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Digital Tool Shed - resources for digital photography

A  tool shed of resources for digital photography, including editors, image viewers, slideshow/screensavers, audio/video, podcasts, blogs, web pages, color charts. Enjoy!
I've received no compensation for these listing, except an occasional link exchange.



Digital Cameras and Photography:
  • Getting Started in Digital Photography (Dave Johnson)
  • How to Buy a Digital Camera: From resolution to storage and from exposure control to white balance, we'll explain the digital camera terms you need to know.
  • Copyright Basics © - What Is Copyright?: Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U.S. Code) to the authors of "original works of authorship," including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works.
  • A Complete Guide to Digital Cameras and Photography (ShortCourses.com): Offers a number of tutorials and informational essays on all aspects of digital photography, camera operation, and editing digital photos. In the site's seventeen sections, visitors can learn about how to choose a digital camera, how to display and share digital photos, and how to best use one's digital camera for a variety of purposes.
  • Digital Photography Review: an independent resource dedicated to the provision of news, reviews and information about digital photography and digital imaging.
  • Digital Photography School: Discover how to use your digital camera with our Digital Photography Tips. A community of photographers of all experience levels who come together to learn, share and grow in our understanding of photography.
  • Photo.net: a site for serious photographers to connect with other photographers, explore photo galleries, discuss photography, share and critique photos, and learn about photography.
  • Photography's Golden Rule: The most important thing to know about your rights as a photographer: In general, you can photograph anything or anyone as long as you are on public property. Public property includes city streets, municipal parks, and national parks and forests. Nonetheless, Internet photography forums are chock full of tales about people who have been challenged or harassed when using a camera in public.

Essential Tools: IMHO

  • Dry-All for Smartphones: Dries all phones to 0% humidity - Recovers wet Smartphones in as little as 6 hours - Guaranteed to dry all wet smart phones.
  • Boogie Jack’s Background Magic: The ultimate solution to creating web graphics that reflect YOUR perfect taste. You can easily create top-quality web page backgrounds with complementary buttons and banners that say exactly what you want them to say, not just the closest thing you could find.
  • Converseen– a free batch image processor: an open source image converter and resizer that supports more than 100 image formats. Converseen allows you to convert, resize, rotate and flip automatically an unlimited number of images. It can process more than one image with one mouse click!
  • CutePDF Writer: Create PDF documents on the fly — for Free! Portable Document Format (PDF) is the de facto standard for the secure and reliable distribution and exchange of electronic documents and forms around the world. CutePDF Writer (formerly CutePDF Printer) is the free version of commercial PDF creation software. CutePDF Writer installs itself as a "printer subsystem". This enables virtually any Windows applications (must be able to print) to create professional quality PDF documents - with just a push of a button! (The downloads are in the upper left column)
  • Digitize Your Analog Life (PC World): Rip your records, transfer your tapes, scan your photos, and move your home movies onto your hard drive. Some easy ways to convert vinyl, film, and other analog media into high-quality digital files.
  • FotoTagger: Users can add embedded comments on the photos. Additionally, the program allows users to create photo blogs, and upload and download photographs to Flickr accounts with all of these wonderful captions preserved intact. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000 and XP.
  • IrfanView: a fast and compact image viewer/converter. Features include: multi-language support, Thumbnail option, Painting, slideshow, toolbar skins, fast directory browsing, batch conversion/editing, multipage editing, file search, change color depth, scanning, cut/crop…The Slideshow feature has terrific options to select images to burn to a CD (family photos), create an executable (exe) file. or a screensaver (scr) file. Frequently Asked Questions about IrfanView.
  • MakerKoala Photo Collage Maker: A free online service which allows you to create wonderful collages online in a few steps and you can download the collage to your desktop. There are various templates available for you to customize.
    • Photovisi: free and easy to use online tool to create photo collages. Select one of the many collage templates, add your photos and then customize by dragging items around. After the collage is finished, it's available for download and print!
    • Shape Collage: take your digital photos and creates an artistic collage from them. Just drag a set of photos into the Shape Collage window and specify the shape of the collage that you want to make. Check out the Screenshots demo.
  • Microsoft's Photo Story: a free Windows program that lets you create audiovisual presentations out of your photos and images. You can quickly crop, rotate, and edit your pictures; personalize them with captions and titles; and add sound effects, narration, and background music.
  • Light Image Resizer (ObviousIdea): Manage your digital photos with this free resize image software. Create e-mail friendly versions of your images, load them faster. Works with 32 and 64bits edition of Windows XP, Vista, 7. Light Image Resizer is integrated into the Windows explorer shell, right click on your pictures and start working on your pictures! NB: also you can add a watermark.
    • Image Resizer for Windows: a utility that lets you resize one or more selected image files directly from Windows Explorer by right-clicking. Regain the joy they left behind with Microsoft's Image Resizer Powertoy for Windows XP.
  • Quick View Plus: For Windows Vista, XP/Win 7, Win 8 (32- & 64-bit): Support for over 300 different file formats, including Microsoft Office, QVP lets you view all the files and email attachments you need, instantly – without purchasing numerous software programs. QVP maintains the formatting of the files you view. So you can see and print files as they were originally created and meant to be seen, complete with fonts, text formatting and graphics.
  • Snagit: the perfect utility to capture and share images, text or video from your PC. Creating beautiful presentations, flawless documentation and just saving your favorite online content is now easier than ever before with Snagit.

