Photography is probably one of the biggest fields to be impacted by technology. For instance, when I was very young, the Kodak Brownie camera was the all the rage. Then, the Polaroid Instant camera. Then came the pocket camera in which the film came encased in a cartridge that just dropped in to the camera. Replacing this was the 35mm automatic camera with auto-focus & auto flash, which meant that everyone could take high quality pictures with a greater degree of knowing your pictures would ‘turn out’.
Of course, photo processing has greatly improved as well. No more dropping off your film at the local drugstore and waiting a week or two to find out if your photos were any good. And if they were not-so-good, there was nothing much you could do to improve them anyway.
Digital photography has changed all of that, hasn’t it? A decent camera is affordable, virtually foolproof (as long as you aim it correctly), and you can delete the terrible photos and print only the ones you like. The rest you can keep on your PC for storage and sharing in a variety of ways.
However, digital photos are not always ‘perfect’. If, like me, you typically use the default camera settings, such aspects as contrast, brightness and sharpness may need to be optimized, just to name a few. Doing such adjustments is easy enough for a few photos, but what about large number of photos, such as all those pictures you took on vacation, or at a wedding, etc? Editing all of them would be tedious, not to mention time consuming.
This where a program like BatchPhoto shines. BatchPhoto will take as many photos as you tell it to and apply your selected changes to all of them in seconds. So whether you need to re-size, adjust contrast, annotate, watermark, sharpen, flip, convert to black & white and so on, you can easily do all this and more (and, all at once) with BatchPhoto.
Before I get into the screen shots, I want to mention that BatchPhoto comes in two versions, Home and Pro. The comparison chart is here, but for most folks, the Home version is sufficient. (The main advantage with the Pro version is that it adds more RAW file formats that a professional photographer may need to manipulate).
Here is BatchPhoto in action. It is very easy to use since the is a three-step wizard that will guide you through the entire process. In the following image, I had loaded 23 large files that I want to re-size down to a 640px width (click images to enlarge):
I then apply the “resize” filter (note the number of filters in the left-hand pane!) and after clicking ‘Add’, the next screen allows you to choose the new size:
Then, in the last step before processing, I can choose the output folder and format:
Resizing these 23 images took only 11 seconds, so you get an idea of just how fast BatchPhoto is. They don’t call it the ‘Fastest Photo Editor’ for nothing, I guess!
Of course, if you don’t need to edit a large amout of files, BatchPhoto can edit one at a time if you prefer to have more control. It will always give you a preview of your intended changes before you click apply. Personally, I like to work with copies of the originals, just to be on the safe side, especially if you are applying a lot of changes to a large amount of files at one time.
The amount of filters is quite comprehensive: Watermark-Text, Watermark-Image, Auto Contrast, Brightness, Contrast, Reduce Noise, Sharpen, Color Balance, Equalize, Hue/Saturation, Levels, Re-size, Thumbnail, Flip, Roll, Crop, Rotate, Apply Sepia, Black & White, Frames, Charcoal Sketch, Oil Paint, Shade, Swirl, and more.
At $29.95 for the Home version of BatchPhoto, you are getting a lot of value for the money. BatchPhoto runs on Windows XP/Vista/7 (32 & 64 bit). You can try BatchPhoto free for 30 days, but it has a limit to the amount of files you can edit. You can download a trial copy here.