How to apply the Soft Focus Effect in Picasa2

Picasa2 is an ostentatious yet practicable digital photo editing and organizing application which has lived considerably up to the expectations of the users due its improvements ever since its first release. Picasa2 is undoubtedly, excellent for novice as well as casual digital shooters who want to organize their all their pictures, keen on arranging them in albums. It allows quick edits, retouches and great special effects along with the efficient facility of sharing with friends and family over the internet. Although it not meant for professional editing, it is far better for beginners.

Some important features of Picasa2

  • Picasa2 is free.
  • Works well with such other free Google services namely, the Blogger or Web Albums, and Hello.
  • Designed for casual photographers, it has good options to display your pictures as collage, slide show movies or even screensavers.
  • Provides good quick fixes and effects red-eye removal
  • Editing information is documented in INI files, thus enabling the users to reverse all edits without saving numerous versions of the same file.
  • Supports efficient online sharing options.

Organizing your photos with Picasa2

Picasa2 checks the user’s computer for any pictorial files gathers them and organizes them in self created albums based on folders and dates. It also allows automatic import from CD drives, USB scanners, cameras, memory card readers. It supports RAW files. It has mapped network drives and even monitors selected folders for latest pictures.

Picasa2 organizes these pictures with Albums which are virtual folders. Search options are available with the help of keywords or by album information. It has easy to operate tools like crop, Remove red-eye, auto and manual tuning, rotate, and single-click enhance options. Moreover all edits or changes done can be reversed, without the need of saving several versions of the same file again and again.

Single-click effects like sharpen, warm, black and white, sepia, tint, film grain, soft focus, glow, saturation, etc are possible. One can export pictures as slide show movies web pages, collages, and posters, create Gift CDs for sharing. Emailing pictures or sharing your albums online with Hello, Google Web Albums, Blogger, and Google Earth.

One can order prints through photo labs on internet, or even print photos and contact sheets by oneself. Picasa2’s polished user interface generates a great first impression. It’s very effortless to learn Picasa2. It has everything that casual users need for retouching and sharing their personal digital photographs on the web. Great part of it is that it is freely available!

Some of the simple and easy effects in Picasa2

Select the folder that contains your photos to be edited. Suppose as in this case I have to edit the folder called images. Double click on the image you want to add special effects to. This is demonstrated in screenshot.1

Screenshot.1 Selecting the image to be edited.

The selected picture will appear in the main window and on the left hand side of the image, is the Fixes toolbar, click on the Effects button in the tool bar as demonstrated in screenshot 2. Now you can try out various effects as shown below.

Screenshot.2 Click on the Effects button. 

As the image suggest I will now apply the Soft focus effect to make the highlight the snail in the photograph as demonstrated in screenshot.3.

Screenshot.3 Soft Focus option

Now click on the part of the object you want to concentrate your focus on. With the adjustments of the size and amount of blur you can achieve desired level of concentrated focus. This is demonstrated in screenshot.4

Screenshot.4 Adjustments in Soft Focus

You can see only the main image is focused, and other all is blurred.