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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Gadget Bag: Get Organized

Software for managing your archive and more!

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4, ACDSee Pro 6
Apple Aperture 3 combines with iPhoto to create one library so you can open and edit your photos from either place. Using GPS technology, photos can be organized by location and placed on a map. Aperture also offers Faces, a face-recognition tool to sort your photos by person. Nondestructive editing includes masks and layers with a Detect Edge system for accuracy. Photo Stream in iCloud is included, where your last 1,000 photos are uploaded for archiving and an auto import may be set. Slideshows easily are created and sent directly to iTunes and synced with iOS devices. Exporting to Facebook and Flickr is native for Aperture, and plug-ins for SmugMug, iStockphoto and PhotoShelter are easily added. Book themes, which include maps pulled directly from photo GPS data, as well as print and contact sheet templates, make prints easy. Traveling photographers can use all of the features of Aperture on a laptop and transfer the project to the main library on a desktop computer by setting the laptop as a targeted drive. It's an easy, but powerful feature. Mac OS only. Estimated Street Price: $79. www.apple.com

ACDSee Pro 6 is a browser-based workflow system with a 10 GB cloud space available for backup. Your image files are connected directly to the system, removing the import time most other software requires. ACDSee searches and organizes your files based on metadata, keywords, file properties, GPS location, ratings and color labels. It can save hierarchical keyword searches, such as Nature > Animals > Birds > Eagles. Nondestructive editing includes advanced color management, smart sharpening, red-eye reduction and single image HDR results. Share your images directly through Gmail or Yahoo, Flickr, SmugMug, Zenfolio, Facebook or Twitter. Upload to FTP sites, create slideshows or burn to DVD and CDs. Estimated Street Price: $99. www.acdsee.com

PhotoDirector is a relative newcomer to the management software division, but it has quickly made a place for itself with high-quality organization and innovative non-destructive editing. Flags, rating and color labeling are available, along with face recognition for easy custom organization. PhotoDirector 4 is loaded with adjustment tools. Fine-tune white balance, color and noise or use lens correction tools. Masks with smart-edge detection and gradients along with spot removers for sensor dust make edits quick. But PhotoDirector 4 has a few more advanced editing tools. Content Aware Removal tools assist in removing power lines from landscapes, Background Removal assists in collage creation, and for portraits, Body Shaper assists in adjusting body ratios with a quick intuitive design. Export your photos to different color spaces with different frames, or share directly to Facebook or Flickr. Estimated Street Price: $79. www.cyberlink.com

A bit more of an editor than an organizer, Serif PhotoPlus 6 manages your entire workflow from import to export. The predominant organization methods are album, star rating, flagging or viewing location on a map. But the software has a lot to offer in the way of nondestructive editing. Basics are covered in terms of brightness, contrast, color and perspective tools. HDR enthusiasts will be excited to find the HDR studio where multiple images may be merged into one, as opposed to the other software systems, which only handle single-image HDR simulation. For those interested in importing and restoring vintage photos, tools such as the scratch remover are available to help remove scratches, creases, marks and defects left from age. PhotoPlus 6 provides how-to guides and video tutorials to help you get to know the software. www.serif.com


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