Photo Organization 101 {For Creative Bloggers} #5

Organizing digital photos can be overwhelming, but not if you set up a user-friendly organizaing system!

Part 1  Part 2  Part 3+ 4

PART #5: Software

Two key things to do:

1) organize photos
2) edit photos

Some tools do both -- Apple Aperture, iPhoto, Adobe Lightroom, Google Picasa. Some have a wide range of functions and some do just a few things but quite well.

Some tools do one or the other -- Adobe Bridge (organize), Adobe Photshop CS (edit). 

About the tools I've used {your mileage will vary}

Google Picasa for Mac or PC. Picasa can be downloaded free. It is super duper user friendly. You tell Picasa where to search on your computer for photos and it will update what is where automatically. With it you can upload photos from a memory card, name files, add tags, and do basic important edits like crop, straighten, adjust brightness, saturation, contrast, lightness, shadows. I used Picasa for the first few years of Daisy Yellow and it might be all you need! The workflow would be upload, edit, export/compress (for blog/flickr etc) in Picasa.

Apple Aperture. I used Aperture for about a year, finally opting to splurge on Photoshop. Aperture is adept at making color corrections, sharpening, adjusting levels, using various channels, viewing more detailed metadata from the camera, black point adjustment, etc. What drove me batty was the way that Aperture handled the photo library, importing and exporting the master files and all sorts of clunkiness. If Apple has resolved the way the library is handled, I would highly recommend it, but otherwise not.

A screenshot of the bridge interface.

Adobe Bridge. Scott Kelby's Photoshop books provide insight into how and why to use Bridge to organize photos. I love Bridge. With it I can see all of my photo (RAW, jpg, png etc) files and movie files. Like Picasa (but not Aperture, for example) you can move/copy files to other folders, create and rename files/folders without going to Finder (Mac) or My Computer (PC). Bridge has various viewing options, ways to categorize and tag photos, view metadata, even run Photoshop actions in batch! If you shoot in RAW, clicking RAW files in Bridge opens Adobe Camera RAW for detailed adjustments and open in Photoshop to edit further. {Photoshop CS6 Extended comes with Bridge and Camera RAW.}

Adobe Photoshop CS6 has been my editing tool since late 2009. There are nooks and crannies in PS that I still haven't figured out, like channels and some types of masks. The workflow would be to upload, name, categorize in Bridge, process in Camera RAW (if you shoot in RAW), edit and export/compress (for blog/flickr etc) in Photoshop. 

Fun things about PS:

Actions (macros) automate your repetitive processes or adjust photos in interesting ways. Write them yourself or download actions. My favs are Coffee Shop and Pioneer Woman and Nelly Nero.

Textures (layers) are used to layer photographs and add dimension and interest. 

Brushes (stamps) decorate or alter your photographs. Download freebies in lots of places, or design your own. I find lots at deviantART.

Read the rest of the series! Part #1Part #2Part #3 & Part #4Part #5 and Tips on Photographing Your Art.