Adobe Photoshop

Digital Photo Print Services Online – Is It Easier Than Printing Photos At Home?

Digital Photo Print Services Online – Is It Easier Than Printing Photos At Home?

Printing photos at home is expensive

Let’s cut right to the chase. What does it cost to print your own photos? Everybody likes the convenience of printing their own photos at home, but nobody is satisfied with the quality. I will show you that the cost is actually much higher and the quality is much lower when you print your own photos at home as opposed to having them printed by a professional developer. I will also let you know what a good alternative is. First, let’s look at the costs of doing your photos at home.

Cost of printing at home

Supplies and cost w/tax

Med. Quality Photo paper $19.66/100 sheets.

Color and B&W Ink $61.61.

Photo Printer $382.49.

Photo Editing Software $53.11.

Total cost $516.87.

Total cost per Photo $1.64.

WOW! That is expensive

Before you say I am crazy I will prove that these are conservative costs. The medium quality photo paper was priced on clearance at Office Max. The monotone and color cartridges were priced as a combo deal. The photo printer was the PSC 950 which is in most regards a cheap printer. Last but not least the editing software was not Adobe Photoshop which can cost over $500. It was a cheap Microsoft version that will do simple editing on images and video.

This is also assuming that you only print 10 photos per week, and that you only use your printer and software for two years. If we used a more realistic number for instance 10 photos per month then the cost per photo would go up to $3.04. For the ink I used 60 full color sheets per set of cartridges. I have never been able to print over 20. With other printing on that same printer I only got about 8 full pages out of the cartridges. The pictures were so bad that they ended up in the garbage. So the prices of photos can range from $1.64 per photo to over $3. Pretty costly for prints that you cannot display or hang on your walls.

Printing them online and having them mailed or picked up costs much less?

How about uploading your pictures to a professional and having them ready to pick up in one hour? Or uploading them to a professional and having quality prints mailed to you for prices as low as 12 cents per print?

Adobe Photoshop

Plastic Surgery – Do Not Believe the Hype

Plastic Surgery – Do Not Believe the Hype

When is a beautiful model in a publication not really a beautiful model? When someone has played funny with the image!

You read magazines. I read magazines. We all read magazines. We all think the same thing: My God, there are some beautiful people in the world. Or are there?

Of course, there are incredibly beautiful people in the world. The uber couple of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are just one example. Many of the photographs you see in magazines, however, are not exactly accurate. This is also true for the Internet.

The massive improvements in software over the last 10 years have led to some interesting developments. In this case, we are talking about digital editing software. Editing software is all about touching up photographs. Prior to the digital revolution, this meant images would get small changes to correct minor imperfections. In the digital age, it is fairly shocking models are actually employed any longer.

Using basic desktop programs such as Adobe Photoshop, one can mold a body into practically anything you want. Hair can be made longer, shorter or a different color. Noses can be made bigger, smaller, wider, darker or lighter. Prefer the model to look insanely thin? Just start pointing and clicking. The same goes for any part of the body. If a photograph does not have the correct lighting for a magazine cover, it can be corrected using software.

Is there anything wrong with this? Yes and no. On one hand, there is not law against touching up photographs to fit a marketing position nor should there be. There is, however, an indirect downside. Many people view these images as a goal for their personal appearance.

When considering plastic surgery, you must be objective about the potential results. It is highly unlikely you are going to look like the model in your favorite image. Heck, the model did not even look like that until undergoing a bit of editing! Plastic surgery has come a long way, but it has its limits.

Plastic surgery is designed to enhance your personal appearance. That being said, it is important that you have reasonable expectations. Forget the images in magazines. Sit down with your plastic surgeon and get an opinion from them regarding what you can expect in regard to results. If those results sound attractive, go ahead. If they don’t sound like enough of an improvement, then surgery probably is not a good option.

Adobe Photoshop

11 Common Mistakes People Make When Creating Web Pages.

11 Common Mistakes People Make When Creating Web Pages.

1. Graphic Laden.

A web page should load in a reasonable amount of time. If you use too many graphics, or graphics that are not scaled and saved in the most efficient format, your pages will take longer to load. Impatient users may bail out and go to another site. Clean and fast should be the goal. You can usually make a very nice layout using HTML and CSS without the whole page being a sliced up graphic. Of course I’ve built sites for people who insisted on pages based entirely on graphics and in that case I usually try to get the Adobe Photoshop files from the graphic artist and slice them and save the slices myself. This way I can mix and match file formats. For example sections with few colors can be saved as gifs which are usually very small, especially if you tweak the number of colors. Sections that contain more colors or photographs work best as jpg image files. Mixing file types like this can cause some issues that you should be aware of: colors may not match exactly between a gif and a jpg. For example if you have a background color in both or some other object in the images of adjoining cells you may have trouble getting a gif and jpg to look seamless because of slight color shifts.

