Digital Photoguide

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Part 6 - After the Shoot

January 2005 Magazine

Part Six of Digital Photoguide describes how to organise your images on a computer, how to deal with a faulty or corrupt memory card and a comparison of photo editing programs.

Organising Images on the computer
It’s vital to have an organised system on your computer for storing images otherwise it is too easy to lose them or ruin images which are already stored. The main principle is to have separate areas for images which are being stored and which are never edited or removed. Images are always copied to a separate “Editing” area for manipulation. A screenshot showing this method is shown below

Loading Images on to the Computer
Using a card reader is usually much faster than loading images on to the computer via the camera itself. If you haven’t used a card reader before here is a brief set of instructions. Beware that if you have a USB 1.0 or 1,1 card reader it will be much slower than a USB 2.0 card reader. This assumes you have a fairly modern computer – an older one will have only a USB 1.0 or 1.1 capability and even if you use a USB 2.0 card reader it will be no faster than a USB 1.1 or 1.0 card reader.

After shooting, remove the memory card from the camera and place in the card reader. On a PC open the “Explorer” or “My Computer” function to display the list of available drives. The list should include a drive with a name corresponding to the memory card. Click on this drive to display the contents of the card. Depending on the camera you will need to navigate through various sub-folders to reach the actual folder containing the images. Then use “drag and drop” to drag the files to the destination folder. If you’re not familiar with this technique, here are some more detailed instructions for a PC running Windows XP. At this point you should have a copy of “My Computer” running and displaying a list of image files on the memory card. Display the folder where you wish to put the files by running another copy of “My Computer”. This should appear in its own window. Return to the first window and use the “Select All” menu option to select all the image files. Click on these selected files while keeping the mouse button held down. Drag the mouse pointer to the destination folder and then release the mouse button to copy the files. This is shown in the accompanying image. Sometimes the camera will put files in more than one folder on the memory card to be sure not to miss any.


Viewing Images
You can use some of the utilities supplied with a PC to view images, such as the Windows Picture & Fax Viewer. A much better option, however, is the free program
Irfanview which you can download from the web site. This will display any type of image, including most Raw formats and is also very fast. Highly recommended.

Recovery Software
If you have a corrupt memory card it may be possible to recover some or all of the images stored on it using specialised recovery software.
Photorecovery is a relatively inexpensive program and works well.

Preparing to Edit
Adobe Photoshop - either full Photoshop CS or the cut-down Photoshop Elements - are recommended as reliable editing programs. Once you've bought and installed Photoshop there are some initial setup preparations. Instructions are given for the latest versions of each: Photoshop CS and Elements V2.0.

Scratch disks
If you've followed the advice of Part One you'll have an extra disk in your computer. Photoshop should use this for its temporary work areas, known as a scratch disk, instead of sharing the main disk. On the Edit menu, choose Preferences, and then “Plug-ins & Scratch Disks”. Set the first scratch disk to the E: drive or whatever letter is used by your extra disk. The benefit of doing this is that it reduces the load on your main “C:” drive and Photoshop should run faster.

Having bought a computer with lots of memory, Photoshop needs to be told to use it. On the Edit menu, choose Preferences, and then the “Memory & Image Cache...” option. There is a control to set the maximum amount of your computer’s memory which will be used by Photoshop. Set this to a high value but allow at least 200 Mbytes for Windows itself and other programs to run.

Photoshop has lots of functions which are only accessible by using toolboxes and palettes i.e. not available from menu options. PS has a lot more palettes than PSE and many will (but not all) need to be opened if you follow the techniques described in Digital Photoguide. Open up the following palettes: Layers, Undo History and Info. To open a palette, assuming it’s in its “standard” position in the row of tabs at the top right of the Photoshop window, click on its tab with the mouse and drag the palette out to where you want it on the screen, then release the mouse button. Colour Management. We'll return to this subject in the future. For now leave everything as it is.

Part 5

Parts 7 & 8

NIR-80-portrush Gen-tampa All material  Kim Fullbrook
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