CD-ROM features BC Photos

by Alan Zisman (c) 1994. First published in Our Computer Player, March 18, 1994

Vision Masters Multi Media CdROM Collection


(note: phone # and URL are accurate as of June 2004).

You want to publish a brochure, an ad, what have you. You've got a
computer... but are you a professional photographer?

If you don't have the time or the equipment or the skills or the
desire to take your own photos for your publication needs, you
need stock photos. In the past, this meant getting in touch with a
stock photo bureau, trying to find what something that met your
needs, and negotiating an agreement for limited use.

Today, with the availability of CD-ROMs, stock photos come to you.
In the past, we've looked at Corel's Professional Photo
collection, which lets you get 100 photos per CD disk, on a wide
range of topics.

Local company Vision Masters Multimedia has managed to squeeze 322
high resolution photos onto their disk, using the JPEG disk
compression format. Their photos are mostly local... focussing on
British Columbia and nature, with some shots of Hawaii and
Britain, as well. They expect that this will be particularly
useful to businesses involved with the tourism industry.

These 24 bit colour photos can be viewed under in both Windows and
Mac computers from the same disk, which contains Paint Shop Pro
and Image Commander software for Windows, and Kudo Image Browser
for the Mac. Both Image Commander and Image Browser let you select
photos by viewing small, thumbnail images... a real boon if you've
got to wade through 300 pictures. Paint Shop Pro lets you resize,
crop, and convert these photos to other formats. (Note that the Windows software is shareware... you
should register it if you continue to use it; the Mac program is a
free runtime version).

By purchasing a copy of the disk, you get royalty-free use of the
photos for your publication needs.

JPEG compression shrinks file size dramatically. As a result, even
with 322 photos on disk, in several sizes, there's still room to
spare. Vision Masters doesn't let it go to waste.

For users who own Corel Draw (version 3 or above), they've
included a perpetual calendar template. It's simple to combine
this with your choice of the photos, add important dates, and
print out a personalized calendar. If you'd rather keep your
calendar on your computer, and have a sound card, you can even add
sounds to individual dates... over 100 sound effects are included,
or you can record your own reminders.

There is even music... two songs, "Salome" and "Secret Fire", by
local artists Gabriel and Voltaire are included. (These are not
available for further distribution, without permission).

Finally, Vision Masters has a number of additional offers. Buyers
of this disk can qualify for a low cost version of Aldus
PhotoStyler SE image editing software... and that qualifies them
for a further, reduced-rate upgrade to the full PhotoStyler ver 2

This is a nice collection of photos and more, potentially very
useful for many small businesses with publication needs. Vision
Masters is planning to put out further disks in this series, and
welcome dealer inquiries.


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Alan Zisman is a Vancouver educator, writer, and computer specialist. He can be reached at E-mail Alan