Photo Editing & Graphic Design forum

General discussion

Welcome to the digital photography & design software forum!

by peterbutler staff / September 25, 2007 2:36 AM PDT

Hello, everyone.

Digital pictures are more ubiquitous than wallet snapshots of your kids these days. But what software do you use to organize that vast collection of quick cell-phone snapshots and painfully staged family portraits? How do you remove red-eye from party pics? And how the heck do you share your digital photos with your friends and family, or even better, create a Web site of your own?

We created this CNET forum for digital photography and design software to let CNET users and staff discuss the wide array of products available for editing and managing digital photos, as well as software that inspires and enables design projects, such as font tools, animation software, and desktop publishing apps.

Do you like Flickr, Webshots, Picasa, Shutterfly, EasyShare, or any of the other available photo-sharing sites? Tell us why yours is the best. Are you looking for a way to turn your photos into collages and scrapbooks? Post a question. Do you need a free 3D modeling tool to create your own maps for your favorite first-person shooter? Create your own thread.

The editors at CNET Reviews extensively cover all makes and models of digital cameras, and are intimately familiar with the popular and lesser-known software that photographers and designers use to enhance and manage their images. The editors at CNET are also well versed in design and photo software, especially those products that are available on our site. We'll do our best to make sure the experts in the know stop by to drop their considerable knowledge on us.

Thanks for participating.

Peter Butler

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Digital photography forum
by P Cannady / September 25, 2007 10:45 AM PDT

I am pleased that you have created this forum. I looked through it
briefly and I commend you for a much welcomed forum.

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New Digital Photography Forum
by KitandLee / September 25, 2007 12:01 PM PDT

This is a great idea! Looking forward to the forum!

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This is a great idea.. I'm looking forward to participating
by jcvenezia / September 25, 2007 12:53 PM PDT

This is a great idea.. I'm looking forward to participating

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Digital photo software
by mymaggie / September 26, 2007 3:42 AM PDT

I am looking for something that doesn't hog memory, lets you cut and paste and is preferably free.

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Finding My Pictures
by jsmoreland / September 26, 2007 8:09 AM PDT

I'm a developer and was/am frustrated by the inability of the available applications to let me annotate my pictures and perform a content search to find and select the pictures I'm looking for. I had a couple of months free last year so I wrote my own.

I wanted to be able to find all my pictures regardless of where they were stored on my system so I enumerate the NTFS master File Table and get them all. (I have to exclude the jpgs in install directories, internet downloads areas, windows directories, etc but you get the idea.)

I can annotate my pictures with free form text and then search on any words in the annotated text. Then I thought it would be nice to sort them in the order they were taken so I could see a mini history. For example, if I wanted to review last year's vacation, I'd search on family vacation 2006 and the results would be ordered by date taken.

So I put them in a slide show and added music. I also change the name of the jpg files to the first 30 characters of the annotated text and add a _# to this new file name.

Then I needed to be able to print them, and on and on. Now I'm looking at image manipulation libraries. I can change the brightness and contrast, sharpen or soften, change the hue, add or subtract two pictures, add translucent layers, etc.

Someday when I get more time, I'm going to finish this. With a little work, I could get it in shape to share with others. Anyone interested?

This isn't an advertisement. I'm looking for feedback and interesting ideas to help me and others organize, find and enjoy their pictures.

p.s. The folks who are using it now have pressured me to "license" it. They think I should sell it on the internet for $10. What I have now is a "free" but limited license. It doesn't cost anything but it is time limited. I can set it for any time interval and the license itself is time limited.

p.s.s. I also have a full time job....

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finding my pictures
by monhegan / September 26, 2007 10:12 AM PDT
In reply to: Finding My Pictures

Your idea sounds very exciting to me. I encourage you to lose the full time job and put your energy into it. Once it's finished, I would certainly be interested, after a free trial period. I am looking for something similar to what you describe provided that is very user friendly, as I am not terribly technologically sophisticated. ( On the other hand, it seems I am a good photographer.) Ease of categorization, cross referencing, labeling, and access are particularly important.

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by jsmoreland / September 27, 2007 12:25 AM PDT
In reply to: finding my pictures

I'm not sure what you mean by labeling. I've played with putting watermarks with text over pictures so I could put the date the picture was taken as a watermark when I display the picture. But that is only one kind of labeling.

