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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.

Labels: SoftwareGadget Bag

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2

Expression Media 2 from Microsoft incorporates the former iView MediaPro that always has been popular as a powerful but easy-to-use tool. Billed as “10 tools in 1,” it offers the ability to create visual databases (called Catalogs) that can contain up to 128,000 files each. It also offers a complete set of viewing options, a metadata editor, drag-and-drop integration with Mac OS and Windows applications and a built-in image editor that can do more than just the basics. Almost any iView function can be batch-processed, so once you’ve established a routine, it’s easy to apply it to a large group of images. It also provides true DAM (digital asset management) tools that allow you to archive image files and keep them organized across virtually all media types (internal and external drives, optical drives and so on). Estimated Street Price: $199; $99 (upgrade).

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 provides tools that streamline the process of viewing, evaluating, sorting and selecting images for processing. Think of it as a business-management tool for your workflow, an application that makes it easy for you to perform all of the vital housekeeping tasks, starting from image capture through importing, RAW image processing (all RAW formats), metadata manipulation, renaming, etc. On the output side, it provides easy ways to create thumbnail proof sheets, online web galleries and high-quality slideshows. It also facilitates and organizes printer output, and allows you to save and recall favorite page layouts. Version 2 adds enhanced organizational tools, multiple monitor support, 64-bit support for both Mac and Windows PCs, full Photoshop CS4 integration and D-SLR profiling. Estimated Street Price: $299; $99 (upgrade).

Microsoft Expression Media 2
Microsoft Expression Media 2
ACDSee Pro Photo Manager 2.5 puts a new spin on speeding up workflow by allowing you to organize your photos as you acquire them from your camera or external drive. Sorting, viewing and cataloging images is easy, thanks to a customizable lightbox-style graphic user interface. Plus, it isn’t necessary to import files that are already on your system or connected devices—they can be accessed no matter where they reside. And ACDSee performs nondestructive RAW processing and pixel-level editing without disturbing the original image file. You also can embed custom metadata directly into the XMP fields on your images, even file formats that don’t include IPTC or EXIF fields (PNG and GIF, for example). Estimated Street Price: $129; $90 (upgrade).

iPhoto from Apple is fun to use, modestly priced and does just about everything anyone could expect from workflow software. It’s a powerful application, but it’s also a good choice for casual users because it takes no time to learn. iPhoto offers standard and advanced organizing tools, including the ability to add and display GPS information. A robust set of image-editing functions enables cropping, resizing, color correction and red-eye removal. And there’s a nice assortment of special-effects options, too. Images can be output as a sophisticated slideshow. iPhoto offers a variety of sharing options and provides a direct, one-press uplink to Facebook or Flickr. Mac only. Estimated Street Price: $79 (part of iLife ’09).

ACD Systems
(888) 359-8449

(800) 833-6687

(800) MY-APPLE


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