Digital photography is very different than film photography. One significant difference is the ability to watch the photos in many new ways in addition to using photo prints.
More than a few photographers and simple consumers are so used to printing analog photos and watching photos printed on photo paper that they take their old habits and apply them to the digital photography era. With digital photos however there is no reason to always print your digital photos. Digital photography allows many other usages rather than just prints.
Digital photo printing output is extremely similar to the old film development process. The output of printing analog film photos or digital photos is the same a piece of special paper with the photo printed on it. The usage of the printed photos is also the same. They can for example be put in a photo album or hung on a wall. Although sometimes printing digital photos is a good and useful thing to do many times it is just a result of old habits and by doing so users miss a great opportunity to explore photography in new ways.
For example photo sharing is much easier and faster using new electronic tools rather than old photo prints. Even today you can find users that share photos with family by printing them in the local photo printing shop and then mailing them using regular mail service to their relatives. This process is slow expensive and wasteful in material. With digital photos there is a much more convenient way to share photos with family and friends. As opposed to mailing photo prints in the mail this method is totally free is instantaneous and does not waste any real tangible materials.
The method is simple. Upload the photos you like to share from your digital camera to your personal computer. After doing that simple email the photos to your friends and family. Sometimes the number of photos is too large and the total size of the files to email is too large for most email services to send. If this is the case you can use one of many free online services that allow you to create private photo albums and share them with your friends and family. Simply create an account with one of those services and upload your photos. You can also enjoy other feature they provide like automatic red eye reduction photo rotation and other effects.
But the magic of sharing photos does not stop here. With digital photos and the Internet you can also share digital photos with the general public. Using one of the many sharing photo services you can create public accessible albums. You can even create your own photo blog. For each photo you upload you can write a few words explaining the photo and have viewers that want to write some comments and thoughts about the photo.
So next time you are printing digital photos think twice about why are you doing it. If you are aware of your other digital options and in real need for photo prints then go ahead and print. Make sure that you are not printing digital photos out of habit and not out of real need.
Danette Mckay wrote this article. More articles and information on photo printing