Picasa Series [#10] Tuning Listing Photos - Straighten

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If you have been following my Picasa Series, you'll know by now what an amazing all-around photo app that Picasa is (and free too!). If you use photos in presentation work (ahem nudge nudge Real Estate Agent, Home Stager, Home Inspector) then you should really consider a post-production phase for any photos that you take. Picasa makes it extremely easy to do so. Today's post will be focusing on one of the tools that you can use to correct problems with your photos. The tool is the Straighten Tool. (BTW, if you missed the other articles in the series, be sure to click the link above and my articles will be listed for you.)

Notice in the bottom right photo below that the person taking the photo was momentarily distracted as to straight. It happens, I'm not sure why... but I see this all the time. Now when you get back to your computer and say "I can never use that!" (I hope you say that)... but now you don't have to say that. Picasa has a tool that makes it insanely easy to correct this and you CAN use that photo! My corrected version is on the left... much better!

When you are viewing your photo in Picasa, click on the Straighten Tool. It is located on the left-hand tool palette under the "Basic Fixes" tab. When you click the tool, there will be a series of horizontal and vertical gridlines displayed to help you orient to true straight. The slider bar to make rotational adjustment is at the bottom of the photo. As you slide it left or right, you will see your photo adjust accordingly.

I want to point out something in the straighten example above. I found and used a vertical line (on the cabinet) that was near the center of the width of the photo. This is the place to pick a vertical that needs to adjusted to a true plumb. Depending on the tilt of the camera (if it is looking slightly up/looking slightly down), you may notice that "verticals" on the outer edges of the photo cannot be equilaterally straight up and down. This is because of a keystone effect (vertical lines will converge to a vanishing point). You don't have to get over-analytical about what any of that means, just be aware of the center of photo recommendation and you will be ok.

Finally, I want to remind you that all of the editing in Picasa is non-destructive (meaning you can always go back to "original state" if you ever need to). This means that the original JPG file is not altered. So whatever tuning that you do, for example straighten, brighten, crop, etc - you will need to do the "export" command in order to create a file that incorporates all of your changes. The export command also allows you to create a copy file that smaller resolution file that is great for MLS and web pages and blogs. (see my article on the Picasa Export Command here)

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  is a Technology Manager residing in NYC who specializes in applied technologies in the fields of Architecture and Real Estate. Craig focuses on finding the best uses of tech as can be used to help a business be more successful. He is keen on always seeing the perspective and viewpoint of his audience and he tailors his teaching to be easily understood. Visit my "Recent Posts" page to see a listing of all that is new in case you missed anything!

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  1. Sidney Kutchuk 01/28/2011 02:14 AM
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Topic:
Real Estate Technology & Tools
Groups:
Active Rain Newbies
Addicted to Active Rain
BananaTude
Photography
Tips and Techniques for Better Real Estate Photography
Tags:
photography
photos
straighten
picasa

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Rainer
57,200
Jody Moore
Blue Shirt Photography | SendOutCards

I don't use Picasa but It's getting a lot of Buzz. I need to check it out.

January 28, 2011 09:23 AM
Rainmaker
387,388
Shar Sitter
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M
Rooms With Style

Thanks Craig, I will try again!

January 28, 2011 10:23 AM
Rainmaker
574,640
Valerie Zinger
Home Organizer
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada

Craig:  I found this feature on Picasa by accident.  I had an exterior photo that was on an angle and the brickwork was a perfect way of finding something in the photo to use to 'straighten' it.  Good post. 

January 29, 2011 09:45 AM
Ambassador
1,174,632
Toni Weidman
23 Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL
Re/Max Sunset Realty

I love Picasa, Craig. It's one of the best programs out there and it's free. What more could you ask for.

February 02, 2011 08:09 AM
Rainmaker
464,464
Kenneth Cole
NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Appleseed Homes, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com -

Thank you "Professor"

January 06, 2013 09:10 AM
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Craig Daniels

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