Whether presenting images to clients, sharing celebrations with family and friends or posting for feedback from a global community of photographers, a visually appealing web gallery can do it all. With that in mind, here are a few of the most popular programs for getting your images up and posted in no time.
SHARING WITH ADOBE
Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 provides the essentials of editing, as well as fun and interactive ways to share images. After making image selections by adding them to an album, click the Share button, and Elements provides a variety of online album styles from slideshows to animated menus.
There are customizable themes like world travel, birthdays, comic books, weddings and more. Other templates offer a more professional feel, with carousel-like browsing, sliding image galleries and page-like book turning of images.
Additionally, you can choose to share with people through the built-in Elements address book. Or a Photoshop.com Plus membership, available as a bundle with Elements 7, will provide you with even more templates, like holiday and specialevent themes that are automatically updated when available, as well as 20 GB of online storage for your photos. List Price: $99 (full version); $139 (with Photoshop.com Plus membership, which is $49 per year).
The Web mode of Adobe Lightroom 2 offers much more comprehensive gallery options for photographers. Web galleries can be made from a selection of images and output to the web in HTML or Flash templates. There are a variety of choices for tweaking the appearance of galleries, with customization of text, headers, menus, and background and foreground color palettes.
The Appearance module designates basic image and thumbnail sizes and layout, and there are also options for sharpening and metadata additions. The Site Info pane adds titling, description and contact information to posted images, and a full gallery preview lets you check edits before final upload.
You must have your own website with a hosting plan to upload to, and once you’ve designated your website and FTP info, Lightroom becomes a very easy and fast uploading program, thanks to storable presets. List Price: $299. Contact: Adobe, (800) 833-6687, www.adobe.com.
APPLE APERTURE AND iPHOTO
iPhoto ’09 and Apple’s more comprehensive imaging application, Aperture 2, offer a MobileMe web gallery button for easily uploading images, albums or selections in just a couple of clicks. MobileMe Galleries can be viewed from web browsers on Macs or PCs. Uploaded photos can be rearranged, rotated and titled once online, and can be looked at in grid, mosaic or carousel views. Images can be viewed in full screen as a slideshow and also on high-definition televisions when used in conjunction with Apple TV.
Viewers and clients can download the images that you designate as full-sized, print-quality JPEGs, and they also can upload images themselves through the browser or via e-mail. Another advantage to MobileMe is that it keeps all of your computer devices synchronized, with automatic updates of emails, contacts, files, calendars and media, including Macs, PCs and iPhones.
iPhoto ’09 also has one-click image upload to Flickr and Facebook. All you have to do is select the images that you want to upload, put in your password the first time and hit the Publish button. Once you’ve entered your information, iPhoto stores it so you don’t have to enter the login info over and over. iPhoto also keeps a Facebook album on the side for easy review and management, and will notify friends when images are uploaded through the Faces tagging system. Similarly, locations that have been added through the Places GPS mode in iPhoto will appear on Flickr photo maps. List Price: Aperture 2 ($199); iPhoto is part of the iLife suite at $79; a MobileMe subscription is $99 per year.
Contact: Apple, (800) MY-APPLE, www.apple.com.
ACDSEE PRO 3 BETA
ACDSee’s newest imaging application, Pro Photo Manager 3, offers a few innovative options for sharing online galleries. The program features one-click upload to Flickr accounts, which is a simple solution for photographers who don’t need their own sites. (Flickr has size limits, unless you upgrade to a Pro Account.) ACDSee has also integrated with SmugMug to provide more options for your gallery. The SmugMug uploader can create new albums on SmugMug, add images to SmugMug maps and resize images before uploading.
Pro Photo Manager 3 also includes an Online mode that connects you to a free account on the ACDSee Online website. The advantage to using the Online mode is that your website interface mimics the interface of the program, with hierarchical folders that can organize images in the same style as folders are organized on your desktop. The interface is simple, and there’s no advertising or other visual clutter to distract from the images. Folders and images can be dragged and dropped with metadata directly from Pro Photo Manager 3. The program is currently a public beta—sign up to try it free at www.acdseepro.com.