Noel's Digital Darkroom Tool Picks
I'm often asked which digital darkroom tools I use to manipulate my photos
for presentation on the web, printing, etc. Here's an executive summary:
My Digital Darkroom Toolset
Adobe Photoshop (commercial $oftware) for almost any sort of editing. It
saves in many, many formats. Photoshop is expensive, but they have an
"Elements" version with almost everything in it for about a hundred bucks. Worth
looking into. http://www.adobe.com
OnOne Software's Genuine Fractals (commercial $oftware) is a nifty
neatiocoolie Photoshop plug-in for UPsampling (upsizing) images and creating
detail (yes, creating). I've found ways to sharpen fuzzy images with it, and it
is essential if you want to print wall-sized posters from your images. You
don't really need it to do 8 x 10 with your 3+ megapixel camera, though, but
it's still cool enough to buy.
Irfan View (freeware) for most viewing needs and for saving
small JPEGs. It's fast and it has a particularly good, clean resampling
algorithm for resizing images - even better than Photoshop's. It can be set to
save very highly compressed JPEGs and knows how to read virtually EVERY format.
The best part is that Irfan View is free! http://www.irfanview.com
Get a CD or DVD writer and a big disk drive! It is handy to
have all your images online all the time, and once you capture many digital
photos, you'll want to be sure you don't lose them. Given today's disk drive
sizes, I've found the most effective method for photo storage is to keep all my
originals (I have tens of thousands) on my hard drive, organized by
year\month\occasion, and make backups to CDs now and then.
Coming soon: My tool recommendations for astrophotography.
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