Archive for the ‘Digital Photography’ Category

Convert Media Files with Format Factory

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

1X1Format Factory is a handy tool for the Windows platform that allows you to easily convert media files from one format to another. Whether you need to reduce the size of a media file for uploading to the Web or you need to convert files for iPod or iPhone compatibility, file conversion software can be incredibly useful. With a free download of Format Factory, you can convert common video formats such as AVI, MOV, WMV, and SWF to another video format.  You can also convert image and audio files to popular formats.

Save Colors from the Web with Instant Eyedropper

Friday, August 26th, 2011

1X1Instant Eyedropper is a free software program that allows you to easily copy and save any color you see on the Web. With Instant Eyedropper, you can identify and save the HTML color code so that you can use the color on your Web page or in an image editing program, such as Adobe PhotoShop. The best part is that you can do this with just one click and without opening any graphics editing software!

How it Works

Once you install the software, the Instant Eyedropper icon will appear in your system tray.

When you click on the icon, you will see your mouse arrow turn into cross-hairs. Continuing to hold the mouse button down, you can guide the cross-hairs across your screen; you will see a zoom of the pixels under the cross-hairs so that you can select the exact pixel you would like to identify and copy. You will also see the HTML code for that specific color.

Releasing the mouse button immediately pastes the information onto your clipboard.  Additionally, you can change what format the color code is saved as. For example, rather than HTML, you can save the information in Hex or RGB notation. Simply right click over the Instant Eyedropper icon in your system tray to choose from a list of formats.

View Online Images as a 3D Slideshow

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Cooliris is an app for iPhone and iPad users that provides an interactive slideshow view of images and videos you find online.   The Cooliris plugin is currently compatible with:  Flickr, Facebook, Instagram,  and more.  Once you install Cooliris, all you need to do is mouse over  images and videos on many supported sites, then click the Cooliris icon to launch a full-screen slideshow photo viewer.   With this tool, you can quickly and effortlessly browse through hundreds of images in a Google search.

Check the Features page to learn about browser compatibility.

News in Pictures

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

1X1With the increasing amount of information available on the Internet, means for consuming online resources are constantly evolving and becoming more image driven.  Many sites use images to represent news from around the world. Seeing an interesting picture  may expose you to a topic that you wouldn’t have otherwise noticed.

BBC News posts a daily slideshow in the Day in Pictures section.

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Google News offers the option to put the top news stories into an image view.

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Visit the  News in Pictures website to see a comprehensive  listing of websites that feature pictorial news.

Online Photo Editing Made Easy and Fun

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

1X1Creative Kit in Google+ (formerly known as Picnik and has since joined Google) is a free online photo-editing program that offers an array of professional and fun tools. This application provides numerous creative filters and effects such as cinemascope, focal B&W, vignette and many others. A few highlights of the program include:

  • – Allows you to upload pictures straight from social networking sites such as Flickr, Facebook, Photobucket and more
  • – Access to creative and fun tools such as adding text, stickers and creating collages
  • – Provides options to print straight from your computer, order prints online or order other photo projects like books, posters and wrapping paper

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A Guide to Understanding Image Formats

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

If you’ve ever worked with photo-editing software, you’re probably aware of the numerous file formats for saving digital images, ranging from JPG to GIF to TIFF.  Some formats are proprietary to specific software, while others can be used across programs and platforms.  There are several factors to consider when selecting an image format, such as how the image will be used (prints, slideshow presentation, Web) or whether or not you will need to continue editing the image later.  In this week’s tech tip we’ll provide some basic information and best uses for the more common image formats.

Saving Images
When you click on an image to view it, a photo-editing program that came installed on your computer such as Windows Picture and Fax Viewer or Apple Preview may open it.  If you have a digital camera or scanner, the software that came with your device may open your image. Or you may use Adobe’s higher end tools such as Photoshop or Illustrator. The images that your digital camera produces are most likely JPEGs, however when you download an image from the Web, it can be in a variety of formats.  If you wish to change the format of an image, click Save As in the image-editing program that you are using. Before changing the file type, keep in mind how you plan to use the image.  Follow the guide below to help you choose the best file format for your image. 

Common Image Formats

BMP (Bitmap)
An older format typically used for graphic elements on Microsoft applications such as Word, PowerPoint, Paint, etc.. BMP files are uncompressed, meaning they can create extremely large files. Keep in mind that bigger files can be less versatile for email transfer and posting to the Web and can also take up more disk space.   

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)
Typically a Web-based format, GIF allows images with fewer than 256 colors and little pixel information to be displayed at a higher quality. It’s ideal for graphic images with few colors such as logos or Web page navigation icons that you want to place on the Web.

