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Photography has become very much a computer-based activity.  And that means we use computer software to help us achieve our aims in photography.

Over the years I've accumulated quite a few pieces of software to help me in my photographic pursuits.  Some of the software utilities I bought have fallen into disuse, having proven to be less effective or useful as I had hoped.  But others have remained as very useful and helpful friends.  Here's the list of useful software (at least for me):

1.  Adobe Photoshop

This is a mainstay programme for all professional photographers.  I've been using it since the year 2000, when it was up to version 6.  I usually upgrade to a newer version of Photoshop when the new version is at least two versions higher than the one I'm using.  But I must inform you that when I recently upgraded from Photoshop CS2 to Photoshop CS4, I was deeply disappointed.  For some reason, Adobe chose to change the user interface and many key features in such a drastic manner that my established workflow became impossible.  I had to re-install Photoshop CS2 on my computer so I could keep working efficiently.

The only reason I bought CS4 was because I bought a Canon 5D Mark II camera while my original 5D was in for service, and then found that CS2 couldn't open the RAW files form the 5D Mark II.  Adobe has really disappointed me and a lot of other photographers with CS4.  Try to find yourself an old copy of CS2 or CS3.

2.  DXO Optics Pro

This software is very effective at correcting an image to remove lens distortions and aberrations.  It also does a very good job of processing RAW files.  It isn't fast, but it's good.  If you want the maximum image quality from your camera, use this software for processing the brightness, contrast and colour.

3.  PTLens

Useful for fixing perspective distortion in a photo.

4.  DSLR RemotePro

Useful for capturing images directly to the computer from a Canon digital SLR.

5.  Nero Photosnap Viewer

Good for viewing images.  You can rotate the view without rotating the actual file.  You can click the "Information" tab to see all the exif metadata.  You can efficiently zoom in and out with excellent scaling quality.  This utility comes bundled as part of the Nero CD and DVD burning software.

6.  Nero CD & DVD burning software.

This works perfectly for me when burning CD's and DVD's.  It has a "verify after burning" option that really gives me confidence that the data was successfully written to the disc.

7.  ImageVerifier

Helps me to find which jpeg files are corrupted.  JPEG files will become corrupted when a hard disk develops a problem called "bit rot".  All hard disks eventually develop bit rot.  For more information about corrupted jpeg files, click on the "Corrupted JPEGs" tab at the top of this page.

8.  PerfectDisk

Great for defragmenting the hard disk of the computer.  Much better than the standard defrag utility that comes with Windows.

9.  Kaspersky Internet Security

Way better than Norton.  This software does a great job, stays out of my way, and doesn't hog the computer's resources like Norton did.

 

Copyright 2008 Craig Norris.  All rights reserved.

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