With digital photography, we can now take thousands more photographs than we used to. But what’s the best way to store them – and see them?
Apart from duds, keep your frames in safe, long-term storage: you never know when one might be useful, or more meaningful, in the future.
Apart from duds, keep your frames in safe, long-term storage: you never know when one might be useful, or more meaningful, in the future. Then make a tight edit of them and keep that in a more accessible place. This could be a tablet computer: easy to download to, edit on and great for showing your images.
Printing your images out and putting them in an old-fashioned album with amusing captions, just like my Dad used to, is still my favourite way to look at family snaps. You could use an electronic photoframe, but I think they’re a bit Alan Partridge, usually run from the mains and not very interactive.
Beware CDs and DVDs
Don’t trust CDs and DVDs for long-term storage. They may only have a life of 30-50 years (some corrupt after just 10), and you want to be able to pass your pictures on to your grandchildren. Separate hard-drives are the most trusted long-term storage format. If you’re really paranoid, keep two copies on different drives in different places.
You could send your images into cyberspace by using online storage systems like Apple’s iCloud. You need to be a believer in web security, though, and remember: if you can’t log on, you can’t access your pictures. If you trust cyberspace, you can also share your pictures with your friends and relatives easily through Flickr and Facebook.
Flickr, one of the original photo sites, is good for organising and has a handy mobile app. As for Facebook, if you’re on it you will know all about how it works.
Alternative sites: Photobucket, which is very user friendly. The Stories feature allows multiple users to collaborate by adding photos, video and text.
Picasa: Google’s photosharing website. Easy to upload and share albums. Also links in with Google+.
Smug Mug: good name, but pricey. It’s strong on privacy and security, with a clean design and a professional look.
Using these sites is much easier than emailing sets of pictures round the world – and of course viewers can post an instant reaction, hopefully something slightly more pithy than: “:-)”.