ULead has a DIGITAL CAMERA WIZARD; you can import images from your Camera, from camera drive, or Card Reader or an image folder.
After you import, you can copy images to-existing folder, new folder, custom folder, or folder by date.
Next you decide to delete files after successful transfer, renumber images to ensure unique file, or add a destination folder to your album.
Ulead has TWAIN which is not supported by Windows Vista, so I could not use it. Also has CAPTURE Video which I could not use, I do not use video. But there is a window for live viewing and saving, also notes duration and file size.
Available are 7 thumbnail sizes, from 64×64 to 256×256 and a list mode for name, size, type, date and description. This is a nice feature for we who need to see things larger than those iddy biddy little thumbnails.
WORKING WITH AN IMAGE is user friendly, easily being able to move forward to the next image or back to the previous image or automatically move to next image. You can zoom in or out, fit the image to full screen size to make it more workable and then restore it back to the original size.
ADJUST IMAGE (I found this to be very useful, much easier thanPhotoshop). In ADJUST IMAGE you can rotate or crop which has a nifty auto control.
CONTRAST has a nine square of thumbnail variations from which you can select the image you feel has the proper brightness or contrast. Or there is a choice of auto selection which switches around the nine views so you can preview each before you choose which is a simple matter of clicking on your preference. You can also invert the image here, may be useful if you have a negative and need to invert it to a positive image. After any changes you are asked if you want to overweight the original file.
Also at the end of the folder you are asked if you want to go back to first image, return to browser, or go to the next folder or stay on current image.
BALANCE also has nine thumbnails, and a variation slider which allows you to shift the overall color balance of the image towards a particular color. This can be very useful for photos taken on a grey day or to add warmth to a complexion. The same applies to HUE, with controls for hue, saturation and lightness or an auto correction choice. I did not see much change in the AUTO which I thought ran for a long time, but I work with high resolution and that may be why.
The FOCUS CONTROL was good and bad. Good was the ’softer or sharper’ slider, bad was the lack of being able to zoom in and get a really close-up of where the focus took you. I also tried the AUTO BUTTON and it ran a long time, but any difference I saw was moot.
The HISTOGRAM has great control and use. Your choice of master, red, green or blue channel, directions on how to use the white, gray and black levels in the image and most importantly a zoom in and zoom out control, and your choice of original size, fit to screen or center in the window control.
TONE allows you to easily create sepia, duotone and monochrome effects with just one click, or to adjust to any of these effects to any degree with sliders.
EFFECTS can be fun, with lot choices available for the right type of photo. It is similar to filters, in that you can apply a CHARCOAL effect to any image, EMBOSS is available, noise can be added to any degree, an effect for which I have never found a use but someone who works with graphics will probably like this feature. MOSAIC can be interesting, the size of tiles is determined by you and your image can be manipulated back and forth until you are pleased with it. OIL PAINT is another choice, but the controls are only for stroke detail and level, so it tends to look more like looking through a wet pane of glass to me. I have used Oil paint and watercolor on other programs and know that the more you work with them, the better you become. Most Effects take time to bring out the best you can do, practice, practice, practice here is important, just like in actual painting. PINCH, RIPPLE, WHIRLPOOL AND WIND do what they say, and there are times a small distortion may improve an image, you decide. And you can have fun while you are deciding.
TILE is something worth spending time doing. There are good controls, including a random choice, and the background color is changeable. This produces some very interesting effects, and more fun here, too.
Most of the ADJUST IMAGE choices have zoom in and zoom out controls, original size, fit in window and center the image controls, which make them easy to manipulate.
ULead Photo Explorer 8.5, I believe, can be a very helpful program to manipulate your images and to arrange them in an organized manner so they can be availible and useful to you. Nothing is worse than having pictures and not being able to find them or use them.
Also, the ability to alter your images not only opens your mind to being more creative, but should lead you to improving your photo library by knowing what to “see” when you take the photos because now you have corrected them in ULead.
Thank you, ULead, for allowing me to have this exposure to a useful program.
ULead Photo Explorer 8.5
- Intel® Pentium® III processor or above
- Microsoft® Windows® 98SE, 2000, Me and XP
- 64MB of RAM (128 MB recommended)
- 45MB of available hard drive space
- CD-ROM drive or CD/DVD burner (for slideshow disc)
- True Color or HiColor display adapter and monitor; 800×600 display resolution
- Windows® compatible pointing device
- Internet connection (recommended)
- 16-bit or better sound card and speakers (recommended)
- DirectX®8.1 or above
— Irene Naoum
Having been raised high in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania, I was more than thrilled to relocate to the pine forested peaks of Big Bear from the hub-bub of life in Los Angeles ten years ago. My husband Georgio and I commuted weekends until we retired the year before last and now look forward to the planning of our next adventure by blending what we love: travel, photography, and sailing.
Joining the Big Bear Computer Club has been a plus in my life, besides helping me to understand what goes on in cyberspace; I have met such lovely and helpful people through the club.