So, you have taken lots of pictures with your new digital camera, the memory card is full, and you are wondering how to store and archive your images.
1 Buy another memory card
The method of storing your images with least effort is to buy a new memory card and keep your images on the first card. Taking into account that memory cards are currently expensive, this seems a costly way of archiving the images. In the longer term, however, there may be some argument for this method as memory card prices fall, which they progressively have. However as time goes by the digital size of images (measured in megapixels) will increases partly offsetting this factor.
2 Transfer your images on to your computer
Most if not all digital cameras come with a cable for connecting the camera to a personal computer. The manufacturer has probably provided software with that cable so that you can install the software on to your computer, connect the cable and transfer images from your camera onto your PC. Don’t forget, if all else fails – read the instruction booklet! Once safely on your computer hard drive, you can erase the memory of the camera and start taking new photos all over again. However do check that the images have been successfully downloaded to your computer before you erase them!
3 Burn your images onto a CDRom
Many home computers are now equipped with a CDRom writer. This is probably the preferred way of archiving your images for years to come. One word of warning though. Do not buy cheap recordable CDs – CDRs. Cheap discs are less reliable and we have found some to be problematic. We have also found that rewritable disks – those that can be written once and then overwritten – do not work well in certain CD Drives. Best to use good quality write once CDRs and carefully label them, storing them in cases for protection. In due course CDs will be replaced by DVDs providing greater memory capacity as image files increase in size.
4 Store your images on a public web site
If you are connected to the internet you will be able to find sites on the world wide web which will store your images for posterity. Furthermore, they may let others view your images, or restrict access to them by a password. Some sites charge for this service. What the long term prognosis is for any of these sites is – well – who knows. But they might be useful in the short term.
5 Print your images at home for viewing
You might want to put your images in an album to keep for yourself and to show family and friends. Photo printers are available for home use – either from the manufacturer of your camera or from another. The convenience of being able to print your own images at home immediately will be offset by the cost of consumables, which can be high, and the slow print speed of many home printers. Further there has been discussion regarding the longevity of the prints made at home compared with conventional prints made on photographic paper.
6 Use a professional laboratory to make photographic prints
A more practical way of printing your images is to take your camera memory card or a CDRom to you local film processor for prints. You will be able to collect your printed images either the same or the next day and they will be photographic prints with a very long life expectancy. The laboratory will be able to crop your images or enlarge the full image or a section of it to further enhance your photo.
7 Put your pictures on to a photo gift
For a lasting memento, why not put your pictures into a frame or even get your laboratory to put them on a gist such as a mug or mouse mat. Such object will have a long life and attract interest and attention. To see some of the possibilities when it comes to photo gifts feel free to visit http://www.view-link.com/photogifts.html
Christopher Thomas is both keen photographer and company director of Viewlink Ltd based in Amersham, Uk. The company focusses on digital photo developing for both amateur and commercial photographers. For more articles by Christopher Thomas please visit the company website at http://www.view-link.com