13. Picture this!
How to live right with your new digital camera
By Mark Alberstat
DIGITAL CAMERAS are becoming more affordable with every flyer through your
mailbox and they are no longer just toys for people who like gadgets.
With these cameras the thought of buying and developing film is a thing of
the past, as are 24 exposure rolls and pictures of your foot that you
One drawback to digital cameras is that you are soon awash in images.
Hundreds of images can quickly appear on your computer's hard drive,
cluttering it up like boxes in an attic.
Duplicates upon duplicates also appear and you are faced with the dilemma
of deciding which ones to delete, which ones to save and which ones to
archive to CD. Sometimes when you are transferring the photos from the
camera to your hard drive you have the forethought to name the destination
folder, but those times are few and far between and a myriad of folders
with names like DSC450783 suddenly exist.
The first thing you should do after transferring your photos from camera
to hard drive is place them in an appropriately named folder.
You should then rename each of the photos by right-clicking on the file,
choosing "Rename" and typing in the new name over the old, autogenerated
After doing this, you will be able to search for that file by part of its
name instead of browsing through hundreds of images.
If you have a lot of images to rename, you might want to think of doing
them in batches, especially if you are using Windows XP.
With this operating system you can select the images, right-click and
Pick a name for the images, such as Italy Vacation and then press enter.
Windows XP will rename all of the selected images with this new name and
add a unique number to the end.
If you have an older operating system, you will have to use a separate
program to achieve this bit of filing mastery.
The ever-popular ACDSee from ACDSee systems has an easy to use batch
rename feature. The software is free to trial and $50 (US) to purchase.
Organizing your files also becomes important if you are trying to tame the
amount of images that you have.
Windows offers a great place on your system to store the photos, a
subdirectory of "My Documents" called "My Pictures."
In here you can create dozens of directories all named appropriately to
the images inside. Remember, directory titles can have letters and numbers
so Vacation 2003 or July 2003 as directory titles are valid and will help
in the organizing.
ACDSee, and almost any image viewing and editing software package, allows
you to rotate the images to their correct orientation.
Just like clutter around your home, you have to throw out the trash, and
in this case that means dumping those pictures you know you won't want to
Deleting files from your computer can be one of the hardest things for
many users to do but when it comes to organizing photos, be ruthless.
If you have 10 pictures of your new ball cap, cut it down to three or
four. Surely, no one will ever want to see all 10.
One way you might want to highlight and show off some of your best photos
is using one of the many online photo storage sites. One of the most
popular sites is Webshots.
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Originally published 20 July 2003