As with all of the other applications in the Essentials suite of programs for your desktop, Live Photo Gallery has received some very welcome new features in the new 2011 update. Beginning with the use of the Ribbon Interface to make finding all of those really great features much easier, to a brilliant new addition to the Create tab, there is now a multitude of editing and creative things you can do with your entire photo collection. Here are just a few of my favourite new features.
You probably all ready know how time consuming it can be to have to work your way through your entire photo collection name tagging the same person over and over again. Well you don’t have to do that anymore thanks to face recognition. Simply tag a few photos of any person who appears in your photos, the program will then begin to recognise their face and then working quietly in the background, tag all the other photos in your collection or in any new photos you import into Photo Gallery. Saves you a lot of time and effort! If the program is not certain about a face found in any of your photo collection, it will suggest a match to you for confirmation. The more instances of someone’s face that are tagged, the more it will be able to recognize the persons face and auto tag each instance for you as they are loaded in from your camera.
Another well requested feature from users, Photo Gallery now allows you to geo tag your photos to add to the information about that particular photo and also aid any search for a particular photo that you might want to do. Simply choose the photo to geotag and then after selecting geotagging from the ribbon, you can add the location of where the photo was taken.
Another of my favourite new features is the new Retouch feature. If you have a spot or a blemish (which I have!) then it can now be easily removed inside Photo Gallery. Choose the photo in question, then click on the View tab and select Zoom in so that you can view the blemish or mark close up, click on the Edit followed by Retouch then simply drag the cursor around the spot or blemish and it will magically disappear, so that all of your photos of your nearest and dearest will look perfect. (including the one’s of me!)
This brand new feature, found under the Create tab alongside another of my favourites Panorama is yet another useful addition to the new version of Photo Gallery. Although primarily it is aimed at getting the perfect shot when you take a group photo, I think that I will tend to use it in a slightly different way. For example,deleting those shots of a building where a car drives by in one of them, and the other shot contains a person walking past. Using Photo Fuse, I can put those shots together and then choose to eliminate the people in each one that I don’t want to be there.
If you take a look at my shots here where I am trying to take a photo of these sculptures, each one has some people walking past in as this particular spot if always a very busy thoroughfare. By firstly taking three or four shots of the sculptures and then applying Photo Fuse I can easily eliminate all of the people walking past to create the perfect shot that just includes the two sculptures only. See the finished result below.
The Find Tab.
The Find tab quickly allows you quickly find any photo using a number of criteria such as by face, names, date, geo-location,descriptive tags, folder titles or any combination of those so that its now easy to find that ‘one in a million’ photo that you are searching for inside your photo collection no matter how large it is.
In the new version of Photo Gallery its all about saving you time. You can batch edit your photos so easily. Simply highlight the photos that you wish to edit, click on the Edit tab and then apply your edits to your chosen photos from right there in the ribbon.
Auto Movie Themes in Slideshow.
Need to quickly create a fantastic looking slideshow of your chosen photos to share with your family and friends? Simply highlight your chosen photos, click on Slideshow from the ribbon, choose your Slideshow theme and then click on Share Slideshow where you can then upload it to either your SkyDrive, Facebook, YouTube or Windows Live Groups to share with family and friends.
So in the Live Photo Gallery contained in the new Windows Live Essentials 2011, a brilliant free photo editing application which was already fantastic has now got even better at saving you the user lot’s of time and effort and includes some wonderful new innovative features and sharing capabilities and best of all its free!
TG (Some content in this post was originally posted on my Windows Live Spaces blog.)