serving up visuals

In my previous post I wrote about the importance of including visuals in slides to improve memory retention of the material you’re presenting. Where can you get the visuals? After all, time is always a factor and you can’t spend a large chunk of your ‘free’ time looking around the net for pictures to make your slides pretty. For my Elements of Anglo-Saxon Poetry slideshow, I grabbed the pictures primarily from Google images and Wikipedia. They both contain a treasure trove of images, which are generally free to use for non-commercial purposes.

You can also use your own photos, and for that you’ll need a great photo collector and editor, such as Google’s Picasa. Whether or not it is worthwhile to accumulate desktop or online tools depends completely upon the tool’s ability to solve a problem for you, or make your life more productive. Or, if it’s fun. Picasa qualifies all the way around.

There are two parts to Picasa. First, you’ll need to download the basic application. From there, you can import pictures from your computer or your camera. I use a USB connector cord that downloads pictures directly from my digital camera to Picasa. The fun part comes next, as I edit the photos. I don’t have to worry anymore about arranging the perfect composition for my picture-taking, since Picasa’s crop tool makes composing a breeze. From there, I can adjust the light, adding more where the picture is too dark, and increasing shadow for shots that are flooded with light.

There are special effects, too, such as making the photo black-and-white, or saturating it with more color, or sharpening the view to make it crystal-clear.

When I’m ready to share my photos, I click on web albums to send my edited photos into cyberspace. Why would I want to do this? First of all, it’s useful as backup storage without worry that my photos will disappear along with a broken computer. It also is a great place to share your photos with whomever you choose. You share the links through email, and your recipients can view and leave comments at your album.

Picasa’s photo-editing capability makes me a far better photographer than I really am, and with Picasa web albums I get to show it all off.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: