Photolightning Releases New Version

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Belmont, Mass. - Digital imaging software-company Photolightning, introduced a new version of its Photolightning software geared at the entry-level digital photographer.

'We're targeting the `soccer mom' and non-technical user,' said Photolightning president and CEO, Dan Slavin.

Photolightning 2.0 is set up as a three-step process geared around the film processing paradigm that most consumers are used to, Slavin said.

The first step is uploading pictures from a camera or memory card, previewing them and correcting them (in needed). Next comes dating and labeling, and finally `processing' them by either printing, e-mailing, or saving them.

'We designed it to be quick and self explanatory,' Slavin said.

The Photo History view feature displays all of the photos on a user's hard drive in chronological order, regardless of how they are organized. The new version of the software adds photos enhancements features including auto-levels and auto-contrast, and an Add Flash function to lighten dark photos. There is also a new option for sending photos via e-mail to Photolightning's new partner, Bellamax, for professional photo enhancement.

Another feature unique to Photolightning, Slavin said, is the ability to save images on a memory card with a print order that can be read by a kiosk. A user can save images with print orders right on their memory card through the software; this order is automatically recognized by any kiosk that is DPOF-enabled (Digital Print Order Format - an industry standard technical specification) and the order is fulfilled automatically, cutting out steps in the kiosk ordering process.

'The kiosk is going to be an important part of the digital marketplace,' Slavin said.

Other new features include an HTML slideshow that can be viewed on a user's PC, emailed to friends and family, or posted to a Web-site and the incorporation of new digital photo paper templates from another new Photolightning partner, Avery Dennison.

According to Slavin, while the software is currently selling exclusively through the company's Web-site (for $39.95), but they are looking to team with major retailers to offer a destination for photo-uploads, modeled after their deal with Wal-Mart. The new version of the software gives consumers the option to make prints from three online photo services: Wal-Mart.com, Shutterfly.com and SnapFish.com, and Slavin said they are looking to expand brick-and-mortar partnerships.

'We hope to broaden our distribution through partnerships,' Slavin asserted.

Indeed, while the upload to online photoprocessing sites was a part of the first version, it largely slipped under the users' nose. The second version puts it 'in front of the customers face, right on the install,' said Slavin.

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