Who wants to be a photo organizing rock star and record your first album? That’s what we’re doing today in our 15-minute “recording” session. These will be your “Best of” or “Greatest Hits” collection that’s sure to go platinum! To be number one on the charts, you have to choose your best photos and sort them into albums to best save and share them.
BE A PHOTO ORGANIZING ROCK STAR — MAKE ALBUMS
Back in my day, music “albums” were also known as records, or vinyl. Today, youngsters with their divine digital birthright can’t comprehend this prehistoric music concept as they hardly understand CDs, let alone LPs!
Although the term continues to linger in the industry much like the fact that iPhones use a “camera ROLL” to hold your photos, the word album still generally refers to a collection of music worth sharing. Another way to think about albums is like a playlist in iTunes. It’s just a set grouping of favorites you chose and organized in a certain way.
Well it’s the same concept for photos! An ALBUM we make in Picasa is a collection of your photos — not all of them, preferably just the STARS! No, we’re not talking about those 1980s edition photo albums with the sticky page you peel back to stick your prints inside.
(Side note: If you think you’re all set with your photographs from the past because you have your prints stored “safely” in photo albums like the ones mentioned, I hate to burst your bubble but these have been proven UNSAFE for photos, and are actually eating your pictures up as time goes on! Please pull out all your prints from these old photo albums immediately to avoid any additional damage! Now back to our regularly scheduled post about digital…)
ALBUMS AREN’T FOLDERS
The big thing to remember is that Picasa doesn’t treat ALBUMS the same as FOLDERS. Your photos only exist in their folders! Making an album in Picasa does NOT duplicate them on your hard drive. An ALBUM simply points to the photos that reside in their usual location. They’re basically a “virtual view” of your photos.
So to delete a photo for real, do it from your FOLDERS section and the image will be gone for good. Delete it from an album and it just removes the reference to it in that instance. It doesn’t do anything to the real JPG.
By the way, Picasa only shows folders that have at least one photo in them. So if you have some empty folders, they won’t show here until there’s at least one JPG in it.
Take extra caution if you want to delete an entire folder because it will also delete any subfolders inside it. That’s why using the “tree view” helps avoid mistakes like this because you can see the parent folder and any related “children” folders inside/under it. Only delete from the lowest-level subfolder so you don’t accidentally delete a folder, or nested folders, by accident.
In Picasa’s Collections List along the left side, you’ll see ALBUMS, PEOPLE, PROJECTS and FOLDERS. (You may see a few other categories but these are the main ones). TIP: In the FOLDERS section, if you select the “tree view” instead of the default “flat folder view,” you can see them in the same hierarchical structure as you have them on your hard drive — the same thing we did on the first few days. The tree view helps you see the event sub-folders in relation to your sorted date folders. We covered PEOPLE and name tags yesterday. We’ll talk about PROJECTS another day. So today is ALBUMS!
NEW ALBUMS ROCK
Say you went on an incredible vacation and took 1000 (or whatever exorbitant number) of photos of your trip. No one, I repeat…NO ONE, is going to want to look at ALL of your pics no matter how amazing you say they are. Unless you are a National Geographic photographer, then maybe. You’ll need to cull the collection down to a more-reasonable summary or highlight reel that people will enjoy (rather than endure) viewing.
If you’ve already done your STAR process to find your favorites (& you should’ve since that was Day 5!), this step is uber-easy. Click on a folder with quite a few pictures in it. (Make sure this folder has marked stars in it.) Click the “SELECT STARRED PHOTOS” yellow star icon at the top left near the folder name. It will highlight any star photos in that folder and show them as tiny thumbnails in the Photo Tray (lower left corner). Just click “Add selected items to an Album” with the “blue book” button just to the right of this.
A drop-down menu asks you to create a “New Album” (or put them in an existing album if you have one or more). New Album pops up a Properties window (shown below) so you can add details beyond just the name and date. Yes, you should fill in the “optional” details of Place taken & Description (caption/story)! If you plan to view this album in a slideshow or movie (& you probably will), you can check the box to use music and find that file on your computer too.
