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 I'll focus on today is the Neutral Color Picker 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.)
Compare the two photos shown side by side below. Do you notice how the photo on the left has a bit of a yellow tint? The color of our photos is altered by the color of the light that illuminates the room we are in. You can make a setting on your camera called "white balance" to compensate for different color light. Most often though, you can leave your camera in "auto" mode and just as easily correct this in the post-production phase of your photo shoot. Picasa lets you do this correction quite easily. The photo below on the right is the "after" photo. See how the color has shifted so whites are more pure and untinted.
In Picasa, first you will need to go to the photo that you want to edit. On the left-hand tool palette, click onto the "Tuning Tab". At the bottom of the palette, you will see an eyedropper button and you will need to click it. Next, go into your photo and find a surface of an object that is white. Look for something that is well lit and not too deep in a shadow as that will not work as nicely. Click your eyedropper tool on the white surface and you will see Picasa adjust the color toning of your photo to compensate for proper white balance. If you don't like the result, you can always click the undo tuning button. So you can be more free to do trial and error without any problems. There also is a little magic wand button that you can also try "one click fix" for Picasa to try and estimate the best change for you.
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)