The copy I have now is somewhat broken but maybe we can get CNet to allow me to post a free unlicensed download. I'd love to get some feedback.

As for losing my fulltime job... It is a self funded startup. And we are just starting to take off. We finished our first oem contract which funded our commercial version. I can't say much about it but it is a archiving de-duplication product that dramatically reduces the amount of disk required and increases dramatically the number of restore points available online. Search on De-duplication and major disk vendor whose names begin with letters in the last half of the alphabet....

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Finding My Pictures
by jsmoreland / October 1, 2007 12:40 AM PDT
In reply to: Labeling

This isn't a "product" by any means. But I'm interested in implementing great ideas. Let's find a download site that everyone has access to and I'll post the latest copy of the code and updates if someone has a great idea or need that I can implement.

I spent some time over the weekend implementing a simple install package. So all you'd have to do is download the msi and install like any other Microsoft product.

Let me know where you'd like to see it posted for convenient download.

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by scrappyone / September 29, 2007 2:36 AM PDT
In reply to: Finding My Pictures

These are some of the same challenges I've been struggling with. I too have a full time job and lots of sideline ones, one of which is photography for others, weddings, family portraits, senior pictures, class pictures etc.

I'd like to hear more of your product.
Thanks for posting,

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Welcome to the digital photography & design software forum!
by taboma / September 27, 2007 2:46 PM PDT

One of our Pro members adds his name to and with a copywrite note on every photo he takes with his Canon pro camera. Somehow adds this info into his digital camera computer.
So if you use the EXIF Viewer software, all his information is there and also noting copywrite protected on every photo he takes. Kind of facenating to use this technology in a digital camera.

Would something like this belong on this new forum and be of interest here?
The post is on the Digital Camera Forum presently.

Using the CNET Forums find feature at the top of the left hand column should find that post for you.
From a post last month in Aug. or early Sept.

Want to comment on it and also the EXIF Software for members that do not know about it?
I do use that software and the information from a digital photo is interesting to view.

Thanks and I will be back here to see what is going on with this new Forum. Good Luck! :

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Photo captioning
by ashitsarkar / September 28, 2007 6:23 PM PDT

I find cnet to be of great help in not only learning new tricks and downloading useful programs, but now your different forums providing tremendous opportunities - thank you!

I need a simple free photo captioning program, so that many photos may contain the titles or names etc which could be used for slide shows etc. If possible, if it could be reversible or editable to avoid having to keep originals separately. Recently, I downloaded FxFoto, which I have found to be very useful, but irreversible. Would appreciate feedback of other similar free and easy programs.

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Photo captioning
by jsmoreland / October 1, 2007 12:43 AM PDT
In reply to: Photo captioning

Tell me more about captioning. I've played with adding watermarks and text to pictures. I've done it both saving the new picture as well as writing the "caption" to an alternate stream so you could edit it and optionally view the picture with or without the caption.

The more I understand the problem the better the solution.

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Photo captioning
by ashitsarkar / October 1, 2007 1:25 AM PDT
In reply to: Photo captioning

Thank you for your interest. I basically just want to put desired captions or titles (e.g: names in group photos, or location details or dates etc) - mostly for slide shows, but could also be for individual photos or prints (Picasa2 Web Album provides separate captioning for slides - not on the photos). As mentioned, I am using FxFoto - which is a free program, and am fairly satisfied with it. Would appreciate info about other free programs. Cnet Help does not seem to have covered this - unable to find anything there.

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by frag2 / September 29, 2007 5:43 AM PDT

My main interest is creating digital darkroom techniques versus traditional chemical darkroom techniques.

Applications like creating new pictures from old negatives and digitally print them. Also, new pictures from a digital camera,special effects.
Examples like Tone Line printing & Reticulation printing which is distorting the emulsion layer to create an overall pattern in the film. The distortion is produced during processing by extreme changes in the temperature of the solutions, if this is possible with digital printing.

Need suggestions for ideal desktop & monitor for these types of applications. Mainly, ideal cpu processor, video, graphic cards for digital darkroom printing.
Need suggestions for ideal OS & special software programs required to perform digital darkroom techniques. As well as normal computing functions.

