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Bellamax's logo. Courtesy of Bellamax Inc. Click here to visit the Bellamax website! Bellamax offers online photo enhancement!
(Friday, February 15, 2002 - 18:20 EST)

New company founded by former Adobe staff promises to fix photos for those who don't know how to...

Bellamax Inc., a new Palo Alto, CA-based business set up by ex-Adobe technology, marketing and sales staff, has launched a new site offering digital photo enhancement services online. Through the Bellamax website, users upload their digital images and order enhancements - and as part of the process specify what size(s) they plan to print these photos at. For each photo that is enhanced customers pay $2.99, and if multiple cropping sizes are specified for an individual photo then there's an extra 49¢ charge for each extra size per image.

Once the order is placed, Bellamax then does it's work - which consists of cropping (to improve composition), adjustment of exposure, color, saturation, sharpness and skin tones, and red-eye removal. Once the process is complete (Bellamax claims a 1-2 day turnaround time, and apparently is aiming to get this down to "a matter of minutes") the customer can then download the enhanced image. What the company doesn't do is touch-up individual areas of the image (other than red-eye removal) - for example cloning out distracting objects, or fixing dust, scratches or tears in scanned images.

At the time of this writing, Bellamax is offering an incentive to try their service. New customers get one free photo enhancement to let them see how well things work, and then pay for subsequent enhancements. There's also a page containing 30 before/after demonstrations to give you an idea of what to expect. Whilst advanced photo enthusiasts may not find the service particularly compelling (and indeed may feel they could do a better job themselves), entry-level users with little experience could certainly benefit from having a third-party correct things for them.

Source: Yahoo! Finance / BusinessWire
Thanks to an anonymous reader for this item!

Original Source Press Release:

Bellamax Launches Innovative Digital Photo Enhancement Service

First-of-its-Kind Service Brings Digital Photo Enhancement to the Mainstream

PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 14, 2002--Bellamax, Inc., a new company founded by former Adobe Systems executives, today announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind digital photo enhancement service. The Bellamax service, available at www.bellamax.com, offers millions of digital camera and scanner users a simple, convenient, low-cost way to get their digital photos enhanced.

``Digital photography has become mainstream. Look around and you see people shooting digital, and then gathering around the camera to see their shots. It's becoming a lifestyle,'' said Ron Gentile, Chief Product & Technology Officer and Bellamax Co-founder. ``We are very excited to be the first to bring digital photo enhancement to the mainstream.''

``For those digital photo users who don't use or are not familiar with photo editing programs, Bellamax offers a convenient service,'' said John Warnock, Chairman of the Board and Co-founder of Adobe Systems.

How the Service Works

Bellamax makes photo enhancement simple and convenient. Users of the service don't have to install and learn new software, invest their free time, have artistic sense, or use sophisticated, color-managed equipment. Instead users simply upload their photos to Bellamax and order enhancements. Bellamax takes care of the rest. The service addresses all the common consumer photography problems including red eye, exposure, color, saturation, composition, sharpness and noise. In addition, the Bellamax service incorporates professional portrait retouch features to make faces look their best. Enhancements are priced at $2.99 each and are promptly returned. In comparison, photo retailers can charge $50 or more for such work and require long turnaround times.

Servicing the Digital Photography Market

According to Lyra Research, Inc., there will be 25 billion photos taken on digital cameras in 2002, and 56 billion in 2005. ``Between digital cameras and scanners, there are an enormous number of digital photos being generated,'' said Steve MacDonald, CEO of Bellamax. ``Initially, we are targeting ''special`` photos - those photos that are re-printed, enlarged, framed, shared or simply have special meaning. In addition to our website, we intend to offer our service through partnerships with online photofinishers, retailers and digital photo peripheral manufacturers. We are also targeting other markets where photos are mission critical like online auctions, and classified and personal ads. We're eager to address the needs of these many large markets.''

About Bellamax, Inc.

Bellamax, Inc. provides a digital photo enhancement service to the rapidly growing digital photo market. Using patent-pending, proprietary enhancement processes and technologies, Bellamax provides high-quality, low-cost, convenient digital photo enhancement to the mainstream. The privately held company is located in Palo Alto, CA. For more information about Bellamax, visit its website at www.bellamax.com.

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