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Photo FAQs: improve your digital photography

We round up your most interesting questions about digital photography, from photo-recovery software and editing packages to scene meters and posting photos to the web.

Photo recovery software

Is there a photo recovery software program out there that actually works? Rose Keller

I hear some frustration in that question, Rose.

I've used several photo recovery programs, and most of them do a good job - as long as you understand their limitations. Like any file recovery program, a photo recovery app works best at retrieving accidentally deleted photos from a disk or memory card, not from a storage device that has been physically damaged or has failed. Also, if you've subsequently put new files on the card, the odds of recovering those lost photos goes way down.

These programs rely on the fact that file systems don't truly delete files, they just remove information about where to find those files from the disk or memory card's table of contents. Most recovery programs do their magic by crawling through all the memory locations on the card to look for intact (but deleted) photos they can "recover."

Want to give one a spin? I recommend Digital Photo Recovery, which is free and effective. Alternately, you could try CnW Recovery Software, which is designed to work on corrupted memory cards - something most other programs won't do.

Digital photography reviews and tutorials

Choosing a photo-editing program

What photo editing program do you recommend that I use with Windows Vista? Carol Craul

All the usual proto editing programs that work with Windows XP also work just fine with Windows Vista, Carol.

I usually recommend Adobe Photoshop Elements (available online for about £65) and Corel Paint Shop Pro (available for about £39). Both offer all the most important photo editing tools - like exposure adjustments and multilayer support - yet they're fairly easy to use.

If you want to try your hand at some photo editing for free, there's also the open-source GIMP photo editor. It's quite nice, but you might find it somewhat harder to learn to use than one of the commercial packages.

Next page: Posting photos to the web, and scene meter readings

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