Here comes the worst part: budget around $1500 to <<<$2500 for cpu, monitor & OS before adding cost of special software engines. Probably,
like Adobe software, however, they have so many applications on photography which left me totally confused on what I really need.

I already have a dedicated film scanner & photo printer in mind.
I need suggestions for the CPU & ideal components to perform darkroom techniques described earlier.

Your feedback is appreciated. Thanks

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by taboma / September 29, 2007 3:05 PM PDT

frag2. It is possible using Adobe photoshop and your $2500 budget.
You can choose either choose the PC or the Macintosh route.
I happen to use use the Mac and use it professionally with Adobe Photoshop daily.

I think that you want Adobe Photoshop first.
Next step is to decide weather to go PC or Macintosh.

Next choice for you will be what else you want to do on your computer.
Do you want PC and Viruses or a Mac without Viruses?
Choice is yours.
$ Budget is reasonable to accomplish with what you want to accomplish.
Monitors are really inexpensive right now.

If you want a high-end operating system using Adobe Photoshop, just add some more $$ to your budget: Memory is important to consider.
Dual core processor? Up to you.I use a single core presently. An older system that is still good with Photoshop.

What other software do you want to use? add more $$.
Here is an interesting article from CNET:

Good luck with Adobe Photoshop. The best photo imaging software in the world.


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Black and White or Color. A test?
by taboma / September 30, 2007 2:05 PM PDT

Read carefully, Don't skip ahead.

Honesty Question: This test only has one question, but it's a very important one. By giving an honest answer, you will discover where you stand morally. The test features an unlikely, completely fictional situation in which you will have to make a decision. Remember that your answer needs to be honest, yet spontaneous. Please scroll down slowly and give due consideration to each line.

You are in Florida, Miami to be specific. There is chaos all around you caused by a hurricane with severe flooding. This is a flood of biblical proportions. You are a photojournalist working for a major newspaper, and you're caught in the middle of this epic disaster. The situation is nearly hopeless; you're trying to shoot career-making photos There are houses and people swirling around you, some disappearing under the water. Nature is unleashing its entire destructive furor.

Suddenly you see a woman in the water. She is fighting for her life, trying not to be taken down with the debris. You move closer. Somehow the woman looks familiar. You suddenly realize who it is. It's Hillary Clinton! At the same time you notice that the raging waters are about to take her under forever. You have two options: You can save the life of Hillary Clinton or you can shoot a dramatic Pulitzer Prize winning photo, documenting the death of one of the world's most powerful and brilliant women.

THE QUESTION: Here's the question, and please give an honest answer...
Would you select high contrast color film, or would you go with the classic simplicity of black and white?

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Black & White or Colo. A test...
by ashitsarkar / September 30, 2007 2:54 PM PDT

Your hypothetical question deserves to be ignored as it is much too a simplistic question concerning individual's values! On my part, saving a life (does not matter if it is Hillary or George) will always have a priority provided I was capable of saving the unfortunate person. Photography MUST take second place, despite any opportunity to profit from it.

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Black & White or Colo. A test...
by taboma / September 30, 2007 3:20 PM PDT

ashitsarkar, Thanks for being honest!
Would you go diving into the waters?
I would for anyone. No mater what happens to me. I have no fear of water ever.
Have a friend take your photo saving someone?ME!
B&W or color? :

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Black & White or Colo. A test...
by ashitsarkar / September 30, 2007 8:18 PM PDT

Thank you Kevin - I sure would love to be photographed by you whilst I may be trying to help someone in difficulty! Though, I am not a great swimmer, and am physically no longer too robust now!
Re: your question, I think B&W would be very appropriate for such stark topic pix, though colour would perhaps enhance the general view, if any.

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Black & White or Colo. A test..
by taboma / October 1, 2007 6:26 PM PDT

I am glad you liked the joke. Someone else did not.
I agree B&W would be my choice also if we had a scenario that was similar today.
Something really stark about black and white.
Try taking a full color shot and changing it to B&W.
Play with the Levels and curves in Adobe Photoshop. That is a test!
Ansel Adams was a master of photography and darkroom manipulation. Still there today.

