25 May, 2011 | Posted by: st

The Wifetest


Every piece of software I purchase has to pass the rigorous "wife-test."

The wife-test basically asks two questions. Those questions are:
1. Will this product make me more efficient?
2. Will this product pay for itself in the near future?

If the answer to both questions is "yes," I go ahead and buy. And it has to be a clear yes, no sneaking around with a "probably," or a "yes, maybe..."

I call it the "wife-test" because if I asked my wife, Ruth, for her input about a particular piece of software or anything else I might need for my business; those are the questions she would ask. Not because she thinks I might fritter our money away but because she's a practical and astute person who sees through the ads and marketing hype.


As we all know, when you go digital there's no end to all the extras you'll need. Like a faster computer, new hard drives, a DVD burner, mobile devices, software that does this, that and the other, a larger monitor, various cables, card readers, and boxes after boxes with trinkets and gizmos!
Using the wife-test to lean on has helped me steer clear of quite a bit of hidden money-magnets.
In the past, two different pieces of software passed the wife-test with flying colors. These were Capture One DSLR Pro from Phase One, and Spyder Pro from ColorVision.


The Capture One software is an image editor that handles RAW photos straight from my Canon digital camera. It has a converter that develops the RAW format into TIF with a minimum amount of hassle and a maximum amount of ease and functionality. This feature is light-years better than the conversion software that comes with the camera.
Capture One is intuitive to use and I have found that it has helped me cut 20 percent off the time it used to take me to import digital images into my computer. Mainly it's the RAW developer and the handling of associated data that makes this a very good buy, in my book. I warmly recommend Capture One DSLR Pro to anyone who routinely handles digital images. For those who don't need the full pro version, Capture One has a lighter, cheaper version. To purchase or for more info simply visit Phase One's website at www.phaseone.com


Spyder Pro is a color management and calibration tool - something no stock photographer who works with digital images should be without.
The software calibrates your monitor so that you can rest assured that what you see is really what you'll get as far as colors go.
This is really crucial for anyone selling digital images, because photobuyers will really be upset with you if your low res preview has brilliant color and your final high res submission looks nothing like the preview.

There are products that will make your life a lot easier when we're talking digital stock images. There are also products that won't. For me, the 'wife-test' has proven very useful in helping me discern between the two.

Photojournalist Mikael Karlsson has 18 years' experience of working for magazines and newspapers in more than 30 countries. He moved to the United States in 1998 from his native Sweden. He lives in Nebraska and is currently US correspondent for 11 Swedish magazines and a regular contributor to a wide variety of U.S. publications. Reach him at mike[at]photosource[dot]com.


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