You can add more photos to this ALBUM at any time from any other folder. If you went on vacation to several of Utah’s National Parks, you could make albums for “Best of Bryce” and “Best of Zion” but you could also group those together into a “Best of Utah” album. Again, these are NOT copying the photos — just pointing to them where they already safely reside in their sorted & labeled folders on your hard drive.
Another excellent use of ALBUMS would be for grouping your favorite photos of a certain person, maybe your children. Of course, you can always use the PEOPLE feature for this but sometimes you want to see just your all-time faves, not ALL their pics. To make this album, look in the PEOPLE collection under that person. Click to “select starred photos” and create an album for the “Best of FILL-IN-THE-BLANK NAME.”
Now after you are done uploading new photos and doing your star/caption/tag efforts, you can quickly drop the ones you love most into these special “highlight reel” albums. That said, this is ideal for any high school seniors who want those graduation slide shows! Make your own by clustering them into an ALBUM right in Picasa. Now click the green arrow “PLAY FULLSCREEN SLIDESHOW” for your new “blue-book” album and modify the effects as you wish. You can also create a COLLAGE or a full-fledged MOVIE PRESENTATION complete with title slides, clips, captions and more.
DAY 9 — 15 MINUTES. ROCK THE STAR ALBUMS!
Set your phone’s timer or stopwatch for 15 minutes and open Picasa. Figure out what photos you’d like to pull into an ALBUM from your starred favorites. Open that FOLDER, click the “select starred photos” star icon and put the selected items into their own album with the “blue book” icon to the right of the photo tray. Create a new album (fill in properties pop-up window) and then fill from other folders as you wish. You can also right-click on any photo to “add to album” or create new album with it.
By pulling out your best photos and arranging them into sorted photo ALBUMS that make sense, you’ve made your entire photo collection more meaningful! As a reward when done making your rock “star albums,” enjoy playing your full-screen slideshows (with or without captions on)!
In summary, your DAY 9 DUTIES:
- OPEN PICASA & VIEW A FOLDER WITH STARRED PHOTOS IN IT THAT YOU WANT TO PUT INTO AN ALBUM.
- CLICK THE YELLOW STAR ICON TO “SELECT STARRED PHOTOS” SO THEY GO INTO THE PHOTO TRAY.
- CLICK THE “BLUE BOOK” ICON TO THE RIGHT OF THE TRAY TO CREATE A NEW ALBUM.
- FILL OUT THE NEW ALBUM PROPERTIES FOR BETTER SEARCHING & REFERENCE LATER.
- PULL IN ANY OTHER PHOTOS TO THIS ALBUM & MAKE OTHERS AS NEEDED TO SORT OUT YOUR BEST “STAR” PHOTOS FOR EASY SHARING & SAVING.
- VIEW FULL-SCREEN SLIDESHOW, MAKE A PHOTO COLLAGE OR MOVIE PRESENTATION, OR CREATE A GIFT CD WITH YOUR “BLUE BOOK” ALBUMS.
Remember, ALBUMS are just virtual playlists that reference your photos from their location in FOLDERS. If you make albums and delete all your folders, you will have a mess because the albums won’t be able to find the actual photo! Same goes for moving your folders around. If you change the location, the album will get “lost” trying to find those photos again. You can usually correct this but that’s why I didn’t tell you about this until AFTER we’ve done all our organization, sorting and folder naming. Hopefully you don’t have to modify them much so your albums stay together.
An easy way to remind yourself is that folders are always shown as blue manilla folders and albums are always shown as blue books.
TALKING TIME LIMITS
This shouldn’t take too long and it should be a fun process. It depends entirely on how many albums you choose to create. Don’t skip this step as it’s a valuable one because it physically shows you the best of the best — your favorite photos you cherish the most! These are the ones you’d be heartbroken if they were lost…whether that be to theft of your laptop, hard drive crash, accidental deletion or failed backup. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post about just that — backups!
© Brenda Kruse and PhotoOrganizingPro.com, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Brenda Kruse and PhotoOrganizingPro.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.