While it is great to want to snap photos to capture memories and taking photos with your digital camera is fun, easy, and addictive, before long you may find yourself with hundreds of photos on your hard drive, as well as printed out all over your desk, room, and walls. What should you do to organize and catalog your photos?
Picaboo, Snapfish, Photobucket, PhotoShop Elements, Paint.net, Picassa.com, and many more offer digital photo organizing and editing. In this post we are going to talk about why you may want purchase or use photo organizing software for your digital photos.
Whether you use folders on the computer or a digital organization program, you need to have a plan for your organization.
When deciding on photo organizing software, the first decision you will have to make is how you want to use the product. Some products are great organizers where others offer more editing tools. A few programs we talk about in this postare applicable to online image publishing. If this is your interest, you may want to look at those products.
Features – The best photo organizers include customizable ways to organize and view your images as well as a good set of editing/enhancing tools and creative ways to share your pictures.
Ease of Use – You should not have to be a professional photographer or master computer operator to use these products. Their functions and features should be easy to figure out the first time.
Ease of Installation – A good program will load quickly and not cause errors or problems with your computer.
Help & Support – Product support and technical help are important aspects that contribute to presenting an exceptional product. Good help includes inter–program help pages and tutorials as well as online FAQs, a searchable knowledge base, user forums and email and telephone technical support.
Here are some tips to help you clean up the clutter, and enjoy your digital memories.
1. Download a free image organizer. Fast small ones include Xnview, Irfanview, Picasa from Google is an easy-to-use photo management tool.
2. When you transfer your photos from your camera to your computer, immediately put them into a folder on your hard drive -- not just My Pictures, create a subfolder by date (use reverse date format e.g. 2007-06-26 which is listed better by computers ordering files by name), event name or both.
3. If you already have a large amount of photos dumped into your My Pictures folder, take some time to create subfolders, and sort them into the appropriate folder.
4. Regularly back up your photos by burning them onto a CD or DVD or Thumb Drive. Nothing is worse than having a hard drive crash and losing all of your pictures. Put your CD or DVD into a box, holder, or album (you can find 'photo albums' for picture CDs in photography shops) so you know where it is and have easy access. I prefer thumb Drives because they hold 3 times as much as CD's, just remember to carefully categorize each picture on the drive, CD, or DVD.
5. Remember that if you back up your photos onto a CD, Thumb Drive, or DVD leave them on the computer as well, you will eventually find you have multiple copies of the same photo in different folders. Back-up portable external hard drives are a perfect place to store a large amount of digital photos.
6. A good rule of thumb is to put only photos about a particular subject on each CD and label it as such, such as "Grand Canyon Trip" or "Christmas 98" then if you want a particular subject you can find it easily because you don't have "Jewelry Projects" on the same CD as "Reunions."
7. Back up your digital photos regularly.
8. And finally, if you use your images for a website, make sure to save the higher resolution original somewhere. This is because images saved for websites have a much lower resolution and look really terrible printed out.
And remember to download your photo images on a regular basis, something I am learning to do. Otherwise when you won’t have them on your memory card when you need them.
Our final post about photos will be on how to transfer old 35mm and slides to digital images. Happy Photo Organizing!