portable photo lab

We all have a USB stick for moving and sharing files. How cool would it be to be able to take your photo editing software on one of these so you can use them where ever you can borrow a computer? Pretty cool, and you can do it for free! I have been playing about with Portable Apps and I love the flexibility of being able to move programs and settings between PCs and use favourite image editing software on borrowed PCs. Most of the software I use regularly will actually run from a USB stick, so I have put together a Photo Lab on a Stick of standalone free and open source programs:

PortableApps

http://portableapps.com/

The USB menu system that provides the program menu. Should autostart when you insert the USB stick. Apart from menu, does not really assist the programs, all these programs will run from a USB stick by just double clicking on the program file.

AutoStitch

http://www.cs.ubc.ca/~mbrown/autostitch/autostitch.html

Mobile panorama stitching and blending program. Free, but the engine from this is used in Autopano Pro and the Serif Panorama maker. Very simple, you load in images and it will stitch them together and blend the joins. Check the menus to change setting such as the size of the output image.

Dust & Scratch Removal from Polaroid

http://www.polaroid.com/service/software/poladsr/poladsr.html

Pretty effective, I use it to clear up old slide & photo scans.

Gimp Portable

http://portableapps.com/apps/graphics_pictures/gimp_portable

Full featured image editing, not quite photoshop but a good range of add-ons and filters available. Add-on needed to open raw files.

RawTherapee

http://www.rawtherapee.com/

A jewel. RAW image editor, free, fantastic and will run from a USB stick. Easier to say what it doesn’t do, as it provides all the expected sharpening, levels, curves, noise reduction, white balance, colour boost & shifting, shadow and highlight recovery. Also does CA correction, distortion, vignetting, resizing, colour profiles etc etc. Only lacks a healing or clone tool, so virtually perfect. Will save user processing profiles and also allows you to step back through changes.

Recuva

http://www.recuva.com/

Image and file recovery tool. Does a good job for recovering accidently deleted photos from memory cards.

Undelete Plus

http://undelete-plus.com/

Another image and file recovery tool, often picks up more files that Recuva can miss.