Microsoft is adding a boatload of new features to its Windows Live Essentials suite of free applications (for Windows users), and one of the features to appear in Windows Live Photo Gallery caught our eye. It’s called Photo Fuse, and what it does is take a number of similar photographs and allow you to choose the best parts of each one to include in the final photo.
For example, if you take a number of group shots, you can combine only the faces that are smiling and not blinking. What’s more, the resulting photograph is quite seamless, and reminds us of the Content Aware Fill feature of Photoshop CS5.
TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington had a chance to sit down with Brian Hall (GM at Microsoft), and recorded the following demonstration of the technology:
Keep your eyes peeled — the new features won’t be appearing in the suite for another few weeks. Now if only Microsoft would include a Content Aware Fill-type feature as well…
If you’re not naturally an organized person, then figuring out where certain photos are on your computer or external hard drive might be a pain. Adebis Photo Sorter [now defunct] is a free Windows program that uses the EXIF data in image files to automatically rename and/or organize your image files in a new directory, leaving the originals untouched. It supports pretty much all the popular image formats, from JPEG to Raw image formats, and can even help you include EXIF data in the new filenames.
This past week we ran a poll asking our readers what operating system they mainly use. Here are the results:
481 votes were for a Windows OS compared to 606 for a Mac OS. This means roughly 49% of our readers who decided to vote use Macs, while 39% use some form of Windows.
Assuming that most people who took the time to vote in our poll are fairly serious about photography (we’re a photography blog, after all), we can say this poll is a glimpse at operating system choices among photographers.
Now lets take a look at what Google Analytics tell us about the OS breakdown of our visitors:
This takes into account all of our visitors, regardless of whether or not they vote. Since this includes loyal readers as well as people who simply pass by, the average interest in photography is probably much less than those who chose to vote. Windows leads 66% to Mac’s 29%.
Thus, Mac jumps from having a 5.9% market share in the general population to 49% among photographers. If we were a blog read only by professional photographers, I’d expect the percentage to be even higher.
Photo Magician is a free and lightweight (less than 1MB) program for Windows that allows you to batch convert a directory of photographs. It’s similar in functionality to Photoshop’s “Image Processor” feature, with one difference being you can’t select the output quality like you can using Photoshop.
The program also features a “Quick Convert Mode”, which minimizes the program to a little box onto which you can drag and drop folders of images. If you’ve been looking for a quick way to resize images in Vista (like the Image Resize PowerToy allowed you to do in XP), then you might want to check out this program.