Dorsetdog - How to safely keep copies of your digital photo images

Numerous people have now switched from film to digital cameras. Most of us have owned at least two cameras, and probably numerous computers with countless different operating systems on them.

Traditionally, we were told to back up our documents on to compact discs (CD). We were told that CD's are indestructible and that data can even be retrieved from a scratched CD. Reality has shown us that quite often that this simply is not the case, and numerous files and images have been lost.

Keep copies of your special images safely on-line. By using on-line web albums allows you to access and share your photos without the worry of "Will it work with this operating system?", or "Will it work in that electronic device?". With the correct Web album, you can also decide which albums to make public, which albums to share with friends, and which albums to keep as private.

I use Google products. That is to say, I use
Picasa on my computer to manage and resize images 
Picasa Web Album to store my numerous cheerished photos in on-line albums
You Tube to share my videos
I also use 
Sites for this website.
Maps to help guide people to dog shows and training venues on, and
Gmail for my website's email service

All six of the above are owned by Google. A very large and stable company who can give you peace of mind that your images should be safely stored on-line for millennia.

And the best part is that one password can get you into any of the 6 products, and makes it so easy to hop and switch between applications.

It all starts with downloading and installing the free Picasa software to your computer. Click on the Picasa logo to go to the website and install the software onto your PC.

Step 1

Don't forget that you can pause the videos at any time to read the annotations to your leisure 

Video of - Downloading and installing Picasa software onto your pc

Picasa PC software download

How to view You Tube videos at full screen

As well as installing the Picasa software, it is also worth installing the k-lite codecs. Codecs are code working files that allow you to see other types of image files, such as files with the PNG or TIFF extension.

Step 2

Video of - Set up a Google Account - and Picasa Web Album

The next step is to set-up a Google account. You can even use your existing email address to do this if you so wish.
Once you have created the Google account, and sorted the optional settings in the Picasa software, then you can upload your images to the Picasa Web Album.

If you already have a Google Gmail email account or You Tube account then that is your Google account. If you do not have a Google account then you can create one using your exiting email address if you so wish. 

Create a Google account

Step 3

Video of - Uploading images to Picasa Web Albums

Once you have created the Google account, and sorted the optional settings in the Picasa software, then you can upload your images to the Picasa Web Album. Modern cameras store images at over 4000 pixels wide. But the average laptop screen is only 1024 pixels wide. The old computer screens were 800 pixels wide. If you set the upload size to be 1024 pixels wide, then you will be able to upload more images into the free storage of Picasa Web Albums.

Picasa Web album link

If, like me, you have numerous old photos and negatives at home, then you might find this of interest.

Epson make a scanner that has an automated 35 mm film negative film scanner in the lid. I used one of these and quickly scanned all of my old 35 mm negatives.

Veho make the VFS-002M scanner, which connects to your PC by USB lead. It takes various sizes of negatives, including 110 and 126 sizes of negatives. whilst one has to manually push the negative slide through the scanner, one touch of the mouse button captures each image positioned over the capture equipment. I found it easy to use.

Scanning old photographs.

Example of a badly scanned image
If you wish to transfer old photos to your computer, then the best way is to scan them. It is better to scan each image individually, rather than do multiple images at once. Scanning at settings of 300 Dots Per Inch (DPI) will result in a fairly clear image. If you want to enlarge an old photo then scanning at 600 DPI will allow the image to be bigger without stretching the quality of the image itself.

It does depend on the make of one's scanner,  but the usual procedure is to place the image at the top right corner of the scanning glass.

It is best to do a scan "preview" - this results in the scanner identifying and selecting just the image, and just scanning that image. If one simply presses the scan button - then you usually end up with the whole of the glass being scanned, which results in the photo ending up as a small image in the corner of the image. guide of how to keep safe copies of your photos