Check this man's photography out.
One brilliant man, and I think that you will like it. Also a member of

Hope you liked some of the best photography there is out there today.
Change his color to B&W. Impressive!!!
Also a genius with Photoshop and dodging the back-rounds. WOW!!
I would love to meet this man.
So much talent. And to learn from.


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Hillary Clinton
by monhegan / October 1, 2007 12:09 AM PDT

Your message reminds me of all of the terrible lawyer jokes I have had to endure over the years. (I was expecting it to be a lawyer struggling for life in the flood.) Since Hillary Clinton is most likely going to be our next President, and since she will be a welcome relief from the horrendous administration we have experienced the past several years, and since Katrina was a tragedy of epic proportions, I find your joke to be in poor taste: misogynist, ill informed, inappropriate, and frankly, annoying. I love discussing politics. However, I make a request that we limit our discussion to photography, and engage in political discussions on political blogs. Can anyone recommend a photo printer for me? I recently purchased a Canon PowerShot SD800 IS Digital Elph. I want something with flexibility that is reasonaby priced, but that I won't outgrow in a year.

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Hillary Clinton
by taboma / October 1, 2007 5:33 PM PDT
In reply to: Hillary Clinton

That is an internet joke that has been around for a few days concerning photography.
Sorry that you are a stick-in-the mud.

If you want a good camera purchase the new Nikon D300 or the Canon D40. Or a Canon G7.
All are good and superior to what you have now.

Want a good photo printer?
Go to the Graphics Forum. Everything is listed there. Try CNET also. Tons of info there.

Here is not the place to be snide and insulting to anyone, nor posting politics at all.
Stop complaining to me and send us some photos, or join the Speakeasy Forum,
If you like to trade barbs. Speakeasy will eat you alive!!!
Grow up will you please!!


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Hillary Clinton
by monhegan / October 1, 2007 11:15 PM PDT
In reply to: Hillary Clinton

Sorry that I don't appreciate right wing humor. I must really lack the sophistication that you have. I am also happy with my camera. I'll leave your guys in your playpen and withdraw from this forum. I have gained nothing here and find your insults cheap shots. Ooops...gotta go listen to Rush Limbaugh. Maybe he has some good jokes about Jews. How pathetic you are.

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Hillary Clinton?
by taboma / October 2, 2007 2:17 PM PDT
In reply to: Hillary Clinton

You will get over it.


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by martys / February 7, 2008 12:19 AM PST

If you're going to be so callous as to let another human being die in order to advance your career, you might as well use color to show all the wrenching detail.

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Slideshow Software
by Survivor4eveR / January 16, 2008 11:38 AM PST

I want to take all my photos and make a video that will play in my dvd player. Can anyone recommend a good, inexpensive software for this? I designed a side show in power point but have no idea how to transfer it to a playable DVD. Also it was very time consuming and I am just looking for something easier.


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Digital Photo Frame
by kerisputra / May 12, 2008 2:10 PM PDT

Hi Peter
My wife received a Digital photo frame AVL963V for mother's day. The unit is an AVlabs 7" LCD with an Aspect ratio of 16:9 supporting JPEG images plus video and audio. When it displays normal JPEG images they all appear squashed. There is no function within the photo frame menu to do any changes. Is there a photo program that will change normal JPEG photos so that they will appear in correct proportions in the 16:9 aspect?

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by Smithbj42 / September 6, 2008 12:57 PM PDT

This is a great forum. I have read several posts and they have been very helpful!
<a href='' target='_blank'>Angela</a> <a href='' target='_blank'>Smith</a>

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need to make a website like 123 triad or simply interactive
by garyatkins1983 / September 25, 2008 11:27 AM PDT
In reply to: Forum

I want to make a website like 123 triad or simply interactive and i was wondering what are some of the good web design softwares and books I can use for the same, I have all pictures and text ready , just don't know where to start, any help would be great !

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need to make a website like 123 triad or simply interactive
by garyatkins1983 / September 25, 2008 12:50 PM PDT

i did some reviews on computer animation software and found out that both 123 triad and simply interactive uses flash animation and it's not always easy to choose one software package over another when making flash design and that there are quite a few influencing factors in the decision. Can anybody give me details, features and prices, reviews etc

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