Monday, 29 September 2008

Digital Photographs - To Print or not to Print...

We have well and truly embraced digital camera technology. It’s a technology that is not only affordable but also accessible to so many. We are in an age where it doesn’t feel right to leave home each day without some form of digital camera, whether it’s our cell phone or a small compact camera in our pocket. And it’s this portability that means that we’re taking more photos than ever before. And this is where it gets interesting – one of several common themes begins to emerge.


"Fae Whispers" by Jules Campbell

The first one is that many of us no longer bother printing off the photos we take. We store them in our hard drives, buy external drives to back up copies of these images and make yet more copies on cd’s and dvd’s. But we never actually print the images and place them in family photo albums. So does this mean that the humble family photo album is no longer needed? Remember cringing when the old family albums were pulled out and scrutinised whenever relatives and friends visited? Ducking for cover so that our dear old aunt couldn’t squeeze the life out of us and telling us how much we’d grown? Flipping the pages over ever so quickly, so that you didn’t have to see yourself in those awful purple velour bootleg trousers you wore to your best friend’s birthday party? Surely, we shouldn’t let the current generation miss out on this fun?! So – what should you do?

1. Choose a selection of images from the ever increasing digital image album on your computer. It helps if you work in themes, or events, or family members, or even months.
2. Images selected can either be printed on a home printer (and yes, we all have one of those these days, too) or taken to one of many instant print booths located in major retail shopping centres. These printing centres have become very inexpensive even offering discounts on quantities and sizes on different days of the week (so that photo of your Uncle Jim pulling faces at the camera can be printed into the largest of sizes for a very small price indeed).
3. Select photo albums that are acid-free, as this will extend the life of the photo – but heck, as long as you have kept copies on your hard drive, external drive, cd and dvd, this shouldn’t really matter too much.


"Self Portrait" by Peter Hill



4. Most importantly, record in the album the vital information of who, what, where and when. There really is nothing more frustrating than looking at old photos in family albums from long ago where these details weren’t recorded, and now those details forever remain unknown. It’s amazing what a few words accompanying a photo can do to jog the memory and transport you back to that place in time.



"Central Park" by Danielle Kelly



So don’t forget to bring out the family photo album whenever relatives and friends are over, so another generation can really enjoy that part of growing up!


Next: To delete or not to delete?



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