Getting Your Photos Ready for Sharing

One of the main reasons people buy digital cameras is so they can share their photos with others. Even if you are just going to print your photos for yourself, you will want them to look their best. Here are some tips on getting your images ready for sharing or printing.


Delete the ones you don’t like or those that are near duplicates of others. No sense in clogging up your hard drive or CDs with junk. Use a good photo management software program like ACDSEE 7, Adobe Photoshop Album 2.0 or Jasc Paint Shop Photo Album 5 to view, organize and name your images. These programs also let you batch rename so you can give more descriptive file names to a group of photos at the same time. You can add key words and tags to make finding your photos easier. Be detailed in your photo descriptions, not just “John and Laurie.” You’ll probably have hundreds of photos of your kids and it will be harder to find the one you’re looking for. Better to say “John and Laurie waterskiing on Lake Powell, May 2004.”


Mistakes can happen. It is a good idea to back up all your images to a CD before you start editing or changing them. That way you always have the original to go back to if you accidentally save over an image or made changes to a photo that you later decide you don’t like. CDs hold lots of photos, making it cheap insurance.


Trying to look at a sideways photo is annoying. Use your photo management or editing software to rotate photos as needed. And if you have any images that are a little crooked, you can fix that using your editing software. Most photo editors have an automatic “straighten” function, or you can manually rotate the image a few degrees to straighten the horizon line.


Even with your digital camera’s auto red-eye reduction function, your subject’s eyes may still have red-eye. Use your photo editing software to remove it. Zoom in on the eyes and it will be easier for you to correct the red-eye. I’ve tried a number of red-eye correction tools and find that the one that comes with ACDSEE 7’s photo editor is among the best. It zeros in just on the red eye and doesn’t darken the surrounding eye area like some other software does.


Crop out unnecessary or distracting backgrounds and focus in on your subject. Most photo editing programs will keep the aspect ratio, so when you draw a box around the area you want to focus on it will crop it as 4×6 or whatever you have specified. That way you won’t end up with an odd size photo. Kodak EasyShare Gallery also has a very good cropping tool for maintaining the proper print size. It comes with its free photo editor.


Some of your photos may have come out washed out or too dark. You can automatically adjust the color, brightness and contrast of your photos. The better programs like Photoshop Album 2.0, Jasc and ACDSEE also have tools for making manual adjustments for fine-tuning. Be careful not to overdo it, though, or your picture could come out grainy.


There are a number of ways to share your images. Several programs, like Roxio Photo Suite 7, ACDSEE7, Photoshop Album and Paint Shop Photo Album allow you to create digital photo albums or slide shows, complete with music, transitions and captions. You can burn them to CD or resize and optimize for emailing directly from the program.

Online photo services such as PhotoWorks, Shutterfly, Snapfish and Kodak EasyShare Gallery also let you share your photos on line, for free. You simply upload your images to their server into your own photo albums and add captions if you wish. Then email your friends with a link to your albums. With most of the online services your photos stay on their servers as long as you have an account with them, for free. Signing up for an account is free, you only pay for photos you choose to purchase.

For hardcore photo sharers, there are also dedicated photo sharing applications such as PiXPO v1.5.0, which lets you share photos right off your hard drive. This is a peer to peer software application that allows you to connect directly with your friends and family to share and view pictures online with no uploads. Unlike traditional photo sharing services, you have unlimited storage and you don’t have to upload your photos to a distant server or wait for friends to log onto some photo sharing site. The application is easy to install and use and it’s inexpensive, around $30. PC Magazine rated it an Editor’s Choice in their January 3, 2005 issue.

Uploading Your Photos Online

Imagine yourself on vacation, taking it all in and relaxing while making the most of your time away from work and the real world. After taking an excellent shot using your recently bought SupraUltraMax camera that is powered by an 18 megapixel lens, you are now all too excited to share it with everyone back home.

To email the pictures, you scoured that foreign country for an internet cafe desperately looking for a place to get your pics onto the computer so that you can send them to friends to show them what a great time you’re having. You attached your camera’s memory card on your rented computer and you found out how amazing your camera’s storage is – the file size of the pictures are enormous.

You can’t possibly email home images amounting to twenty seven megabytes. With the computers in the internet cafe you went to without any photo editor, there’s no way you can resize the pictures. So would sharing the photos mean you have to return home first?

Not really.

With today’s broadband technology, there are a number of websites that offers uploading and editing of pictures online.

Considered as one of the best in online editing, Phixr has a wide array of available tools such as Red Eye removal and Sepia conversion. It also has OCR recognition as well as the tool called Borders.

Phixr also allows the editing of pictures online and transfer it to other sites in a jiffy. This is because it has a go-between agreement with Costco, Flickr, Live Journal and other websites of such nature.

But it is important to note that Phixr does not keep the pictures for longer periods of time. Since it’s not really meant for storage, the pictures, get removed three hours after editing is over.

Meanwhile, there’s PXN8 (pronounced as Pixenate and yes, it’s seems like a license plate). It’s Bookmarklet feature makes immediate loading of images possible. In just two mouse clicks, you can upload and open an image using PXN8.

One of the reasons why PXN8 is getting good reviews is because of its multiple features and functions. Hence, workflow becomes fast and easy.

Meanwhile, a site named Pixoh is the one that provides the largest limits when it comes to file size. In fact, you can edit pictures as much as 10 megabytes with Pixoh. That’s why among online photo editors, it is considered to be one the best interfaces. The only drawback is that it can only tender limited features like rotation and resizing.

Top 5 Online Video Makers

One True Media

One True Media is a popular online application for creating slideshows, videos and montages. It provides professional touches, including pre-set special effects, transitions and editing features, so that you can easily complete your video making and editing tasks. After making your own creation, you can instantly share it on YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and other video sharing sites- you can even upload the video to your own TiVo channel. Another nice feature is that it allows you to choose your own DVD cover for your video.


Animoto is another great video making website. It allows you to take all your pictures and weave them up to a new creation which explains all your feelings and thoughts. It’s very easy-to-use- all you have to do is upload the photos or video clips, then its “Cinematic Artificial Intelligence” will analyze the nuances of a song to create the right effect and transitions for your photos. You can also select from various premade video styles and add texts and music to personalize your videos.


WeVideo is a powerful and collaborative online video making tool. You can either upload your own media clips or use stock media clips WeVideo offers to create your video. It also provides various “Themes” which include transitions as well as music, color grading and captions, so that make your videos look professionally made with just one click. On top of that, the WeVideo Google Drive app allows you to save all your video projects in your Google Drive account. It also provides Android and iOS app which helps you capture memories wherever they happen and turn them into amazing videos to share with friends and family.


Magisto is a great video making and editing tool for making fun videos to share with family and friends. Currently it’s available as a web app as well as a free iPhone and Android app. It also has a partnership with Google Drive so you can use any of the videos you have stored in your Drive space to create a Magisto video. One feature of Magisto is that the algorithm can analyze the uploaded footage and determine the best parts and then edit those parts together with effects and transitions. Users can also select the style as well as add title and soundtrack to enrich the mode of their videos.

Muvee Cloud

Muvee Cloud is online photo and video album sharing service. Unlike other similar services which just enable you to upload photos and video one at a time or even in batches, Muvee Cloud actually allows you to import photos from any website. That means you can create a new photo album with the contents from an album on your Flickr, Picasa, iPhoto or Facebook account. Moreover, you can choose the content, pick a style and add music for your videos. Once complete, you can easily share it on social networks or your own blog.