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Photology

I recall a few years ago reading an interview in which a distinguished historian claimed that the increasing popularity of digital cameras meant the end of photography as a pictorial record of history, because if people could delete photos then there would be nothing for future historians to study. This opinion was taken seriously at the time, but even then it was apparent to anyone who actually knew anything about digital cameras that it was utter rubbish. Rather than never saving any photos, most people will be surprised by how quickly very large collections of digital photos accumulate. In the days of film photography, you'd be limited to taking just 24 or 36 photos before having to change the film, but when you have a memory card in your camera that can hold several hundred high-quality images, there's really no need to delete any but the worst shots.

As result a simple day out with the kids can easily result in a 40-50 photos being downloaded to your computer's hard drive, and a holiday can generate several hundred shots. Over the course of a year it's very easy to accumulate a couple of thousand pictures this way, which leads to a bit of a problem in itself. Rather than not having enough pictures, most people find that they have too many, making it increasingly difficult to find any specific picture. If Aunt Ethel wants a print of that shot of Ernie wearing the red jumper, it can take you a lot of searching to find it.

One solution is to keep all your photos in folders named by subject, another is to label them by date, but if you use a photo downloading program of the type supplied with many digital cameras, you may not have this option. Many download programs simply dump all the images from your camera into the default My Pictures folder on your C: drive, labelled only with a file number. After a few months you can end up with a huge mass of pictures and no easy way to search through them. Help may be at hand however, because Photology, a new program from American software company Enoetic, offers an easy way of searching your images without sorting or labelling.

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