February 1, 2007
Source: The New York Times
Written by Ian Austen
Photo management once meant finding room to stash yet another box filled with snapshots. While digital photography has freed up that closet space, sorting and retrieving pictures in the era of the 250-gigabyte hard drive has created a set of challenges of its own.
Recently, the declining cost of high-capacity camera memory cards has accelerated the pace at which many people accumulate photos. At the same time, the growing popularity of sophisticated digital single-lens-reflex cameras among amateur photographers is leading to larger file sizes and more interest in fine-tuning images.
Two major software companies offered their latest answers to these problems this week, adding to the range of programs available for browsing and managing photos.
The Microsoft Windows operating system has lacked anything approaching the easy-to-use iPhoto program supplied with Apple Macintosh computers. But Windows Vista, which went on sale to consumers this week, includes an advanced photo management system that Microsoft calls Windows Photo Gallery.
On Monday, Adobe Systems, the maker of Photoshop, released a final version of Photoshop Lightroom, an organizing program that has been floating around in trial form for more than a year.
Photo management programs are not complete substitutes for full photo-editing software like Photoshop. That being said, they do offer the editing tools that photographers use most frequently to change the overall look of photos, like adjustments for exposure, brightness, contrast and color.
“It’s not about pixel manipulation,” said Rob Schoeben, vice president for applications product marketing at Apple. “It’s about pulling the beauty out of the image.”
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