Tue 1 Nov 2005
Your phone is ringing; itâ€™s your editor. They just got a call from Oprah, she loves the advance copy of your book and wants you on the show. They just need a few things. Your editor says not to worry; they will send Oprah over the packet of information. Your editor then asks for the bookâ€™s last few digital images, a headshot, and maybe some family shots. â€œCan we get them all in 30 minutes?â€ Are they kidding? How will you find it all? More after the jump
The growth of digital images in both business and home settings has been exponential. Vast archives are being created in areas such as business graphics, digital photography and clip art. The digital camera has joined the keyboard as one of the fastest tools for creation of new media. I have helped quite a few businesses organize and categorize their digital assets. This results in a streamlined working environment. It works wonders at home too.
If our author above was extremely well organized they might be able to quickly look up on their computer by file folder, the images from the book, their headshots and family shots. But letâ€™s assume the author is just like most of us, shall we say, not so well organized.
Right or Left Brain
Picasa, a zero-cost image organization tool with support from a market leader is hard to pass up. Itâ€™s tagline: Picture Simplicity. (Sorry Mac users, Windows only at this time). Download this free tool from their site.
There are a well over 100 software titles that will â€œorganizeâ€ your digital media; photos, movies, music. Of those there are a handful of free tools. Of those there is only one that was purchased by Google. Their software acquisition makes a lot of sense to their corporate mission of organizing the worldâ€™s information.
After downloading, the best part of the software is on installation it will begin indexing your hard drive, if you give it permission, for all the images files it can find. Organizing them by folder and by year. This makes finding things a bit easier for right brain organizational thinkers. For left-brainers, there is a visual component allowing a quick visual search of thumbnails. The softwareâ€™s interface has a high quotient of usability. The search field is dynamic, the pictures move with fluidity, allowing quick access to thousands of shots. It is akin to skimming through a reference manual.
Pretty as a Picture
You glance at the clock, 15 minutes until your editor needs those shots. As you begin digging through the shoebox of family photos, you find a great one, except Uncle Sal has crept into the side of the shot and is sticking out his tongue to the camera. Wonâ€™t Oprah love that?
Picasa can solve that and more. Picasa has taken photo editing to the masses with more than 25 easy to use tools such as crop, red eye, and even the famous Google, â€œIâ€™m feeling Luckyâ€ button. Not only are the tools easy, they also apply the changes in real time to allow for a few quick adjustments.
Getting pictures out of the PC has always been a challenge. Picasa makes this chore very simple with easy to understand tools for Email, Print, Burn, Publish and Order Prints. For the power users and the new users, creating such useful tools as a contact sheet is just a few simple clicks.
Using Picasa to get images ready for your editor would be a snap. Simply drag them into the same folder, create a contact sheet, add a few labels, and email or burn a disc. Next thing you know Oprahâ€™s having you on the show and talking about how cute your kids are, not about Uncle Sal.
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