What to do with your digital pictures after you’ve taken them.

Digital pictures are great aren’t they? With the dreaded Christmas period upon us once again there is another opportunity to take pictures. Christmas parties are on the horizon as well as all the family and friends parties. So how are you going to record these events? Phone camera? Small compact camera or a full size DSLR? Or is the video camera your toy?

We have never been in a better time for recording our every move, the equipment is relatively cheap compared to yesteryear, it works in most any light situations and can produce stunning images even for a total novice – on occasions. But what will you do then?

Do your images end up in scattered folders around your devices? Do you name the folders descriptive names that mean something at the time but you can never find later?

Here’s a simple way to get your images in order and never loose another picture. It’s so simple you’ll all go “of course” why haven’t I done that already.

Every computer normally comes loaded with a folder called Pictures, this is obviously the best place to start. When you are downloading images from your camera or phone it’s always best to put them in a sub-folder. Loose images will very soon get to a stage where you won’t be able to find anything.

Discipline in naming those folders is the key to easy location of images. Always start your folder with the date in reverse order. For example shots taken on Christmas day at Aunt Mary’s would be in a folder named “20141125Marysxmas”.

By always starting your folder names this way they will always appear in date order.

You might wish to refine this further, you start with your Pictures folder and then you might prefer to make sub folders of particular subjects, work, holidays, family, etc to reduce the quantity of folders you need to look through.

I then combine this up with a n excel spread sheet that gives me a chance to find images once they have been transferred to discs or hard drives for back up. For example each folder once removed from my main working computer is backed up to a disc, the disc is then given a number and I write the folder names included on the disc (for secondary confirmation) as well as enter each folder name, it’s description, disc number, client codes, and date on the excel sheet. Bear in mind I have millions of images I need to be able to locate if a client calls for a replacement of a lost image.

Many people work the other way and have sub folders in the pictures file with just the year as the title but that does mean that you have series of images going between years if you have a holiday that spans the New Year.

OK so now we have all our images filed in a manner that we can locate them, so now what? How often do you actually look at your images digitally? I bet not a lot. So how can we bring the photographic image back to where it should be, a place where it can be seen and enjoyed what’s the best option?

A great holiday can be best remembered from one or two of the best images blown up large and used as a wall display item, a canvas mount is a traditional method or just plain framed is the most normal but what about something a bit more interesting? Today with digital techniques it’s possible to have the image printed on to glass or metal, Perspex or even wood. The creative possibilities are endless. Companies like http://www.photobox.co.uk/ offer a vast range of options to consider.

Perhaps it’s not the holiday view you want to remember but a particularly good image of the children, grandchildren or loved one, how about getting that image on to a mug, or better still, the whole family on a set of mugs?

We all used to stick our prints into albums, that’s not done so much these days but there is a simple equivalent which can be fun to create and far more creative and that’s the digital picture book. The prices now are very reasonable and it’s a great way to assemble and remember a holiday or a child’s year.

Pictures should definitely be seen and not stored! Get those interesting images out and get making something real and memorable with them. Who knows it might be the perfect answer for that difficult person you need to buy something for Christmas for.

Digital pictures are incredable

Brian Russell
Copyright November 2014.