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     When you need to enlarge a section of an image or make a large print, the resolution may not be adequate.  The solution is a Photoshop Plug-in from www.alienskin.com called Blow Up.  When you enlarge images with Blow Up, jaggies that normally appear in enlargements are not visible - even with extreme enlargements up to 3600%.  Wow!  If you have an image that is not very sharp, you can use Blow Up to change the size and then use maximum sharpness on the image.
     Alien Skin Blow Up supports many features used by advanced Photoshop Image Editors. These include non-destructive resizing, multi-layers without flattening, resize image or create new image, it supports several color modes, 8 thru 32 bit images, and the new multi-processors.  You can even add slight grain effects to your digital image if you prefer the film-look. 
                                                               Alien Skin BlowUp lists at $199 and is available for both Windows and Macintosh.

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     Western Digital makes photo dive travel a breeze with the new Passport external hard drives.  These drives range from 250 gigabytes to one terabyte and weight just a few ounces.  They work from a USB2 cable that is supplied with the drive.   No more burning CD or DVD's on a dive trip.  Just take two or three of these very inexpensive drives and downloading your digital camera files becomes a snap.  We recommend downloading your images to two of the drives, and keep the third for backup of your computer or in case one of the two main drives fail.  Prices range from less than $100 up to 200.  For more info go to www.westerndigital.com.

A critical aspect of image editing is color management.  In order for you to move files from one computer to the next or have prints that match what is one your screen, you must have your monitor calibrated.  There are software programs like Adobe Gamma Loader (Windows) or Macintosh Color calibration.  A better way is with a hardware device like the Spyder 2 from ColorVision.


     The Spyder 2 uses both software and hardware to calibrate your monitor and can be used on both CRT and
flat-screeen monitors.

     A really cool effect is called Mystical Lighting plug-in filter from AutoFX Software http://www.autofx.com.  With this Photoshop-compatible plug-in, you can add  light beams to provide the "Hollywood" look.  Software controls allow you to adjust the beam angle, softness of the edge, and how far the beam will reach.