What digital photo management and editing program for a dummy?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Gordon Zola, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. Gordon Zola

    Gordon Zola Guest

    My wife is a casual point-and-shoot photographer who took many great
    family photos on film over the years. Today she has a digital camera
    and, while giving it a good shot initially, takes hardly any pictures
    any more. The reason is that it is too difficult for her.

    What? Too difficult, you say? Nonsense, digital is easy.

    But it's not, you know. Not for people who are not that technical and
    were brought up on film. Before, she would drop off the roll of film
    at the store and a couple hours later have a bunch of pictures. But
    now... all she has is files on a card.

    How to transfer them to the computer?
    For that matter, which computer? (We have more than one)
    And her pix need to be kept separate from mine, or at least she should
    be able to find hers back without too much trouble.
    How to make the files smaller for easy emailing?
    How to fix some color or brightness issues?
    Oops, she just over-wrote the original with the edited version...
    Now that she has edited the picture, where the heck is it so it can be
    shared or emailed?
    And how to get real pictures..? I mean prints.
    How to back all those files up?

    The main objective here is to end up with good looking prints like in
    the olden days, and pictures that can be emailed, with the picture
    files adequately protected for possible future use.

    There are tons of image editing programs out there, Irfanview,
    Photoshop, Elements, ACDSee, Picasa, Lightroom, Paintshop Pro, and
    many many more.. plus the proprietary progs that came with the camera.
    Is there any single one of them that will manage the whole digital
    problem for my wife in a way that is relatively easy? Does she need a
    couple maybe?

    There is a pretty good learning curve for every program and she is
    definitely not going to try more than one or a couple. So if you guys
    could recommend one, that would be real useful. Cost is no object.

    (And if there is a good solution, I might use it too!)

    Suggestions appreciated.

    Gordon Zola, Aug 24, 2008
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  2. Gordon Zola

    Marvin Guest

    She can till get prints made in very much the same way.
    There are many places, such as chain drugstores, Sam's Club,
    etc., that have kiosks where you put the memory card in a
    slot, see the photos on the card, and select those you want
    printed. The turn-around time is similar.
    Marvin, Aug 24, 2008
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  3. Gordon Zola

    Gordon Zola Guest

    She already knows that.

    What does she do with the card afterwards? What if the picture she
    wants to print is not on the card any more?

    What about all those other things I mentioned?

    Gordon Zola, Aug 24, 2008
  4. Gordon Zola

    Ray Fischer Guest

    If you want it to be as easy as film then you just take the memory
    card to the store, have the photos printed, and some will even put the
    photos onto a CD for you.
    How do you transfer film to your computer?
    You want to do thinkgs that are also very difficult with film. If you
    want simplicity then don't try to make it hard.
    LOL! And I bet you have no idea where all of your film negatives are
    these days.

    For digital images iMovie on the Mac makes it pretty simple. Connect
    the camera and iMovie with transfer the photos to your computer.
    Select which ones to print and it will upload them, have them printed,
    and you'll get your prints in the mail.
    Ray Fischer, Aug 24, 2008
  5. Gordon Zola

    Roy G Guest

    Take your wording above, remove the word "Film" and replace it with "Memory

    OR you could buy her one of those little 6 x 4 Printers, where she just pops
    in the card, presses the button and out come the Prints.

    Roy G
    Roy G, Aug 24, 2008
  6. Gordon Zola

    Archibald Guest

    Thanks, but not what I asked for.


    Archibald, Aug 25, 2008
  7. Gordon Zola

    -hh Guest

    With the 'cost is no object' qualifier, the answer is pretty easy:

    Get a new Apple Macintosh (& printer), pay for the 1 year 'Genius'
    private lesson (IIRC, its $100; can schedule a 1 hour lesson per
    week), and work with iPhoto.

    Addressing now the rest:

    Card reader. USB ones are cheap ($10 & up). If you're dealing with
    CF and high performance cards, then look for a Firewire reader, such
    as the one made by Delkin.
    The new Macintosh :)
    Within a single user account, easy to do with meta-tags and EXIF.
    There's also a 3rd Party shareware application that allows you to
    manage multiple iPhoto librarys.

    Or you can just set up his & hers user accounts on the machine, and
    then each account will have its own library. The advantage of this is
    that she can't delete or steal your stuff (& vice versa), but it does
    then require an extra step when you want to share.
    iPhoto > Share (menu) > email > [pick desired file size]
    iPhoto > (select image) > Edit icon > Adjust icon. When finished, hit
    iPhoto > (select image) > Photos (menu) > Revert to Previous (or
    Revert to Original)
    Buy an Apple "Time Capsule" too.

    It depends on how heavy-duty you want to be with your editing.
    Following your paradigm of "local pharmacy developing", this level of
    basic editing can all be done within iPhoto, so there's no need for
    any other software.

    If you do want to go a step further, the first thing you need to do is
    to go through your above list of software and separate those that are
    workflow & organizer -centric applications from those that are
    primarily editing.

    FYI, as an editor, there is Adobe Photoshop Elements...its cheaper
    than the 'full' Photoshop and supposedly suitable for basic tasks...I
    can't say how great it is, since I've only ever used the 'full'
    version and not this 'lite' variant. While generally inexpensive,
    Elements is fairly frequently able to be had as 'free' software
    bundled in some peripheral purchase (eg, flatbed scanner), so do try
    to look around some for a promotional copy instead of paying ~$80 for

    Similarly, for some of the workflow-organizers, they have 30 day trial
    periods. But the trip-up here is to not get your only copy of your
    data in their proprietary format and then on Day 31, become

    Finally, for editing, most people will probably say that there's no
    substitute for Photoshop, but it is expensive, has a steep learning
    curve and Adobe is becoming increasingly consumer-unfriendly in such
    things as install authorizations, etc. While this is probably due to
    rampant piracy, it is causing more and more small business Pros angst
    and they are starting to get fed up and actively seeking
    alternatives. As such, I'd say "Skip It" for now for multiple
    reasons, with the biggest one being that for simple edits, it is very
    expensive overkill.

    -hh, Aug 25, 2008
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