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Photo editing software for large photos

I'm finally reaching the point where I want to start printing some of my photos in a larger format (larger than 8.5 x 11 my husband's inkjet printer can handle--up to 13 x 19 or so) and I'm wondering if I should invest in a larger format printer for home or find a good print shop online or in town. 

Do you have specific recommendations on either side of the fence? If any of the Oregon/Washington members have local printers they use, I'd love to hear recos on them, too. 

I have not printed at home at all so can't offer any suggestions. I have used Photoworks.com for printing and was very pleased. They are also located in Seattle. The following is just a sampling of what I have found for going outside the home. Some very good offerings here as well so one could try a few places and determine the quality of their work for very little investment. Then decide if you want to spend the money for larger prints. Some of the following free offers may not be valid anymore, but it does provide a good list of businesses that specialize in digital printing. Good luck. 

Old photo need to be enhanced by photo editor

I am attempting to take old photos I have in albums and transfer them on CDs. I have scanned one album and I have tried to find an easy to use program that will allow me to use text on each picture before copying them to a CD. So far, I have had no luck. I have tried FastStone Image Viewer and Irfanview. I see no way to add text. Well I do see a way in FastStone. I just cannot get it to work. Can anyone suggest a good, free program
Check my post in this thread: 


Gimp and Serif PhotoPlus both use text on Layers 

You can add Text in Irfan - draw a selection rectangle then goto - Edit/ Insert Text Into Selection - that brings up a dialogue box where you type your text. 

Little tip, I dont like text on my photos that much so I extend the canvas at the bottom fill it with a colour you like and then print the text on that. 

Share photo editing experience

I thought I'd start a thread on this to share what I do and see what others do in this area. First, when you load pictures to your computer, many programs including Photoshop and Elements give you an opportunity to rename all the photos and to select the directory into which to load. This can be a good idea. Rather than a lot of pictures named DSC_001.jpg (with multiple versions of that same name in different batches loaded in) you can rename the whole batch so they read "Nottingham forest_001.jpg. Or you can name the directory Nottingham Forest and then just name the pictures 001, 002 etc. 

One thing to watch out for that I stumbled over is if you shoot RAW+JPG, you should not rename all the photos in sequence because you will lose which raw goes with which jpg - a real mess I assure you. You need to have 001.NEF [Nikon raw terminology] with 001.jpg. Other than that, file renaming works pretty well. 

On directory naming, using the date first is a good idea. I'm not convinced using the time stamp option is a good idea unless you load multiple batches per day and need them sorted out. But if you use date first, your directories will be in order by date and that helps find things much faster. It's best to use a format like 2006-05-14 as the folders should sort out first by year then month then date. 

Adobe: photo editing question
Here is a nice article from Adobe on using the selection brush to select or deselect areas, and then switching to mask mode to see what is not included in the selection and make further adjustments. Mask mode is really helpful because it does a better job showing you what is or is not going to be included in the selection. It especially does a better job showing feathered areas including areas partially selected or deselected using a soft brush. 


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