Effective Photo Editing


I’m three photo books behind and everybody want the photos from my last vacation. The problem is that photo editing is tedious and I don’t like to distribute photos until I have had a chance to go through them and correct any problems. Fortunately, I have found at least a partial solution to my problems.

The key to efficient photo editing is batch processing. Batch processing avoids the need to manually edit each photo.  PhotoEQ from SoftColor provides this capability. It will literally go through thousands of photos and correct exposure and color. It’s not perfect but it eliminates at least 90% of the work of photo editing. Best of all, it’s free for ten days and only $69 if you decide to purchase it.

In my non-scientific test, I found that PhotoEQ took about two hours to process 1070 photos, saving me countless hours of manual editing. With PhotoEQ, image processing takes place in the background so you are able to work on other projects while it completes its work.


In general the default settings worked well, although I recommend changing the Dynamic Enhancer Shadows Style from Hard to Soft.

I also evaluated Perfectly Clear Complete from EyeQ but was not impressed with its batch processing capabilities.

Now if only somebody would come up with a way to have Artisan automatically batch create my photo books.

Note: I have previously recommended Image Enhancer because it had similar image editing capabilities, but this program is no longer available.

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Creative Memories Announces Memory Disposal Service


Creative Memories has announced a new service, Memory Flush™, to help customers deal with unpleasant memories. In partnership with Kohler and American Standard, Memory Flush will safely dispose of failed relationships, former friends, and flawed family members. The new service combines a shredder and a toilet to ensure that these memories are never seen again.

According to Creative Memories President, Mark Lerud, “Our customers have too many memories. We have emphasized permanence and preservation far too long and have been too successful. Now we are going to help our customers destroy those memories.” The new service is not without risk given that customers have a limited number of memories to be destroyed; however according to Lerud, “The process will free up space to create more memories, which can then be destroyed, creating a  never-ending revenue cycle.”

As part of the new service, each Creative Memories Advisor will be equipped with a memory disposal unit. Customers will bring their photos, digital media, and physical objects to their advisor for disposal, with the waste transferred directly to the municipal sewer system. For advisors located in rural areas, Creative Memories will also be offering the memory septic system. The new service is expected to be available shortly.

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Will Amazon screw up Eero?


I have previously written about Eero WiFi routers and how they resolved my WiFi problems. Eero eliminates WiFi dead zones and gives me control over who is using my WiFi network and when they are using it.

This week Eero is in the news. Amazon is acquiring Eero, and given some of Amazon’s business practices, I am not sure it is a good thing, at least not for consumers.

Amazon says they are not planning to change Eero’s privacy policy “at this time.” To me, that statement implies that they will change it in the future, and I highly doubt their changes will benefit consumers. Instead, Amazon is likely to integrate data from Eero with all the other data they have, further eroding consumer privacy.

Users of Amazon’s Alexa have already suffered from a host of privacy concerns, including recording of conversations and tracking consumer behavior. Amazon, like many other companies, has also lost control of customer data.

I hope I’m not the next victim.


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Create Controversy with “Baby It’s Cold Outside”

stickers_crop2Introduce controversy into your Christmas album with “Baby It’s Cold Outside” stickers. The song, which has been banned from many radio stations due to its unsuitable lyrics that promote date rape, is available as a sticker in the Creative Memories Season’s Greetings Stickers.

Sales of the “Baby It’s Cold Outside” are increasing due to the controversy, with the song climbing the billboard charts. Demand for the Creative Memories stickers is also expected to increase, so get your Season’s Greetings stickers while they’re still available.

Posted in Not Satire | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Preserving More Than Memories

I won't be here_002

Trump and the Republican have created a looming debt crisis through their massive tax cuts for the wealthy. Trump’s response is an apathetic “Yeah, but I won’t be here.” Trump’s actions toward the environment are similarly destructive, and his refusal to consider the potential danger of climate change can only be described as irresponsible. He and the Republican party clearly do not care what they do and what they leave for future generations.

Why am I writing about this here? It’s because memory preservation is about future generations. It’s about preserving today’s memories, even when we won’t be here. I create photo books, not only because I enjoy looking at them, but also because my two sons enjoy them. It is my way of preserving memories for a time when I won’t be here.

I also preserve my memories on Forever. Their business objective is memory preservation. Other internet sites have different business objectives, either advertising or product sales. These sites will preserve photos and videos as long as it is in their business interest to do so and they will delete them when they feel it is in their interest to do so.

If we are are concerned preserving memories for the future, we should be concerned about the future in a broader sense. After all, what good is a photo book or an online photo preservation site, if our environment is polluted and our cities are under water?


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Video Storage with Forever

Save Your Videos

In August, Forever launched added video storage to their photo preservation site. I saw the email but put off transferring videos to my site until now.  First, I would like to congratulate Forever in meeting the timeline they announced in 2017 for allowing video storage. Second, I would like to say that the service is incredibly useful, in spite of the flaws that I will enumerate below. Until now, I have relied on YouTube to preserve my videos. I like YouTube but I have never been comfortable with relying on Google (the owner of YouTube) to preserve anything. Google’s business model is based on advertising not preservation. I have no confidence in them to preserve my files.

Using CDs and DVDs to preserve videos is also problematic since these materials have a limited lifetime, generally 10-20 years. Stable discs are available, but these discs require specialized writers, and if the disc is lost or damaged, the video is lost as well.

Here are my comments after adding my videos to my Forever account:

  • Unless you pay extra money (see below), Forever does not convert your videos to the best format (H.264 mp4 1080p 30fps). Their selected file format is good, but saying they will convert your videos to this format in 10-20 years unless you pay extra just doesn’t make sense.  I want to know that my videos are preserved in the best format now, not in 10-20 years. To work around this feature, you will need to convert your videos prior to uploading them. It’s doable but beyond the scope of this article.
  • The cost for viewing the videos directly on Forever exceeds what I am willing to pay, and it’s not based on how many videos you upload. If you’re standing, please sit down now. The premium video plan is $1999, and no I didn’t leave out a decimal point! A monthly plan is $11.99/month and a yearly plan is $119/year, but these defeat the reason I originally bought my Forever account, which was to make a single payment and have no future charges FOREVER.
  • CM_002.The organizational tools are inadequate for video. When I look at the videos in an  album I created, and conveniently named Video, I cannot easily tell what is what. When your mouse is held over a video, you see about the first 15 characters of the file name. There is no easy way to see all the file names, and if the first 15 characters are not adequate to identify the video, you are out of luck. You can click on the video to get more information, but that process is tedious at best. There is no way to define a specific image to represent the video. My advice is to think very carefully about the first 15 character of the file name.
  • Forever doesn’t automatically transfer videos that are on other internet sites such as YouTube. See More About Video Preservation if you need to transfer videos to Forever.

Even with its limitations, Forever’s video storage is highly recommended. At this point there is simply no other good way to preserve videos.


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Review of Factors Related to Photo Book Preservation

Mizen_Review of Factors Related to Photo Book Preservation_20180924_Page_02_crop

Mizen_Review of Factors Related to Photo Book Preservation_20180924_Page_01IS&T’s Technology for Digital Photo Fulfillment conference was held in Dresden, Germany on September 24, 2018. This meeting was held in conjunction with NIP/Digital Printing for Digital Fabrication 2018. At the Technology for Digital Photo Fulfillment Conference, I presented a Mizen_Review of Factors Related to Photo Book Preservation_20180924.

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