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 Turn off Google's "Auto-Enhance" Settings (Picasa) 
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Sovereign Woodsman
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 Turn off Google's "Auto-Enhance" Settings (Picasa)
A lot of us have noticed Google messing with photos we upload, whether it is "enhancing" them by messing with the contrast/saturation/etc or the one that really peeved me off - "auto-awesome". This is the one where Google would take a random picture from an album I uploaded, and make a copy of it, and add some stupid effect. Lately it's been adding an animated falling snowflakes over a hiking photo. FAIL Google. Don't be messing with my photos unless I ask you to.

The good news? You can turn both of these settings off. It just grinds my gears that they are a default-on, as with a lot of Google's settings (by the way, anyone with a Plus account can send anyone else with a Plus account an email unless you opt-out. Yea, they can only do it once, and they never see your actual email, but still. I mean, really? So turn that setting off too! - see here: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/01/how-opt-out-gmails-google-plus-integration)

The gist of turning off Auto-Awesome (which adds not-so-awesome animated effects to a random photo) and Auto-Enhance (which is the one a number of you noticed first) is here: https://sites.google.com/site/picasaresources/Home/Picasa-FAQ/picasa-webalbums/how-to-articles/how-to-disable-auto-enhance. Basically, it is a Google+ setting (Google can't come to grips with the fact that Plus is going to die).

Go to your Google homepage, login if needed, and click on the upper-right icon and select "Account". Select "Edit Settings" under "Google+ Settings". Turn off Auto-Enhance, and deselect Auto-Awesome if you want too.

Any previously-enhanced photos you will have to go back and tell Google to remove the enhancement of it (when viewing the photo in Google+, a text will pop up in the upper-right saying "enhanced" if it has been enhanced, clicking this will allow you to turn it off or tweak it, or whatever you like to do).


Now, to be fair to Google, I actually am going back through and adding some of their enhancement to some of my photos, as it does look better than some of my straight off the camera ones. Those of you that pre-process your uploaded stuff, yea, probably super-annoying, so now you can turn it off!

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Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:18 am
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Hiking Forums Are My Crack
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That's good info to know and explains a lot. Any idea if you can do the same with regular old Picasa? I refuse to get Google+ ! :D


Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:06 pm
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Sovereign Woodsman
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Granite Guy wrote:
That's good info to know and explains a lot. Any idea if you can do the same with regular old Picasa? I refuse to get Google+ ! :D


I agree, Google+ is garbage. Especially with all of the auto opt-ins that should be auto opt-outs. There appears to be no way to change a lot of these auto-opt-in settings if you do not even temporarily start a Plus account. Very poor form by Google, and a good reason to leave. Honestly I have never used my Plus account and often think about dropping Plus again, but I leave it enabled purely so I can opt-out of these idiotic forced opt-ins. I also now need to go back and check the auto-enhance (it appears this started around May 2013 when Google rolled Picasa and Plus together) on thousands of photos. Might be time to roll my own photo web gallery...

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Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:11 pm
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I Spend All My Time on This Forum
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Or you can just switch to something like Flickr, like I did recently. 8) Just got so tired of the constant pumping of Google+ that I gave up on Picasa. I'm almost ready to give up my Gmail accounts too...Google is ticking me off.

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Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:41 pm
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I've been on Flickr since 2005, and they've really made some bad decisions over the last year, but I haven't found an alternative that is as good, so I'm still there. I used to use it more socially, but right now it's pretty much an archive where I store photos privately, then share them out.


Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:08 pm
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It's free, so I have a tough time complaining that they're trying to push other products. Some of it is annoying, but it is what it is. I still use the Picasa interface for photos but I have the G+ set up, just don't really use it.

Thanks for posting the fix though, the snowflakes added were pretty cheesy. My photos are already awesome 8)


Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:58 pm
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BobC wrote:
Or you can just switch to something like Flickr, like I did recently. 8) Just got so tired of the constant pumping of Google+ that I gave up on Picasa. I'm almost ready to give up my Gmail accounts too...Google is ticking me off.


