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Author Topic : Useful software for photographers 
paulcoxphotography

Thread Starter / Photographer
City: Manchester
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Sep 18, 2004
Posts: 11498
Views : 4897  Mar 21, 2009 11:09am

There are lots of pieces of software out there that make our lives easier. Post links here and share with your fellow NM member....

For unlimited legal music for free (add supported) during a shoot http://www.spotify.com/en/

Capture ideas and take them with you wherever you go (phone, Mac, PC) http://evernote.com/

What makes your life easier?



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darkstudent

Photographer
City: Preston
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Jul 7, 2008
Posts: 894


screamer radio is brilliant for music for dif moods for studio shoots
just google it, its free world internet radio stations

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 doctorontop



Photographer
City: La Condamine
Country: Morroco
Member Since: Jun 25, 2007
Posts: 2592

Photoshop ??


John.

A Cynic is what an Idealist calls a Realist.

10% Photographer 90% Digital Bulldozer.

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paulcoxphotography

Thread Starter / Photographer
City: Manchester
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Sep 18, 2004
Posts: 11498

Quirky but superb printing from Windows (and the reason I've installed Vista on my Mac) - http://www.ddisoftware.com/qimage/

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Top  IP: Logged | Edited by paulcoxphotography at 03-21-2009 11:25 AM Report Post Reply Reply w/Quote
paulcoxphotography

Thread Starter / Photographer
City: Manchester
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Sep 18, 2004
Posts: 11498

More and more stuff is 'cloud' based rather than stored locally on your PC / Mac. Here are some that I find useful....

Amazon S3 - cheap unlimited storage ideal for storing large files but you need a front end for is which is where http://www.jungledisk.com/ and http://www.s3fox.net/ come in handy.

Keep an electronic calendar for shoots using http://www.google.com/calendar and have it appear on your web site and sync over the air to your phone and other computers.



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 doctorontop



Photographer
City: La Condamine
Country: Morroco
Member Since: Jun 25, 2007
Posts: 2592

Nik software do some usefull filters and addons


John.

A Cynic is what an Idealist calls a Realist.

10% Photographer 90% Digital Bulldozer.

Link: Nik Software
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Top  IP: Logged | Edited by doctorontop at 03-21-2009 5:33 PM Report Post Reply Reply w/Quote
IanS

Photographer
City: Worcester
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Oct 2, 2004
Posts: 2883

Something which I could find very useful, instead of trying to remember to back up my various drives

Ian

-------------------------------------------

Photographer, extra extraordinaire...

My new adopted surrogate parents are Circles Of Confusion & Marianne Davies, I'm not sure they'll be happy but I am !


www.iansavage.org

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Linty7

Photographer
City: Stourbridge
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Jan 18, 2006
Posts: 771

Again, not just for photographers but it's one of the most important pieces of software I have.

It's called Maximizer & it's a contact manager. You can store all your customer details, create your own user defined fields, mass letter/email mail merge, create graphs from any information entered & search on just about anything. It does so much more than this & it's not just a database, it's based around sales & keeping in touch with your customers. It's the reason we bought our first computer back in the 80's, we started off with the first Dos version & we’ve upgraded ever since. I can't recommend this program highly enough for anyone running a business.....

Boys don't grow up, the toys just get more expensive.....

Link: No Caption
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Cygnet

Photographer
City: Farnworth Bolton
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: May 27, 2007
Posts: 2123

Microsoft have another useful power-toy, Image Resizer.

Whilst not as sophisticated as other resizers, for creating quick images to email etc it is ideal, especially as it is accessible in the right click menu !

There are options for 4 different sizes ( large (1024x768), medium (800x600), small (640x480) and one suitable for mobile phones etc (240x320).

The user can also choose to create copies of the image or overwrite the existing one, and a further option which restricts use to reducing the image size only)

Very handy little application!

Link: MS Image resizer
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Top  IP: Logged | Edited by Cygnet at 03-22-2009 5:39 AM Report Post Reply Reply w/Quote
Cygnet

Photographer
City: Farnworth Bolton
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: May 27, 2007
Posts: 2123

Renamer is a useful application that I use for batch re naming files. Its freeware and has many features, which make it vey powerful little tool.
Templates can be saved and selected to be active or dormant making repetitive work very easy indeed.

Link: ReNamer
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TonyNutley

Photographer
City: Southampton/Arundel
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Oct 12, 2004
Posts: 2880

Viveza from NIK if I was only allowed one Photoshop filter this would be it.

I've been using it for about one year now, it never fails.

Tony

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Cygnet

Photographer
City: Farnworth Bolton
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: May 27, 2007
Posts: 2123

quoting post from TonyNutley:

Viveza from NIK if I was only allowed one Photoshop filter this would be it.

I've been using it for about one year now, it never fails.

