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Lab Notes Blog

Gigatribe: Sharing Computer Folders over the Internet

June 26, 2009

Tags: Gigatribe, file sharing, Social network, Sally's entries

I just had a phone briefing on Gigatribe. It’s an interesting service that allows people to share specific folders on their computer over the Internet with invited friends and family.

The idea is simple. As Stephane of Gigatribe said, “It’s like a local network over the Internet.” You designate a folder to be shared, and only that folder’s data (pictures, videos, music, etc.) can be seen by your “tribe,” just as you can see their shared folders.

I can’t help but worry about (more…)

Review of Arcsoft Darkroom 2

June 26, 2009

Tags: Software reviews, PC World, Photo editing, Arcsoft, Image editing, Digital Asset Management, DAM

Our review of Arcsoft Darkroom 2 is published in "PC World" magazine:

"Every year, people take billions of photographs with digital cameras; and when you're looking for one particular picture--say, the one of a beautiful flower you saw at the beach during your vacation two years ago--it can feel as though you're sifting through all of them. That's why you need a digital asset management program, a visual database that helps you catalog, organize, and sort and find your pictures more easily. The new version of Darkroom, Arcsoft's photo-centric image editor, now includes a browser that tries to do the job for you...."

To read the full review, please click on:Arcsoft Darkroom 2 review

Review of Arcsoft PhotoStudio 6

June 26, 2009

Tags: Software reviews, Arcsoft, PC World, Photo editing, Image editing

Our review of Arcsoft PhotoStudio 6 is published in "PC World" magazine:

"Arcsoft PhotoStudio has long been recognized as a cost-effective alternative for correcting, manipulating and using your photos in a variety of creative ways. With the introduction of PhotoStudio 6, Arcsoft upholds that reputation while adding...."

To read the full review, please click on: Arcsoft PhotoStudio 6

Review of Nik Software's Viveza

June 24, 2009

Tags: Software reviews, Photoshop plug-ins, Photo editing, Image editing, PC World, Nik Software, Viveza

Our review of Nik Software's Viveza is posted on

"If you've ever tried to alter the color and light values of specific areas of a picture, you know it can be a time-consuming, frustrating, skill-intensive task. First, you have to carefully and expertly select the area with a mask. After you make your adjustments to the selected area, you then have to try (often vainly) to make the new edit look like it belongs with the rest of the picture...."

To read the full review, please click on: Viveza review

Review of Vertus Fluid Mask

June 24, 2009

Tags: Software reviews, Fluid Mask, PC World, Photoshop plug-ins

Our review of Vertus Fluid Mask is live on

"One of the skills that sets pro imagers apart from the average photography buff is quick, precision masking-cutting the subject out from the background so it can be pasted into a new background and look as though it belongs there. Masking requires great hand/eye coordination, an intuitive understanding of the software (which is usually Photoshop), and, often, a great deal of patience. But even the top pros have difficulty with certain types of subjects, such a person with flyaway hair. How do they mask out the background without cutting away the wispy strands of hair?" ...

To read the full review, please click on: Vertus Fluid Mask review.

Review of HP’s Officejet 6000 Wireless Printer

June 11, 2009

Tags: Hardware reviews, Printer reviews, HP Officejet 6000, Computer Shopper

Our review of the HP Officejet 6000 Wireless printer is online at Computer Shopper.

"A general rule of thumb in selecting and buying printer: The more you spend, the wider the range of features you get, and the less expensive the cost per page for consumables will be. HP’s Officejet 6000 Wireless helps shatter that stereotype by offering features and functions usually found on pricier models, and at the same time shaving the cost per page down to less-than-laser prices. However,..."

To read the full review, please click on: HP Officejet 6000 review

Review of Genuine Fractals

June 11, 2009

Tags: Software reviews, Genuine Fractals, Image interpolation, PC World, Photoshop plug-ins

Our review of Genuine Fractals is on line at

"A number of years ago, we were in New York City's Times Square, when we looked up and saw an enormous billboard with a photograph that was taken with a 3.2 megapixel camera. The picture was quite impressive--not just for its size, but for the quality--at least when viewed from more than a dozen stories below. The software used to enlarge that small 3.2 megapixel image to a Times Square billboard was Genuine Fractals.

"Contrary to popular misconceptions, a digital camera's number of megapixels is not a measure of the image quality..."

To read the full review, click on: Genuine Fractals review

Technology versus Art
by Sally Wiener Grotta

June 6, 2009

Tags: American Hands project, HP Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer, HP xw4600 workstation, Film versus Digital, Fine Art Photography, Sally's entries, Sally's photography, Silver Efex Pro

A few years ago, Daniel and I were writing profiles of prominent professional photographers for Lexar Media’s Website (which has since been discontinued). They were feature stories (illustrated with my photographs) about the photographers' philosophy, style and adventures, with some tips and tricks thrown in. The pieces were a delight to do because of the people we got to spend time with and watch at work.

At the time, I was at a trade show party (I think it was PhotoPlus in New York City), when someone said, “You absolutely must profile... [name withheld to avoid his embarrassment]” for SayChesse. I didn’t know the photographer being recommended, but he happened to be present at the party, just on the other side of the room. So, I went over to him, introduced myself, and asked him what he shoots. His reply was an energized discourse about his camera equipment! When he finally took a breath, I smiled, told him how nice it was to meet him and walked away. Daniel and I never wrote a profile on him for SayCheese or any other publication.

What that photographer had lost sight of (more…)