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Basic Tracking
Programs to Help to Organize Images
Displaying and Hyperlinking Photographs using Photoshop

Basic Tracking

The point of taking photographs is capture the existence of something to review later. It is extremely easy to get unorganized as your photographic journal expands. There are a number of image database programs below to assist you in cataloging images for both personal and shared use.

If you have less than a one hundred images, Microsoft Excel might be your best option.

If you have images embedded in multiple programs on your computer, Google Desktop search might be your best option.

If you have hundreds images and need professional tracking for multiple users, FileMaker is your best option.

Programs to Help Organize on Personal Computer

There are a number of extensive photograph database software packages that run locally, either on a personal computer or a network. These programs are an inexpensive way to organize, catalog, and search by keyword.

"Organize digital photos your way! Use QuickDescribe to assign people, places, events and/or keywords. Rate your favorite photos with up to five stars. Powerful search lets you find the exact photo you want using the information you entered. Editing tools help you correct red eye, clean up spots and stains, fix lighting, adjust brightness, crop images, and more. E-mail photos directly from BrilliantPhoto, resized and compressed for easy downloading. Your photo descriptions are included in the e-mail automatically. Or create web albums for friends and family members to view your photos online. Whether you have dozens of photos or thousands, you'll manage them easily with BrilliantPhoto."

ACD AutoShare for Windows
An easy, cost-effective way to share image database information for teams using ACDSee. It adds onto ACDSee easily and extends a central image database to multiple users. With ACD AutoShare, your team can save time and money by searching and viewing images based on image database information such as keywords and descriptions. Designated image librarians manage your image data in one place and users are updated automatically. It gives your team all the basics of image database management, which speeds your workflow dramatically and can cut your image-handling budget substantially. Plus, it's not nearly as costly as other solutions can be.

Photo Packrat for Windows 95 or higher
Features Include: Organizes your Digital Pictures, Keyword Searches your Digital Pictures, Creates Great Looking Photo Albums of your Pictures, Creates Slide Shows, Stores your Pictures on CD-ROM, Prints your Pictures in Standard Formats(5x7, 8x10, etc), Creates Collages, Creates Post Cards, Creates Calendars, E-mails your pictures, Easy to Use Interface. Free trial download, reg fee is $29.95.

Picasa photo album for Windows 98, Me, 2000, XP
Picasa is the fastest, smallest and most accessible digital photo organizer in the market. Think of Picasa as a desktop Sherlock that automatically finds, displays and arranges all your images into a photo album while allowing you to edit, share and order prints online. Use one-click editing features such as crop, add music and fix red-eye without worrying about losing the integrity of your original images. Now, photo sharing is revolutionized with Picasa's new real time share feature, which allows friends and family to communicate and view photos through its own private sharing network. Browse through all your pictures and view slideshows of your albums with the click of a button.

ViewMinder for Windows 98, 2000, NT or XP
ViewMinder stores pictures with their descriptions, in as much or little detail as you like. And you can embed a description in each picture file. The description data can be exported in XML, so it's easily transferred to other programs and applications. ViewMinder's image editor displays, zooms, rotates and crops images. It can adjust and optimize brightness. Images can be up to 20 megapixels in size. Images can be imported from digital cameras, phones, scanners or CDs. ViewMinder accepts uncompressed TIFF, PNG, JPG, BMP and WMF formats and can convert between them. Image descriptions are stored in a relational database that allows an unlimited number of image elements (locations, people, events, things) and languages. ViewMinder uses default values and batch handling to speed image description. Recurring elements can be pre-set, which also standardizes spelling. Metadata structure and export conform to Views, the Visual Information Exchange Word Structure. ViewMinder comes in four editions. Free Genus ViewMinder has an unlimited trial period.Upgrade when you're ready.

Armadillo Photo Media for Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, and XP
Armadillo Photo Media 5 is the world's most sophisticated organizer for images, music and video, available in both private and professional versions. Partial list of features: Automatic organization of your data by subject, location, genre, etc. Create in two clicks a fully structured web site after a query or a selection. Create in two clicks an auto-startable CD after a query or a selection. Send e-mails with your images, tunes or video clips attached. Exchange in two clicks your data with any other user. Image acquisition can be done in batch mode or one at a time. Natural query syntax: "fruits but apples subject : painting or drawing" - follow link above for more info. Download a 30-day trial today.

IMatch for Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, and XP
IMatch is ideal to manage your digital image collection. Get rid of all duplicate images in your collection, keep only those images with the best resolution and quality? IMatch can handle 100,000 images per database on a normal PC. Using the powerful selection concept, you can find duplicate and similar images based on CRC, color, shape, texture and over 30 other criteria. The smart file name match is ideal to find images with similar names Supports EXIF metadata, which becomes more and more important as the digital cameras make their way towards professional photography. IMatch fully supports the TWAIN scanner standard, thus allowing you to scan and index your images in a single step. With the Contact Sheet Builder you are able to create professional index prints, with a freely definable size, image arrangement and custom resolutions for screen and pre-press. The built-in Batch Converter allows you to export your images in one of over 50 file formats, including FlashPix and numerous TIFF formats. You can even add borders, copyright notices and watermarks on the fly.

PhotoBox for Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, and XP
Easy-to-use graphic user interface let’s users store, organize and access pictures intuitively. Two easy levels of organization: photo boxes and envelopes. Fully compatible with all photo editors via selectable editor feature. Basic image editing Tools: QuickFix, Crop, Brightness & Contrast, Color, Saturation, Sharpness adjustments. Print support with many templates. Video support (QuickTime). Download photos from any digital camera (through TWAIN). Slide show. E-mail photos to friends and family. Download a 60 day trial version of PhotoBox risk free. This is not a limited version. A license to continue using it can be purchased for $24.95.

