Read an Excerpt
Photoshop Album For Dummies
By Barbara Obermeier
John Wiley & Sons
Copyright © 2003
All right reserved.
* * *
In This Chapter
* The growth of digital photography
* What Album does and why you need it
* * *
Owning and using Photoshop Album is like having the world's best
personal assistant - organized, efficient, always at your beck and call,
saves you time, money, and frustration and just makes your life easier. I admit
it. Before Album came into my life, I was a closet photo "shoeboxer." Well,
actually, more like a "33-gallon storage toter." Maybe you're the same way.
Album and Organization
I bet that you love photos - taking them, looking at them, and sharing them.
I bet that you love knowing that you've captured and preserved the memory
of special events, milestones and moments of your life and those of your
family and friends.
And maybe you're like me because the thing you don't love is the time-consuming
task of organizing, labeling, and placing the photos into albums.
That task always seemed to stay permanently affixed to my to-do list.
When I switched to a digital camera, things improved some. I didn't need any
more storagetotes or garage space. But, digital images bring on a whole new
set of problems. Does this scenario sound familiar? Do you have a clutter of
inconsistently named folders and unintelligible alpha-numerically named files
scattered all over your hard drives or burned haphazardly onto CDs?
Enter Album - your photo organizing personal assistant phenom. Album
quickly (and with a miniscule learning curve), enables you to import, organize,
find, manage, fix, and share your photo collections.
Sure, there's an initial time investment. And Album doesn't turn lazy people
into efficient organizers (I still have to scan my analog prints). But because
of its ease of use, you might find yourself (like me) full of renewed enthusiasm
for the task of organizing your images. The proof, as they say, is in the
pudding, or in this case, in the albums. I have seen how efficient Album is at
transforming unorganized clutter into an ordered, streamlined system. I have
seen the best organizational system since the Dewey Decimal system at work.
I have seen the light!
And the bonus is that after you've gotten your images organized and manageable,
you can relax and use those images in some creative and expressive
ways. And Album is there to help you with that as well, allowing you to make
wonderful creations. So Album not only makes your life easier, it makes it
more fun, too. It's the best 50 bucks I ever spent.
What Album Does and Why You Need It
The bottom line is that when you save time you save money. And the program
that's going to save you both time and money is downright dirt cheap. I mean,
for the cost of a cheap dinner and a couple of movie tickets, you probably
just purchased a program that can make you more organized, more productive,
and even get some creative juices flowing.
You may have thought when you first bought your camera that the software
that came bundled with the camera was all you needed. Now you may see
that the features of those programs are limited and really intended to just
facilitate the importing of images onto your computer.
Album allows you to import, identify, organize, export, manage, edit, and
share your photos, as shown in Figure 1-1. About the only thing it can't do is
make you a latte while you enjoy all the free time you gain from Album doing
all the work. Here's a quick glance at Album's multiple features:
Album. It only takes a few minutes, and your camera and memory card
are ready for the next outing or event. In addition to a digital camera or
card reader, you can import images directly from your scanner, hard
drive, or CDs. After they're imported, your images are stored in what
Album calls a catalog. If you're short on hard drive space, you can even
store your images offline, while retaining a proxy (low-resolution copy)
in your catalog. You also can import video and audio clips.
catalog, you can view them in one location - any time, all the time, as
shown in Figure 1-2.
Album provides you with a tagging system that enables you to attach
keywords or phrases to your images to make sorting and locating them
a breeze. You can locate and view your images by tags, dates, folders,
and other criteria. It doesn't matter where the images reside, whether on
your computer or on other external media. Album also keeps a history
of each image, details such as if you e-mailed or printed the photo. And
you can even export images in a variety of file formats for use in other
process, Album lets you edit your images using cropping, red-eye
removal, and color and contrast tools, all of which require only a mouse
click or two. Album also provides seamless integration with many external
image editors, such as Photoshop Elements, for those images that
require extra-strength editing.
more innovative and make projects, called creations, such as albums,
slide shows, cards, calendars, photo books (shown in Figure 1-3), and
more in just five easy steps.
makes sharing your files a snap. You can e-mail images and creations as
attachments, post them online via a photo sharing Web site like Shutterfly.
com, or view them as a Web gallery.
You can print the images, or burn them to CD or DVD. Album can save
your files as PDFs (Portable Document Format), which means that
anyone, anywhere with just a computer and free Acrobat reader can
view your images and creations.
archive your images to CD or DVD. Store the media in a safety deposit
box or other offsite location to ensure your memories are safe from
disaster - natural or man-made.
For the two readers who don't already
have a digital camera
Not too long ago if you had a digital camera,
you were considered to be on the technological
cutting edge. Now it is just as common to see a
digital camera as it is a film camera. Some estimates
predict that, worldwide, consumers will
buy 10 million digital cameras in 2003.
The digital trend has steadily escalated for
many reasons. Anytime a product offers convenience,
immediate satisfaction, and a time and
cost savings, it is bound to be embraced by the
masses. If you haven't jumped on the digital
bandwagon yet, here are a few reasons why
you may want to make the switch:
to correct your mistakes immediately after
you make them, instead of regretting it later.
Shooting digitally allows you to take a
photo, view it in the LCD (Liquid Crystal
Display), monitor attached to your digital
camera, and, if you like what you see, great.
On the other hand, if the exposure, lighting,
or composition is a little off, delete the photo,
make your adjustments and reshoot right
then and there. And, as an added bonus,
because you can make instant adjustments,
you can improve your photographic skills
You can try different angles and compositions.
If they don't work, you just delete
them from the memory card. You also can
really test your camera's features and get to
know how it ticks by taking shots using different
settings. Hey, and no more streaked
or fogged film from airport x-ray machines!
four nice words for you: No more photo
processing. No more driving to the photo
lab, filling out the order, waiting for the
development, and picking up the order. You
also find that the time you spend scanning
steadily declines. Going digital means simply
cabling up the camera or card reader to
your computer, making a couple of mouse
clicks and the photos are on your hard
drive, ready for action.
with photo processing, neither is money
wasted paying for processing. Just print
(and pay for) only the photos you really
want. Invest the savings from paying for film
and processing toward accessories for
your digital camera (see Chapter 20).
Some people argue that a high-quality digital
camera is more expensive than a
comparable film camera. This may be a true
statement now, but is becoming less so.
Because the technology is still evolving,
quality cameras are becoming less expensive
and will continue to do so.
means not having to store negatives,
slides, or prints. Storing all that output not
only consumes precious storage space, but
keeping track of it all is tedious. And
because there is no film or prints involved,
you'll spend less time retouching dust, dirt,
share your images in different ways. Print
them, e-mail them as attachments, burn
them onto CDs, or post them online.
Excerpted from Photoshop Album For Dummies
by Barbara Obermeier
Copyright © 2003 by Barbara Obermeier.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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