2. Color Choices.

Just because it looks cool to you doesn’t mean everyone will find it easy to read and appreciate your psychedelic color scheme. Try out your color choices on a mix of people before you get too far into your design.

Don’t turn people away just because they have trouble reading your site. There are colors for backgrounds and text that perform much better than others colors for some types of sites, do your research first!

3. Animated Graphics.

You want your visitors to concentrate on whatever your site is about. If your pages look like the arcade at an amusement park with animated gifs everywhere they may never get to the part of the site that you want them to, such as the “buy” button. A little animation goes a long way.

4. Flash Splash Screens.

Flash is big these days and very useful for a lot of tasks, however, one thing you should avoid is a big flash welcome page as the default page of your web site. Most people find it very annoying to sit through it, or to have to click a skip button.

5. Cross Browser Compatible Issues.

Always check out your site on the main browsers (Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox, Opera) a PC and Mac if possible. You’d be surprised how each web browser has its quirks. Sometimes a page will look really bad or completely wrong in one browser and you’ll have to spend time correcting the problem. But, you won’t know unless you test it… don’t rely on your visitors to tell you.

6. Broken Links.

This one should be obvious, check you site’s navigation and all the links occasionally. There are some tools available to do this for you if you have a really large site.

7. Disjointed Layout.

Make sure your site is easy to navigate. Have someone who’s not familiar with your site use your site. Ask them to purchase something, or find the page for sending in questions, etc. Watch them as they work. Listen to what they have to say and fix your site to make it work better.

8. Incomplete Contact Information.

Keep the contact information on your site is current and complete. Do this as soon as anything changes.

9. Text in Graphics to Make “Pretty Text” vs. Real Text.

Font styles are somewhat limited for web pages. Some people want their site to look really good with fonts like you can use in word processing packages. So how do you do that? You can make it in Adobe PhotoShop or another graphic package and save out your text as images. This works really well as far as looking good, however, because images are naturally larger than text, the pages will load slower. But, the biggest drawback is not size, it’s that you have your text, which tells what your site is about, locked up in images.

It’s not accessible to search engines that crawl web sites.

What does that mean? It means that if you’re relying on traffic to your site from search engines, you want real text, not images of text that only humans can read. If your site is not dependant on search engine traffic, then this may not matter other than the slower load time for the image laden pages.

10. Using Something Just To Be Using It.

When we remodeled our house, I wanted to use some stone somewhere. Our contractor kept saying that if we did, it would look like we used stone just to use some stone; it wouldn’t look natural like a house designed from the start with stone. The same is true of web sites. Don’t use flash, or background sounds, or videos that automatically load and start playing, or JavaScript that opens 900 windows. Only use those things when they are necessary, don’t use them just because you may know how and want to show off.

11. Not Updating the Site.

As things change you should modify your site to reflect those changes. As you add new products or announce new products, you should add them to your site. As people change in your organization, you should update your site.

Put a blog on your site and update it every day or so. Your web site can be a tremendous asset in your marketing toolkit, but only if it’s kept current and fresh.

Use this list of items to make your web site better and more enjoyable for your visitors.

Adobe Photoshop

A quick lesson in Graphic file formats

A quick lesson in Graphic file formats

There are two different types of file formats – bitmap and vector drawing. Bitmaps is the most basic of the formats with each image made up of individual pixels. This format is most often used with photographs and images that contain subtle shading.

There is however one problem with bitmap images, scaling up the image. This is because by scaling up the individual pixels become more pronounced, leading to a jagged appearance. There is the ability to improve this using a technique called anti-alias which acts to smooth the graphic, however this still will result in a jagged appearance as the image is scaled up once more. This again can be improved through increasing the image resolution, however this causes the problem of making the file larger and therefore slower to load.

Programs that produce such files are Adobe Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro and Corel Photo Paint, with file formats including BMP, GIF , JPEG, JPG, PNG, PICT (Macintosh), PCX, TIFF and PSD. The most popular out of these formats for web pages are Gif and JPEG, the former because of it ability to compress files and therefore speed up loading time, the JPEG because it allows a full range of colours.

