By Aaron Lee
Bits&Coffee' BatchPhoto is a useful all-in-one photo manipulation program for Mac OS X and PC systems; it lets photographers, web designers, business people, and families enhance photos. It adds an updated visual drag-and-drop zones for the Annotate filters and an enhanced Auto Crop filter to show the original image in the background.
To use BatchPhoto, you select a group of photographs, and, with a single operation edit, resize, convert, watermark, and rename every image in the group. It makes batch editing simple and efficient (or you can edit one image at a time, though that's not this utility's purpose). If you need time/date stamps, image type conversion, size changes, basic touch-up, or watermarks applied to your photographs, this is your tool.
How can it be useful? Consider this scenario: the photography editor at a newspaper (remember those?) with 10 reporters who take photographs in the field can set BatchPhoto to automatically pre-process all of their images. Each reporter can drag and drop their images to a folder on their hard drive. BatchPhoto will detect the new image, convert it from the reporter's digital camera format to the format that is needed on the newspaper's website, change the name of the image from the mysterious name assigned by the digital camera to a meaningful name, add a date and time stamp, reduce the size of the image to the size needed for the site, watermark the image with the newspaper's copyright notice, and FTP the images to the newspaper's website. Automatically.
Or this one: the office manager of a real estate company can create a BatchPhoto process that automatically grabs and processes each agent's photos as they move them to a specified folder. The software can adjust the size of each image, add a decorative border to each photo, convert the images to PDF albums so that all of the company's agents can show the photos to their clients, and upload all of the photographs to the agency's Facebook and Flickr accounts automatically.
BatchPhoto supports more than 170 image formats, and can automatically convert from one format to another. It even handles the RAW format used by many digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras.
BatchPhoto comes in three editions: Home, Pro, and Enterprise priced at $29.95, $49.95, and $129.95, respectively. It can be purchased here. A demo version is available for download.
The Home version is for use at, well, home for non-commercial purposes. The Pro version is for use using the app for commercial purposes.
BatchPhoto Enterprise takes batch photo editing one step further by completely automating the process. All the user needs to do is to create a "hot folder" for the program to monitor. BatchPhoto can monitor several folders at once, either on the computer, network or FTP sites, and apply custom edits for the newly added or modified images in each one of them.
For example, with BatchPhoto Enterprise the user can transfer hundreds of RAW images from a DSLR digital camera to a "hot folder" and have all the images automatically resized, rotated, watermarked with a logo, renamed, converted to TIFF and uploaded to a site via FTP or to Facebook. All of this without the user´s intervention.
For more of us, one of the less expensive versions will suffice for our needs. Whichever version you choose, you'll be well served in tasks such as performing repeatable actions such as resizing images or watermarking photos.