Most of us now own a digital camera, which means we have hundreds of digital photographs. Here’s what you can do with all those snaps. Making the effort to take great looking photographs is utterly pointless if they’re going to be left inadequately named and tagged on your hard drive never to be seen again – and there’s certainly no excuse for it. Although the more to digital photography signaled the end of the ‘photos in a shoebox’ era, it opened up many ways in which we can share our photos and get creative displaying them.
From joining an online photo-sharing website and showing your pictures to millions of people around the world, to creating private slideshows for select friends and family, there’s something for everyone, and every digital photo, to be found online.
It’s not all virtual though – photographic prints still have their place and if you haven’t already had your eyes opened to the plethora of photographic display opportunities, including canvas prints that looks as though they should be in gallery, you’re in for a treat. Photography doesn’t stop when you take the picture, and it’s what you do with it afterwards that’s important.
From getting your pictures off your digital camera through to selling them on a Microstock site, we’ll explore the plentiful post-shutter possibilities of photography.
Before you can explore all the creative possibility open to your photography you need to get your images from your camera to your PC safely. There are several ways to do this. If your PC has memory card slots, you can simply insert your camera’s memory card into the proper one. If not, you can buy an external memory card reader, which plugs into your USB port. You can also connect your camera to your computer via USB cable, which should have a come supplied with your camera. Once you’re connected, you’ll get a prompt from whatever photo organising software you have installed, asking you to confirm that you wish to upload photographs and asking where you want them and how you want them named. If you don’t already have a reliable image storage and editing program on your PC, we recommend Photo Gallery, which you can download for free from www.download.live.com
Of course, there’s no point taking great photographs and planning what to do with them if later you haven’t a clue where they are – organising your photos in Windows is incredibly important, especially as your personal image library grows. First, you need to decide on a system for organising all your photographs. If you’re unsure of how you ought to name your pictures, we recommend something like ‘Name+ Date taken’ for both the folders and file names, then you’ll be able to search both ways. Good practice naming isn’t enough on it’s on, though – you also need to tag your images properly. Once your images are imported into your chosen program, you’ll have a range of options in this regard – make the most of these.
The ideal scenarios that you import with basic tags on all the pictures, then once imported you set about tagging individual and smaller groups of images. In Photo Gallery this is easy – simply double-click on the photo that you want to tag, then in the info pence click ‘Add descriptive tags’, ‘Add people tags ‘ or ‘Add caption’. Write these, then go back to the gallery to save. If you have several similar images, you can add tags to them at the same time, – just select the group and click ‘Add tags’.
If you follow our suggestion for import names, you should already be able to search through your images by date. It’s also a good idea to tag your photographs according to people’s name, places, themes and special occasions.
Making a photo DVD is a great ways to back up your images or to give to friends and family, and it couldn’t be easier in Windows using the build in DVD maker software. Once you’ve added pictures, choose whether you want to keep them as they are, or add fun effects. You can also add a disc title, a notes page and edit the menu text, to make your photos DVD even more personal. You can use the software to create a slideshow, too, and burn it to DVD, although you’ll find program, isn’t as advanced as Movie Maker.
Show off your snaps
The good news is that Movie Maker comes free with all Windows operating systems and it makes creating photo slideshow a cinch. It will enable you to simply select the images you want to use and add them to your Movie Maker storyboard ready for them to be editing together. You’ll be able to create funky transitions between shots, and add a music overlay. visual effects and words. you’ll also get the option of publishing for playback on your PC (if you have a HDTV, you’ll be able to plug your computer into your television using your HDMI connection and watch your slideshow on the big screen), save on to DVD to watch a via your DVD player, save on to a CD or send to friends via email.
As well as being a lot of fun, photo-sharing websites make organising, storing and sharing digital photography easy. Whether you want to create online photo albums to share special pictures with your friends and family, or to show off your photographic portfolio, you’ll love how easy photo-sharing websites make it for you.
