Stocking Stuffers; Gifts, Gadgets, & Gizmos For Digital Photographers Page 2
Wanna have some fun with software? Install a copy of Morpheus (www.morpheussoftware.net) Windows-only Photo Animation Suite. This all-in-one animation suite includes Morpheus Photo Morpher, Morpheus Photo Warper, and Morpheus Photo Mixer, along with 15 sample morphs, warps, and mixes. Morpheus Photo Morpher can transform one person or object (animal, vegetable, or mineral) into another right before your eyes. Morpheus Photo Warper is caricature software that warps and can exaggerate portions of photos, including body parts. Morpheus Photo Mixer is slick compositing software that mixes the faces and body parts between two photos. The suite costs $59.95, and Mac OS users whose computers have Intel processors can run it under Windows using Apple Computer's (www.apple.com) Boot Camp software or Parallels' Desktop for Mac (www.parallels.com).
Business Card Scanner
CardScan (www.cardscan.com) quickly and accurately scans the printed information from business cards into the correct fields of a searchable electronic address book. In just a few seconds, CardScan will let you enter data from more business cards than you could type in hours. The Windows 2000 or XP software has more than 50 powerful features that help you search, sort, and more efficiently use all of that that contact information. The CardScan Personal hardware is a tiny USB-powered black and white scanner whose software synchronizes with Palm Desktop, Outlook Express (5.0 or later), Microsoft Outlook, Palm OS, smart phones, and Windows mobile devices. What I really like is that you can back up and store all of your contacts online at CardScan.net and access that database from any Internet-connected computer. The Personal model costs $159, but many different versions are available depending on your needs. Which one is right for you? My guess is the CardScan Personal will be right for most people but you can go to www.cardscan.com/configurator/index.asp and work through a simple questionnaire that helps you decide which one is best for you.
Plug-In Stocking Stuffer
One of my favorite color correction tools just got better, just in time to make a great stocking stuffer for yourself or a favorite digital imager. If you liked the original 20/20 Color MD, you are going to love Version 2. Last year, when PhotoTune's (www.phototune.com) Kirk Lyford started working on this new version, he rethought, redesigned, and rewrote the Photoshop compatible plug-in from the ground up. The 20/20 Color MD is easier, faster, and more enjoyable to use and includes a host of new tools, enhancements, and shortcuts. New features include 16-bit compatibility and a six-step Wizard with user control on every step, Wizard Snapshot, windows re-sizing, and improved color correction algorithms. The 20/20 Color MD is available for both Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. Users of Version 1.0 can upgrade for $29.95, but the $49.95 retail price remains a bargain.
Must-Have Holiday Book
Reiji Kanemoto's life changed forever when he brought home Rufus, an elderly golden retriever that had been abandoned. A professional photographer for more than 20 years, he quickly realized that Rufus could provide him with a unique point of view--from a dog's perspective. Rufus became a "dog photographer" when he allowed Kanemoto to harness a camera to his body. The result is a book of photographs made all over the Los Angeles area and taken from Rufus' point of view. The book, My name is Rufus. I am a photographer. (A dog's true story) (www.rufuscam.com) is unlike other photo books on the market, mainly because the dog took the photographs. A portion of the profits from the book is being donated to the Golden Retriever Foundation, who foster the rescue, rehabilitation, and placement of displaced golden retrievers. Get a copy for the dog lover in your family.