Digital cameras have changed the way we take and use photos. With tradition film cameras you usually ended up printing photos and sorting them into photo albums. With digital cameras however the number of possible usages for digital photos is enormous.
Digital photos are files stored on electronic media such as flash memory, hard disks and CDs/DVDs. When digital cameras just appeared in the market most users followed their old film camera habits. They printed the digital photos and sorted them into old fashion photo albums. Later on they viewed the photos as they used to view old film camera photos. As people continued to use digital cameras they found more interesting ways to use the newly created digital photos. Here are some such ways:
Computer screens: The simplest way to use digital photos is by viewing them on a computer screen. Instead of going through the hassle and the cost of printing the digital photos you can simple use one of many viewing software packages that display your digital photos on your color-rich screen. Such software can also provide other features such as random slide shows, programmed slide shows, fading effects and more.
Digital photo frames: These are devices that elevate photo frames up to the digital era. Digital frames embed an LCD screen that can display different digital photos at different times. Digital photo frames have different features: some can receive the photos wirelessly from a computer while others use internal storage. Other features include the ability to read memory cards content directly from a digital camera. They can also show a single photo until it is manually switched to another one, roll through a list of photos or show photos randomly.
Sending digital photos by email: Digital photos are computer files and like any other file they can be sent as an email attachment. Sending digital photos by email is a great way to share an experience with someone else. There are a limitations and considerations that you should be aware of before sending your digital photos by email. Most ISPs and free email services limit the size of the attachments that can be sent to just a few megabytes. It is not considered ‘ok’ to email large attachments unless you personally know the recipient and he or she expects to receive such an email. It is a good practice to resize the photos before sending them by email. In most cases the recipient will only use the files to view the photo on the computer screen. For that purpose a photo resolution of 640X480 or 800X600 is more than enough and the reduced resolution files will be much smaller. Make sure though that you are making low resolution copies and keep the original full resolution files intact. Some email clients such as Microsoft Outlook will automatically ask you if you want to resize digital photos before they are sent.
Using online photo albums: There are many free online services that offer digital photo albums. You can use such photo album to organize, save and view photos by yourself or you can share the album with other people – either a private group of friends of the general public. These sites also offer other services such as photo printing the are easy to use and affordable. Most photo album sites will resize the digital photos for fast viewing and loading over the Internet. Make sure that you keep a safe version of the original digital photos. It is not a good idea to rely on such photo album services as the only copy of your digital photos.
Use as your desktop wallpaper: You can set a digital photo that you like as your desktop wallpaper. You can also use software that allows you to choose a list of photos to rotate through as your desktop wallpaper: Such digital photo wallpaper rotation can be done on a time basis or on a random basis.
Use as your screensaver: When your computer is idle it can be programmed to do one of many things: turn off the monitor, go into standby mode or show a photo. You can program your screen saver to show a digital photo from your photo album. You can also use software that will allow you to set the screen saver to rotate between a list of digital photos.
Load digital photos to your cell phone: New cell phones include cameras and allow you to take digital photos and short video clips. They also store digital photos and display them on their small LCD screens. If you have a digital photo that you like you can download it to your cell phone and set it as your cell phone wallpaper.
Use as a personal online display image: Some software and web sites allow you to load one or more digital photos that can be used as your display image. This digital photo represents you when communicating with other users. MSN messenger is a good example – when you chat with a friend you can set a photo that your friend will see that “represents” who you are and what you feel. You can load digital photos that tell something about you and about what you’re going through – maybe a photo from your birthday party if you had one in the last week or two – or from your last trip abroad.
This list is just an example of what can be done with those digital photos. The possibilities are endless and new usages are found every day by the millions of digital camera users. Be open to new idea and try to get rid of your old film camera habits. Digital photos are must more than a 4X6 color printed paper.
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