Friday, November 23, 2018

How to use Depth Editor and Color Pop in Google Photos

I used the Color Pop feature to make our
Geeks on Tour coffee mug stand out.
Have you ever wished you could make a photo of a flower, or a person, really stand out - with the main subject in color and the rest in black and white?
Now you can!
It's called Color Pop, and it is a new feature from our friends at Google Photos. It was announced along with Live Albums on Google's product blog on October 9, 2018. At the time it was only available on the Pixel phone, but it has arrived on the iPhone now as well. 

Take a "Portrait" photo

The key to using the Depth Editor and the Color Pop features is to have a photo that was taken with the Portrait option on the camera. Check out this past article about Portrait mode as well as Lens Blur mode on the Pixel.
In case you don't know how to take a portrait-style photo, here's a video:

Depth Editor and Color Pop

Once you have a Portrait style photo, when you use the Edit button in Google Photos, you will see some new options. Color Pop is one of the filters you will see right away. Depth Editor is accessible with the Adjustments button. Here's a video that shows you all about it.



Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She has been in computer training and support since 1983. She is now a Top Contributor for the Google Photos Forum, owner of the LearnGooglePhotos.com blog, and author of Mrs. Geek's Guide to Google Photos
She loves to teach! If you want to learn, you’ve come to the right place.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Are your cellphone photos backed up? Are you sure?

When you take some new photos, you will see them right away in the Google Photos app. That DOES NOT mean they’ve been backed up. Google Photos will show you photos in your camera roll on the device. At the top of your Google Photos library, you will see information about the progress of your backup.
It may say, “waiting for Wi-Fi to backup” – the default setting is to not allow Google Photos to backup using your cellular data. Your phone must be connected to Wi-Fi then. So, connect your phone to Wi-Fi, then open Google Photos again and look at the top to be sure that the backup is now in progress. Watch it and eventually you will see “Backup Complete”
I also recommend verifying that you know how to see the photos in your account by going to a computer and go to photos.google.com and log in with the same account – you will now see all the photos that are backed up.
Free Up Space: this is the command that – with one tap – will delete all the device copies of your photos after they are backed up to Google Photos. Mrs. Geek recommends not to use that command until after you have your photos copied to one more location. You want to make sure that you have at least 2 copies of your photos!

Tutorial Video - watch the first 8 minutes

In episode 154 of our What Does This Button Do? show, we teach about cell boosters, but we begin the show with a Google Photos tip where we demonstrate everything in this article.


Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She has been in computer training and support since 1983. She is now a Product Expert for the Google Photos Forum, owner of the LearnGooglePhotos.com blog, and author of Mrs. Geek's Guide to Google Photos
She loves to teach! If you want to learn, you’ve come to the right place.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Google Photos: How to view your photos in order by date-uploaded rather than date-taken

On a computer, you can see the timeline of your
photos by moving your mouse to the right sidebar.
These dates represent the date the photo was taken.
When you use Google Photos to store your pictures, they are organized in one great big stream, by date the photo was taken. The most recent photo is on the top, as you scroll down you're going back in time. On a mobile device you can pinch the screen until you see your photos grouped by year and month.

Old Photos get lost

A friend of mine just uploaded a group of old photos from her computer to Google Photos.  When she opened Google Photos, she expected to see those photos at the top. When they weren't there, she assumed she had done something wrong and not uploaded them correctly. She tried it again - still no photos. 
What she didn't realize is that these old photos got organized into her "stream" according to the date they were taken. She had no idea what dates these photos were taken, so she had no way to find them!

How to change the order to "Date Uploaded"

Google Photos does not give us many tools to re-order photos. Albums are generally our only tool for customizing how photos are grouped. But, there is a way to just view your library in order of Date-Uploaded rather than Date-taken.
  1. On a computer/browser view your photos
  2. Click in the search bar at top, don't type anything to search for
  3. Scroll down to the section that includes Videos, Selfies, Screenshots - click "Show More"
  4. Now you should see an option for "Recently Added" - click that
  5. You should now be viewing your library of photos with the most recently added at the top, scroll down and you still go back in time, but by date added now rather than date taken

What about Mobile apps?

