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.

  • 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!

  • 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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