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There are two types of people in the world – Those who love taking pictures, and those who dont love taking pictures. I am the first type. The annoying-taking pictures everywhere-posing in weird places-making people smile until they get a perfectly natural frown type.

Once upon a time, we had a break- in in our apartment. My husband went and checked the safe, the jewellery(which off course was gone), the car keys, the blu ray dvd player. I went and checked if my laptop was still there, after all it had all my pictures. And this is the shortest non-fiction story you would’ve read.

10 years back picture taking used to be simple. I mean how much can you do with a Kodak film that is developed in the studio. My first camera was a Yashica and while I had it for atleast 4 years through college, I could get one film successfully out of that camera without exposing at least a few pictures to the light. On top of that, if it wasn’t for a special event, the 35 pictures roll would stay in the camera for months and you will wait for it to finish before you took it to the studio. At home pictures were a huge luxury, and when you did take pictures at home, may be 2, 3. Now, we take 2,3 Hundred every week.

In the last few years, the digital camera technology has advanced so much, it is unbelievable what all you can do in your at-home lab called Laptop or iPad. And with the advancement of digital cameras, have come the photo editing softwares. Some cost money, some are free.

May be adobe photoshop is the best photo editing software. But then, who has time to learn it. Too complicated. I have the software and it’s on my list of “things to learn”, may be someday when I am motivated to put Angelina Jolie’s leg on my grandma’s pictures.

For now, I use Picasa. And let me tell you something. It is awesome. The simplest, most reliable photo editing software if you are on your laptop. Now, I recently bought the iPad 3, and am still reviewing iPhoto, so can not say if it is better than picasa or not. Even if it is, I am not ready to make the transition yet. I still love my laptop when it comes to browsing pictures, doing stuff with them, sharing them on facebook etc. Let’s just say, I am not the best “Early Adopter” you’re looking for.

Picasa 2 had some effects, mostly to adjust, crop, brighten, soften and colorize pictures. Sepia being my most favorite. But the latest Picasa 3.9 is awesome. I didn’t even notice when I updated my picasa version because it has been about the same since I started using it a few years back. But this time, the addition is huge. Its got all the instagram effects and much more.

Here are a few pictures and picasa effects from day 0 of my sabbatical. (Just FYI, I am going to keep the counter at 0 all weekend. My sabbatical doesn’t start before Monday, which will be day 1…)

All these pictures are taken from my Canon point and shoot camera in an auto mode. So all the added beauty you see in the pictures are from Picasa. And for you non-texans, the flowers in the background are the texas state flower – Blue Bonnets. They come randomly everywhere during spring. Real beauty.

Cross Process

Absolutely love this effect…Its got one of those nostalgia effects,but very crisp…..


Orton-ish and Vignette

Honestly, I have no idea what Orton-ish is. But the effect is awesome. This one is a combination of two effects, from tabs 4 and 5 in picasa editing library. It’s got that soft, baby touch essence. The never been touched kinds.

1960s and Border

This one reminds me of my parents wedding album, offcourse it’s the 60’s effect. The rounded corner border adds to the essence of the 60’s.


Cinemascope and Lomo-ish

Again, no idea what Lomo-ish means. But love the combination of the two effects. The thick border from cinemascope makes the picture look richer than it is….

Cross Process and Polaroid

This one speaks for itself….


Focal Zoom

This may not be the best picture for this effect, but I wanted to give it a try…can certainly be used for those zoomed in teenage pictures…..