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… plus, this week you can win a copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements!
I remember the first time our family got a digital camera. For the first couple of years, the computer hard drive was just a dumping ground for an endless quantity of pictures. All with names like “img002938.jpg”. (Not exactly helpful.)
Sometimes we remembered to download pictures into folders with a name or date that was significant, but not very often. And, half a dozen years later, they still weren’t sorted out! Every time I’ve gone back to find a particular photo, it turns into a nightmarish process.
So, recently I sat down to work through the backlog of images, and organize things a bit. There are an endless stream of applications available to “help” with things like this, many of which do nothing of the sort! But, two software programs made a world of difference:
Picasa was relatively unknown photo-management program back in the old days, until they were acquired by Google. Now they’re only… slightly unknown! Truly, this program does the best job of importing, organizing, and sharing your photos, of any that I’ve ever seen.
Scrolling through images is very fast and simple, and it’s easy to manage the locations of images on your computer, as well as create “albums” of sets of related photos. Then, you can publish albums online, so friends and family can see them.
And, like almost anything Google touches, it’s all free!
Picasa is easy enough to be used by anybody, but has the power under the hood to be useful even for aspiring photographers.
Next… after your photos are sorted and organized, there’s the process of making them look good. Digital cameras of the past are notorious for under- and over-exposing photos, and I came across plenty of old pictures with image quality that just made me cringe. A bit of touch-up was definitely in order!
There’s a reason that you can find “photoshopped” in modern dictionaries. Adobe Photoshop is the “de facto” standard of image editing. However, if you’ve ever used it, you know that it can be… just a little bit complicated! As you’re getting started with photo editing, the best tool you will find is a scaled-down version designed specifically for this type of work:
Adobe has generously offered to give a free copy of Photoshop Elements to a lucky 5 Minutes For Mom visitor, so leave a comment below and you’ll be entered to win! In the meantime, check out the trial edition from their web site to get a flavor for what’s possible using this software.
My favorite new feature: We’ve all taken group photos where one person in each shot is blinking or looking away. With Photoshop Elements, you can snap a couple photos of the same group, and use the software to easily merge them together so that everybody looks their best in a single composite photo. Very cool!
My archive of photos is way improved now, with a little bit of effort. Along the way, I discovered a bunch of great shots I had forgotten about. This week, pick up some new software as motivation to keep your own photos organized!
Carrie B and her husband Jonathan are Oregon wedding photographers, and you can see more of their recent photos on their photography blog. She’s also a staff reviewer for 5 Minutes for Books, and operates her own book review blog as well!
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