Tony


I have been playing with Niksofts Color Efx pro and it is very impressive, same type of user interface as Viveza and includes numerous fully customisable effects. While some may be a gimmick they are handy jumping off points for editing

Dfine, Niks noise control software is another plugin I find very useful, again it has the same interface as Viveza as well as a fast one click auto setting that is great for quick jobs !

---------------------------
I can spell but sometimes when I am tryping my fingers become dyslexic !

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keithcurtis

Photographer
City: Romsey
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: May 28, 2005
Posts: 5084

For getting the images onto the computer and changing the 4 digit prefix of my image file to a job number while retaining the last four digits generated by the camera and make a set of useful folders to help consistent workflow, nothing beats downloader pro.

From the same breezesys.com family, Breezebrowser pro is the best for browsing raw files and sorting out losers and keepers with it's excellent tagging system. Lots of tricks under the surface of this excellent program by Chris Breeze.

Keith
________________________________
www.keithcurtis.co.uk



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keithcurtis

Photographer
City: Romsey
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: May 28, 2005
Posts: 5084

Breezebrowser is great Ken.
I use downloader pro to identify which camera the files come from and automatically put an "a" or "b" suffix on the file so there is no risk of identcal files when you put them in the same folder then in Breezebrowser you can rename by time stamp putting them all in sequence.

The real plus is that if there are images shot out of sequence like the cake shot etc you can drag the thumbnails around on the screen to any order then "rename as displayed"

I can always talk you through it on the phone if you are interested.

On the subject of renaming, CK Rename is excellent and free. I use it for replacing parts of a filename while retaining the rest and putting suffix and prefix's on groups of files.

Keith
________________________________
www.keithcurtis.co.uk



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Top  IP: Logged | Edited by keithcurtis at 03-22-2009 7:00 AM Report Post Reply Reply w/Quote
Dave_mono

Photographer
City: Doncaster
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Nov 29, 2007
Posts: 114

I am with Keith on this one Breeze browser is very good at sorting and renaming, I use it to sort out into different folders then into Photoshop just to put the finishing touches on them.

Dave


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keithcurtis

Photographer
City: Romsey
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: May 28, 2005
Posts: 5084

Glad it helped Ken and none of us ever stop learning something new.

It was only a couple of days ago that I found out that by double clicking anywhere on the top (dark blue) windows bar in a program will toggle it full screen and windowed mode without having to fiddle around with the little icons in the top right hand corner.

Just adding up all the time I have wasted over the years!!!!!

Keith
________________________________
www.keithcurtis.co.uk



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Stibnite

Photographer
City: Bury St Edmunds
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Jan 21, 2007
Posts: 689

quoting post from Linty7:

Again, not just for photographers but it's one of the most important pieces of software I have.

It's called Maximizer & it's a contact manager. You can store all your customer details, create your own user defined fields, mass letter/email mail merge, create graphs from any information entered & search on just about anything. It does so much more than this & it's not just a database, it's based around sales & keeping in touch with your customers. It's the reason we bought our first computer back in the 80's, we started off with the first Dos version & we’ve upgraded ever since. I can't recommend this program highly enough for anyone running a business.....

Boys don't grow up, the toys just get more expensive.....


I know this is meant to be a helpful thread but "max" is one of the worst pieces of software ever written. Thankfully we have moved on about 18 months ago but still picking bits of the sw out of my laptop.......

Cheers to the other posters though some very helpful hints.

---------
Good evening Moosef*&kers............

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Linty7

Photographer
City: Stourbridge
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Jan 18, 2006
Posts: 771

quoting post from Stibnite:

I know this is meant to be a helpful thread but "max" is one of the worst pieces of software ever written. Thankfully we have moved on about 18 months ago but still picking bits of the sw out of my laptop.......

Cheers to the other posters though some very helpful hints.

---------
Good evening Moosef*&kers............


Well we've been using it for 20 years without any problem what so ever. Sorry Stibnite that I was the only poster "not" to give useful advice !!!

Boys don't grow up, the toys just get more expensive.....

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CSD_Images

Photographer
City: Aberdeen
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Jun 20, 2005
Posts: 2854

Useful software I have found over the years. Some I still use others...

Qimage - PC only, the best printing solution available without resorting to a RIP.

Adobe Creative Suite - Most photographers stick to Photoshop but Illustrator, Dreamweaver, InDesign can all offer abilties that can be pertinent to photographer and portfolios.

Photokit Colour/Sharpener - useful automation tool to enhance colour, create effects or to sharpen.

Nik Software - Goes without saying really. They've been around a very long time and now produces some of the best plug-ins for Photoshop.

Imagenomic Portraiture - Recently had a major overhaul and it's become even better for retouching skin.

Noise Ninja - There is no bad noise reduction software on the market but I prefer the interface of NN.

