photos

Uploading Photos from Picasa to Facebook

I've been snapping pictures left and right with my new Canon Powershot, especially now that the holiday season is underway and I've been on vacation all week - plenty of photo opps with Thanksgiving dinner and the kids helping me put up Christmas lights.

I wanted a way to share these pictures with friends and family using all free tools (preferably a single software program), and what better place to do that than Facebook?

Google's free Picasa photo editor can import photos from your camera's SD memory card, and you can install a plugin that will let you upload photos directly from Picasa to Facebook (notice the Facebook button in the Picasa toolbar shown below).

Here's how to install the Facebook plugin in Picasa so you can upload photos directly from Picasa to Facebook:

1. Open Facebook in your web browser and click "Applications" in the lower left side of your Facebook home page. Then click "Browse More Applications" in the popup menu.

2. Enter "picasa" in the application search field on the top left of the page, and select the first match named "Picasa":

3. Click on "Go to Application" to configure the Picasa plugin.

4. Install the Picasa plugin, which will install the Facebook button in Picasa.

5 Tips for taking great photos with a camera phone

Cell phone camera technology is changing rapidly, and manufacturers are starting to bundle higher resolution cameras with their cell phones.

Sanyo’s M1 and Apple’s iPhone both include 2.0-megapixel cameras that take decent quality photos, and Blackberry phones include a built-in flash with their 2.0-megapixel cameras.

More recently the Samsung Flipshot hit the market with a high quality 3.0-megapixel camera; putting it head and shoulders above typical camera phones like the Motorola RAZR V3 with it’s low-end 1.3-megapixel camera.

In fact, most cell phones still come with low resolution 1.3 megapixel VGA cameras that take low quality pictures; just enough to capture the moment, but nothing you’d want to show off in a photography contest.

You can still pull off a little magic though with your existing camera phone, provided you follow a few simple guidelines:

1. Samsung Flipshot U900Stillshots are better than motion shots

If you can get your subject to hold still, the picture will turn out sharper and more recognizable. Action shots - especially with the slight delay inherent to digital cameras - will turn out very blurry or bitmapped on a camera phone (that choppy look you get from a low-res camera).

2. Lighting is everything

Take your photos outside with plenty of light. Most camera phones don’t come with a flash, which means they’ll use a longer shutter time indoors to capture more light - resulting in an overall blurry picture, since subjects will be moving while the shutter remains open.

Avoid too much bright sun however, since it can create unattractive deep facial shadows if your shot is taken into the sun. A good rule of thumb is to always keep the sun behind you, which will illuminate your subject and get rid of ugly shadows.

3. Close-ups are better than long shots