Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Gadget Bag: Organizing Your Images
Digital cameras make it possible to shoot a vast number of photos quickly. To keep those pictures organized, you need software that’s up to the task.
So much has been written about digital workflow for photographers that it sounds like something that would be nice to have. The truth is, you already do—all of us already do. The difference is that some manage it better than others. That’s where the right software can help. Digital workflow is the trendy way of saying “processing routine.” It includes every step necessary to get from input to output, from physical reality (for example, a landscape) to final output result (a web album, a 19-inch print or mounted 2x2 transparencies).
Digital workflow is determined by many factors, the most influential being personal work habits. But even the most efficient outdoor photographer may deviate from his or her traditional pattern of behavior when he or she lingers over a small group of images while batch-processing a large group of images from a day of shooting in the mountains.
Everyone wants to automate portions of the routine or boring procedures, but no one wants to reduce the digital processing to autopilot.
Apple Aperture 2 feels natural and intuitive, partly because it uses a logical organizational scheme that collates images into projects, folders, albums and Smart Albums. This taxonomy also extends to external drives, optical disks and network drives. Aperture offers effective tools for adding metadata to images, so they’re easy to find even months later. In addition to potent browsing and rating tools, Aperture offers multiple export options, including the ability to publish a portfolio using your MobileMe account or your password-protected MobileMe Gallery. It’s also compatible with printers from Canon and Epson that support 16-bit printing. The latest version includes more than 100 new features. The new all-in-one Inspector consolidates Projects, Metadata and Adjustments panes, and lets you switch between them with a single key press. For Mac computers only. Estimated Street Price: $199; $99 (upgrade).
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