On mobile apps this option does not show up. I have no idea why. The search bar is there, when you click on it you see Videos, Selfies, Screenshots and "Show More," but when you click Show More you will not see Recently Added!?!?! 

Where there's a will, there's a way! On your mobile device, instead of using the Google Photos app, open a browser and go to Photos.Google.com - just like you would on a computer. Now you will be seeing the same thing you do on a computer - including the Show More with Recently Added.

A shortcut

On a browser, after you've clicked the Recently Added option, take a look at your address bar - you will see the specific URL that has been used. You can enter that URL yourself (or save a bookmark) 

Mrs. Geek's Guide to Google Photos

 If you have the book, this feature is covered in Chapter 5: Explore and Organize. The section is called "View by Date Uploaded."


"
Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She has been in computer training and support since 1983. She is now a Top Contributor for the Google Photos Forum, owner of the LearnGooglePhotos.com blog, and author of Mrs. Geek's Guide to Google Photos
She loves to teach! If you want to learn, you’ve come to the right place.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Using Google Photos to Edit Video

If you know how easy it is to trim off the beginning and end of videos, you will take more videos and share them with friends! Google Photos has this trim capability built right in to the mobile app, on your iPhone, iPad or Android mobile device-not on the computer. So, go ahead and take that video on your phone - view it and trim the junk from the beginning and end. You're done.
Preparing to take a video often means some messiness in the beginning. It's easy to get rid of that!
This can be done right in Google Photos app. You don't need any of the movie maker tools
  1. View your video
  2. Tap edit button
  3. Drag white markers to desired beginning and end
  4. Save
This will save a copy with the same date as the original, we recommend you share to YouTube
And, there's more ... you can rotate and stabilize video too. You can crop out content in the middle of your video by using the simple movie maker tools in Google Photos. Using those Google Photos movie maker tools, you can also combine several video clips and still photos into one movie, complete with music. When you're done, just tap the share button and choose YouTube. We recommend sharing to YouTube because it provides the best viewing experience. You can choose to make the YouTube video public, or just share with friends.

We will be demonstrating these video editing features in Episode 150 of What Does This Button Do?

LIVE today, Sunday 8/12/18 2pm Mountain Time (4pm Eastern, 3 Central, 1 Pacific)




Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She has been in computer training and support since 1983. She is now a Top Contributor for the Google Photos Forum, owner of the LearnGooglePhotos.com blog, and author of Mrs. Geek's Guide to Google Photos
She loves to teach! If you want to learn, you’ve come to the right place.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

How to use Google Photos Editing Tools: Crop

Do you think you can't get a good picture of that bald eagle with your smartphone? Take it anyway! You may be surprised at how good you can make it look with just a couple of tweaks from Google Photos editing tools.

Zooming with the camera

I used to teach people to NOT use the zoom feature on smartphone cameras. It's just a digital zoom which is the same as cropping after taking the picture. However, smartphone cameras have improved over the years, even simple digital zoom works better, and many of the newer smartphones have a second lens which is a true optical zoom. If you have a phone with 2 rear lenses, like my iPhone 7 Plus, you can tap the 1x icon on your camera screen (it changes to 2x)  to take advantage of the optical zoom capabilities of your phone. Even if you don't have the zoom lens, you can use 2 fingers on the screen to zoom, but don't go too far with this technique because it's hard to hold the camera still. You can accomplish the same thing (digital zoom) after taking the shot by cropping the photo with Google's editing tools.


Using Google Photos Crop tool

To use the crop tool:

  1. Open the photo and tap/click the Edit button 
  2. Now you will see all the editing tools, tap/click the crop tool 
  3. You should now see white markers at each corner, you can drag them in closer to the eagle.
  4. Tap/Click Done, then Save. You might want to try an Auto filter before saving to see if it improves the exposure and color of the photo.
Now, I admit that this picture isn't going to win any awards. Don't try printing it because it is way too low resolution after cropping it down to a fraction of the original photo. But, I love having this eagle photo to show people using my phone. I'm glad I took the shot.

