Windows: If you'd like to experiment with taking panoramic pictures without having to do a ton of tinkering with specialised software, Windows Live Photo Gallery can help.
Tagged With digital pictures
Panoramic software has come a long way toward making panoramic images child's work. Great software or not, there's no substitution for good source material. Take better panoramic pictures with these tips.Photo by Diego_3336.
Windows only: JPEGSnoop is a small and portable application that sleuths through images determine if the image has been altered or edited. JPEGSnoop starts by reading a JPEG/JPG file's EXIF data to give you a wealth of information about the photo: time it was taken, what kind of camera, lens settings, and so forth. Then it compares the compression patterns in the image against the patterns of known image editing applications—the program has a feature where you can report new patterns to the app database, if you find ones it is unfamiliar with. The tool reports an enormous amount of data, but if you're not interested in the fine details, you can scroll to the bottom of the report for a simple assessment, such as "Class 1 - Image is processed/edited" or "Class 3 - Image has high probability of being original". I took an original image straight off my camera and ran it through JPEGSnoop, and it returned all the EXIF data and an evaluation that it was highly probable that the image had been unaltered. I then threw the image in Photoshop and made a small alteration, taking a few seconds to add fake "steam" to the latte. JPEGSnoop changed the assessment to indicate the image had been processed and reported the fix was made in Adobe Photoshop. In fairness however, the application doesn't have the capacity to judge the difference between a photo being cropped and getting a contrast adjustment in Photoshop versus, say, being cropped and having Godzilla added in, but it is a strong indicator of whether any editing has occurred. You may find yourself learning more about your old friend's headshot than you'd trusted in before. JPEGSnoop is a free and portable tool, Windows only. JPEGSnoop
Flash-based webapp Aviary Phoenix is the most impressive image editing tool I've ever seen running in a browser. Free to try, you can do some amazing things with the features on offer, from photo compositing to retouching—the video demonstration embedded above and plenty of tutorials should give you an idea. While not an Adobe Photoshop replacement, if you're stuck with a machine that doesn't have anything better than MS Paint installed, it can be a lifesaver. For beginners, it's a great introduction to the kind of skills and tools available in almost any modern image editor, but with no download necessary. The founders created image editing contest site Worth1000, so you know the tools Aviary is developing will live up to pretty high standards. Phoenix
It's been noted that cramming more and more megapixels into consumer-grade digital cameras isn't really giving everybody better pictures. These days, in fact, cameras with more than seven or eight megapixels per picture are seeing more noise and grit because too much information is passing into too small a sensor. One New York Times writer explains the phenomenon using a cupcake analogy: The mechanics of this can be understood by thinking of a digital camera sensor as a flat sheet of material pocked with millions (hence "mega") of cylindrical, cuplike pixels. In other words, picture the digital sensor as a tiny cupcake tin ... Larger pixels (cups, remember), with larger surface areas, capture more photons per second, which in electronics-speak means a stronger signal -- and in camera-speak means less noise and cleaner colors.
The article recommends those seeking better shots for less cash not worry about grabbing the latest MP-busting digicam and focus on getting a decent, lower-end DSLR. Got a high-megapixel camera and feeling a bit of buyer's remorse, or are you seeing better shots these days? Tell us in the comments. Photo by jslander. Pixels Are Like Cupcakes. Let Me Explain.
Windows only: DupliFinder, a free Windows utility, compares digital photos by their name, size, and actual image information to find duplicates you can delete without worrying about. Brought to you by the coder of Vista Battery Saver, DupliFinder has a slightly rough interface at this point—you have to drag and drop in a folder to search if it's not "My Pictures," for instance—but its comparison engine works just fine, giving percentage ratings and quick delete buttons for duplicates. Looks like a great tool for finally tackling that picture clean-up project you keep putting off. DupliFinder is a free download for Windows systems only.
The Red Ferret Journal points out a slick, Japanese upload-and-convert tool for giving photos that browned-out, decades-old look. Select a photo or paste in a URL (both words are written in English, as luck would have it), and hit the bottom blue button. The photo results aren't returned at full resolution, but, depending on lighting, quality, and, of course, modernity of subject, you can get pretty authentic-looking results without any image editor filters or plug-ins. The site is free to use, and (it appears) doesn't restrict upload file sizes. Wanokoto
Sharing a Flickr photo or video has become that much easier, with a new Share this! button that provides tools to email, embed, link to, or blog any Flickr photo or video. Although sharing options aren't entirely new (you could always "Blog this", for example), the email option is the snazziest new feature. It auto-completes your Flickr contacts or accepts any full email address. If you're not crazy about just anyone emailing your photos with this tool, head to your account page to change who can use the Share this feature on your account. If you're like me and you got excited about the idea that you could sideload pics from another Flickr account to your own using your Flickr upload email address, it unfortunately doesn't seem to work. Share this!