Photo Editing Tools:

  • Corel® Paint Shop Pro®: the ideal choice for any aspiring photographer's digital darkroom. It's filled with everything from easy automatic photo fixes to precision editing tools. It even includes a built-in Learning Center to help new users get started right away!
    • Enhancing Fall Photos - Paint Shop Pro: The colors of fall make for striking photos and using PaintShop Pro’s different tools and features will help you turn even the dullest photo into a rich masterpiece.
  • Adobe® Photoshop®: ultimate playground for bringing out the best in your digital images and transforming them into anything you can imagine. Productivity and workflow enhancements, powerful new editing tools, and breakthrough compositing capabilities.
    • Adobe® Photoshop® Elements: turn ordinary snapshots into something spectacular. Easily organize, edit, and create brilliant photos to share via print, the web, Facebook, and more.
  • GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program): a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. GIMP can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.
  • IrfanView: a fast and compact image viewer/converter. Features include: multi-language support, Thumbnail option, Painting, slideshow, toolbar skins, fast directory browsing, batch conversion/editing, multipage editing, file search, change color depth, scanning, cut/crop…The Slideshow feature has terrific options to select images to burn to a CD (family photos), create an executable (exe) file. or a screensaver (scr) file. Frequently Asked Questions about IrfanView.
  • Paint.NET (Windows): free image and photo editing software; features an intuitive and innovative user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools.
  • Photoscape: easy photo editing software that enables you to fix and enhance photos. Features: Viewer, Editor, Batch editor, Animated GIF, Screen Capture, Color Picker, Rename, Raw Converter.
  • Picasa (Google): Locate and organize all the photos on your computer. Edit and add effects to your photos with a few simple clicks. Share your photos with others through email, prints, and on the web: it’s fast, easy and free.
  • Pixlr Express: a fun and free photo editor that lets you quickly crop, re-size, and fix any picture, remove red-eye, and whiten teeth. Then choose from more than 600 effects, overlays, and borders to personalize any image-all for free. From the makers of Pixlr-o-matic, Pixlr Express will make you look like a pro, even if you've never edited a photo before. Google Play or the App Store.

Tips & Tutorials:

Audio Tools:

  • How to Rip a CD to MP3 & Auto-Name Files Correctly. Use CDex, a trusty freeware open-source tool, in order to make MP3 copies of your CD’s (for iPod listening) It’s fast, it’s easy and there’s even a portable version for your on-the-go ripping needs.
  • 10 Most Downloaded Software For Audio Files - MP3 & audio software. Apps used to convert, organize or listen to digital audio files as well as rip physical music to a digital format.
  • Audacity - free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds. This editor can record and play sounds and import and export WAV, AIFF, MP3, and OGG files. Edit your sounds using cut, copy, and paste features (with unlimited undo functionality), mix tracks, or apply effects to your recordings. The program also has a built-in amplitude-envelope editor, a customizable spectrogram mode, and a frequency-analysis window for audio-analysis applications. Built-in effects include bass boost, wah wah, and noise removal, and the program also supports VST plug-in effects.
  • Free Audio Dub: free audio editing software that lets you delete unwanted parts from audio files without re-encoding. And "without re-encoding" means without loosing original quality!!! This is a lossless conversion, which is very fast. Supports many audio formats: MP3, WAV, AAC, AC3, M4A, MP2, OGG, WMA.
  • Free online MIDI to MP3 or WAV converter: Convert MIDI files to MP3/WAV audio files, which you can then burn onto a CD, import into a flash movie and for other uses where MIDI files are restricted. No need to sign up or download anything.
  • Audiograbber: grabs and copies a cd's audio digitally—not through the soundcard—which enables you to make perfect copies of the originals. It can automatically normalize the music, delete silence from the start and/or end of tracks, and send them to a variety or external MP3 encoders. You can even record your vinyl LP's or cassette tapes with Audiograbber and make wav's or MP3's of them.
  • Windows Media Player: to rip (copy) songs from your CDs to your computer.

