Many hands were involved in the creation of this WEB page. I would like to thank the following:
Salem County, South Jersey - where I live
Matt Dranchak - Good friend and expert in digital graphics who gave me hints on using thumbnail pictures.
Products used in the creation of the SJSG Web Site.
Many fine products were used in the creation of the SJSG Website. In the spirit of sharing, here is a list of the most useful programs and equipment I use - and my comments and experiences with them.
EZ Viewer GJC Software, Inc
EZ-viewer is primarily a graphic image organizer with built-in capabilities to do the most often used graphic editing functions. The editing tools are not the powerful tools you may find in programs such as Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro, but they are easy to learn, simple to use - and they do 80% of the work I need for the Internet.
Image tools included are: resizing/resampling, cropping, converting from one format to another, cloning, color/brightness/contrast correction, red-eye removal, and color swapping. I use the EZ-viewer to maintain catalogs of all my images, create the thumbnails, and resize the images from my scanner and digital camera. Their WEB site has a free downloadable demo program if you want to give it a try.
PSP is second only to Photoshop as the graphics program most used (in my opinion) for Internet-image manipulation. I use PSP for functions like image slicing, animated GIF's, tricky color correction and resizing and vector-graphics work. I also use PSP for most of the image printing that I need done. You can buy EZ-Viewer, Paint Shop Pro and a half-dozen other programs for half of the price of Photoshop - and get 90% of the work done. In addition, many of the plug-ins available for Photoshop will work just as well in PSP.
FP has made it very easy, using templates, to keep the pages consistent. The FP WYSIWYG graphic interface makes it easy to edit a page for proper display in Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator, and other FP features helps keep track of the pages I need to edit and which ones I've done; validate links to other WEB sites; and spell check my writing!
Since FrontPage 2000 won't automate uploading and downloading the WEB pages to my site provider, I use WS_FTP Limited Edition, which is free to private non-commercial users (just download it from their WEB site.) The program lets you create an "address book" of sites you need to connect to, as well as the initial directories to use on both ends (local hard drive, and the WEB provider). I especially like the feature that sorts the recently edited pages to the top of the list, which makes it a snap to know which pages need to be uploaded.
The primary source of the images on the WEB site (that I took) prior to January 2002 were captured by the Sony MVC-FD83 digital camera. A unique feature of the camera is the use of standard 3.5" floppy disks as 'film' for storing the images. The camera is very durable, easy to use, and uses very cheap 'film'. The LCD screen is one of the largest and brightest on the market even now, making evening shots easy to take.
As I got more proficient in my picture taking, I found the 1.3 megapixel size of the images a limiting factor, not to mention I could only store a maximum of six pictures on a floppy. That required carrying about 10 disks around with me on a long day of shooting, and the pictures were limited to about a 4x6" print. I recently replaced my camera with a Canon, but the Mavica lives on and continues to take excellent pictures in the hands of my Mom - who was quite happy to accept an "old, used" camera. You can read a review of the camera at: http://www.steves-digicams.com/fd83.html
I purchased this camera during the 2001 Christmas season, so I still have a lot to learn about it. It is a 4-megapixel camera that can use CompactFlash film (up to 512mb) or the IBM 1GB microdrive. Now I can take pictures all day on one CF card! The feature that attracted me most to this camera was the "tilt 'n swivel" LCD screen, which makes it very convenient for me to compose and focus at weird angles, especially for close-up shots of model railroads. I'm also interested in macro photography, which is another strong point of this camera. Most of the images I take now for the SJSG WEB site starting in January, will be from this camera. I'm looking forward to using my expanded capabilities! For a more detailed review of the camera, you can read one at: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canong2/
Thanks to the following organizations for providing links to our site: