and photos as tif's -- tif is a lossless format, unlike jpg which is a lossy format
  10. Before you run PICASA or WINDOWS PHOTO GALLERY set the preference to tell them which folders to work on or else they find all photos on your entire hard drive
    1. Since duplicate photos get indexed more than once, it helps to move duplicates to a folder the program doesn't work on
    2. AWESOME DUPLICATE PHOTO FINDER -- -- is a helpful freeware program to help you find and delete duplicate photos
  11. These procedures take time, but make it easy to find photos by event, date, person, or location anywhere on your computer by using the freeware program EVERYTHING --


  12. Free from Google -- -- see my notes about PICASA's facial recognition in Organizing Your Photos With PICASA
  13. Tutorials and helps at -- good place to start learning about Picasa -- also -- Google helps for PICASA -- and free tutorials at 
  14. 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
    2. People albums are PICASA links to that person in all the photos
    3. Folders are the hard drive storage places for your photos, so DON'T DELETE A FOLDER in PICASA, unless you want to delete it and its photos from your computer
    4. In short:  DELETE ALBUMS, NOT FOLDERS in PICASA, unless you want to get rid of the pictures
  15. To view the full photo in PICASA double click on a thumbnail -- icons at lower right will show EXIF data, name tags of all people in tht photo, geographic information, etc.
  16. When viewing full size photos, rolling the mouse wheel will change the photo to others in that collection and will change whatever feature you have set to show in the right panel -- can also click on the arrows at the top to change photos
  17. When viewing full photos, the editing icons are in bar in upper left -- 5 icons in bar for various types of editing features
    1. Default opens the first bar icon with the commonly used editing features; other icons in the bar have additional sets of editing features; most features have automatic settings you can try; each item has an "undo" feature so those changes can be removed
    2. Fill light -- slider bar lightens or darkens the photo
    3. Cropping -- you select the aspect ratio (4x6, 5x7, manual, etc.), it puts a rectangle of that ratio on the photo for you to resize, rotate, or move to where you want to crop the photo; then click Apply 
    4. Straighten -- puts a grid on the picture with a slider for you to tilt the photo the way you want
    5. Red eye -- corrects the red that comes from flash bouncing off people's retinas when they are looking at the camera
    6. Many additional editing features, e.g. Contrast, Retouch, Add/Edit Text, Sharpen, Color Tint, Change to B&W, Change to Sepia, etc.
    7. Histogram at bottom left shows how colors enter, if you know how to use it
    8. All corrections are only made on links to the photo in PICASA and not on the photo itself, unless you later save it with the changes
    9. If a photo is duplicated and you only work on one copy, the other will show as originally, so you can compare them
  18. Easy to do a slide show of an album -- just highlight the album and click View > Slideshow -- shows the thumbnails or photos for that album or person

