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Nobody sees the photos you have on your hard drive! IMG_6018_big_ben_london

Why do you take photos? To keep them stored on your computer? To spend hours and hours post processing them with Photoshop or some other image processing software? And then saying, “I’ve got to get to bed. I’ll work on these some more tomorrow.”

If this sounds familiar, then you’ll know how I’ve felt about processing photos after I download them from the camera.

About a year ago I made some headway into solving the time it takes to sort lots of pictures when I wrote my PhotoMove program. It automatically sorts photos into folders based on the date the photo was taken (not the file date) and you can’t beat the price, it’s free. Download it and try it out.

But I think I’ve finally realized that our whole mindset has got to change about digital pictures. There are so many tools available to change and edit and adjust and sharpen and resize and fix the photos that we are constantly trying to make them “perfect” and end up never printing them or putting them up on the web for others to see.

So here’s a start on knocking down the “post processing barrier” that we spend so much time on.

After looking at many options, I found a free program that works exceptionally well at resizing images and is extremely fast to use.

The program is called the RIOT – Radical Image Optimization Tool. This is free resizing software but the author does ask for a voluntary contribution. If you can afford it, give the guy a few bucks. This is a nice piece of work.

This program is made for one thing only: Reducing the size of the image file while keeping the highest quality possible based on the size you pick. This allows you to use your photos quickly on your web page or in an email without spending hours getting it ready.

For fun, take a look at these instructions for How to Optimize a Picture for the Web from eHow.com. Can you believe it? Seven (fairly complicated) steps to convert an image.

We are going to be working on ways to allow people to see our photos, in very high quality so we can be proud of them, quickly and immediately so we don’t waste hours on the computer. And the RIOT tool is a great start for our system to accomplish this.

Download the program and give it a try. It’s a riot.

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