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October 21, 2005

DIY: How to Create a Digital Photograph Album

Today's "How to" article courtesy of English-blog contributor Melissa Z.:

How to Create a Digital Photograph Album

With all of the new-aged technologies breaking into a more available state, society is basically forced to learn how to use these technologies. One specific instance where technology has had a big influence is photography. Digital cameras are everywhere and in ever shape, size, and style. The pictures are easily uploaded from a camera onto a computer, making it possible for anyone to create their very own digital photograph album right on their computer. How does one go about even starting this digital photograph album? After reading these easy steps on how to do so, anyone can be a pro.

The first step is very simple. One must read the instruction manual enclosed with the digital camera package. Usually, all digital cameras require a connection to a personal computer, whether it is a desktop computer or a laptop. In most cases . . .

. . . a cord which connects to the camera on one end, and ends with a USB port on the other will be enclosed in the package as well. This is the standard connection method. In other cases, a "chip port" will be included in the package. (A chip is a thin rectangular piece of plastic which stores all of the pictures taken with the camera. The amount of pictures that are able to be stored varies upon the type of chip purchased.) This specific connection method plugs into your computer on one end, and then on the other is a square object with a rectangular opening on it. This is where the chip is inserted.

After the proper connection method has been established, it is now time to insert the setup disk. Each digital camera company has their own setup disk in which they include with the purchase of a new digital camera. This disk loads the companies' software onto a computer which then allows the user to download and share pictures taken with the camera. Upon insertion, an installation window will come up on the computer screen. If this does not happen, one must click the "Start" button on the bottom left of the screen, then click "Run". After this is clicked, a small window will appear. At this time, the user must click the button next to the text field named "Browse". A new window will appear showing the available drives on your computer. Once the window appears, double clicking the drive in which the setup disk was inserted (usually the D: drive) will activate the directory. The directory will appear in the text field of the "Run" window. Now, one should click "Run". This will open the setup window. At this time, one should read and follow the instructions given on the computer screen.

Once the picture software has been successfully installed onto the computer, it is time to begin the upload of pictures. Now is the time to revert back to the first step of determining the proper hook-up method from the digital camera to the personal computer. On one end of the cable is the USB port. This is the side that will connect into the computer. The USB port is a thin rectangular opening which is the outlet for a thin rectangular end of a cord. This side is also larger in size than that of the other. On the other side will be a significantly smaller "plug", usually shaped like a square or the writing end of a ball point pen. Takiong the USB port side and plugging it into the USB port on the tower of the computer will activate the upload process. One must turn on the digital camera and plug in the other side of the USB cord to the camera. A window will prompt to user with directions on how to finish the upload.
On the other hand, a proper upload might require the use of the aforementioned chip port. The upload of pictures through a chip port is quite similar to the use of a USB port. One end is still the USB port side and is shaped exactly the same as the regular cable. The user will plug this end into the USB port in the computer tower. Now, instead of plugging another end of the cable into the digital camera, one will simply remove the chip from the camera and place it in the opening of the chip port.

Once all of the pictures are successfully uploaded, it is time to begin to organize them in any fashion desired. For example, if one has just finished uploaded pictures from a birthday party, a family picnic at the local park, and a special holiday party, they would organize them as such. In order to organize the pictures, one must first name all pictures appropriately. A name for a picture of a father and two sons playing catch in the park could be, "Joe and Boys Playing Ball". Of course, naming all of the pictures is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended. Naming each picture will help in keeping track of the pictures that belong to each event. Once each picture is appropriately named, it is time to begin organizing them into folders.

A folder is a space on the computer which holds many files in one place. Creating the folders is very simple. On the "menu" toolbar, the user must select "File". In the menu that drops down, there will be a selection called "Add". Once the selection is located, one must click "Add", and options will be given to add many different things. The user will be given the option to add a new folder. The user should do this as many times as possible to accommodate for all of the events. Once each folder is made, it is now time to rename them. Renaming a folder is very easy. For this step, the user should right-click the mouse button on top of the name of the folder, then click Rename". One should rename each folder so that it reflects the pictures going into them. Once each folder is renamed, it is time to put the pictures into their respective folders. To move each picture, one must simply click and drag it into the folder it belongs in. As another option, one could hold the CTRL button down on the keyboard as each picture is clicked. This will allow one to select multiple pictures. Once all of the pictures from the same event are selected, one should go back to the "File" menu on the toolbar. After clicking "File" one will click "Send To". This will bring up the options of where to send the selected pictures. Among these options will be the option of sending them to a specific folder. One should click this option and a new window will come up on the computer screen. It will prompt the user to select the folder where the selected pictures will go. The user should now click the appropriate folder name. The appropriate folder name will be determined by the pictures that are selected.

Once all of the pictures are in their respective folders, it is now time to add music to the album. The right choice of music can add an extra sentimental touch to any group of pictures. With each folder, there is an option to "View Slideshow". When the slideshow of pictures is viewed, the music will play along with the entire album of pictures. To choose the proper music, one must determine the mood of each event. If the event was a happy time together on a warm sunny day, the song choice should be that which would go with such a theme. If choosing music for holiday folders, it might be a very good idea to choose a favorite holiday song to play along with the pictures. Once the music is chosen, it is time to add the said music.

To add music, the user should double click the folder the music will go along to. Once all of the contents are in the view, one should go back up to the toolbar and click "Edit". Under the "Edit" menu, there will be an option to add certain things to the slide show of the pictures. The user will click the "Add" option, and then click "Music". Once "Music" is clicked, a window will appear and will prompt the user to select the file of music. Simply, one must double click the song and it will be added to the pictures. In order to select the certain song, it must already be on the computer.

One should not worry if mistakes are made, but should just go back to the last step that that was executed correctly, and then the user should work back through the rest of the steps slowly. Messing up can also help the album quite a bit. One might find that their first album will look much better with such a mistake as opposed to their prior expectations. Things are usually easier said than done, but with these easy to follow step by step instructions, this digital photograph album will look as if a professional would have put it together!

~ Melissa Z.

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Comments for Melissa's article "How to Create a Digital Photograph Album?" Please leave them below:

Posted by lhobbs at October 21, 2005 12:00 AM

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