  20. Free from Microsoft, already in Windows XP, 7, and 8, or download from
  21. Tutorials and helps on the download page, e.g. see  and .
  22. When running for the first time, set it for the folders of photos you want or it does your entire hard drive; it organizes the photos by name and date taken
  23. Can do batch processing by selecting several files
  24. Bottom right is a slider to make thumbnails larger or smaller -- hovering the cursor over a small photo shows a larger copy of it; hovering over a large thumbnail shows file name with date and time the photo was taken
  25. Double-clicking a thumbnail opens it ready to edit and shows editing feature buttons across top.
  26. Editing with PHOTO GALLERY
    1. Has a Make a Copy button (near the left side), if you want to start with a copy or make an edited copy at any time
    2. Edits are made through links to the photo in PHOTO GALLERY and are kept track of so you can click on Revert to Original button (top right) to remove all the changes, even months later
    3. The Fine Tuning button comes up when you first double-click on a photo -- lists things like Adjust Exposure, Adjust Color, Straighten Photo, and Adjust Detail
    4. Straighten puts a grid over photo with a slider for you to tilt it
    5. Adjust Exposure shows several sliders to change Brightness, Contrast, Shadows, and Highlights.
    6. There is a Histogram showing the colors in the photo and as you edit it; can use it to set the sliders for best results, if you know how to use a histogram
    7. Shadows slider makes things in the shadows brighten up
    8. Exposure slider shows the photo as if it had been taken with different exposures
    9. Auto Adjust button lets program make the changes it thinks are needed -- Can Revert To Original and start over, if you don't like the Auto changes
    10. Crop button allows you to select aspect ratio (4x6, 5x7, or manual, and resize the crop tool rectangle in the ratio
    11. Red Eye button corrects red in people's eyes from the flash reflecting on their person's retinas
    12. Retouch button allows you to remove slight blemishes by placing a small rectangle around the spot and clicking so it looks like the rest of the background nearby
    13. Noise Reduction button removes graininess where it can
    14. Other buttons change photo to sepia tones, change color to black-and-white, and other effects
    15. Double-clicking on the photo or clicking on Close File saves the edits in PHOTO GALLERY for that photo, but can revert back to the original anytime you want, even months later
  27. Advanced editing features -- on the Create button
    1. Panorama -- stitches together overlapping photos to make a single one -- good for large group of people where you can't get them all in one photo or for landscape too large for one photo -- stitches horizontally and vertically to make larger picture
    2. Fuse -- allows you to replace parts of one photo with parts from other photos taken at same time and place, e.g. can Fuse (replace) a frowning face with the person's smiling face from another photo at same time and place
    3. Create Movie -- can use it to create a video of the photos you select and add sound track


  28. PAINT -- Easy-to-use program in most versions of Windows -- go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > PAINT
    1. Good YouTube video on Basics of PAINT --
    2. A common graphics need is to place two or more images side-by-side into a single image, e.g. a long newspaper column clipped so the pieces are side-by-side -- Article on doing this with PAINT -- -- Can paste images from clipboard into PAINT and move them to be side-by-side
    3. Can also use freeware LibreOffice Draw and paste images side-by-side, then save file in odg (Open Document Graphics) format
  29. IRFANVIEW -- very popular free and easy-to-use photo and image editor -- available from -- click on Downloads; BrotherSoft is a good option for downloading IrfanView; be sure to download the Plug-Ins too
    1. Many helpful FAQ's in the link on the IRFANVIEW website
    2. Helpful pdf article at 
    3. Can do many graphics editing things, resizing, batch conversions of types, panoramas, etc. 
  30. GIMP -- available from  and with GIMPShop interface from
    1. GIMP = GNU Image Manipulator Program -- OpenSource
    2. Very complete graphics editor like PhotoShop, but free -- many uses, but has steep learning curve
    3. GIMP tutorials at  and Users Manual at


  31. Both PICASA and PHOTO GALLERY are very helpful for organizing your photos and have most of the editing features you need
  32. PICASA seems to do a little better job with facial recognition
  33. PHOTO GALLERY has the features of Panorama and Fuse that PICASA doesn't seem to have
  34. For simple things or batch conversions of formats IRFANVIEW works well and is easy to use
  35. For simple image manipulation, rather than photo editing, PAINT may be sufficient
  36. GIMPSHOP (GIMP) is a really powerful graphics editor like the expensive PhotoShop and has a steep learning curve, but is free.

  38. Photos and images are a major part of family history so learning to work with, label, and edit them is important.
  39. FamilySearch Family Tree now has a good way to upload, store, and show photos, but most photos need to be edited before you upload them so good quality pictures are stored and shown.

  1. Do a simple edit of an image in PAINT to see how it works.
  2. Set up PICASA or PHOTO GALLERY and have it consider just one folder of photos so you can experiment with it. Try editing a photo with whichever program you try.
  3. Decide how you want to handle your photo collection, e.g. How are you going to scan the hard copy photos?  Which folder or folders will you store them in?  What naming procedure will you use?  Will you use the facial recognition features of PICASA or PHOTO GALLERY to help organize them?

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