Live Photo Gallery v Google Picasa.round 4 continued.

Live Photo Gallery  Extras.

In this post i will  take a look at the extras that are included in Windows Live Photo Gallery. There are others available such as Auto Collage and Photosynth but at this time they are not available in Live Gallery  by default and need to be downloaded from the extras website, so in the interests of fairness I will not include them.

My favourite extra that comes as default in Photo Gallery is the Panoramic feature.  It is available to the user by clicking on the EXTRAS tab at the top of the viewing window once you have highlighted your chosen photos to make into a panoramic photo.  Of course in order to make use of this feature, you have to first of all take some suitable photographs of your subject or the inbuilt stitching process will not work.

To do this, you simply take a series of shots panning sideways as you take them. So for example, if you want to take a photograph of a particular location but it is too wide to fit into one  shot, all you need to do is take your first shot at the left or right  hand side of the vista, then move the camera across to the left or right, making sure that the second shot slightly overlaps the first one, then move across again and take another shot which overlaps the second one until you have completely included the whole of the subject.  (see the three photos below.)

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You can also take a photo of a tall building for example and in that instance move the camera from the bottom to the top of the subject (or vice versa)  in order to include it all.  Once you have loaded your photos into Live Photo Gallery, then all you do is select them, followed by clicking on the make tab in the task bar and then selecting Create a panoramic photo from the drop down list. Live photo gallery will then attempt to stitch your photos together into a panoramic shot and once it has achieved this, you can give the completed picture a name.  It can then be cropped (to exclude any rough edges) and fixed in the usual way, before being saved to your picture files. (see below the completed panoramic photo.)

Xmas shopping in York stitch

As with Picasa, you can also create a movie with your photographs, and as a fair comparison, I chose to make a movie using exactly the same photographs and music as I used in Picasa.  After selecting the particular photos, all you do is click on the Make tab and then select Make a Movie. As long as you have Live Movie Maker installed, you are then taken to the Movie Maker screen where you can then easily create your movie.  Again in the interests of fairness I have used the Auto Movie feature and not altered anything apart from the title screen  (font,background colour) and the ending screen. (font,background colour.)

You can choose to make a blog post about your chosen photos if you have Live Writer installed, or you can burn your photos to a DVD to send or give to someone else.  Live photo gallery does allow you to tag people in your photographs if it recognises that a person is included in a shot as it recognises faces , but as yet it does not ‘recognise’ a particular face once you have already tagged that person  in the same way that  Picasa does, so for example, if you have named someone in a few of your photos, it won’t then know who they are, or suggest that it is the same person.   Nor is there any way to Geotag your photos into Bing maps either. 

You can make a collage of your photos in Live photo Gallery by downloading Auto Collage, but at the moment this is not included in Photo Gallery by default. You can of course easily add more photo tools to Live Photo Gallery by downloading either Auto Collage or Photosynth directly from the Extras tab and  I hope that they will be included into Windows Live Photo Gallery in the next Wave 4 update alongside an easy to use Geotagging feature utilising the excellent Bing maps.


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