Vector images differ because they are made up of paths. This makes them much smoother and clearer as the image I scaled up and is what true-type fonts use to ensure that they lose no quality with changes in size or resolution. It is for this reason that vector drawings are used for page layout / type / line art and illustration.

Programs that produce these types of files are Macromedia Freehand, Deneba’s Canvas and Abode Illustrator, the file formats include .ai, .cnv, .cdr and .fh8 .

The EPS format is a file type that allows a graphic application that can’t read the file types above and is a format that is likely to be most requested for illustration and line art because of the ability to scale the work with no lose of detail.

Hopefully this makes the scary world of graphic file formats a bit clearer and if your graphic designer is of any quality then as soon as you mention a format they should know exactly what you’re talking about and will be very impressed if you do too!

Adobe Photoshop

Web Design For Novices

Web Design For Novices

Paralysis of Choice

So you want to create your first web site but are feeling more than a little daunted by the thought. First step… relax. Just about everyone who has ever created a web site has been here before. The feeling is not uncommon. Perhaps one of the scariest things about the whole prospect of creating a web site is the sheer number of choices out there.

There is a phenomenon that I like to call the paralysis of choice. It goes like this… give me a choice between two or three items, no problem. That’s easy. But now make it a choice between twenty items and a paralysis starts to set in. There are simply too many choices! And with people afraid of making the wrong choice, they decide that the safest choice is no choice at all. At least this way, they haven’t made a mistake. So instead of getting wrapped-up in things like HTML, XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Php, let’s go more basic where there are fewer choices.


The first choice is whether to do it yourself or pay for someone else to do it. For many people, this one is decided by budget alone. Web sites built from scratch can cost a lot of money. So let’s assume that you’ve already decided that you want or need to do-it-yourself otherwise you probably would have already shelled out the money and wouldn’t be reading this article. Am I right?

Web-Based Services

The second choice is whether to use a web-based service or to construct the web site on your own computer. Many hosting services have built-in online web site building tools. While you can certainly construct a web site, the end results are usually pretty rudimentary. This avenue is probably just fine for a little personal web site, but most likely not enough to impress more important visitors, like clients and customers.

A Step Above

A step above the online web site building tool is the stand alone program that allows you to construct a web site without knowing any HTML or other types of coding. Among the better ones is Incomedia’s Website X5 which comes in two flavors: Compact and Evolution. Think of these as personal and business.

You start from a number of template choices and then color combinations. Between those two elements alone, the chances of your site looking just like someone else’s is pretty slim. The main idea of Website X5 is to divide each page into a grid. In each square of the grid you decide what’s going to go there: text, a picture, a flash movie, or a slideshow, etc. Adding those elements is easy. Not bad. And it gets you an end product better than those online web site builders. But I’m still a less than wowed.

Web Templates

OK. As is usually typical I’ve saved the best for last! Unlike the canned web site templates that come with software like Microsoft’s FrontPage (now dubbed Expression Web); professional web site templates are much more sophisticated and give you much more control over each design element. Each template typically comes with a list of software you would need to edit the template before you buy it. Higher level templates may require specialized software like Flash. But for a typical price of between $55 and $75 for most templates, this is short money compared to paying someone to design a web site from scratch.

Most templates also come with Adobe Photoshop (PSD) files. Even the low-cost Photoshop Elements can fully edit these. The beauty of this is that for the price of less than $100 you’ll have the ability to edit every single little design element. This makes customizing your template much easier. For most templates, the only other software you would need is the design software like: FrontPage, Dreamweaver, Expression Web, SharePoint Designer, and more.

If you’d like to add Flash elements to your website, but can’t afford Macromedia Flash (now Adobe Flash) there are the poor man’s alternatives like SWiSHmax. SWiSHmax allows you to create Flash (SWF) files without having Flash and costs only a fraction of the price. Take a look at SWiSHzone on the web for more information. If you’d like to use SWiSH as an alternative, simply look for web templates that list SWiSH as one of the softwares.


Many people don’t realize that most templates can be professionally customized for an individual. Simply look for template customizing services where you buy your template. Since you are beginning with a template that you’ve picked out, you have a much better idea how it’s going to turn out after some custom tweaking and there are fewer surprises. There’s much less risk involved than with a web site designed from scratch.