JPG/JPEG (Joint Photographic Expert Group)
JPGs are a commonly used format for photographic images (most digital cameras output JPG images). Compression rates for JPGs are adjustable; JPGs that are moderately compressed lose very little quality from the original image.  JPG images also have a 24-bit color scheme, which enables subtleties in complex images to be displayed. JPGs are very versatile and can be used for photo prints, slideshow presentations and Web-based applications. 

PDF (Portable Document Format)
PDFs are generally used to maintain both textual and graphic information such as a newsletter or brochure. PDFs are a standard for making such materials available on the Web for download.  

PNG (Portable Network Graphics)
This format was developed to replace the older GIF format for use on the Web. However, unlike a GIF formatted file, PNG allows for a wider range of color use.

PSD (Photoshop Document)
This format is used to save Photoshop projects midway through completion. It is especially helpful with multi-image or multi-layer projects that you have not completed or may want to return to edit later. Do not use this format to save an image you wish to use outside of Photoshop.

TIFF (Tagged Image File Format)
Generally used for print images, the TIFF format allows varying degrees of compression and a 24-bit color scheme. Because it allows for a completely uncompressed file, it is most often used for professional printing of high-resolution images.

Compression
If you intend to email an image or post it to the Web, it’s a good idea to reduce to the file size for accessibility purposes.  Here are links to previous tech tips that provide information on free photo-editing software solutions and steps for resizing images.

Free Photo Editing Tools

Resize Photos Fast

Resizing Photos and Making Banners with Paint.NET

Resize your Digital Photos in Windows XP

Easily Create Online Photo Galleries

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

PictoBrowser is free slideshow creation tool that allows you to display pictures from your Flickr account on your website or blog.  The main advantage of using Pictobrowser is that you can embed a photo gallery of your images directly on your webpage, rather than linking to your Flickr account.   Once you’ve uploaded photos into a Flickr account, all that you have to do to create a slideshow is to provide your Flickr account name on the PictoBrowser website, select the group of images you want to display, then copy and paste the HTML code created by PictoBrowser onto your blog or webpage.

PictoBrowser also has a number of adjustments that can be made to your slideshow including modifying photo size and changing the player’s color, size and transparency.

Resize Photos Fast

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

1X1With Picture Resizer, you can resize your photos quickly, without even opening a program!  Picture Resizer is a free application for Windows that allows you to drag and drop a JPG image or a whole folder with JPG images to resize.  Whether you need to resize images to post to a Web page, blog, PowerPoint or Blackboard course, this tool is incredibly helpful and simple to use.

  1. Download the PhotoResize400.exe application to your desktop.
  2. Drag and drop JPG files or a whole folder with JPG images onto the PhotoResize.400.exe icon on your desktop.photo_resize.jpg
  3. Your JPG images will be resized and copies will be saved next to the original.  The names will be the same as the originals and will contain a suffix indicating their sizes.  By default, 400 is the size of output pictures.  To change the size of output pictures rename the PhotoResize400.exe application by replacing the 400 with a different number.

Create an Image Slideshow

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

 

1X1If you have pictures that you’d like to share, instead of emailing individual photos or posting many images to your Blackboard course, consider creating a movie slideshow. With QuickTime Pro software, you can easily create a movie slideshow from a folder of images.   While you may have the free QuickTime Player already installed on your computer, updating to QuickTime Pro ($29.99/Mac or PC) will enable you to create a nice-looking movie presentation of your photos.

Learn how to create a slideshow movie in QuickTime in just a few steps:  http://images.apple.com/quicktime/pdf/QuickTime7_User_Guide.pdf

Quick Tip

Try saving your PowerPoint presentation as JPEG images.  If you have a large PowerPoint file with many images, saving your presentation as JPEG images, then creating a slideshow movie from the PowerPoint JPEGs will significantly reduce the size.  Additionally, the movie file will be read-only and will display nicely on a Web page or Blackboard course page.

Slideshow

Flickr: Create Groups to Share your Photos

Friday, July 25th, 2008

1X1Now that you’ve got your latest vacation photos stored on your computer, your next question might be, “how can I share these photos with everyone?” Emailing photos has its limitations, especially if you have many pictures.  With Flickr, an online photo-sharing application, you can upload your photos to the site and create Groups to control who can access the photos.  Not only can the members of your group view your photos, they can make comments and add notes too.  With Flickr, it’s easy to manage your pictures and share them with anyone you’d like -– and did we mention it’s free?   Getting Started If you already have a Yahoo account, you can login to Flickr with the same username and password; if not you’ll need to take a minute to sign-up.

Groups

Once you login, you’ll be instructed to upload your photos.  Click on the Groups tab to create a group.

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Groups can be Public, Public (Invitation only), and Private.  Be sure to read the specifications for each type of group before you create one.  Private groups are helpful for sharing with family, friends, or colleagues; keep in mind that once you make a group private it cannot be made public later.  You may want to consider making a group public if you’d like to share some of your favorite shots with the world.  Check Flickr’s Group Guidelines and Group FAQ for more tips on managing groups.