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Photographic Software! April 8, 2009

Posted by ctcoberon in Uncategorized.

This month’s PC User Magazine jogged my memory in regards to a new and unique piece of image editing software from Microsoft. Over the past few years Microsoft has been providing more and more free software to users and the Microsoft Pro Photo Tools (www.microsoft.com/prophoto/default.aspx) is one of their best, especial if you own a DSLR camera and you wish to capture and store you photos as RAW images i.e. unprocessed images.  Most low-cost digital compact cameras take jpeg images and the more upmarket models can take both jpeg and tiff. However, high-end digital cameras like a DSLR can take jpeg, tiff and RAW images.

A jpeg image when initially taken by the camera does not keep all the information pertaining to the image – it looses or throughs away what it considers to be excess information and it does this each and every time the image is modified. A tiff (i.e. tagged image file format) image, on the other hand, does keep all the information about an image.

However, a RAW image is even better its more like a negative, a digital negative, and as such, it provides the photographer with more scope when enhancing, enlarging and converting the image. There is a lot more we could say about RAW images and the software used for conversion, but it’s too much for us to cover in this small article. Please remember, any camera that can take a RAW image will not be cheap, so if you do decide to go down this path, be prepared to spend a substantial amount of money for a DSLR camera. However, the Microsoft Pro Photo Tools program could save you money when it comes to the artistic or professional conversion.

If you are a Windows XP user and you have a simple compact digital camera (like me) one of the very best pieces of free photographic software Microsoft offers is their Photo Story 3 (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/digitalphotography/PhotoStory/default.mspx).

Not forgetting the children – visit Hewlett Packard’s Activity Centre for some good creative ideas (http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/activityCenterHome?lc=en&cc=us).

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