There’s a wealth of photo sharing sites to choose from, so it pays to do your research however, we can’t recommend Flickr enough – it’s the biggest and best website of its kind in the world, and it enable you to edit, organise and share your photographs, either privately with friends and family or with the extensive Flickr community. In terms of getting your work out, and raising your photographic profile, Flickr simply can’t be beaten. Setting up an account is free and easy – it’ll only take about five minutes. Flickr provides excellent photo storage – Flickr won’t degrade the quality of your photos the way Facebook does. You can download the full resolution size of your computer’s hard drive fails, your photos will all be safe and easily retrievable, which is a reassuring thought. Flickr provides a great way of organising your images, too – sort them so they are easy to find. Once we’ve uploaded and sorted your images, send gallery inks to your friends via email, and save yourself the hassle of having to attach images.
With all photo-sharing websites, it’s a good move to join groups that enable you to discuss areas of special interest with other people – you’ll find you get lots of inspiration and people who have chatted to you are much more likely to comment to your pictures and draw attention to your work. Once you’ve set yourself up on a photo sharing website , don’t forget al to tell your friends about it and give out your profile’s web address – it’s all about sharing your photographs after all.
Don’t leave your Facebook account devoid of photos, either, if you’ve got lots of great snaps on your computer. After all, your friends are the people who are most likely to want to see your pictures. We appreciate that the upload process is slow and clunky, though, so why not just upload a couple of your best shots, with a link to your photo sharing account If you have twitter account , don’t forgot to drop links to your images into your update there, too – another great way to get your pictures out there.
A slideshow is another nice way of showing facility that is free (most of the program you’ll find online are not.) You need to use Photo gallery to make the most of the slideshow feature. Simply open photo gallery, select a group of photos that you’d like to show off ( tick the check box next to each one, or use the CTRL+A shortcut ) and click on the slideshow button in the top menu, under the View tab. Then just choose a style a slideshow that you’d like to use – it will start displaying your images automatically in full screen. You can fine-tune the slideshow settings from here.
We might all be shooting digitally now, but physical photographs are no less valid. The humble photographic print lasts longer than a lifetime and is a reassuring physical back up that cab be handled down from generations to generations – more important for your people pictures than flora and fauna close-ups, obviously. Prints are cheap to buy these days, with companies falling over themselves for your business with special offer galore.
Show of your shots
Photobooks are a great way to share your images and creating one is easier and cheaper, than ever. Most companies offer templates, where you can simply drop your images in. If you want more freedom, go for a company Blurb , which enables you to customise existing templates or create your own design. Photobooks are a professional looking way to present your treasured photographs and make a great presents too. We also recommend Photobox and Jesspos photo-books.
If you’ve taken a tremendous family portrait or captured a stunning sunset, why not display it in your home for everyone to enjoy? You can brighten your walls with a poster print, canvas or even an acrylic print, all widely available Collage prints where a variety of your images are displayed with pre-designed graphics and patterns, are really nice way to displaying multiple images.
5 Ways to Get the Best Pictures from your Compact Camera
Great photos look good whatever you decide to do with them.
1. Think Quality : Your compact camera should have at least two image quality options. Always shoot in the highest – raw mode if your camera has it, minimally compressed ( often called Fine or Large) JPEG, if not. Not on;y do you pictures look better , but the extra quality gives you more editing options later on.
2. Low with the ISO : Unless you are shooting in low or ambient light (in which case you need a high ISO), choose a low ISO speed of about 200. The higher your ISO, the more digital noise, so for top quality pictures, keep it low. Many people are unaware of this and keep a high ISO selected, then think their camera isn’t very good – don’t be one of them!
3. Set the scene : Many people get into a rut, always selecting Auto or Program mode. Modern cameras offer a wealth of scene mode options (Portrait, Landscape, Macro and so on). It pays to use these because they’re optimised for a particular setting and often give better results.
4. Get close : Pictures with lots of dead space around the main subject lack impact and can sometimes leave the viewer wondering what they’re looking at. For dynamic pictures that scream “look at me” , get in close – use your camera’s zoom, as well as your legs.
5. Angle it right : Portraits are most flattering taken at eye level, or sight;y above but never below. Dominating building look fantastic shot from a low vantage point. Make it your mission to get creative with angles and your pictures will have lots more impact.