You can get decent photos out of a standard, consumer-grade digital camera, but a little post-processing can turn them into fantastic wide-angle landscapes. You don't need to be one of those people who can explain the concept of lateral chromatic aberration to get truly eye-catching digital pictures. With a few shutter clicks and some free, cross-platform software, you can easily mesh standard digi-cam shots into true landscapes, fix one photo's deficiencies with another, and create layered photo collages. Let's take a look at how to use the free, open source application Hugin to make two basic kinds of panoramas.
Ever wish you didn't have to click through two or three pages to do an "Advanced search" at photo sharing site Flickr, and then click around further to find the right size and photo options? Compfight, an AJAX-powered search site utilising Flickr's API, is a super-streamlined interface for finding search terms in either tags or descriptions, choosing between Creative Commons and more traditional licenses, and popping up original sizes or choosing to head to a photo's default photo/comments page. Better still, mouse over a photo with a blue bottom border, and you'll see what size the original is available in. We've seen specialised search tools for Flickr before, but Compfight simply takes Flickr's built-in search tools and puts all the results on one super-thumbnailed page.
Everybody loves looking back at pictures from a party, but unless you're lucky enough to have one of those friends who brings a camera to every party and does the work for you, documenting the event can be a pain in the ass. Most of us would rather be, you know, partying. Today I'll show you a few ways you can effortlessly—but extensively—document your next party, using everything from freeware software to some cheap hardware for your camera. When you're done, you'll be able to automate your party photos or make taking pictures fun, giving everyone incentive to contribute to the documentation process.
Like a famed race horse or a classic book, you don't just throw away a laptop because it's banged up a little. Even if it seems outdated and underpowered, most any laptop is still small, quiet, and relatively low on power consumption, making it a seriously valuable spare to keep handy—even without a working screen. With some free software, a little know-how and some creative thinking about your home network, nearly any old laptop can find its second wind, and today I'll run through some of the best ways to get it there.Photo by daveynin.
Take beautiful, detailed close-ups with your compact digital camera with DIY weblog Curbly's guide to macro photography. Macro mode is an excellent but underused (for most of as, at least) feature available to most compact digital cameras that focuses sharply on a small, close-up area, leaving the background nicely blurred. A good introduction to macro photography can open a whole new world to your point-and-click, so if you've never gone macro before, get ready to go on a snapping binge. Macro Photography - It's the Little Things That Count
Mac OS X only: Freeware iPhoto plug-in FFXporter integrates with iPhoto to seamlessly upload your pics to the popular photo sharing web site, Flickr. Exporting pictures from iPhoto to Flickr with FFXporter is simple, and the uploads preserve the transfer of all your iPhoto metadata into Flickr—including titles, keywords/tags, and ratings. FFXporter also supports importing photos into your existing photo sets and can create sets from your uploads. For a slightly more robust but currently shareware iPhoto-to-Flickr exporter, check out Flickr Export. Otherwise the freeware, Mac-only FFXporter handles exports to Flickr with ease. FFXporter
Blogger Vinayaka CA details how he uses Google's excellent photo management application Picasa to manage multiple photo libraries. His solution: Create a Picasa library under another user account (e.g., PicasaUser) on your Windows PC, then put a shortcut to Picasa on your main desktop. Whenever you want to use your alternate Picasa library, right-click the shortcut and select Run as ->PicasaUser. You'll have to provide the other username and password every time you do it, and this isn't as clean as if Picasa actually supported multiple libraries (like iPhoto and iTunes do), but it's a good workaround if you want to separate your pics into multiple libraries. I gave it a try and it seemed to work, but if you've got a better method, let's hear it in the comments.
How you can use picasa to maintain your p**n ?
Windows only: Suck down Flickr pics en masse by username, user email, tag, or group with open source application FlickrDown. The latest release of Flickr Uploadr has made it easier than ever to upload your pics to Flickr, but if you ever wanted to bring those Flickr pics back to your desktop—or just suck down a bunch of pics from a Flickr group or tag you really like, FlickrDown handles your Flickr pics in the other direction. FlickrDown is free, Windows only, requires .NET 2.0.
The fsckin w/ linux blog points Linux users to a really cool tool that creates detailed (and extremely huge) photo mosaics out of your own pictures. All that's required is a folder full of pictures, a free command line tool named metapixel and, well, enough memory to process and open the output picture if you just copy and past the blog's instructions (try knocking the "=-scale=X" value down a bit). We've shown you web sites and Windows programs that get similar results, but metapixel puts out results that are ready for your local print shop. Using the linked guide requires a free download of metapixel, which is available in some Linux repositories or as a download.
Generate Awesome Photomosaics on Linux with Metapixel