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08-25-2012, 01:36 PM   #1
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Picasa Creative Kit

I shoot JPEG with my K-5 and have been using Picasa and DCU4. Just stumbled upon Picasa's Creative Kit. It is very intuitive and seems rather powerful for those that choose, for various reasons, to shoot JPEG and tweak in PP. I like DCU4 because it's like looking at the back of my K-5 more or less....but the UI is a bit clumsy.

Any thoughts/opinions on Creative Kit? Also can someone please explain "unsharp mask" in general and in particular how to use it effectively in Picasa's Creative Kit. Thanks!

08-25-2012, 04:01 PM   #2
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I had to do a Google search to try to find this "creative kit" for Picasa - it looks like it might be a feature for Google+ (whatever that + means)?
08-25-2012, 04:57 PM   #3
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"Easily edit and personalize your photos in Google+. Use Basic Edits to find the perfect composition, clean up the lighting, or sharpen the photo. Then, get creative with the features in the other tabs. "
Creative Kit - Google+ Help

Ugh. I have a Google + account but why would you do this stuff in your browser?

Great free tools like Faststone Image Viewer do all the stuff that the Creative Kit does like USM sharpening, and more.
08-28-2012, 09:04 AM   #4
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Unsharp mask is a holdover from film printing. It is a technique for sharpening photos.

You have two basic sliders. The top one (amount) controls how strong the sharpening will be. The bottom one (radius) controls the size area that the program samples. Generally, when you have lots of fine detail, you will use a larger value with the top setting and a smaller one with the lower one. With less fine detail, you do the reverse. I don't know if Picasa has a third slider, threshold. That controls the smallest radius object that the sharpening will apply to.

When you sharpen, enlarge your image to 100%, so you can see the point where you start introducing little sharpening artifacts. Try different settings at 100% so you can see what's happening. For printing, you can very slightly over-sharpen. You can do the same when saving for web, as reducing the quality setting to 6 or so to save bandwidth will also soften the image some.

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