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Photo Technical

This just in …a memory card with built-in wi-fi capability – A25

Before moving on to discuss photo retouching and enhancement, there is some unfinished business on backing up your files that needs to be discussed, especially covering methods that can be considered particularly useful to mariners while out at sea.

Actually have a news flash to start with.  I read in the paper today that Eye-Fi created a 2Gb SD memory with a wi-fi transmitter.  This will automatically upload your photos to a network you choose to recognize via formatting.

You may be familiar with Shutterfly or Flickr, and there are a number of others available for this service….reportedly 17 sites total.  And so like magic your photos will appear save and secure to work with and send on to family and friends.

The price for this wi-fi card is

around $100, which isn’t bad,

and the one catch for use is being

in range of a designated

wireless network.

When you are out at sea this may be a problem.  Not having any experience I can’t say for sure, but going from port to port it should work just fine.

Back to the central point of backing up your photo files I can’t say it often enough, you must have copies of your files in location other then your computer, or should your computer hard drive crash all may be lost.

I say “may” because there is recovery software, and it can possibly restore lost files.  Recently I had a hard drive fail, but recovery software offered no salvation.

So copy your file to your hard drive and another backup hard drive, or to CD’s and/or DVD’s.

Another solution, again a good one when you are out at sea, is to send the to www.streamload.com or www.mozy.com.  The former open a free account that includes 25Gb of secure online storage and the latter 2Gb’s, but it is somewhat more automated.

Both for a $4.95 per month fee offer significantly more benefits, especially in terms of additional storage space.  Both allow retrieval from any PC, file sharing, automated scheduled backups.

The only drawback for me personally is any wireless or cabled Internet means can make it a slow process uploading large photo files.  When you are out at sea, well you have but one choice, whether by your computer or wi-fi connection in your memory card I assume the file uploads will take time and can possibly be disrupted.  However you determine what is best for you; you must backup your files.

Once you have taken and secured your photo files to your hard drive and a back up source you will want to retouch and enhance your images.  Many possibilities exist as to what you can do and what software you can do it with.

The basics begin with darkening, but most often lightening your photographs, straightening, color correcting, cropping them.  To accomplish these tasks and more why not use software available through Google for free.  The software is called Picasa 2 (the latest version is 2.7).

There is a trial version available to take the software for a spin.  When you download the full version, the first thing it does is go through your hard drive in search of photo images, and then organizes folders into a Library.

Click on any folder in the Library window on the left and a light box like slide presentation will appear in the large window at right, allowing you to see those images in that folder.

You can control the size of the images displayed by the slider in the far right bottom corner of the screen.  Move the slider right to see larger individual images and to the left to see (more) smaller images.  It is a nice simple way to see what you have and to be sure the image is in focus and worth additional treatment.

Pick an image of interest and click on it to place it in the “photo tray” at the bottom left hand side.  Add additional selections in this way for all those of interest you would like to work on.

You could simply double click on any image in the light box display to bring it into the editor section, or double click on any photo in photo tray to bring up that image into the main window of the editor, along with the other images in the tray, again in the lower left of your screen

Now on the left side the Library is replace by three (3) tabs by the headings Basic Fixes, Tuning, and Effects.  At the bottom left you will see the photo tray and a row of other buttons, all of which I will get into on our next journey.  Until then, I ask permission to go ashore.