Trying Out the New Effects in Google Picasa 3.9

The latest version of Picasa has lots of new effects, so I tried them all. I used the default settings with two exceptions to maintain the picture shapes: I turned off rounded corners in 1960’s and letterbox in Cinemascope.

Click any picture to embiggen.



If you’ve been itching for the distressed Instagram look spend some time with Cinemascope, 1960’s, or Orton-ish. Lomo-ish is the opposite, with intense colors plus a vignette.



If you like black and white, Holga-ish is an instant winner that never gets old. It converts the picture to B&W and applies a vignette. I did that, manually, to this picture of Charlie using Filtered B&W and Google’s new Vignette control, but I could have done it in one step with Holga-ish.



I didn’t expect to like Posterize and I love it. It turns a picture into something that doesn’t look like a photograph. It would be perfect for cell phone pics, or for salvaging photos with good subjects but with bad lighting, poor focus, or other snafus.

Other Effects

There’s a fifth tab in Picasa for minor effects.

  • Vignette is pretty much endlessly handy and is a welcome addition.
  • Boost intensifies colors in a different and seemingly better way than the old Saturation control.
  • Comic Book adds halftone-style dots around the edge of the photo.
  • Pencil Sketch and Neon sound neat, but I haven’t been able to get good images out of them.
  • Polaroid, Museum Matte and Border give you some options for dressing up the photo. Polaroid doesn’t have a text tool, but you can add text back on the first tab.

Need a camera strap? Use a rifle sling in a pinch.

Rifle Sling on Nikon D7000

My new camera came with Nikon’s freebie strap, which is way too short. I noticed the camera’s metal studs for attaching a strap looked just like the sling swivel studs on a rifle. I dug through my gun gear and found a sling that’s just about the perfect length. I’m probably the only person who has a Gander Mountain rifle sling on his DSLR.

The sling has quick detach swivels. To remove the swivels you have to unscrew the pin, push it in a quarter inch or so and rotate it.  They aren’t going to come out accidentally

Downside? Rifle slings aren’t designed for camera use. The mounting hardware doesn’t have as much freedom of movement as a camera strap’s, so the swivels tend to get kinked up if the sling gets twisted too much. Mine is developing a wear spot in front of the right attachment point, so for me this is a short term solution.

P.S. A few years ago my wife ordered an UPstrap based on Ken Rockwell’s recommendation. It’s pretty awesome. Its claim to fame is the large rubber neck pad. It spreads weight over a large area, and it’s grippy enough that the manufacturer claims you can safely carry it over one shoulder. I never do that, but I like it as a neck strap because the rubber neck pad never slips or bunches up and the narrow straps aren’t bulky or inflexible like some other straps. And hey, they offer them with Kevlar ends, so there’s another guns/camera crossover.