I’ve looked for a while to find a program to use to organize and view and edit my digital photos.
I quite liked the slick interface of Picasa by Google, but the feature that is touted as its strength is one I hated: the ability to have virtual albums without rearranging the files on disk. I like having the files rearranged on disk into directories and subdirectories. I don’t have the time or desire to tag every image with the names of every person in the picture and the location and all of that so I can call up every image of MrsPages in one fell swoop. If you do, this program is for you. You take the pictures off your camera and leave them where they sit. Picasa lets you organize them, and keeps track of which picture belong together, so you never have to reorganize the files on your hard drive.
I want my photos to be divided into subdirectories by year, then by month, then by event:
I want to be able to automatically browse them that way. I had a hard time getting Picasa to even show me a directory structure, because it was so “friendly” that it wanted to keep me away from all that.
I now use (and love) Faststone Image Viewer. It doesn’t have “albums”, it just lets me look through my carefully named folders on disk. It has some great features for doing touch-ups, cropping, resizing and other basic (and not-so-basic) photo operations. A great viewer, powerful editor, and it’s FREE.
As a bonus, it comes with a fabulous batch editor. You can take an entire directory of photos and resize them (for upload to a website for example) and add watermarks or text. Check out the galleries on the Manitoba Living History website to see that in action.
Faststone is easy to use, very powerful, and lets me work the way I want to work. What more can you ask?
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