Video Tools:

  • SaveFrom.net: Download or Save Videos."Copy, paste any YouTube URL into the URL text field and click the Download Video button; save to a folder. For most users we suggest downloading the MP4 format, other formats may include FLV, 3GP, and WebM." Via ComputerHope.
  • E.M. PowerPoint Video Converter - Convert PowerPoint Presentations to a Video. Easy-to-use, high-quality program, quickly converts PowerPoint to video, audio and images, such as avi, flv, 3gp, swf, mkv, mpeg2 ts, DVD, mp4, mov, mp3...
  • Freemake Video Converter (Freeware): Convert between video formats, rip DVD, convert to devices, burn DVD, create photo slideshows and music visualizations, cut, join, rotate and upload video, photos, music to YouTube with our free video converter.
  • Lightworks: Lightweight Open Source Video Editing Software. an Academy and Emmy award winning professional-grade editor with over 20 years of history in the film and broadcast industry.…includes a full feature set of editorial tools – from advanced trimming and media management, to stereoscopic support and realtime effects including multiple secondary colour correctors.
  • Multimedia Journalism & Storytelling (UC-Berkeley & Knight Media Center): offers a number of tutorials that will help such persons learn about choosing a story, doing fieldwork, editing their piece, and even offer a few tips on shooting video. The site is divided into sections that provide tips on picking the right video camera for the assignment and those that give some useful information on the various audio recording devices that might come in handy.
  • Video Toolbox: free powerful video editor lets you convert videos, add watermark text, cut videos, crop videos, merge several video files, demux video files and much more.
  • Windows Movie Maker (FREE) makes home movies amazingly fun. With Movie Maker, you can create, edit, and share your home movies right on your computer. Build your movie with a few simple drag-and-drops. Delete bad shots and include only the best scenes. Then share your movie via the Web, e-mail, or CD. Using third-party software you can even take movies you've made and turn them into DVDs. You can also save your movie back to the video tape in your camera to play back on a TV or on the camera itself. Check under Programs > Accessories to see if it is already on your system by default.
    • Windows Movie Maker: Make Quick & Professional Looking Videos. These days, it is very easy to make professional-looking videos in as little as 15 minutes. After trying out a few programs, I finally settled on Windows Movie Maker and it is an absolute cinch to use. (Part One) | (Part 2).

Blog Tools:

"A blog gives you your own voice on the web. It's a place to collect and share things that you find interesting— whether it's your political commentary, a personal diary, or links to web sites you want to remember." ~Blogger

  • WordPress: start a blog in seconds without any technical knowledge.
  • TypePad: premier blogging service, hosting the world’s leading blogs.
  • Blog Tools: Do you Want to Improve Your Blog?
Web Page Tools:
  • BoogieJack.com: featuring standards-based HTML tutorials, CSS tutorials, HTML Code demonstrations, HTML Code Charts and other website design help and resources.Check out the Inner Circle benefits.
    • Boogie Jack’s Background Magic: The ultimate solution to creating web graphics that reflect YOUR perfect taste. You can easily create top-quality web page backgrounds with complementary buttons and banners that say exactly what you want them to say, not just the closest thing you could find.
  • Easily Create A Favicon. If you have a blog or website then creating a favicon is a very good idea. This makes your link stand out from all the links that don’t have favicons. Secondly, a favicon brands your site and gives it that extra professional look.
    • Favicon Generator: A favicon (short for "favorites icon" and also known as a page icon), is an icon associated with a particular website or webpage that is displayed in the browser address bar next to a site's URL.
  • Google: Webmaster Guidelines. Following these guidelines will help Google find, index, and rank your site, we strongly encourage you to pay very close attention to the "Quality Guidelines," which outline some of the illicit practices that may lead to a site being removed entirely from the Google index or otherwise penalized. Includes How to add your website to Google’s index?
  • <hyper>gURL.com: Learn how to create, improve and promote a website. Tools for webmasters including web templates, html codes, Javascripts and tutorials all help to create your site.
  • HTML Reference (W3Schools): Includes description of HTML Reference and HTML Tags
  • ReCAPTCHAs: used by many websites to prevent abuse from "bots," or automated programs usually written to generate spam. No computer program can read distorted text as well as humans can, so bots cannot navigate sites protected by CAPTCHAs.

