There are three problems with the way people treat their digital photos:
- They take too many
- They don’t back them up
- They never look at them
Each thing on this list is a shame, and yet all together it makes you wonder why people bother taking photos in the first place! With the rise of digital technology – cameras as well as laptops and tablets – it’s too easy to amass a huge number of photos, and even easier to lose them all. If you’ve taken time out of your day by the seaside to peer through a lens (or stare up at a tiny screen) then do yourself a favour and make that moment worthwhile!So what should you do with all those photos?
Take them off the camera
Basic: As soon as you can – maybe the day after you get back from holiday – plug your camera (or your phone) into your computer, and get all the photos off it onto your proper computer.
Put everything from a single event into a folder, and give the folder a good, descriptive name. Include the date too. If you want to go the extra mile, use this format: “2013 05 10 Malta Holiday”. That way, all your folders will show in the order you took the photos in.
Go further: If you use a program like Google’s Picasa, or a similar photo organiser, the software should do it for you, and keep everything in an easy-to-browse layout
Look through them
Basic: I can’t stress this enough: if you take photos it’s really fun to look at them at a later date. People have been doing this for decades, but now that all those photos take up precisely no space in your house, it’s become more difficult to stumble upon them when you’re tidying a cupboard.
So take the time to look at what you’ve taken, and while you’re at it delete the rubbish ones. You know which ones I mean: the ones of the inside of your backpack, or the short films of your sandalled feet walking the beach. And that time you took three ‘just to be sure’? Now’s the time to work out which one was the best one, and dump the rest. You may think you have oodles of space on your computer, but the rubbish soon piles up.
Go further: Now that you’ve been looking through them, and choosing the best ones, why not tweak them a little in the afore-mentioned Picasa, or go a step further with the popular Photoshop Elements? Even if it’s just to perfect the lighting and colour, your friends and family will be highly impressed!
Back them up
Basic: Now that your photo collection is a finely-honed library of beautiful shots you’d be proud to show off at a family reunion, it’s even more important to keep them safe. There are a few ways of doing this, but the easiest is to make a copy on a separate had drive to the one they’re currently on.
If you’re not afraid to open your PC then you could add a second hard drive for this very purpose. Simply install the drive, boot up your computer, and copy and paste all the files across. Here’s an excellent-value 1000GB hard drive on eBuyer. (Ship Shape PC Repair can install a new hard drive for you, in your home, for as little as £30 plus the price of the drive – get in touch!). You an also use an external USB drive to make things a little simpler.
Go further: Of course, copying and pasting is all very well if you remember to do it! But what happens if you forget, or you live on a canal boat and it sinks, taking your whole computer and external hard drive with it? Well, there is plenty of hardware out there which can automate the process, such as Acronis True Image or Genie Backup. Alternatively, in this era of always-on Internet, companies like Carbonite and SpiderOak will automatically back up your data to the magical Cloud, where they will take care of it for you!
Enjoy your photos
Well, this is just the minimum I think you should be doing with your photos. The possibilities are endless, really, but the main thing is that your enjoy your photos, seeing as you went to all that trouble to take them.
Hey, why not take them to Boots or Jessops, get them printed out and put them on your wall? Everyone has a photo that’s worth spending a bit of money on.
Have you got any other tips? Do you need any more backup advice or files recovering? Let us know in the comments, or contact me!