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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Gadget Bag: Get Organized

Software for managing your archive and more!

Apple Aperture 3

Be it shoeboxes overflowing with slides, binders full of contact sheets or narrow aisles of shelves loaded with meticulously labeled prints, photographers have always found their craft at odds with organization. Moving into the digital age, where frames have become even more plentiful and storage space is easy to come by, photo management is even more important, and losing that one great shot increases in chance.

Luckily, photo organizational systems have been popping up in the past several years and expanding their tools exponentially. While at the base of each system is the organizational foundation that photographers hold dear, now these systems come loaded with advanced editing tools, as well as direct sharing and printing capabilities. This means, once you find the ideal photo management software for your workflow, you may skip other editing software altogether, using this from import to organization to edit to export.

Organization Is Job One
At the heart of the software is organization. If you're catching quick wildlife motion or moving from location to location multiple times, you likely understand the frustration of organizing photos at the end of a long day. Not only do you need to label specifics, but you also want to locate and separate your favorites for editing.

Today's software has a variety of organizational tools to personalize your workflow, depending on your project. Star ratings mark your favorites; color systems can declare where you stand in your editing process. You can search and change metadata fields, adding valuable information such as location, captions, equipment specs or keywords.

Several companies have taken advantage of the new GPS-enabled cameras and offer organizational searches based on location. Some even place your photos on a map based on this location information. Additionally, other systems have integrated facial-recognition software, letting you find pictures of your travel companions at every location quickly and easily.

Incorporation Of Powerful Editing Tools
Now, photo organization systems have added innovative advanced editing tools. Nondestructive editing is the name of the game. This means that real-time adjustments of white balance, sharpness, color correction and even cropping are being made, but your original file is still intact. If you change your mind about any adjustment, you can return to that step of your process. You also can see your edited file in a side-by-side comparison with the original to monitor your progress.


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