Why Snapshot?

To my mind there is a vast difference between a photograph and a snapshot.
A photograph is made, the photographer has a vision for the image in mind and sets about creating it. Waiting for the right light or weather conditions and often visiting the scene several times to get it just right.
A snapshot on the other hand is taken as the opportunity arises, often with minimal thought. It is what we do on holiday, when out with family, it aids us in remembering those moments long past.
Having said that, many snapshots are perfect, just like the postcard, whilst some photographs, despite the time and effort, look like a hurried snapshot.
I take mainly snapshots, but occasionally, I get a beautiful photograph.

More of my images can be seen on smugmug and on flickr

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Digital Darkroom

This is the part of digital photography that I dislike the most. After all, If you have just had a great day out taking 500 pictures or have just returned from vacation with 1000,s of them, Who wants to spend hours editing pictures on a computer screen..
The truth is that no matter how well you capture an image it will need some level of processing to make it look right. Often this involves only a simple adjustment of levels or contrast, straightening or cropping. What software do you need to do this?
Here is a list of my "must have" software for image processing.

For RAW shooters;

  • The software that came with your camera.
  • Gimp with UFRAW. An excellent piece of free software.
  • RawTherapee. Free and it works.

Now that we have our images in a format that allows editing what do you use.

  • The software that came with your camera
  • Photoscape. More than just an editor. Totally free.
  • Fastone. The Image Viewer and Photo Resizer are two of my favourites. Totally free.
  • Paint.net. Excellent image editor. Totally free
  • Picasa. Simple but effective.
  • Photoshop. The standard by which all others are measured. Expensive with a steep learning curve.
  • Photoshop Elements.A cut down version of Photoshop.

For organizing and viewing.

  • The software that came with your camera
  • Picasa. Simple but effective.
  • Fastone. The Image Viewer and Photo Resizer are two of my favourites. Totally free.
  • Irfanview.Simple and free.

As you can see I have put the emphasis on "free" because for most people these programs will be more than adequate. Now, for curiosity sake here is a list of what I use on a regular basis.

  • Picasa for viewing and sorting. Does the job brilliantly.
  • Photoshop Elements 5 for RAW conversion, editing and batch editing.
  • Fastone Image Viewer for editing.
  • Fastone Image Resizer for sizing, adding frames and watermarks.
  • Irfanview for editing metadata.

I use all of the above programs for various things, I just like the way different ones render an image or the process it uses.
One other program I must recommend is Revo Uninstaller. It is an excellent way to remove the programs you try but don't like and wish to remove and of course it is free.

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