Replica Chinese Junk boat in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour.
The down side of any holiday, like last week’s trip to Hong Kong and Macau, is that when I come home I have to organise all the photos and videos that I took. It used to be a real hassle to sort through the thousands of pictures. I had to check them, correct slanty horizons, spot our any marks, crop some edges, discard blurred shots, and adjust contrast and brightness. This takes quite some considerable time. Then after that, I have to go through all the picture and give each a title, description, tags, and geo-locate with coordinates. This could take weeks. However, now I have some tools that help me.
The first and favourite tool is Picassa. If you don’t already have Picassa on your computer, download it now for free. This photo management tool lets me easily find all my photographs. It allows me to do most of the basic corrections required. It is fast and easy to use. I prefer this over more powerful photo editing packages, such as Adobe Photoshop, because it is so fast. Sure it doesn’t have as many features as Adobe Photoshop, but for quickly tweeking horizons, adjusting brightness, contrast and hue, and doing simple cropping, there is not anything else as fast.
The second tool I can’t do without is Flickr. The main purpose of Flickr for me is as a backup. Imagine if my hard drive broken or my PC was stolen. All my photographs would be lost. So I use Flickr. By uploading my photographs to Flickr, I am able to ensure that my photos will be preserved. If I lose my local copy, I can just download the backup from Flickr. On the side, putting my photographs on Flickr, provides me with some much needed publicity. Allot of my site’s visitors come from Flickr.
The third and last tool on this list is Adobe Photoshop. This is by far and large the most powerful of the photo editing packages available. I have tried a few others and nothing matches up to Photoshop. However, it is sometimes too big for it’s boots. Most common, everyday tweeks I do using Picasa. Only big difficult jobs go through Photoshop. But that is why I need it. There are some big tasks that only Photoshop really can do. So every photographer should have a copy of this application installed on their PC.