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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Gadget Bag: Get Organized

Software for managing your archive and more!

This Article Features Photo Zoom
But this is where the organizational systems have expanded to become editing tools in their own right. Not only can you make general adjustments in color or add a vignette, but now you can fine-tune regional areas with masks and gradient features. Smart-edge technologies help accurately create a mask for your mountains when you're separating them from the sky. It's now possible to target specific areas for noise reduction or sharpening instead of adjusting the entire image. Healing and cloning tools will remove sensor dust. Lens correction for geometric distortion, chromatic aberration, perspective correction and vignetting keep your images looking lifelike.

Some systems include more advanced technology such as Content Aware Removal to take away unwanted objects in the frame, for example, power lines. Some create simple single-image HDR results, while others have full HDR merging from multiple images. While you used to need to bring your images into a specific photo-editing software to do this type of manipulation, it's now easily managed in this workflow.

Serif PhotoPlus 6
In general, one of the most useful parts of the organizational systems across the board is their ability to batch process. In batch processing, you select a task to be performed on a group of files at once, instead of manually opening each file, editing, saving and then moving to the next file. When organizing, you might keyword or rename all your files from one day.

During the editing process, you can select 50 images to apply a perspective correction instead of opening each image one at a time. During export, simply apply your watermark to all of your final images at once. Batch processing is what makes this type of system a true time-saver.

What Would We Do Without Social Media?
Direct sharing to your social media outlets is quick and easy with this type of photo-organization system. Native upload to Facebook and Flickr are included, and most have plug-ins for other social media. Many have direct emailing, as well as FTP uploading. When exporting, customizable and savable watermarks, color spaces and sizes are available.

If you're looking to create the perfect book, templates and themes for your project are included. Slideshow templates are available, or you can customize your own. Then share your slideshow on your website, phone or tablet.

Individual prints, contact sheets, CDs and DVDs also are quick and easy to create in the export process.

Software To Consider
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 has a clean and intuitive interface that keeps organization at the base of their software. Find your photos by location, custom keyword, metadata stamp or advanced filters. When it comes to management and organization, you can work with your photo library even when your files are on an external hard drive not connected to your computer. Lightroom offers tethered shooting without the need for a plug-in, making macro or time-lapse photography one step easier. Nondestructive editing includes advanced black-and-white conversions, lens corrections and selective masks. For those interested in video, Lightroom supports limited video clip edits and extraction of stills from video. Lightroom excels at batch processing, even allowing multiple image processing from multiple devices at once. Templates are included for books, slideshows, greeting cards, contact sheets and fine-art prints, or send your images directly to Facebook or Flickr. Estimated Street Price: $149; $79/upgrade. www.adobe.com


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