Sharing Your Digital Photos

Back in the days of film, the only way to share your pictures was to request doubles at the lab. Not only did it cost more, but if you wanted more copies after your pictures were developed, the original negatives were required. If you happened to lose that, then there was no way to obtain duplicate prints.

Once scanners came around, photography became an easier medium to share. Simply scan in your image and email it to your friends or family. Store a copy of the image file on your hard drive or on a disc, and you would never have to worry about losing your negatives. If you wanted to put the picture in an album, you could print out a copy and have a physical copy to share. Even photo labs introduced the technology for users to create shared media, such as picture cd’s and prints, on-site.

Eventually, digital cameras were introduced and eventually became widely available and affordable. With this development, photography became as easy as point, shoot, print. With photo printers that required the user only to dock their camera for a high-quality print, the world of shared visual media would never be the same.

But with so many options for sharing your images with loved ones, what is the best method to produce them? What is the best file format for the image, and what quality is necessary for a decent print-out of the image? Here is a basic rundown of the process that most people prefer to use.

  • First and foremost, using a digital camera may be easier and less expensive than you think. If you plan on using traditional film to capture and develop your first set to scan, you will be spending around $20 before you even get the pictures to your computer. Think about it like this: Either purchase the scanner and film then make the trip to the lab and pay for development, plus take the time to scan them all into your computer, or simply purchase the digital camera and be able transfer all your captured images to your computer by plugging in the USB cable or SD card. Each can cost around the same depending on quality, but the latter is much easier and time efficient.
  • Digital cameras can organize pictures by number, time and date, or other methods. Organization is key. Remember in the film days when you received your prints and they were out of order or backwards? Well, with digital, your pictures will appear in their file folder in chronilogical order, leaving no room for guessing which pictures were taken when.
  • We recommend creating one master folder on your computer, perhaps within your My Pictures folder. This folder will be for storing all pictures taken with your digital camera. Post edit, you can save the files to a different location, under a different name, and preserve the original as it was taken. Sorting by month, event, or person is a good method for keeping track of your images, especially when it comes time to share them.
  • There are a lot of ways to share images these days, so take your pick. If you have a blog or website, simply post your pictures there. Email them if you wish, or print them out in high quality for albums, mailing, or scrap books. The best way to get a quality print out is to set your printer to print in high photo-quality, and make sure your image resolution is at least 300 dpi (dots per inch). Any smaller than that, and you will notice a difference in quality.
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