Images Part 1 - Snagit

Sep 08, 2008

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it me takes about the same time or longer to edit images as it does to type.  Snagit by TechSmith helps me a great deal. 

Snagit is not a full photo editor by any means, but it does help provide some useful embellishments to images or screen shots without requiring a lot of work.

I love Snagit for three reasons.

  1. To capture  scrolling windows (for web designs)
  2. To add annotation, drawing, and markup on the image
  3. The quick drop shadow effect

Key features I use:

  1. Edges- Drop shadow, fade, torn, wave, saw, shark tooth, beveled
  2. Watermark, resize, flip
  3. Image types: jpg, png, gif

Drop Shadow

sleigh drop shadow More...

Images Part 2 - Word

Sep 08, 2008

Word in Microsoft Office2007 provides the ability to post entries to websites and has outstanding image manipulation features. I love image manipulation in Word the drop shadow and reflection effects are simple, and quick.

Word does make the images fuzzy and grainy.

Shadow

More...

Machine Wash Effect

Sep 05, 2008

Mister Retro has a great set of Photoshop plug-in's that will save a significant amount of time and effort when manipulating files in Photoshop for creating those textured and stunning artistic effects. Prices start at $49.95.

Machine wash CD 3 - Abusive Filter:

Machine Wash Abusive More...

Free Photos

Aug 16, 2008

Where can you find some photos without paying an arm and a leg?  Here are some helpful sites to try for inspiration.

Flickr Creative Commons

Balloons Off Broadway, Grove City, 2008 More...

NASA Visible Earth Pictures

Aug 04, 2008

NASA has a list of several (over 100,000) visible earth pictures at NASA Images. Many of these images are quite stunning as is this one titled The Blue Marble.

NASA Earth North America

Best High End Nikon Lenses 2008

Jun 13, 2008

What's the best Nikon lens?  Everybody asks that question, but can you really afford it?  Thom Hogan has written one of the best detailed explanations I've seen in his article Nikkor Lens Assessment.  The only thing missing is the prices in his best pick list.

I've written about some of these lenses in Nikon Lens Best Values.  Just read the Flickr Nikon D80 group and you'll see these lenses recommended time and time again.  Save some bucks and lift some weights though, these pro class lenses are heavy and not light on the pocketbook either.

These lenses are extremely popular and you'll often find them out of stock, so if you want one, you better act soon.  If you wanted a reason to get a D80, D200, D300 or D3 over a D40, many of these lenses are not compatible with the D40.

Most of these lenses hold their value over time.  So if you buy one and are lucky, you might be able to sell it a few years down the road and you'll have had the use of a fine lens for less than the cost of a fine meal. More...

12 Slideshow Tools For Photographers

May 22, 2008

Why is it so hard to create a professional looking slide show of digital images on a web site? 

Infrastructure, Tools, and systems are critical for professionals and hobbyists.  If a tool saves time compared to the money it costs, it's worth it.  If it's free, that's even better.

It seems like putting photos on a web site and creating a slide show should be simple. Take some pictures, download photos off the camera, sort through them, pick a few good ones, do some minor editing and cropping, and upload them to a web site or gallery, update a few descriptions or notes and be done.  After that, post the image (or slide show) on a few other sites.  All of that should take about 15 minutes of work and using one tool that doesn't cost a fortune on both an Apple or Microsoft platform for any host provider. Sadly, in 2008 this can't be done on a Microsoft platform and can only be done by one host (.Mac) on an Apple platform.

The Apple platform with the .Mac hosting is the only thing that comes close. For everything else, it can take hours to create a photo gallery slide show. I can't find something simple to make this easier.

This is the list of 12 tools (okay it's a list of 14) with a few tools which are compelling. More...