14 Downloads (Including Freebies) for Your Digital Photography Tool Kit

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Photo Managers, Album and Slide Show Creators, and More

Okay, you have photos saved on your hard disk--now what? You need to manage your collection, first of all. Beyond that, though, you'll want to create albums and slide shows, and do other interesting things with your images. Check out these great tools, including one that lets you create comic books from your pictures.

ACDSee 10 Photo Manager photo organizer

ACDSee 10 Photo Manager
If you're looking for a great photo management tool, look no further. ACDSee 10 has just about any feature you can imagine for keeping your photo collection tidy. Start off with its stellar organizational tools: Not only can you view photos by folders, but you can also view them by rating, by content (such as whether they show people), by those you've most commonly used or viewed, and by a mind-boggling array of photo properties, from the the focal length to the aperture used to the camera's make, model, and owner.

In addition, the program includes a wide variety of editing tools that can change the exposure, reduce red-eye, crop, resize, and more. You also can batch-convert photos, upload them to the Flickr photo-sharing site, and create movies from them. In short, ACDSee 10 will manage photos pretty much any way you want.

Download ACDSee 10 Photo Manager | Price: $50 (shareware)

Roxio Media Ticker

Roxio Media Ticker photo organizer
If you'd like to create a sliding photo show that scrolls across your desktop, or if you want to display your photos for others by using the photo-sharing site Flickr, you'll want to try out this software. It creates a ticker-style scrolling bar of images that you can put in various places on your desktop. The images can be photos from your hard disk, pictures from RSS feeds, or your own photos uploaded to Flickr. Hover your mouse over any image to see a description of it. Double-click an image, and it will appear larger in a window. From there you can print a photo, e-mail it, rotate it, or set it as your desktop background, among other options.

Download Roxio Media Ticker | Price: Free

Comic Life

Comic Life photo software
You ought to be in pictures--or at least in comic books. And that's exactly what this unique little program does. With it, you can gather your photographs and make comic books out of them. Just arrange your photos on pages and resize them, add thought balloons and talk balloons, jazz it up with colors, and create a comic book out of your life. The application has a tremendous number of graphics and effects that you can use, so each comic book can be unique. Comic Life also includes sound effects that add to the fun as you work. If you find yourself with plenty of photographs but you aren't sure what to do with them all, here's an easy answer.

Download Comic Life | Price: $25 (trial)

InAlbum Deluxe

InAlbum Deluxe photo organizer
There was a time in the not-too-distant past when people used to do something very quaint with their photographs: They put the prints into photo albums, which they would then pass around to their friends. Those days, of course, are gone. But the idea of the photo album never quite went away, and InAlbum Deluxe brings it into the modern world. With it, you create photo albums and slide shows on your computer that you can then show on your own PC or share with others.

You can save your albums and shows as a screen saver, an HTML page, a self-running .exe file, or even as a Flash clip, and you can burn them to DVDs as well. The program makes it easy to collect photos for your show and then edit your images, give your shows overall themes via templates, decorate the shows and photos, and add music and your own narration. Note that the trial version of the program has some limitations; for example, you can't import more than five photos at a time.

Download InAlbum Deluxe | Price: $55 (trial)

MemoriesOnTV

MemoriesOnTV photo software
Though this is another program for creating slide shows with your photos, it adds a twist: It creates slide shows suitable for playing on a TV. You can then distribute your slide shows to anyone, whether or not they have a PC or want to watch slide shows on their computer. It imports photos of all the major formats, and it lets you include not just photos but also videos in AVI format.

MemoriesOnTV includes a sophisticated set of tools for creating your slide shows. For example, it has a timeline view that allows you to build your slide show by dragging and dropping photos, audio files, and animation files, and then adding effects. It includes enough visual effects to make you feel as if you're Martin Scorsese--pans, zooms, fade-ins and fade-outs, and even audio fading so that your sound comes in or out as your photo does. When you're done with your project, you can burn it to DVD or SVCD formats, both playable on living-room DVD players.

Note that the downloadable demo version has no limitations on it, but your slide shows will appear with a watermark. To make the watermark disappear, you'll have to buy either the Pro or Home edition of the software.

Download MemoriesOnTV | Price: $50 (demo)

Photoscape

Photoscape photo software
Photoscape is yet another remarkable free piece of software that any self-respecting digital photographer needs on his or her hard disk. There's no way to begin to describe the wide range of tools and features this program has--you get a file viewer, a photo editor, a slide show creator, a batch editor, a screen-capture program, and so much more. It also has some original and innovative tools, such as one that combines multiple photos in a single frame. Another small but extremely convenient tool will take photos that are in the RAW format used by many digital cameras and convert them to .jpg, so that they're more useful.

Even though this program is free, the creator will take donations if you find Photoscape useful and you can pay via PayPal. Given the quality of this software, if you keep using it, consider making a donation.

Download Photoscape | Price: Free

Collage Maker

Collage Maker photo software
Another great thing to do with your photos is to create collages out of them, electronically. Collect your photos, resize them so that they fit exactly as you want, merge them, add borders, backgrounds, and edge effects, and add text to them. Collage Maker has lots of extras, too, such as the ability to add gradient backgrounds or give photos a sepia effect for an old, weathered look. You'll also find transparency effects, and you can even add a halo effect to photo or text. When you're done, you can print the collages out or save them in assorted formats, including .bmp, .gif, and .jpg. Additionally, you can use your collages as your desktop background, and for CD and DVD covers.

Download Collage Maker | Price: $28 (shareware)

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