Have you ever thought that you just found the perfect digital photography software? You got excited and said that you have finally found what you were looking for. Of course you did…I did…many times! After a while however, I noticed that the reason for my changing the digital photography software was different. Read on to find out.
A little bit about my own journey among digital photography software
I started like mostly everyone who buys a new digital camera. I started using the software that was coming with my first Canon digital camera. It made a lot of sense…I bought a camera and I just used their software. Actually, Canon’s Zoom Browser was and still is a very good piece of software. My wife still loves it and uses it every day.
After a few more months of navigating my growing digital photo collection, I really needed a simpler and faster software. I was also looking for some easier way to do some simple editing for my pictures. So, I got into Adobe Photoshop elements, which was great for editing my pictures, but was terrible for just organizing my pictures. Hmmm…what’s next?
Then I found Picasa, which really seemed like the perfect software: beautiful user interface, very easy to use picture effects as well as lots of other options that I didn’t really understand at first. Picasa worked well only for a little while, because I didn’t really have a way to look directly at my folders. So, I went back to Zoom Browser…for a while.
I was really looking to find a simple and fast software that would allow me to transfer and rename my pictures very quickly and easily. Didn’t care too much about editing my pictures…just wanted to be able to see and edit my folders and move them fast. That’s when I found FastStone Image Viewer. I loved this little piece of software and I still use it most of the times.
About a year ago I started getting into adding tags to my pictures. FastStone was and still is not ready for this. It serves a different purpose. This is when I really started using XnView to add image tags and captions to my images. Well I added some metadata to some of my images.
Hmmm…but what about editing my pictures. Well, Fast Stone was great for very small edits, XnView is just great for a lot more complicated edits. But the de facto image editor is Adobe Lightroom. I love this program and I got to play with it because their version 3 Beta was free to download.
The point is that I was changing digital photography software programs because I was changing
When I wanted to be able to do something more, I found my current software not sufficient. It wasn’t so much that my software wasn’t great, most of the times it was me changing what I needed.
The most important aspect of choosing the right digital photography software is to make sure that the software meets your needs. It is impossible to find the perfect software that’s perfect for everyone. You need to find the software that is good for what you need…for now. When you change, you’ll find another software to meed your photography management needs.
Don’t focus on the software but focus on what you need
This is how you find the perfect digital photography software. You focus on you and not on what someone else is saying. They might love some program but might not like it. Maybe your really need software to create web albums that you want to share on your website. Maybe you really need to be able to resize your images so you can e-mail them very easily.
Find the perfect digital photography software by focusing on what you need. Understand the most common digital photography tasks you accomplish every day and find software that will help you achieve those tasks first.
You get the point! However, don’t forget that any software you use, you must be able to use it for keeping your photos organized. Any other photography task comes secondary.
Essentials for organizing your digital photosOver the years I have come to rely on only a few products for managing and backing up my large media collection. These are my essential products and services I have been using for many years to keep things organized and safe. Even though these are affiliate links, I wholeheartedly recommend them.
I recommend using Adobe Lightroom Classic CC via the annual Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Lightroom has excellent photo editing capabilities. Yes, Lightroom has a steeper learning curve as you have to learn to keep your catalogs in sync with your hard drive. However, Adobe Lightroom makes most sense especially when you do lots of image editing.
If you don't like the subscription, you can get also download the last standalone Adobe Lightroom 6 for Mac or Windows (while it is still available). However, the product is no longer maintained by Adobe.
Excellent Lightroom and Picasa alternative. If you're looking for a cheaper and simpler photo manager then ACDSee Photo Studio for Mac or ACDSee Pro for Windows is my preferred solution for organizing your media on your computer. It has a very fast browser, beautiful image editing capabilities and you don't work with catalogs at all.
In addition, make sure you have an inexpensive and reliable external hard drive for backing everything up. It is absolutely essential for backing up your media regularly.
If you're looking for a reliable unlimited cloud backup service, I recommend Backblaze Cloud Backup. I have used Backblaze for my online backup for more than 3 years now. All my files are safe and secure and I have never had any problems with them.