Mugtug Darkroom

The pool of free photo editing apps has steadily been growing but we could all use another alternative, right? Mugtug Darkroom is a browser–based photo editor that provides basic editing capabilities through HTML5. For now, it works only on Firefox 3.6 and possibly other HTML5–compliant clients. Mugtug Darkroom looks just what you might need when you need a photo editor in a pinch and all you’ve got is a browser.

Links Reviews Software

Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 reviewed


Buying a new camera these days usually comes with free software. If you’re lucky enough to get photo editing software to come with it, it will probably be Adobe Photoshop Elements. You won’t be getting full–version Photoshop, that’s for sure, but if you’re lucky you’ll have the more recent Adobe Photoshop Elements 7.

What’s impressive about this new version is that it inherits the feel of Photoshop Lightroom’s interface. Everything is easier to use, in a streamlined workflow.


Editing is straightforward and provides tools for commonly photo editing tasks.

There’s a full review over at PhotographyBLOG, perhaps Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 is what you need.

Reviews Software

Adobe Photoshop CS4 Reviewed

Wondering what’s new with Adobe Photoshop Creative Suite 4? has a review of the latest version of the software, another significant step in the graphic tool that is in every photographer’s arsenal. Here are some of the noted changes in this version:

Adobe Photoshop CS4

  1. User interface changes: Tabbed interface by default
  2. Masks & Adjustments panel: A separate panel for quick access to this set of tools
  3. Rotating, Panning, & Zooming: Revised behavior allowing for better control
  4. Compositing: Improved from previous version
  5. Seam Carving: A new approach to cropping/resizing photos
  6. Printing: Better integration and color matching with various brands of printers
  7. Camera Raw: New version adds features similar to Lightroom 2.0
  8. Bridge CS4: Numerous enhancements

It seems there’s a lot to like in the new version especially if you’re coming from a version older than CS3. Of course cost is still a major consideration as Photoshop is no piece of cheap software. Read their review for more details on Adobe Photoshop CS4.

Firmware Software

Canon EOS-40D Firmware 1.0.8

Shooting with a Canon EOS-40D? Be sure to update to the latest firmware update, version 1.0.8 was released several days ago and should make your workhorse work as good as the latest ones of the factory lines.

Bodies Software

DSLR Firmware updates


In case you haven’t heard, a firmware update might have been released for your digital SLR in the past few weeks. Here are some of the more recent firmware upgrades:

If you have any of the cameras mentioned above, check if you have an older firmware and upgrade as necessary.

News Software

Safeguard your data

If you’ve taken compromising photos and deleted them right away, you’d feel that you’re off the hook. Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as that. An article over at discusses how they tried to recover data from used storage devices sold on eBay, and how they were able to retrieve what could’ve been damaging information to others.

Early in 2004 we purchased roughly 10 hard drives off of eBay for research purposes. Our goal was to see just how much data was out there for the taking. While the results of this test were never officially reported, we found that eight of the ten formatted drives still had data on them. Using tools like Autopsy and EasyRecovery Pro, we were able to recover social security numbers, bank account details, medical records and more.

Their conclusion suggested that disposing of old devices like hard drives or memory cards should be done properly, after they recovered substantial information from their experiment.

In this digital era your data can reside almost anywhere. Hard drives, USB sticks, camera cards, PDA’s, phones, or even a digital picture frame could hold information you wouldn’t want the world to see. It only takes a few minutes to properly delete your data storage device, and if you don’t know how, then it might just be worth it to physically destroy the item instead of reselling it. Hopefully the results of this project has helped to highlight the fact that all forms of digital storage should be treated the same, regardless of their size, shape, or how many MB’s it might hold.

So now, don’t go selling those old drives and CF cards unless you know what’s really stored in them. Better safe than sorry.

News Software

Digital Photographer: Upgrading to Windows Vista?

If you’re the early adopter type who buys gear even before the first published reviews are out, you probably owned pioneering products like the floppy–saving Sony Mavica and the Canon EOS D30. Of course you paid a premium, but having first crack on new technology indeed has its price.

However, if you’re contemplating on replacing your Windows–based notebook or workstation for the more recent Core 2 Duos with the Windows Vista operating system, be aware of a metadata issue in the said OS. As Gizmodo has reported, using the built–in tagging tools in Vista ruins parts of the image metadata, making them unusable for apps that use them, like Adobe Photoshop.

A significant concern for this would be those that shoot with the RAW format, since their data will be made useless if modified by Vista’s tools. For now, do not tag your photos within Vista using their provided apps!

Links News Software

Apple Aperture 1.5 released

Just a quick note for our Mac–based readers: if you’ve been doing your workflow with Apple Aperture, version 5 was just released. As reported by our favorite DPReview:

Apple has announced the latest release of its Aperture photographic workflow application. Major improvements include a much improved RAW conversion engine, better performance and compatibility, image manipulation and adjustment, improved IPTC metadata handling as well as scripting either as AppleScript or Automator.

Link: Apple Aperture 1.5 @ DPReview

Links Software Techniques

RAW Shooting

Popular web designer Dave Shea discusses the virtues of shooting with RAW instead of JPG. He highlights the flexibility of the RAW format and the wealth of post processing that can be done on the rich data available, especially when compared to JPG.

We’ve covered the JPG versus RAW debate in a previous entry, and I still recommend knowing the advantages of both formats and using whatever is appropriate for specific situations.

Links News Software

ACDSee 8.1

ACDSee 8 Photo Manager & ACDSee Pro

ACDSystems has just announced an update to their two famous products, now upped to version 8.1, both for ACDSee 8 Photo Manager and ACDSee Pro Photo Manager. Several feature improvements are included in this update, along with increased performance and improved RAW support.

ACDSee 8 Photo Manager is a very good organization tool for your photo library, and ACDSee Pro is an advanced version with even more capabilities. If you haven’t tried them, they could just be the photo library management tool you’ve been looking for.