Picture Snob

April 2, 2008

Photo Software Series: Programs for Beginners & Kids

In PictureSnob's Photo Software Series, we're taking a look at a range of current photo software. Let us know your experiences and if there's another photo software that you'd like to recommend.

The Easy Peasy Stuff

If you're looking for something that Picasa or iPhoto can't already offer, these programs are focused on being easy and fast -- great for kids. With all of these you can organize your photos, do basic (often automated) editing and create and print things like greeting cards. Again, Keep in mind that these type of programs do not have pixel integrity in mind when it comes to editing photos. If plan on doing a lot of editing and you are concerned with keeping high and pure resolution of your photos, consider pro software.
software_beginner.jpgNova Photo Explosion (Amazon $19.99)
Simple and fast for beginners.
Windows only. Captures your photos directly from cameras and scanners and allows you to browse and organize your images with drag-and-drop simplicity. SmartEnhance technology will automatically adjust images in one click. Can also crop and combine two photos into one as well as use artistic effects like watercolor and fabric filters. Easily print contact sheets and create web cards and printed projects with over 4,500 templates.

Nova Greeting Card Factory Deluxe (Amazon $40.99)
Great if you want to make cards, cards and more cards!
Windows only. Nova has teamed up with Art Explosion, a massive clip art library, and with this software you get access to over 88,000 graphics. There's a built-in address book and reminder program so you don't miss birthdays and such. Create calendars (daily, weekly, monthly), cards and even a photo CD/DVD slideshow. They're touting an improved user interface and thousands of projects: certificates, stationery, address labels... the list goes on! We know a few kids who would have a ball with this.

PhotoStudio Expressions (Amazon $29.99)
Modern slideshow features differentiate from competition.
Windows only. A cool feature is creating slideshow movies -- add music, transitions and text -- then burn to disk and create custom CD/DVD labels. The slideshows are also compatible with iPods, PDAs and cell phones. One-click red eye removal and image enhancements. Can also create themed photo albums for sharing and easily print to any size with artistic frames and edges.

Stamps.com PhotoStamps (Amazon $19.95)
Opens the door to another fun customization project.
Oh, this is cool. You can take your photos and turn them into honest to goodness U.S. postage stamps. Great for kids, weddings, the pet-obsessed. There are some super-basic editing capabilities, but the only output is a stamp. Software is set up to work seamlessly with iPhoto, so we recommend doing any modifications there. Now it pays to note that you don't need this software to make photo stamps -- go to stamps.com to see what we mean. But by purchasing the software you get a free sheet of stamps (value of about $27.98) so as you can calculate, buying the software is just a big coupon. Another advantage could be saving the stamp designs over time, and being able to test-print them at home.

Tune in tomorrow for Photo Software Series: Programs for Hobbyists.

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Posted by Susan Moriarty at April 2, 2008 7:23 AM
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