Cate Eales - Real Life Internet Solutions
Cate Eales - Real Life Internet Solutions

Real Life Internet Solutions

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Submitted by Cate Eales - Share Your Photos With Friends, Family, and the World!

Digital cameras now outsell film cameras. That suggests that there are lots of us with hard drives full of images that we don’t know we have and can’t always find when we need them!

What’s the big deal? Well, whether you acquire your digital photos from a digital camera, scanning actual prints, downloading them or having your film camera prints put on a CD-ROM, you get a second chance at making those photos better with your computer. Once you have digital photos, you can do your own editing. You can crop them, you can make your own prints, and you can email or upload the pictures you like for anyone you want to see them.

It is easier than ever to organize and share you digital photos, and it doesn't have to cost a lot of money. Most of us need something simple, that will allow us to crop a thumb out of the picture, improve light and shadow, and resize our digital photos. You can do all of that with Irfanview, which I have mentioned before.

However, Picasa2, from the folks who brought us Google, does everything that Irfanview does, and it’s easy, with stunning results. There is an “I’m feeling lucky” button, which improves most shots with one click. There are other fixes that are easy to apply, including removing the dreaded red-eye, and straightening up a picture that’s crooked! And you can also apply effects. Best of all, you can “undo” anything you do. When you get those photos the way you like, you can make a slide show, a screen saver, a poster, or a collage.

Picasa2 also organizes your photos into folders, and will keep track of any new photos you add if you set it up that way. If you give those folders descriptive names (“Vancouver Trip – 2005” or “Dog Beach”) suddenly you can find those pictures when you want them! You can give the photos captions, and you can password protect confidential or sensitive material, or exclude it from the folders Picasa2 monitors.

Now you’re organized, and naturally you want to share those photos with friends and family. What’s the best way? If you want to share just one or two photos, you probably want to email them. Resist the temptation to email the giant file just as it comes out of your camera!!! It’s good manners to “optimize” a photo before you email it. That just means you decrease the size of the photo and the resolution of the photo before you send it. If you have Windows XP, you can click on “Email this file”, and Windows XP will optimize the photo for you. Picassa2 does this also, regardless of what version of Windows you’re using.

If you want to share lots of your photos, large or small file size, you can upload them to a service like Flickr. You can specify who will be able to see your photos by inviting certain people, or you can share them with the world.

Of course, another way to share your photos is to print them. Printers and photo paper that produce excellent quality prints for us amateur photographers have become affordable. Windows XP makes it easy to print different size photos. Picasa2 does a better job of this, in my opinion, even allowing you to print more than one picture on a page.

So get out there, enjoy the good weather, and share those photos!

Cate Eales has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible and fun for over 20 years. She lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric, and her dog, Sandy. Email Cate with your comments, suggestions, or questions. To browse the column archives, visit the Real Life Internet Solutions

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About the Author

The Technology Shaman, Cate Eales, has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible, and fun for over 30 years.

Cate lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric. She owns and operates Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile computer business providing on-site service for home and small business customers.

Cate is here to help you and your home or business computer get along.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with comments, suggestions, or questions.

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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