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Monday, January 22, 2007

Creative Photo Sharing

Elevate your images above e-mail status with a more inspired approach to showcasing your best shots

For the most control and dazzling effects, dedicated slideshow software is the way to go. Photodex ProShow Gold 3 supports multiple layers, voiceover narration and motion effects, plus features built-in editing tools so you don't need to switch to another application if you need to make tweaks to an image. Magix PhotoStory even has a background music maker—just choose a style of music and a soundtrack is automatically created for you.

Photo-Sharing Websites
Usually free, quick and easy, photo-sharing Websites let you post images to galleries that friends and family can view wherever they are. Feature sets vary, but most help you organize your photos by event or subject, and all are better alternatives to e-mail attachments for sharing photos.

Flickr.com is part of Yahoo! and is simple to get started using, especially if you already have a Yahoo! ID. You can create multiple albums, comment on other user's images and join or create groups for sharing images with your circle of friends. Flickr is free, but places limitations of file size, number of albums and storage capacity on the free account. The Pro account removes most of these limitations for about $25 per year.

Sites like Snapfish.com by Hewlett-Packard and KodakGallery.com also offer the ability to create organized galleries of your photos that others can visit, with the added benefit of making it easy for visitors to purchase prints and specialty photo gifts directly from your albums. KodakGallery offers a free account, as well as a Premier account that gives you your own personalized home page and Web address for your albums for $25 per year.

A Snapfish account provides unlimited storage for free, provided you keep your account "active," which in this case means that you purchase prints or other photo merchandise at least once every year. Like KodakGallery, Snapfish offers standard prints as well as a wide array of photo gifts, calendars and cards.

In addition to letting you create galleries for sharing, Samsung's Soaphoto.com offers contests for you to enter. Soaphoto.com restricts its membership to serious amateur and professional photographers, and you must submit photos and a résumé for approval. Once you're in, you can enter photos to be judged by your peers and the Website's staff, and can win prizes, such as Samsung digital cameras.


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