QPict Media Organizer for the Mac OS
A powerful and easy to use Multimedia browser/viewer. Easily view and organize all your Multimedia files including all common images, movie clips, fonts, VR, 3D and many other media types. QPict can also convert between all common image formats.

UGather - Multimedia Management for Macintosh OS - FREE!
With UGather you can store many different types of information related to each file, such as author name, copyright information, and any amount of text, graphics, and audio files. UGather can quickly set up different databases of images, QuickTime movies, and audio files, and store many different types of information related to each file. You can use UGather to browse through a database of mixed multimedia content, previewing images, movies, and audio files, and then select a subset of your database for multimedia presentations. UGather can search through your database hierarchically or by keyword. You can even sort the database by eight different criteria, such as filename, location, date last used, etc. With UGather's text fields that support drag-and-drop, you can store large amounts of text related material with your files. The description field also supports command-clicking of URLs using Internet Config (version 1.1 or newer). Once you've selected material for a presentation, you can automatically load it into our multimedia presentation software - UPresent.

Programs to Help Organize on Web Server

Madison Image Database
Developed by James Madison University, this open source image database has been designed to run on Windows Servers to enable professors, such as Art Historians specifcially, to easily maintain and create an online image database.

MDID 2, the latest version of the Madison Digital Image Database system, has tools for managing your digital image collections and tools for integrating digital images into the teaching and learning process. MDID is an elegant and intuitive system, easy for faculty and students to use.

Custom Database
Many people have to create a custom image database to meet specific cataloging needs. The most frequently used programming langauge to create image databases is MySQL on the server and Php replacing .html pages. MySQL and PhP are free, open source software packages that can run on any type of server.

In this article, Hugh Williams will show you how to develop a simple Web database application that allows users to upload and retrieve images, but can easily be adapted to storing files of any type. To develop the application, he will l use PHP and MySQL, the most popular platform for developing Web database applications, assuming you're already familiar with PHP and MySQL basics. If you're not, then David Lane's and High Williams' book, Web Database Applications with PHP & MySQL, will give you an introduction, as well as the theory and practice of developing Web database applications with PHP and MySQL. You might also find his previous article that introduces tips for developing Web database applications to be useful background reading.

Teska Associates, Inc. asked me to create an online image database containing their photographs of Chicagoland for examples of best and worst planning practices. The ultimate goal of this project is to create a large, open source image database with many contributors.

It has been constructed to enable the most detailed search for planning specific needs. If you have questions about this database, please contact Lee Brown.

Displaying and Hyperlinking Photographs using Photoshop

Creae a Contact Sheet like the one below.

1. From the Photoshop main menu, choose File/ Automate / Contact Sheet II. A dialog box appears like the one below.

2. In the Contact Sheet II dialog box, specify the images to use by choosing one of the following from the Use menu in the Source Images area:

Current Open Documents to use any image that is currently open in Photoshop.
Folder, and then click Browse (Windows) to specify the folder containing the images you want to use. Select Include All Subfolders to include images inside any subfolders.

3. In the Document area, specify the dimensions, resolution, and color mode for the contact sheet. A good place to start is by using the default values, shown in the above graphic.

Select Flatten All Layers to create a contact sheet with all images and text on a single layer. Deselect Flatten All Layers to create a contact sheet in which each image is on a separate layer and each caption is on a separate text layer.

4. Select OK. Photoshop will then automatically open and close all the images in the specified folder, place, and align thumbnail images on a page. The original images are not altered.

Create a Hyperlinked Photo Gallery

This exercise will show you how to create a Web Photo Gallery like this. (Opens in New Window)

You use the Web Photo Gallery command to automatically generate a Web photo gallery from a set of images. A Web photo gallery is a Web site that features a home page with thumbnail images and gallery pages with full-size images. Information, known as metadata, can also be tied to each image and presented within the Gallery. You can run the web site from the computer or CD ROM without ever having to mount it to the interent. Each page contains links that allow users to navigate the site. For example, when a user clicks a thumbnail image on the home page, a gallery page with the associated full-size image loads.

When making a gallery from images in the file browser, your images will be presented in the order in which they're displayed in the file. If you'd rather see a different order, change the order in the file, then select Web Photo Gallery.

1. Select File/ Automate/ Web Photo Gallery.

2. Choose a style for the gallery from the Styles pop-up menu. A preview of the home page for the chosen style appears in the dialog box.

3. Choose the source folder. Create or choose a destination folder. Your original images will remain as they are; Photoshop will create replica images from the source folder and save them in the destination folder.

4. Under Options, you can change the image width if your images are generally larger. For my gallery, most of my image are oriented landscape. The maximum resize dimension is 450 pixels. If you don't resize your images, are they are more wide than high, your images will get cropped. Change the Jpeg quality to Maximum 12 for the best quality and clarity if you batch resize the images.

4. You can also change the background color by selecting Options/ Custom Color and clicking on the boxes of color to define your preference.

5. After you select OK, Photoshop will batch process the images and make the HTML pages for you. When it is finished, it will automatically open the Web Photo Gallery in your defult Web Browser, most likely Microsoft Internet Explorer, if you are using Windows.

File Information

In my example gallery, the first 2 images have my name on the left as a copyright notice. These images also have the Title, Description, and Copyright information filled out. This information needs to be tied to the image before creating the gallery.

1. Open an image. Choose File/ File Info.

2. Type in the relevant information and choose OK.

3. Save the image.

Continue to Learn how to Manipulate Photographs to create a photomontage.