Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I'm Tired Of Squinting at the Back of Your Camera

Thank you to Scoble for his link. Being an avid amateur photographer (I am avid about a lot of things and undoubtedly amateur at all of them) it has frustrated me to no end to see family members get the latest whiz-bang digital cameras and start snapping images and do absolutely nothing with them. No, showing me the pics on the back of the camera does NOT count.

I have been politely pushing PhotoStory on these people (all of them happen to be Windows users). Not that I want to see endless slideshows of my dad's photos, but it's one way to do SOMETHING with them. It's rare that anyone I know actually gets any printed (or prints any themselves).Do everyone a favour and download the program (it's free, here are the system requirements). I found it extremely easy to use. It can't burn to DVD but it can create high quality wmv files which can then be burnt to DVD by the software that undoubtedly came with your DVD burner. And if you don't have a DVD burner, then burn it to VCD. It can also create lower resolution video files more appropriate for web or email transfer.

Of course PhotoStory is not the only program that will do this sort of thing, but it's free and does a good job in my opinion. There are lots of other choices. If your a Mac user you've already probably got iPhoto which I am assuming does a fine job as well. (I don't own a Mac but I do appreciate them).

One thing that I'd like to point out is that the right choice of music alongside your pictures can be a very very powerful thing. Don't underestimate it until you've tried it. This past Mother's Day I created a slide show for my wife kind of chronicling my daughter's first three years. I had seen those pictures dozens of times before, but they became very emotionally powerful when set to music.

As an aside, after all this rant, I have to admit that I own a 3year old HP 1.3MP camera but never use it. I use a 35mm SLR film camera and scan the photos myself. When digital SLRs get down in my price range I may get one. The upshot is that I don't have a myriad of photos I don't like, clogging up my hard drive, but rather I scan only the ones I do like. And I've got negatives and prints with arguable greater longevity than most CDs (if that's how you back up your images)..you do back up all those digital photos don't you... ;)