Color Code Tools:

  • Color Theory Overview: Color theory has been worked on by a number of individuals over the years, and those with an interest in the field include artists, scientists, and of course, interior designers. Visitors can learn about the basics of color, complementary colors, and concepts such as contrast, dominance, proportion, and intensity.
  • Color Chart Pickers: quick and simple with color codes.
  • Basic Color Code
Free Fonts:
  • Typeface - Learn more about fonts: In typography, a typeface consists of a co-ordinated set of character designs. Such a set usually comprises an alphabet of letters, a series of numerals and a selection of punctuation marks. Typefaces also exist of ideograms and symbols (for example, mathematical or map making glyphs).
  • 1001 Free Fonts: MAC and Windows.
  • Ace Free Fonts - free fonts for Windows and Mac. One of the largest archives on the web including free fonts for Windows and Mac! There are 20309 fonts for Windows and Mac with customizable previews and full character maps.
  • FreeFonts.info: Over 13,000 fonts for free with no registration required. Users are able to download free fonts that come in thousands of different styles and submit their own fonts for others to use, creating a varied font community for users to share.
  • Fonts 500 - the top 500 free fonts from around the web
  • Font Squirrel: Free fonts licensed for commercial work.
  • Microsoft Core Fonts - download
  • SearchFreeFonts:  collection contains over 13,000 free fonts.
  • 6500 Free Fonts
  • Cool Text Fonts: over 1,200 free fonts available for download.

PowerPoint Templates:

Misc. Tools:
  • CDBurnerXP – A Great Burning Tool For CDs DVDs, Blu-Rays & ISOs [Windows]. A free application to burn CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays, and HD-DVDs on essentially all relevant versions of Windows, including Windows 8. It’s one of the best tools for the job.
  • ZDNet: How to REALLY erase a hard drive. Secure Erase, a set of commands embedded in most ATA drives built since 2001.
    • Darik's Boot and Nuke ("DBAN") is a self-contained boot disk that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers. DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction.
  • PosteRazor 1.5 (free): Want to print an image the size of a poster--but you don't have a wide-format printer? One solution is to print the image in smaller sections, each taking up a sheet of standard paper, and then put those sections together to create the full image. PosteRazor is available as a Windows, an OSX and a Linux version.
Stock Photography:
  • Can Stock Photo: professional royalty free stock photography at prices you can afford. High-quality images start at just $1.00, and a generous license agreement gives you the flexibility you need. Whether you need an image for advertising, presentations, brochures, or just decoration, they've got you covered! Search for Your Images! We offer free weekly downloads with thousands of new images added every week.
  • Foto Search Stock Photography: The best online search engine for stock photo images, digital illustrations and artwork, map clipart, picture clip art, and stock footage from more than 2.5 million images from 140 quality stock photography publishers at one site. Stock photos and images: Bible | Catholic | Christian. Type query into Search box.
  • FreeFoto: largest online stock image database of free photographs on the Internet. The comprehensive, yet easy to navigate site, offers images that are free for on-line use… The stock images on FreeFoto are under the Creative Commons License.
  • GoGraph: offers flexible royalty free stock photography, vectors, illustrations, graphics, and stock footage at low prices.
  • PDClipart: public domain clip art collection of 25,00+ clip art files for you to use in your blog posts, projects and presentations. All of them are in the public domain, meaning you don't need to worry about copyright infringement, licenses, attribution, commercial usage and all that.
  • Veezzle: search for free high quality stock photos. A simple search engine that crawls multiple free stock photo resources so you can find and download them easily. Just enter the keywords you want to search for and Veezzle will display a number of results collected from different sites.

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