Digital photography

FotoTagger: Molly Wood's fave new digital-photography tool

We all goof, but we don't all do it as visibly as CNET TV star and executive editor Molly Wood, nor do we often relish fessing up. Molly does both with wit, charm, and FotoTagger, a handy digital-photography freeware tool for annotating digital photos via movable captions.

Read Molly's hilarious confession, Anatomy of a Buzz Report screwup, to see why FotoTagger has become her "new favorite thing." While you're at it, try it out.

Publishing your photos

Taking digital pictures is simple; transforming them into a constructive project is a whole 'nother story. Web services like Flickr, Picasa, Shutterfly, Webshots, Snapfish, and countless others let you create photo galleries that are hosted on their servers, but what if you want to create a gallery for your own Web site?

Personally, I'm the sort of guy who wants to start with my raw images and my trusty NoteTab Light text editor, but I seem to have lost my patience for HTML and CSS (not to mention JavaScript and XML) over the last five years.… Read more

Google's Earth from above: A 3D look

"Google Maps is changing the way we see the world," journalist Evan Ratliff declares in a June article for Wired magazine. I couldn't agree more. Google's universal mapping project isn't just changing the portals for viewing the world online, it's also changing offline understandings of how the world is best viewed--from Google's services, of course. Google has gained influence fast, by ambitiously developing innovative, interactive mapping software; integrating multiple online services into the majority of desktop and online apps; and familiarizing users with a particular Google-branded aesthetic.

In creating a suite of map apps to encourage users to contribute to Google's greater project and personalize locally-stored versions of a map, Google is not just bringing cartography to the masses, Ratliff points out, but is getting users to help build out its universe. This, of course, makes complete sense. With Google Earth, Google SketchUp, and MyMaps (watch the CNET "how-to" video,) Google's mapping software has surpassed competitors like NASA in digitizing the world. In so doing, Google has captivated the imagination of loyal users who will return to the company's Earth and maps programs to find business listings, explore culturally significant architecture, and plant personal photos and videos.… Read more

Is a single-size serving of CS3 worth it?

The math is incontrovertible: at $2,500, Adobe's Creative Suite 3 Master Collection non-upgrade is extremely expensive. However, once you start looking at the cost of the individual pieces of the suite, getting more than two of the major components--say, Photoshop and Illustrator--on their own isn't cost effective, either.

Just those two applications together cost $1,600 for their non-upgrade editions, and that same chunk of change will get you the CS3 Web Premium, which contains Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, Acrobat Pro and all the little ancillary apps that Adobe has been giving away.

But let's say you're only interested in editing photos, or you think your copy of Illustrator CS2 will work just fine with Flash CS3, but you need that Flash upgrade? Is there more going on than a new palette layout? Let's break down Adobe's powerhouse gestalt and take a look at the more popular parts that make up the whole: Photoshop for image manipulating and printing, Illustrator for drawing, Flash for animating, and Dreamweaver for designing Web pages.

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Yahoo Photos closure bumps Flickr market share

Yahoo Photos' loss is Flickr's gain.

Yahoo began shutting down Yahoo Photos last month, and now Flickr passed it to become the No. 2 photo-sharing site in terms of Internet traffic in the United States, according to monitoring firm Hitwise.

Flickr now has 6.42 percent of the visits to photo-sharing sites, up from 4.57 percent in March, Hitwise said.

That's a significant jump, but it's not all Yahoo might want: Flickr's 1.85 percentage-point increase was more than offset by Yahoo Photos' 2.6-point drop from 5.79 percent to 3.19 percent. And … Read more

Share and organize vacation photos in a snap

Each time I go shutter-happy, I'm reminded of digital photography's beautiful myth. Yes, impressive megapixel loads deliver in-your-face resolution that elevates photos from the usual point-and-shoot quality. However, there's that time-sucking task of cropping, editing, captioning, and distributing the sprawling photo collection, and those are things even the fanciest camera on the market won't do.

The time and effort it takes to process a large batch of photos can be off-putting, but here are a few media-organization tools from the CNET library to move along the sometimes-arduous process of getting photos from the desktop to your friends.… Read more

Images done well on your Mac

Yesterday was Independence Day here in the U.S., and if you're like many (me included) you probably spent the day with friends and family, and maybe watched some fireworks when the summer sun finally went down. Chances are you dusted off the barbecue for chicken, hot dogs, and burgers, and maybe even had potato salad or other picnic foods. Another common practice with these types of gatherings, of course, is getting out your digital camera and taking a bunch of fun pictures.

Now that the fun is over, you might be thinking about editing and transferring those pictures to your blog or some other photo site. If you're looking for an easy way to get those pictures ready for prime time, I found a little program that offers a lot of useful tools you can download for the Mac.… Read more

PicLens: Instant photo galleries off the Web

Galleries of images set off against a black background have become common as software and Web sites try to help people show off their photos better. Cooliris' PicLens offers a clever way to do set up such galleries from many Web sites on the fly.

The PicLens browser extension can convert a bunch of images from Google and Yahoo image search, Flickr, Picasa, Facebook and RSS Media-based sites and other locations into a full-screen gallery of pictures. The photos slide by at a stately pace or advance when the user clicks the keyboard's arrow key, and a handy filmstrip … Read more

Microsoft announces new Windows Live products: How do they stack up?

Microsoft has just announced two new Windows Live products, Windows Live Folders and Windows Live Photo Gallery. Windows Live Folders is Microsoft's online storage solution, set to compete with AOL's Xdrive,, and a lot of other startups in this market. Windows Live Photo Gallery acts as an upgrade to Vista's Windows Photo Gallery, providing tight integration with Windows Live Spaces and Windows itself.

Windows Live Folders

Windows Live Folders features a 500 MB storage limit, which is a below the industry norm, compared to competitors like Xdrive which provides 5 gigs or which … Read more

The Real Deal: Online photo sharing

On our weekly Real Deal podcast today, Tom and I covered online photo sharing. It's not so much a comparison of the dozens of good photo sites we know of, but rather an overview of the issues for people confused about the whole space. Topics covered: Various services. How to pick a site. Privacy and copyrights. Online editing. And listener questions.

See also our Newbie's Guide to Flickr.

If you want to join the ongoing discussion, come on over to the Real Deal forums.

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