Your digital camera is brimming with photos. You’ve snapped the perfect graduation portrait, captured that jaw-dropping sunset over the Pacific, or compiled an unforgettable photo essay of your 2-year-old attempting to eat a bowl of spaghetti. It’s time to use your PC to gather, organize, and tweak all these photos so you can share them with the rest of the world.
Microsoft has addressed photo organizing/editing with a vengeance. You have, of course, a very simple photo program waiting for you in TileWorld — the Photos app. But all it does is display photos. It doesn’t offer any tools for editing them, cropping them, rating them, or organizing them. It can’t play or handle video clips.
That’s where Windows Live Photo Gallery comes in. It’s a beautiful, full-blown digital camera companion for Windows at the desktop, and it’s the subject of this chapter.
It’s not built into Windows. You have to download it as part of the Windows Live Essentials software suite. But once you have it, you’ll realize that it’s an important part of Windows.
Then again, you may prefer Google’s Picasa—a free photo-editing program that you could argue is faster, easier, and more powerful. And it connects to a beautiful online photo gallery. Just sayin’.