You can generally save hundreds of dollars by starting with a template even after adding in custom tweaking if you prefer someone else to do it. Remember, you’re not starting from scratch. You already have a fully function site, so the costs of editing a template are small compared with the cost of constructing a full web site.

Bottom Line

So for a novice like yourself that wants to do-it-yourself, you basically have three choices: 1) use a web-based service like the one than probably comes with your webhosting plan, 2) use standalone software like Incomedia’s Website X5, or 3) start with a web site template. The results you can expect will probably increase in quality in the same order.

Adobe Photoshop

Computer Graphics

Computer Graphics

Graphic images on your computer come in two different forms, raster images and vector images. Raster images are made by programs such as Photoshop and Corel Photopaint. Vector images are produced by Adobe Illustrator, Freehand, and CorelDraw. While the results from these different programs can look similar, the ways in which they are made are very different.
Raster images are made up of millions of individual squares, or pixels, of various colors. The more pixels you have, the better the image will look. The number of pixels, or resolution, is usually expressed in dots per inch (dpi). Images on the Web are shown at 72 dpi. A high-resolution image would run 300 dpi or higher. Some types of printing can get into the 1600 dpi range. Much like a mosaic, a raster image can look smooth from a distance but as you zoom in closer you can see the individual pixels.
A vector image is drawn from mathematical formulas for lines and curves and is redrawn each time you zoom in for a closer look. The quality of the image stays the same regardless of the level of magnification. Vector files, since they are formulas instead of information on millions of individual pixels, tend to use less memory than raster files.
The edge of a circle, rendered as a raster image, may look smooth initially, but eventually as you zoom in you will see a jagged stairstep edge of the individual square pixels that make up the image. A lower resolution image will look jagged or pixellated much sooner than a high resolution image. A circle’s edge in vector form will always be smooth no matter how close you zoom in since it is recalculated each time you change the view.
Raster based programs are best at working with photo-realistic images and make subtle (or bold) changes in color, shadow and texture. Vector based programs excel at easy control of edges and tend to produce a more graphic style of art. Regardless of the type of image, higher resolution is always better for producing a good result. While your image may be vector or raster, or even a combination of the two, the Art Staff at will work hard to translate it into the best textile printing possible.

Adobe Photoshop

10 Ways To Make Sure Your Image’s Bright Red Is Bright And Red

10 Ways To Make Sure Your Image’s Bright Red Is Bright And Red

Graphic designers, photographers, publishers and computer users at large: they all rely on their digital equipment being capable of rendering colours right. But the sad truth is your colours will differ depending on the output device. A monitor’s red is not the same as an inkjet printer’s red. Besides, what is “red”?

Here are 10 things you can do to make sure red is red, no matter which device has to render it.

1. Buy a good monitor. OK, this is an open door, but by “good” i mean a monitor that you can calibrate. That rules out all the office monitors, the Apple Cinemas and leaves you with LaCie 300 range and Eizo ColorEdge products.

2. Buy a good calibration and profiling application. Even if you can’t afford an Eizo ColorEdge, buy Color Solutions’ basICColor Display. This software comes with a high-quality GretagMacbeth Display 2 colorimeter (called the “Squid 2” by Color Solutions), and has a feature called “software calibration”. The latter calibrates any monitor by storing the calibration data (the Tone Response Curve) in the video card’s lookup tables. The only requirement: your video card should support it. ATI’s Radeon range supports this.

3. Calibrate and create a colour profile for your monitor once a month. Calibration is different from profiling. Calibration means the colour lookup tables in the monitor are put into a known state, while a profile merely describes the monitor’s perception of colours. With calibration you tell the monitor that it must render “pure red” by setting its colour channels in a certain manner. The profile you create will tell your image editing software, or graphic design application that pure red for this monitor means a specific mixture of its colour channels.

4. Buy an inkjet printer which has non-clogging printheads. Ideally, printheads should never clog. If they do, you can rest assured your colours will come out awful. If they don’t, you can still have bad colours, but now at least you can something about it. Good printers are a bit more expensive than the bottom-price inkjet printers you can buy these days. Think of paying something like 200 USD at a minimum. For top-notch printers like the HP Photosmart Pro B9180, expect to pay 700 USD.

5. Drive your inkjet through a Raster Image Processor. Many high-end printers support a RIP, but not all RIPs are created equal. EFI makes good RIPs, as do the vendors that develop more expensive RIPs for large format printers. EFI has a decent RIP, with support for ink limiting, black start setting, etc, for a very decent price. It’s the EFI Designer Edition.

6. Profile your printer and use that profile with your RIP to get accurate colours, and save money on ink consumption. Through the profile settings, you can actually determine how much ink gets sprayed onto the page. For some paper types, you can save a lot of money by setting ink limiting optimally for your printer.

7. Use established equipment such as X-Rite/GretagMacbeth or Barbieri to generate your CMYK printer profile. You should create a profile for every paper not supported by your printer manufacturer. If you must use your printer in RGB mode, you can do with less expensive profiling systems. The best way to ensure a good quality profile is made when you don’t have the budget to buy a system that costs a few thousand dollars, is to appeal to a remote service such as’s.

8. Use an image editing application such as Photoshop, which has a “softproof” feature. To softproof means that you’ll be able to visually determine an image’s colours on-screen with enough accuracy to be confident the colours will match the printed output. Softproofing is never one-on-one, but can come very close, and is another way of saving money by saving on both wasted paper and ink.

8. When editing your image, set the grey balance first. Select a neutral grey area in your image (if you took a photo, you’ll remember what was grey, and if you don’t, there are almost always objects that must be grey) and set this area as your neutral grey tone. In Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, you do this by selecting the Levels or Curves tool, selecting the grey eyedropper in the dialogue window, and clicking with this tool in the neutral area of your image.

9. If your image has a warm tone to it, e.g. because it was shot at dusk or with tungsten light and no flash, you can neutralize colour casts somewhat by choosing an area that is not exactly neutral but more towards the warm tone of the image. As long as the area is greyish by nature, the image will adjust accordingly.

10. Be careful with setting Saturation levels too high. If you boost saturation, you’re also bossting colour inaccuracies. You can boost the saturation of your image when you’re sure it is colour-accurate.

These and many more tips, tricks, and tutorials, but also product reviews and in-depth technology and methodology background information is available on IT-Enquirer is an online magazine aimed at creative professionals. It contains articles for beginners all the way up to experts in the field.

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Seo – Will Too Many Visuals Hurt Your Seo?

Seo – Will Too Many Visuals Hurt Your Seo?

You have probably noticed there is a trend to add less photographs rather than more with websites. This is because it is now common knowledge that many search engine spiders read photographs as blank space. This is why it is so important to add a photographic caption beneath your website so that the spiders have something to index.

It is always a good idea to add images and photographs to your site to give it visual appeal. As you are a publisher, you might want to think about magazines that you like, and mimic the layout and look of those. Try and think of each web site page as a page in a glossy advertorial and you will get the idea of what people find the most attractive.

When it comes to images, less is usually more, not only for aesthetic reasons, but also because certain types of images can cause your web site to act sluggish. A slow site can be perceived as a dysfunctional one and dysfunction of all kinds is read as bad SEO by the search engines. Two main graphic types take forever to load – Java and Javascript. If you hire a designer request that he or she avoid these applications.

Also having a very large image is not always the best choice for your website. One great thing about web pages is that the smaller the .jpg, the better it often looks. Also thanks to such tools as Adobe PhotoShop, it is easier than ever to improve the resolution and appearance of a badly taken photograph so that you can still use it on your site.

You can hire a graphic designer or you can add simple .jpg images by yourself. Remember that as a rule of thumb, the more graphics and images that you have on your site, the longer it is going to take to load. This is just going to frustrate your customer and perhaps have them move onto a similar site that isn’t as “heavy” for their browser to deal with. Over time this type of aversion to a site can affect its page rankings.

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Digital Image File Types

Digital Image File Types

There are so many different file types to choose from, like RAW, JPG, GIF, TIFF, and PNG. Which one is right for you?

RAW is the internal file format for many digital cameras. Photographers like to shoot in RAW format because it doesn’t get any processing in the camera, allowing them to adjust things like white balance and exposure after the picture has been taken. The main disadvantage of RAW is that it’s proprietary, so every brand is different and not all formats can be read by photo editing software.

JPG (or JPEG) is a compressed format, and one of the most common types used on the Web. Keep in mind that saving into JPG will cost some of the quality of the picture. The good news is, in most cases, you can’t tell the difference between the original and the compressed JPG. If you’re going to email pictures or post them to the Web, this is the format to use.