Alien Skin Exposure - If you need to replicate a particular film look this is probably one of the best options on the market. Whilst much of Alien Skin's plug-ins do is gimmicky this actually is useful.

Second Copy - Probably one of the best back up programs around at it's price point. Not only will it back up but it preserve the previous backup (also called 'versioning'). Great for saving your bacon when you overwritten the wrong file... The downside is that it can't handle locked or system files.

Lightroom - The DAM of choice for many photographers. The ease of use and abilties have been extended in v2 so that it's now becoming indespensible for those who have high image throughput and deals with clients.

ACDSee Pro - The evolution of this app has made it interesting to many photographers and it offers features that can be useful that's not readily available elsewhere such as screen grabs, the ability to handle multiple image types and view fonts.

True Image or Shadow Protect Desktop. Two of the best and easiest to use drive imaging programs on the market, the latter is very useful if you use VMWare as it's images can be mounted as a VM machine.

Filezilla - Free and easy FTP application.

VLC Media player - Plays almost all video formats on the market.

Proshow Gold or Producer - One of the best slideshow presentation packages available.

DSLR Remote Pro - From BreezeSystems. If you need to do tethered shooting then this probably one of the best solutions. Of course if you shoot Canon you can always use the free software from them...

RealVNC (with CygWin) - If you need remote access to your PC desktop then this is probably the best solution. Note if you need something more secure then consider setting up a FTP server instead to get your files.

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paulcoxphotography

Thread Starter / Photographer
City: Manchester
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Sep 18, 2004
Posts: 11498

quoting post from CSD_Images:

Alien Skin Exposure - If you need to replicate a particular film look this is probably one of the best options on the market. Whilst much of Alien Skin's plug-ins do is gimmicky this actually is useful.


Have to agree. I use this plug in on pretty much every image now.

I'm gutted to discover that my other favourite plugin (convert to B&W pro) no longer works with CS4 having been discontinued in 2007. Shame really as it's about the best B&W conversion tool I've found to date.

All Windows users should have a copy of this program on their system too http://www.irfanview.com/ excellent little utility for viewing and batch processing images.

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Bainesey

Photographer
City: Liverpool
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Dec 18, 2005
Posts: 1216

Just incase for some reason the autorotate on your camera or capture software stops working... (As mine did on a shoot a while back)


Try this as it can also batch resize too


http://www.annystudio.com/software/jpeglosslessrotator/

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ajc07977

Photographer
City: Ipswich
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Nov 9, 2007
Posts: 2672

Pixmantec Raw Shooter Premium (RSP) ... the 'good' gene input that went into the 1st Lightroom.

Unfortunately (especially on a single core machine), Lightroom is incredibly slow and OTT. I am always wary of any product that tries to tie various different capabilities into one product. I personally found Lightroom far too much to take in all at once, impossible to do things (like just Raw Convertion quickly) & seemed in order to get full DAM benefits you had to follow a very strict workflow.

RSP and indeed RSE (Raw Shooter Essentials - that is still free to download) are INCREDIBLY fast and very easy to use. RSP gives you more bells and whistles and is amazingly quick to load, adjustments visually happen in a fraction of a second, cut and pasting of chosen adjustments, storing of favourite custom curves and contrast/highlight/fill light settings etc.

I used 20D and now run 2x 1d MkIIN bodies. Original 5D wil also run with this software.

A piece of software that is just so fast & easy to use + can be used in a minimal or 'power user' style equally as effectively. VERY light on processing power. Just does what it says on the tin + very well.

Are there any stand alone DAM software solutions that people recommend ? I HATED the way that Lightroom (unlike RSE/RSP that can just use folders of RAW files stored on whatever drives), insisted on creating this 'Master' file of thumbnails. If you reorganised your backups, HDDs & where RAW files were, it got really miffed and wanted to catalogue everything from scratch . I also hated how Photoshop Elements did this if you activated the feature. All very Adobe-ish!

I now use CS3 over Elements 3 (mostly to gain actions and droplets).


Andrew
____________________

"Bathed in natural light, let me capture you, just a fraction of a second at a time"

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Andy_Howard

Photographer
City: Preston
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Aug 30, 2003
Posts: 478

quoting post from ajc07977:

If you reorganised your backups, HDDs & where RAW files were, it got really miffed and wanted to catalogue everything from scratch

If it helps, you can reorganise your folders from within Lightroom - this updates the catalogue as you go along - although I suppose there is an overhead in the time it takes.

Andy


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 NoNoizePhotography



Photographer
City: Croydon
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posts: 1109

Not software this time, but if you can't find the right shade of colour your looking for , then try this website http://0to255.com/

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Spike

Photographer
City: St Albans
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Aug 26, 2008
Posts: 1210

Probably only relevent to a minority but if you own an NEC Spectraview monitor, their own software used with a eyeONE makes calibration dead easy.

PortraitPro used in MODERATION

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