Reasons to use the Crop Tool

Most every photo can be improved with a simple crop. It can cut out extraneous items in the photo and get closer to your subject. It can also change the aspect ratio of the photo. Aspect ratio means the ratio of the height to the width, from 4X6 to square, for example. If you have specific needs for the aspect ratio, you can click/tap on the crop-ratio button. It will give you the choices of: Free, Original, Square, 16:9, 4:3, or 3:2

Here are some examples of what cropping can accomplish:


The crop tool can also straighten a crooked photo by dragging the 0 point.
If you are a GeeksOnTour.com member, be sure to go thru the Learning Guide for editing with Google Photos and Snapseed. Also, here are some tutorial videos on editing


Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She has been in computer training and support since 1983. She is now a Top Contributor for the Google Photos Forum, owner of the LearnGooglePhotos.com blog, and author of Mrs. Geek's Guide to Google Photos
She loves to teach! If you want to learn, you’ve come to the right place.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

If you can scan a code, you can get our Google Photos eBook FREE

Mrs. Geek's Guide to Google Photos - 2nd Edition


  • 25 more pages, complete index (see table of contents below)
  • All instructions up to date
  • Covers new features like Shared Libraries, Google Lens, Favorites and more
  • Updated videos
  • eBook available NOW for anyone who can scan this code







Print version will be on Amazon by Aug 1

Did you know that Google Photos can scan QR codes if you take a picture of the code, then use the Google Lens button?
If you don't know how to scan that code, watch Episode 146 of What Does This Button Do? We demonstrate the Google Lens method and much more in this 45 minute show.






Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She has been in computer training and support since 1983. She is now a Top Contributor for the Google Photos Forum, owner of the LearnGooglePhotos.com blog, and author of Mrs. Geek's Guide to Google Photos
She loves to teach! If you want to learn, you’ve come to the right place.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Google Photos - Your questions answered

We got your questions! Lots of them! We'll answer them live as we record Episode #145 of What Does This Button Do?"




We answer a lot of questions about Google Photos everywhere we go. This week, we solicited questions for our YouTube show, "What Does This Button Do?"
We got a lot of responses!
How do you get photos taken on Samsung Galaxy 8 from gallery to Google Photos automatically (ie. without having to select them/ tap share/ tap upload to G.P.) ?
LOVE your show.. I've learned a lot from listening to you...

Ed and Deanna
I have google photos and when I open up the app I see my photos, yea. If I “free up space” it gives me the message “delete 399 items...” Sure I want free up some space. But where can I recall these photos one month or one year down the road? Until I am certain I can get my photos back, I’m not throwing anything away!  Ken
 How do I get Google photos on my computer & then print them. Thanks, Eleanor
All my pictures are organized in folders and sub folders.  How is this handled in Google Photos?
Question re: taking a selfie using OK Google mentioned in one of your previous shows.I have a Moto G phone with the OK Google app.  If I start with OK Google and ask it to take a selfie, the camera goes on, however, it won't reverse from a regular photo to selfie mode.  Any suggestions?
So I’m using Snapseed to add text to my photos on Google.  If I take pics with iPhone is there a quicker way to add text and that picture will be picked up by Google.    Adding text works but makes me miss PicasaThanks Phyllis
 I'm a long time Google user so I have a great deal on 94 Gb of their online storage. But, alas, it is now full of photos and videos that I have plenty of space to upload to other cloud providers with greater capacity at a more favorable price. My question is twofold: how can I quickly, easily, and painlessly delete those Google stored photos; and how can I prevent that drive from filing up again? Rainer
Can you put Google Albums in alphabetical or date added order. I’m always scrolling through the list. Tim
I have at least 1000 photos taken with 5 different cameras over the last 20 years. All are jpg format, and all are on a single Windows drive, (yes, I do have backups).  I need to eliminate duplicates, group by events, vacations, family (plenty of overlap) etc.  I fear that if I upload to Photos (I can accept the reduction in resolution) things will get hopelessly scrambled. Please suggest a plan of attack. Jack 
Those are just some of the questions we will answer. If you tune in while we're live, you can also ask questions in the chat.  

Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She has been in computer training and support since 1983. She is now a Top Contributor for the Google Photos Forum, owner of the LearnGooglePhotos.com blog, and author of Mrs. Geek's Guide to Google Photos
She loves to teach! If you want to learn, you’ve come to the right place.