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One of the greatest things about owning a home computer is that you can store thousands of pictures on the hard drive. With advances in digital photography, you no longer have to go out and buy film or pay for developing costs. You can easily transfer your pictures from your camera to your computer. If you have the right printer, you can make as many high quality copies of a photograph as you want without having to leave the house.

As with music, video, and documents, Ubuntu creates an appropriate folder for you, in this case called Pictures. As you may have guessed, this is a storage location for your digital photographs and any other graphics you bring to the computer.

Not only does Ubuntu provide you a place to store your pictures, but the nice people at Canonical made sure that Ubuntu came with an application that would help you import, organize, share, and edit your digital pictures. This program, called F-Spot, can be accessed by selecting Applications | Graphics | F-Spot Photo Manager. F-Spot supports 16 different graphical file types including JPEG, TIFF, GIF, and PNG. If you need to touch up your photos before sharing them on the Web, you can remove red eye, crop pictures, resize, and even adjust the brightness and contrast. As with most everything else in Ubuntu, you are provided a fully functional tool for absolutely free!

Importing Pictures

To get started with F-Spot, you need some pictures. Begin by launching F-Spot. When the application window appears (see Figure 19-6), insert the media that contains the pictures you are going to import. Click the Import button on the image menu bar to bring up the Import window. Next, select where you are importing from. Under Import Source use the drop-down menu to select the CD. As soon as you select the CD, the pictures on that disc will begin to load. When F-Spot is done loading the pictures, you can click the Import button.

FIGURE 19-6 F-Spot

If you would like to import pictures directly from a digital camera, start up F-Spot and then connect the camera to the computer. Once the computer and the camera are communicating, you can click the Import button. This time, select the camera from the Import Source menu. Once the pictures are loaded, click Import to bring them into F-Spot.

F-Spot stores the pictures in its Catalog. If you wish to move pictures to the Pictures folder, you will need to select the pictures you want to send to the folder first. Once you have them selected, click File | Export To | Folder. The Folder Export window will open; select the folder you want to send your pictures to. For further organization, F-Spot creates a Gallery in the folder you choose. You can rename this gallery whatever you want. Under Export Method you also have the option to create a web gallery that can be uploaded to a site, or to export just the pictures themselves. When you are ready, click the Export button.

You are not limited to using the Export feature just to send your pictures to a folder. You can also export to a CD for copying or to some of the different photo sharing sites.

Editing Photos

While we all would like to think we have a bit of Ansel Adams in us, the sad truth is we don't always take the best pictures. Sometimes the lighting is off, or our holiday photo is littered with red-eyed family members. For times like these, F-Spot provides some excellent editing tools that can help make our memories a little more perfect.

With the F-Spot Catalog open, you can choose a picture that may need a bit of work by double-clicking it. When the picture opens in the main window, simply look at the bottom of the F-Spot window for the editing icons (see Figure 19-7). Here, you can select the Crop tool to cut out part of the picture, the Red Eye Remover to take out any red spots on the pupils, Adjust Photo Colors to adjust brightness and contrast, and finally you can use Convert To Black And White or Convert To Sepia to make more stylistic changes to the picture.

FIGURE 19-7 Photo editing

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