New Year's Resolutions
A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To New Year's Eve Page 2
When Is A Plug-In Not A Plug-In?
When it's Pixel Genius' (www.pixelgenius.com) PhotoKit. Showing up in Photoshop CS' File>Automate menu tree, the $49.95 PhotoKit is a photographer's toolkit that includes 141 effects offering digital versions of traditional analog photographic effects that range from automatic burning and dodging, to toning, to adding black edges to your images. A simple dialog calls up the PhotoKit tool sets, but there is no real plug-in interface, no sliders, and no preview window. The process may be off-putting at first but you'll get used to it as you begin to love what PhotoKit does for your images. PhotoKit is optimized for images between 8-18MB and is useful on larger sizes, but some of the effects don't translate to small web-sized files. You can download a fully operational Mac OS or Windows version and try it for seven days. While at the Pixel Genius website, check out PhotoKit Sharpener. It's a versatile sharpening workflow and along with PhotoKit is an indispensable set of
plug-ins available to the serious photographer and Photoshop user.
Transfer Image Files Fast!
Tired of sluggish USB card readers? Can't find an affordable FireWire reader? Bunky, your worries are over after you install Belkin's (www.belkin.com) Hi-Speed 15-in-1 Media Reader & Writer. It uses USB 2.0 to transfer image files at speeds of up to 480Mbps and handles 15 media types, including XD Picture Card, CompactFlash, CompactFlash II, SmartMedia, Secure Digital, Mini Secure Digital (Mini SD), MultiMediaCard, RSMMC, Microdrive, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick Pro, Memory Stick Pro Duo, Memory Stick MagicGate, and Memory Stick MagicGate Duo. Phew! Belkin's 15-in-1 Media Reader & Writer also lets you transfer files from one media card to another, or simultaneously copy files from four different kinds of media cards to your hard drive.
I must confess to buying whatever CD-R discs are on sale, but when I started burning DVD-Rs full of raw files, I wanted something a little more rugged. TDK's (www.tdk.com) Armor Plated DVDs use a technology that provides, they claim, 100 times more scratch resistance than standard media and produces fewer read/write errors. The disc's surface is dirt resistant and is easy to wipe off finger marks and even accidental food and drink spills without damaging it. The discs include proprietary UV protection that's said to prove 3 times greater resistance to damaging UV light. These are tough discs and are now my choice for recording bulletproof image DVDs.
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