Junior Achievement

When she arrived on campus at Mobile’s Calloway Smith Middle School this fall, 13-year-old Jameal Womack wasn’t thinking much about her future beyond the 8th grade.

Maybe, down the road, she’d stop hassling with homework and settle for a General Equivalency Diploma like her older sister; maybe she’d hang in through high school and become a hairdresser like her cousin.

But just two weeks into a program designed to teach kids the “Economics of Staying in School,” Womack has a brand new plan: “I’m going to be an accountant, because I like numbers and the pay is good.”

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Adobe Lightroom

An entry in the project-oriented imaging package market is Adobe Lightroom, which is available for both Macintosh and Windows. Like the other programs covered here, Adobe Lightroom takes a project approach to image editing and manipulation. It can be used to create image and text compositions for flyers and other promotional material, and it also can be used to create calendars, greeting cards, or similar types of designs. PhotoDeluxe easily transforms black-and-white photos into colorful creations or sepia-toned keepsakes. It can even be used to create artistic works such as impressionistic illustrations and electronic coloring books.lightroom presets

When using the On Your Own approach to Lightroom, users can apply editing, orientation, quality, and effects commands selectively to images and photo compositions. Images can be enhanced, modified, sharpened, rescaled, and distorted in a number of ways. It’s simply a matter of pulling in an image, selecting a portion of it, and applying the modifications. Because LR has its beginnings in Photoshop, it features high-end capabilities that might not be expected in a low-end package. For example, it has a surprisingly good selection tool. Parts of images can be selected by shape or color. Once selected, masks can be expanded easily, just like in high-end packages. Read More

Affordable Image Editing

High-end image editing programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Live Picture receive a lot of attention from the press, because they offer an extensive selection of features and capabilities. However, not every working photographer or graphic professional needs the power and capabilities of a high-end electronic imaging package to make save the date templates or other graphical elements. In fact, in situations where maximum power isn’t a necessity, the complexity of a high-end program may only slow down the image editing process.

That’s where affordable image editing packages come in. Many of these programs have a nice selection of broad-based image editing capabilities, and they often excel at one specific task or another. And, although they’re not as full-featured as their more expensive counterparts, they look and work very much like the high-end programs, but on a smaller scale.

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Microsoft PictureIt!

Microsoft’s PictureIt!, along with Live Picture’s LivePix, are the most revolutionary image editing packages to come along this year. They use FlashPix, a new format announced in June ’96, developed jointly by Eastman Kodak Company, Hewlett Packard Company, Live Picture Inc., and Microsoft Corporation.

With FlashPix, images are saved in a series of resolutions in the shape of an inverted pyramid. The lowest resolution is found at the bottom of the pyramid while the highest resolution is at the top. Users can quickly access and use images at the best usable resolution. In other words, when looking at a FlashPix image, a “monitor” resolution image will be displayed on the monitor for on-screen work. Yet, if a hard copy is required, the correct and necessary higher resolution FlashPix data is sent to the output device.

Live Picture LivePix

Live Picture has entered the low-end imaging market with LivePix, which is currently available for Windows and will be out soon for

Macintosh. Like PictureIt! and PhotoDeluxe, it includes many of the compositing features found in similar packages, and it incorporates many of the same utilities that merge personal photos into graphic compositions.

There are two distinct parts to LivePix. The Gallery section is an album browser that arranges image files into individual files or composites. The image editing portion of the application includes a traditional toolbar and most of the pull-down menus one would expect to find in image compositing programs. Both sections are user-friendly. They provide numerous in-context suggestions and tips that nearly eliminate searches through the accompanying manual.

Virtual Photography – PHSColograms

Three-dimensional imaging appears in many forms. Video game characters grow more animated and realistic with every technological advancement, point-of-purchase displays seem to morph from one image into another as shoppers walk down store aisles, and 3-D computer art has found its way to the movie screen in last year’s ground breaking animated film from Pixar, Toy Story. Without a doubt, 3-D has come a long way since the first stereoscopic drawings were made in the 1600s.