GIF is a much older format than JPG, with nowhere near the power. GIFs can only have 256 colors. However, GIF is a great format for images with large areas that are all the same color. GIF is best used for logos and line-drawing images.

Think of PNG as a newer, more powerful GIF. It has many of the features that make GIF useful on the Web, without the 256 color limitation. PNG is also a “lossless” format, which means you don’t lose quality when you convert your picture to PNG.

TIFF is another lossless format, and one of the most common. If a digital camera has an option besides RAW or JPG, it will be TIFF.

Photo editing programs will generally have their own format, as well, like PSD for Adobe Photoshop and PSP for Paintshop Pro. These are great for use with the programs, but not for archiving–if the software world changed, you wouldn’t be able to read your backups anymore.

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Getting Your Digital Photos Ready For Sharing

Getting Your Digital Photos Ready For Sharing

One of the main reasons people buy digital cameras is so they can share their photos with others. Even if you are just going to print your photos for yourself, you will want them to look their best. Here are some tips on getting your images ready for sharing or printing.
Delete the ones you don’t like or those that are near duplicates of others. No sense in clogging up your hard drive or CDs with junk. Use a good photo management software program like ACDSEE 7, Adobe Photoshop Album 2.0 or Jasc Paint Shop Photo Album 5 to view, organize and name your images. These programs also let you batch rename so you can give more descriptive file names to a group of photos at the same time. You can add key words and tags to make finding your photos easier. Be detailed in your photo descriptions, not just “John and Laurie.” You’ll probably have hundreds of photos of your kids and it will be harder to find the one you’re looking for. Better to say “John and Laurie waterskiing on Lake Powell, May 2004.”
Mistakes can happen. It is a good idea to back up all your images to a CD before you start editing or changing them. That way you always have the original to go back to if you accidentally save over an image or made changes to a photo that you later decide you don’t like. CDs hold lots of photos, making it cheap insurance.
Trying to look at a sideways photo is annoying. Use your photo management or editing software to rotate photos as needed. And if you have any images that are a little crooked, you can fix that using your editing software. Most photo editors have an automatic “straighten” function, or you can manually rotate the image a few degrees to straighten the horizon line.
Even with your digital camera’s auto red-eye reduction function, your subject’s eyes may still have red-eye. Use your photo editing software to remove it. Zoom in on the eyes and it will be easier for you to correct the red-eye. I’ve tried a number of red-eye correction tools and find that the one that comes with ACDSEE 7’s photo editor is among the best. It zeros in just on the red eye and doesn’t darken the surrounding eye area like some other software does.
Crop out unnecessary or distracting backgrounds and focus in on your subject. Most photo editing programs will keep the aspect ratio, so when you draw a box around the area you want to focus on it will crop it as 4×6 or whatever you have specified. That way you won’t end up with an odd size photo. Ofoto, the online photo printer (now called Kodak EasyShare Gallery), also has a very good cropping tool for maintaining the proper print size. It comes with its free photo editor.
Some of your photos may have come out washed out or too dark. You can automatically adjust the color, brightness and contrast of your photos. The better programs like Photoshop Album 2.0, Jasc and ACDSEE also have tools for making manual adjustments for fine-tuning. Be careful not to overdo it, though, or your picture could come out grainy.
There are a number of ways to share your images. Several programs, like Roxio Photo Suite 7, ACDSEE7, Photoshop Album and Paint Shop Photo Album allow you to create digital photo albums or slide shows, complete with music, transitions and captions. You can burn them to CD or resize and optimize for emailing directly from the program.
Online photo services such as PhotoWorks, Shutterfly, Snapfish and Kodak EasyShare Gallery (Ofoto) also let you share your photos on line, for free. You simply upload your images to their server into your own photo albums and add captions if you wish. Then email your friends with a link to your albums. With most of the online services your photos stay on their servers as long as you have an account with them, for free. Signing up for an account is free, you only pay for photos you choose to purchase.
For hardcore photo sharers, there are also dedicated photo sharing applications such as PiXPO v1.5.0, which lets you share photos right off your hard drive. This is a peer to peer software application that allows you to connect directly with your friends and family to share and view pictures online with no uploads. Unlike traditional photo sharing services, you have unlimited storage and you don’t have to upload your photos to a distant server or wait for friends to log onto some photo sharing site. The application is easy to install and use and it’s inexpensive, around $30. PC Magazine rated it an Editor’s Choice in their January 3, 2005 issue.