Great Free Things on the Web

Started Sep 2, 2007 | Discussions
Darren M Veteran Member • Posts: 4,365
Great Free Things on the Web

The cheapskate in me loves to find useful utilities that come at no cost. What are some of the qualifiers when it comes to photography?

I will list some that I use, as well as some that I don't use, but know that many do. Please help me add to the list, giving appropriate URLs if possible.

I know there are a ton of free things on the net, let's keep them photographically related and legal.

Here are some I know of, in no particular order:
1. Exposure Plot
http://www.cpr.demon.nl/prog_plotf.html

I love this one and really wish it did RAW files too. I would cough up some money if it were able to do so. However, for analyzing shooting habits, it is still awfully useful.

2. File Sync
http://www.fileware.com/products.htm

I use this to keep six harddrives backed up and up to date, as well as for a couple of folders I often move from one computer to another.

3. dpMagic
http://www.dpmagic.com/
Allows us to view thumbnails of PEF files. A little slow, but sometimes handy.

4. Ifranview
http://www.irfanview.com/

Browswer, editor, etc. Actually, it is not on either of my computers right now, but before I had Lightroom it helped a lot.

5. Picassa
http://picasa.google.com/

Another one I no longer use, but for someone looking into getting into PP in a quick and easy way, it was pretty good.

6. Action Central
http://www.atncentral.com/

Lots of free PS actions, some better than others. At least one written by our very own Terry Alford (TMalford)

7. Adobe Studio Exchange
http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/exchange/index.cfm

Now listed as a beta, I have no idea why. Actions, automations, etc for almost every Adobe product.

8. Virtual Photographer
http://www.optikvervelabs.com/

A PhotoShop plug in with an immense number of presets. They only work in 8 bit, but the price is right.

I am sure I am missing some, but that is my start. Please add to the list, I think this could be really useful for all of us.

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millsmob Forum Member • Posts: 58
Add Autostitch to that!

Some good stuff there Darren.

One of my recent favorites is Autostitch. Awsome little piece of freeware put together by students from UBC that does 2D panoramas totally automatically. Just point it to the image files and it does the rest!....and quickly.

Not sure if it the results stand up to professional scrutiny, but to this amateur, the only problems I have spotted have been in white skies. For everything else it has done an admirable job.

http://www.cs.ubc.ca/~mbrown/autostitch/autostitch.html

Good topic!

Cheers
Dave

Andrew Shirley Contributing Member • Posts: 658
Don't forget Curves for PSE

http://free.pages.at/easyfilter/curves.html

Elements users can have curves too!

  • Andrew

Stomie Veteran Member • Posts: 3,119
A couple more...

http://www.photome.de/home_eng.html
http://www.thepluginsite.com/resources/freeps.htm
http://hugin.sourceforge.net/
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oliveoil Contributing Member • Posts: 615
Re: Great Free Things on the Web

I have heard of picassa a few times here.Is it like both pentax photo browser and flickr in one? I have both those,would it be better to download and just have picassa? Sorry,still so much to learn
Thanks,Lucy

Roentarre30 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,211
Re: Great Free Things on the Web

They are great, Darren.

I got exposure plot and that is a fantastic programme.

Will download a few to test them out

Laurens Senior Member • Posts: 1,391
Re: Great Free Things on the Web

It's very bad for editing photos, apart from teh Crop function, which is fairly good.. It can't read Pentax EXIF info, last time I checked . Advantages: free, cross-platform (useful if you play in Linux)

Laurens

jessemadge wrote:

I have heard of picassa a few times here.Is it like both pentax photo
browser and flickr in one? I have both those,would it be better to
download and just have picassa? Sorry,still so much to learn
Thanks,Lucy

Jan Moren Veteran Member • Posts: 3,745
Re: Great Free Things on the Web

UFraw - excellent Raw converter:

http://ufraw.sourceforge.net/

Gimp - very good image editor, with a new version just around the corner:

http://www.gimp.org/

A trio programs for all your panorama needs:

  • Autopano is actually two programs that finds control points for you so you don't have to (there's a third, commercial version as well; it doesn't offer anything compellin). Autopano is developed for WIndows (though it can be built for Linux too), while autopano-sift is for Linux, though can be run on WIndows with a bit of tweaking:

http://autopano.kolor.com/
http://user.cs.tu-berlin.de/~nowozin/autopano-sift/

  • Hugin stitches anything that can be stitched;

http://hugin.sourceforge.net/

  • Enblend blends your finished images seamlessly:

http://www-cad.eecs.berkeley.edu/~mihal/enblend/

OP Darren M Veteran Member • Posts: 4,365
Re: Great Free Things on the Web

jessemadge wrote:

I have heard of picassa a few times here.Is it like both pentax photo
browser and flickr in one? I have both those,would it be better to
download and just have picassa? Sorry,still so much to learn
Thanks,Lucy

Hi Lucy,

Picassa isn't as complete as Pentax Photo Labratory by any means, but it is easier to use and good if you want to do the most basic manipulations possible. It doesn't really replace flickr, but it integrates very well with picasaweb, which is google's equivalten to Yahoo's Flickr.

On the topic of flickr, I just signed up and found a cool little utility they provide for uploading photos to their site.
http://www.flickr.com/tools/

If you are a member of flickr, I would think this can make your life a whole lot easier.