I did that back in September. I like it much better and the Aviary program is decent for free editing software, although I do a lot of editing with Photoshop anyhow, but it's nice to be able to tweak it just a bit more if it looks a little off when it's uploaded.

If I were to get a pay site I really like Smugmug. Often think of doing that, then get the free trial, then never follow through. But one of these days....


Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:04 pm
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Mountaineer
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MadMattd - Thanks for posting this. I had the "Auto-Awesome" turned off but did not have the email settings done or auto-enhance off. I completely agree Google used bad form in making us opt out on the email settings. Lame. Err on the side of privacy, please.

I have some nice pictures of Garfield from last weekend with snow-covered trees and mountains...and Google added actual falling snow but it looks like "Frosty the Snowman," animated snow. Absurd. This was the "Auto-Awesome" feature. I like using the Auto-Enhance sometimes as well in photos but want to make these decisions myself and don't need Google doing that automatically.

I'm a big boy now. :wink:


Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:26 pm
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Raven wrote:
and Google added actual falling snow but it looks like "Frosty the Snowman," animated snow. Absurd. This was the "Auto-Awesome" feature.


That was the one that got me searching for this, after I had to remove those cheesy animations from 6 or 7 of my albums...

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Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:58 pm
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I've been using Picasa3 since 2010. Absolutely refuse to upgrade to plus. Overall, I'm had 0 problems with Picasa. Very easy to use. Decent editing and fast syncing. I find looking at an album online is far easier, faster, and better than any other I've seen. Maybe I've just been lucky.

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Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:52 am
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I'm with you, Joe, I think picasaweb is/was hands down the best for what I generally do in terms of posting galleries , and the postprocessing and cataloging abilities of the desktop client are not that far short of lightroom ...

Problem for me was that at one point suddenly my pictures were showing up with way too much posterization. That seems to have gone away, but once burned ... and besides, I thought I saw an announcement about picasa going away. I still use it sometimes but no longer a mainstay for me.

For me there is 0 need for google+ . And I can't spare the brain cells to learn how to use it properly :)

The flickr UI is not as good (for my purposes) but at least the quality seems consistent.

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Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:55 am
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I will say that at first I was amused, and it put a quick smile on my face, to see the animated snowflakes falling gently while Marlie braced herself against the 30 mph wind on Mt Garfield.

Image

But now it's getting old. :cry:

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Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:30 pm
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thanks Matt!


Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:02 pm
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For a free service. Google puts out Some good stuff. There is a lot of hate here on g+. Its just a google community. No real need to use it. I really don't care for the picassa g+ integration, and there was a really sloppy affair. It's more or less streamlined now.
I must have turned the auto awesome stuff off long ago cause I only saw one pic that admittedly looked better after it was awesomized. This could have been my doing. The opt out garbage has to go and Google is not the only culprit. Its a pain in the rear for people that don't have time to keep up on every ToS update. Having said that. I have received emails from google to my gmail account stating changes. I promptly went into my settings and adjust anything to my prefs. All in all g+ does give me a "quiet" Facebook that I use to track tech subjects. I also follow other hikers like I quest. I often get a notification to my phone letting me know he put up some pics. Really it makes it easy to view and share pictures amung multiple devices. I just wish I could make an album public without posting it to g+. I could be missing something there but google doesn't make the best UI across all of its services. (Why oh why does the scroll wheel on the mouse in picasa not zoom in and just quickly zip through the pics in an album).

Anyway. To an advertising company Like google you are the product, not the client. Stay sharp like you would on the trail. There are some great tools, but it all has its price.


Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:36 pm
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I use Photobucket Pro. I even use it for my web site of hiking photos. No problem there. And it has plenty of options. The only thing I don't like about it is, they have one spot where they put a small window with advertisements on it. There's a free Photobucket too.

Just a thought....check it out.

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Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:26 am
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