Tag Archives: RV campgrounds

Pictures of Anastasia Island State Park in Florida

2012101It’s places like this that give me joy in using my good digital SLR camera, and then viewing and editing the pictures later in Picasa.  The picture of the two of us is of particular interest since we were all alone on this beach, and we didn’t have a tripod.  How did we get that picture?  The answer is at the bottom of this post.

Anastasia Island is a Florida State park on the beach at St. Augustine.  We only stayed there one night, but we made our way to the beach at those all-important photography times of sunset and sunrise.  I can’t stop looking at these pictures and just feeling love for the world of beauty that we live in.  I took over 250 pictures!  With help from Picasa’s Side-by-Side editing feature, I chose the 49 best and then edited them so they look even better.  I hope you enjoy them!

The better way to view the pictures is to follow this link to the pictures on Google+, then click on Slideshow.  That will show them full-screen.

My Favorite Picasa Editing features:

Just one example of Before and After editing in Picasa.  I hope you agree … the one on the right is better!
before-after
  • Crop: most all of my pictures need a crop
  • I’m Feeling Lucky: I always click on I’m Feeling Lucky. Sometimes – especially with sunsets – I don’t like what it does so I click on Undo
  • Straighten: my horizon always seems a bit crooked when taking ocean pictures!
  • Graduated Tint: to make blue skies bluer, or sunsets redder
  • Increase shadows: for a richer look on some photos
  • Sharpen: when my picture looks a little soft, clicking on Sharpen gives you more defined edges
  • HDRish: when sharpen doesn’t do enough, HDRish will make my images pop! I usually move settings to lessen the effect, it can be very dramatic.

Mulitiple Exposure Collage in Picasa

2012101That’s how we got the picture of the two of us.  It’s actually 2 pictures and I put them together using the Collage feature of Picasa and choosing Multiple Exposure.  Rarely do 2 pictures work so well in a double exposure – but these two sure did! To see exactly how it was done, members can watch the Collage Short Course of tutorial videos.  Multiple Exposures is the 8th video in the series.

Learn at www.GeeksOnTour.com

If you want to learn how to do all of these editing techniques – “There’s a video on that!”  Take a look at our Learning Library for Picasa – the first 3 videos in the list are free for anyone to watch, the rest require a Geeks on Tour Membership.

Streets and Trips POI Megafile

ST-MegafileAs we travel by RV, we’ve gathered lots of different sources for finding places to park and stay.  Our favorite is the Streets and Trips program, with the POI Megafile.  This is a file that is used in combination with Microsoft’s Streets and Trips program.  POI stands for Points of Interest.  It is a currently a compilation of 220 categories, containing thousands of points of interest.  Many of them are very near and dear to RVers .  That includes campgrounds like Thousand Trails that usually do not show up on other lists because it requires a membership.  Same thing with Elks Lodges that offer RV parking for their members.  You can download this POI Megafile for free.  It is updated every month or so.  The current file is meant for the S&T 2013 program and it is dated June. It is specifically made for MS Streets and Trips.  If you don’t use Streets and Trips, you are limited to downloading individual sets of POIs yourself from places like Discovery Owners.

Each set of data is called a Pushpin Set and once you’re viewing Streets and Trips, you have the option to Show or Hide any given pushpin set.  Look at the image at right.  The list of pushpin sets from the Megafile are showing on the left side, if you scroll up or down, you’ll find all 220 sets.  Pick one you want to see, right-click on it and choose ‘Show Pushpin Set.’  In the example, I have chosen to Show Elks Lodges, Corps of Engineer parks, and Fairgrounds.  They each have their own unique icon and are very recognizable as you look on your map.

I like the Streets and Trips Megafile for several reasons:

  1. It is a collection, all in one place, of so many places that I’ve had to look up separately in the past.
  2. You can turn each set on or off as desired so your map doesn’t get cluttered, yet you have everything you need.
  3. It’s right on the map that we use for our trip planning.  So we can plan our route more efficiently.  No more looking up campgrounds in one place only to go back to your map and find it.
  4. No Internet needed – all the data is on your computer.

You can read more about the POI Megafile on the Streets and Trips blog.  And, if you want to learn how to use Streets and Trips, check out the Geeks on Tour Tutorial Videos on our Learning Library for Streets and Trips.