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Photos or pixels. Make sure you are looking at the right thing.
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Occam Forum Member • Posts: 86
Re: Great Free Things on the Web

On the recommendation of several posters here, I started using FastStone ImageViewer, and find it really, really helpful. It is a great, full-featured browser, and among other nice things, you can open a picture you are looking at in your Raw converter with a single keystroke ... nifty.

http://www.faststone.org/index.htm

Eric C in OK
Eric C in OK Senior Member • Posts: 2,328
Re: Great Free Things on the Web

Good thread, Darren. Thanks for starting it.

Here are a few more...

1. Neat Image - This is a commercial product, but the free version is fully functional up to 1024x1024. While I prefer to perform noise reduction earlier in my workflow, before scaling, anything is better than nothing. After a year of using it, I felt it was worth paying for the commercial version to work on full-size and 16-bit images.
http://www.neatimage.com/download.html

2. Menalto Gallery - If you have a web server running somewhere, you can have control over your own gallery and not have to deal with other peoples rules regarding image size, disk quotas, and content. Can also act as a retail front end for your photo business. Be sure to get the Gallery Remote for uploading large batches of images to your new gallery.
http://gallery.menalto.com/

3. Photomatix - Tone mapping and HDR software. Works much nicer than the HDR tools built into Photoshop. Commercial product with fully functional free version.
http://www.hdrsoft.com/

4. Bart's PE Builder - If you are running Windows XP and need to recover from a disastrous situation (crashed boot drive, driver conflicts, etc.) this is a must-have. Armed with a bit of knowledge and your original WinXP CDs, you can build a recovery disk. Do this before a crash happens.
http://www.nu2.nu/

5. Transferer - Small Windows gadget for automatically copying the contents of your data card to your drive. Has templates for creating folders according to a variety of rules. Better than what's built into XP, not sure about Vista.
http://www.dps.uk.com/

6. RealVNC - This is how I connect to my home PC (with all my photos) when I'm on the road with my laptop. Similar to GoToMyPC, but free. Run the RealVNC server app on your PC, "punch a hole" in your router (with a password), run the RealVNC client on your laptop. Voila! Gives full control of the PC via whatever Net connection you happen to have. Good for entering DPR challenges while on vacation or work trips.
http://www.realvnc.com/

7. EXIFTool - Perl script for doing all kinds of nifty stuff with image files. Allows you to view and modify EXIF tags, even in RAW files. So, when you screw up the camera's clock while on your trip around the world, this tool can set everything back right and it works on large numbers of files. Not for technotards, but powerful in the hands of savvy users. If you've written DOS batch files, you can handle EXIFTool.
http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/

Isahn Regular Member • Posts: 239
Re: Some of mine...

Online Depth of Field Calculator. I use this site all the time. When ever I am heading into a shoot, I always memorize at least one f-stop and one focal length in case my autofocus doesn't work or isn't working fast enough for what I am shooting. This site really helps you understand depth of field and how it differs from format to format (digital or film).

http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

Library of Congress. Here is a free site that you can search all public domain images (and some copyrighted). Many of the images are downloadable in large high resolution sizes. I highly suggest searching Mathew Brady. A civil war photographer that shot large format plates. I was lucky enough to find a wonderful shot of President Abraham Lincoln in my home town that was scanned at a resolution of 12000 x 12000 pixels. Not to mention you can really learn a lot from some of the work of past photographers and how they were able to capture moments carrying around equipment larger then we ever would today.

http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/list/listguid.html

Megaperls. This is the place to get some cool Japan only film. YES I said film. I still shoot some film, it's very satisfying sometimes to just have to trust yourself to make good exposures without chimping. I also find it helps break the habit of chimping. I also sometimes like the way film adds it's signature to a scene. I then make actions to simulate it's look sometimes when I like it.

http://www.unicircuits.com/shop/index.php

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Brad99 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,145
Re: Great Free Things on the Web

Silkypix Free RAW converter. Colours are it's main strength, the free version does the basics well, it may be all that's needed. http://www.isl.co.jp/SILKYPIX/english/download/

smcndjm Regular Member • Posts: 298
Re: Some of mine...

Library of Congress. Here is a free site that you can search all
public domain images (and some copyrighted). Many of the images are
downloadable in large high resolution sizes. I highly suggest
searching Mathew Brady. A civil war photographer that shot large
format plates. I was lucky enough to find a wonderful shot of
President Abraham Lincoln in my home town that was scanned at a
resolution of 12000 x 12000 pixels. Not to mention you can really
learn a lot from some of the work of past photographers and how they
were able to capture moments carrying around equipment larger then we
ever would today.

http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/list/listguid.html

Wow. I could spend a lot of time in here. Thanks a lot...:-)

Joe Barnhart Veteran Member • Posts: 3,393
Firefox EXIF viewer

I first learned of this on this forum -- I forgot who mentioned it. It's a plug-in for Firefox that lets you see the EXIF info for any image by right-clicking and choosing "Properties".

http://ted.mielczarek.org/code/mozilla/fxif/

Jack Simpson
Jack Simpson Forum Pro • Posts: 11,759
Re: Great Free Things on the Web ...great stuff everybody..

I have just bookmarked this page/thread for future reference

BTW, great thread idea Darren.

Cheers and Hi to Becky

Jack
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FarHagh Contributing Member • Posts: 805
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Msroberts Contributing Member • Posts: 724
Re: Great Free Things on the Web

I have a page of free photo apps on my web page at http://www.robertsteh.com/software.htm

I'm going to add a couple of the ones that have been mentioned in this thread

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Wayne Lee Regular Member • Posts: 153
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