If you’re reading this, you’re like me, you have gigabytes of personal pictures scattered over many volumes of hard drives.
Some of these pictures are so out-of-focus and so poorly exposed yet I can’t bring myself to erase them. Why is that?
Anyway, these images unless they’re printed or put in some sort of video or slideshow, will remain latent never to be seen by anyone except you. It’s time to get busy.
At the very least, you should put small jpeg versions of these pictures into a digital picture frame.
If you don’t feel like spending about $100, maybe you have an old laptop laying around, use that.
I found some resources for converting an old laptop into a digital picture frame.
To get started, you’ll need to:
- Organize all those images or at least gather them into one central location.
- Sort and somehow add keywords and categorize them
- Create a printed book of your favorites
- Create a slideshow, score them with music, burn into a DVD
- Do #4 but put them online so you can share them with all your friends and family.
Though you can do all 5 on any platform easily, any Mac user will tell you there is no easier way than using Apple’s iLife suite.
Your workflow will be the same regardless of platforms.
Sort, rate and then organize.
Fix the the flaws
This is where you are actually editing the pictures, removing red-eye, cloning out the dust spots, enhancing and adjusting color and cropping.
It may be a good place to add some keywords to make locating your pictures easier.
Find a balance
When I’m on a vacation, it’s really tough to not think about pictures especially when you’re traveling to someplace very pretty and picturesque.
My biggest problem is deciding what photo gear to bring.If you see me on a cruise and I am dressed in the same clothes day-in and day-out, one of 2 things have happened:
- I brought too much gear (which I hand carried), checked in all my clothes & my bags got lost
- I spend too much money on gear & not enough on me
The best advice I can give you is to do some research and set some realistic goals especially when you’re traveling with your family.
I can think of the number of times my interests in something don’t jibe with the rest of the gang and we have to compromise.
As much as I would have liked to abandon the family and just go nuts with my cameras, I feel the trip wouldn’t be as memorable without spending time with my loved ones.
When you know your itinerary, break out the map and get a look at what’s possible and what’s realistic.
Many people set such unrealistic goals.
For instance if they’re going to India, they immediately want to see the Taj Mahal especially after seeing Slumlord Millionaire.
They don’t realize the protagonists in the movie were in Mumbai and the Taj Mahal is about 600 miles away in Agra.
Take Good Notes
This suggestion might feel like too much work but believe me, you will thank me if you do this.
Collect maps, keep receipts and other time stamped items like bus tickets.
These items with your notes you take with pen and paper will make your pictures very meaningful.
Even if you don’t have pen and paper, with a digital camera, you can take pictures of street signs and other things like closeups of business cards which will help you piece together a meaningful travelogue.
Telling the Story When You Get Back
After importing your images into your computer, view them by time captured.
That will mean the pictures will be displayed chronologically.
Include video if you have any. Even if you don’t have great videography skills like yours truly, a cute snippet of audio can be so meaningful when you look over these memories on video.
Here’s an exchange between Julie and Gabriel when we first boarded the Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas in the port of Vancouver.
Here are some images from the Alaskan cruise we took in 2004. My mother-in-law paid for all of us to go on this once-in-a-lifetime trip.
Hey, what can I say? I married well. Thanks mum!