Photo Odds & Ends: Adobe & Windows Live Photo Gallery

by JL Beeken on 12-03-2010

My ignorance is humiliating me again. Here’s a few new photo odds & ends.

1.) I upgraded to Adobe Elements v.9 not because I wanted to, not because I need any new toys but because I wasn’t too thrilled with the way v.5 was working on Windows 7. Maybe it would have been OK and I could have found my way around eventually but maybe not and I didn’t have time to find out before the weekend sale ended so I took the safe route.

I can’t find a shortcut for the Editor. There’s only a choice to go directly to the Organizer, (which I don’t use) or to open the main Welcome Screen that’s disgustingly huge and ugly and then the Editor where the Welcome Screen follows me with an advertisement for Adobe ID. In the upper right-hand corner of the Welcome Screen is another little button that leads to this:

Adobe Photoshop ElementsIf I hadn’t been desperately looking I wouldn’t have seen it. And choosing the last option doesn’t help at all because then it opens the Editor and plasters the big, ugly Welcome Screen across the open Editor window. Obviously, they want my attention about something here and I’m guessing it’s Adobe ID.

But why? I’ve used Adobe Elements since I was in the womb and never needed so much advertising in my face to be able to do some simple photo editing. Why now? What is Adobe ID? Why do I need it now? Will getting it make the big ugly blue screen go away? I doubt it because the screen also houses links to other advertising. If you’re not in the U.S. you can’t get an Adobe ID anyway. I tried because I’m desperate to make that damn screen go away. I’ll do anything.

I’ll even look it up on the Internet. Here it is. Look for this folder. I did look, and I couldn’t find it before.

Adobe Photoshop Elements

I found it this time. Look for PhotoshopElementsEditor.exe and make a shortcut to wherever you keep your shortcuts. No more Welcome Screen. Yay!!!

2.) In the early days of my photo restoration project, (a few weeks ago) I found some folders (2004-2008 to be exact) that do not have any maker notes. Maker notes is the information added to your photos by the camera manufacturer that looks like this: (except longer)

Maker Notes, ExifToolGUI

A lack of maker notes looks like this:

Maker Notes, ExifToolGUI

Interestingly, the timing on those folders from about 2004-2006 coincides with my intermittent attempts to use Adobe Elements Organizer. And, as I found other much better software, I moved entirely away from it.

I queried Phil Harvey on the matter of disappearing maker notes and he said Adobe is the most notorious for wiping them off the map. So, there it is. If you use any kind of Adobe organizer you might want to check that out.

There must be something else going on, though, because it doesn’t explain the 2007-2008 photos. But maybe it does. Maybe I was making one last-ditch attempt and those got hit too.

In case you haven’t read it anywhere else by now, I’m down to recommending ExifTool, ExifToolGUI, GeoSetter and Photo Mechanic. I use XnView as my default thumbnail browser and photo viewer. I should probably do some detailed analysis there to be sure. Anything else, it’s at your own peril.

3.) Here’s some life-altering news over at my house. And I would have told you before except I didn’t know. LZW is a loss-less compression. Which means my thousands of photos that were LZW-compressed by Windows Live Photo Gallery can be uncompressed. That shortens my pain considerably; by months.

Tiff Compression Options, Adobe Photoshop Elements

Although I will need to revisit this situation when I get to the JPGs again and there’s lots of those. All I have to do with the TIFFs is open the photos and re-save them one at a time with the ‘None’ option. My great-great-great grandmother for instance, squished down to 15 MB, instantly pops back up to 31 MB.

That never occurred to me because there’s a None option. If None is none, then LZW must be something else. Well, it is sort of. If you want to make your uncompressed TIFFs smaller for storage, like powdered eggs, use LZW. When you want to print them, reconstitute the size using None.

Windows Live Photo Gallery did change the metadata as well but, according to Phil, not critically. And I’ve already fixed the GPS mess. Microsoft says they’ve fixed that problem recently. Like I said, I won’t have it on my computer again but I’m glad, at least, they somewhat fixed the GPS problem because hundreds of thousands of people were going to stumble into it in ignorance. Also read Geoff Coupe’s blog for the progression of other WLPG problems there because he’s followed it for a long time.

Now I have to apologize to my cousin for keeping her up way past her bedtime uploading two discs of photos to our shared Dropbox folder.

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