Published in the Peoples' Post - 27 September

Having a digital camera without a computer is like being in an or orchestra without a violinist. Although it is possible to get photos printed directly from your camera’s memory card at the photo shop, you miss out on a world of opportunities by not having a computer with some basic image editing software installed.

Most digital cameras come with some type of image editing software, but there are also a number of great free packages available via the internet. All you need to do is download them, assuming you have a reasonable internet connection. There is a big difference between comprehensive image editing software suites such as Photoshop CS and simple image manipulation software such as Irfanview. The most basic programme should allow you to make minor adjustments to the light levels in the photo, convert to grey tones, crop the image, rotate it, resize it and save it to a new filename. You can download Irfanview free at Remember to always work on a copy image and not on the original. That way you keep your original photo intact.

Another great free programme at a higher level is GIMP. My teenage daughter uses it with ease. You can download this for 3 operating systems – Windows, Linux and Mac, which makes it very versatile. The tools available are fairly sophisticated, too. See to download.
Picasa by Google provides the user with good free software with an emphasis on handling and storage of the photos – and there's also a free online album service that is more secure than Facebook. See to download.

The nifty thing about these free packages is that there is almost always great support or help from the internet community that uses them. We'll try and review some of these software packages in the weeks ahead.

Digital photography tips by Gareth Griffiths. Read his Blog at . Call 072 905 0252 or Email , or email the People's Post .


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