Get the most out of your photos

Slide shows on TV, home printing or in the lab and albums on the Internet… Learn how to use and share your photos with our tips and tricks.

The digital is at the heart of a revolution in the world of photography. We do not all become photographers, but now, everyone takes pictures, whether with a real compact camera or SLR, or with a mobile phone. We all constantly have in the pocket some or the other device to capture images. And it took time: between when we pressed the shutter and when we discovered the result on paper. Digital has changed everything. We can photograph anything and everything, see and share the results instantly.

All media for sharing

If the way we take pictures is not the same, one has to use, it also changed dramatically. Gone are the days when we carefully stuck his best shots in beautiful albums to be admired by his friends passing. Now, each image can be duplicated endlessly and used in multiple ways.

We can see on the big screen or insert a digital photo frame, print on all sorts of media or the Internet to share with relatives or communities of enthusiasts. But the multiplication and dematerialization of the images are not only good sides. This involves new problems, those of classification, archiving and preservation over time.

Overview of all options available to you so that your photos do not end up forgotten in a folder deep in your hard drive, but do come to life and enjoy your surroundings.

Display your images on the big screen

We are now surrounded by screens, those in the lounge (TV, photo frames), those in the office (computers), and all have the ability to display your photos. This is the easiest way and quickest to share.

Televisions and DVD players: the immediate sharing

Spread your photos on the TV is easy. It is also the most friendly to share with your loved ones. Several solutions exist. The fastest is to connect the camera to the TV via S-Video or, if equipped, via HDMI. With the old CRT to the limited definition, this type of display is not recommended because few flattering photographs lose their nuances. With the democratization of the LCD and HD (high definition), it takes a completely different scale, just as if you had a giant digital photo frame in the middle of your living room.

The TVs are mostly equipped with a USB or a memory card reader. Simply plug a USB key or flash card containing your images to scroll in full screen. To speed up the loading time between each image, a passage through the PC for a reduction of the photos so they fit the definition of the screen is often effective.

If your TV is too old and can be fitted with this type of technological refinements, you should know that your DVD player is capable of displaying images. Almost all have a slideshow function. Simply burn your pictures onto a CD or DVD and insert it into the drive. The possibilities of setting slide shows are quite often limited, but enough for occasional use. On the recent cameras, you can create slideshows with transition effects and, sometimes, the accompanying music.

The slideshow creation: how to impress his friends

To impress your guests at parties "digital slides, you must get your hands dirty and create slideshows for PC, with transition effects, music, titles, etc.. There are two types.

The first takes the form of an executable file (.exe) or screensaver and is only displayed on a computer. The second, that of a video clip which, when burned to CD or DVD will play on any standalone player. The software for creating slide shows free video is unfortunately few. Google Picasa 3 and Windows Movie Maker (included with Windows) offer this option, but with limited customization options. For slideshows most successful, we must invest in software such as Magix Photos on CD & DVD 8 or Your Photos on TV Deluxe Micro Application.

Photo Frames: it’s simple and easy

In recent years, digital photo frame is a best-seller sale of high-tech. This is the perfect gift for the family, which need not be knowledgeable to use it. To choose the right picture frame, some points are unclear. Opt first for a diagonal screen large enough, 10 inches or more, more pleasant to look at your shots more without the nose stuck on it. Note also the definition. So that your images are restored with refinement on this screen size, 800 x 480 pixels or more is desirable. But more is even better!

Also prefer models with front-mounted controls rather than the rear, making it easy to use, and if possible frames fitted with a remote control. Attention finally finishing: bright tiles are very pretty, but use the mirror effect can quickly become annoying and even exhausting.

Print your photos

If it is more about chemistry and dark rooms, the end of the silver has not signed the death warrant of drawing paper, on the contrary! Never have we had such a variety of media and print formats for our images and prices that continue to plummet.

Print at home: the cost of the snapshot

Issue price, home printing does not match the prints of the lab, but it has the advantage of better control on quality paper, color management, etc.. And especially to be available any time. Within minutes, you have several copies of the family photo or night to offer immediately.

From the entry-level printers and multifunction inkjet printers now have a quality photo that satisfied most users. But printing costs are high. Counting the cost of cartridges and paper (let alone that of the machine), a jet printing ink cost about 15 to 40 cents, and more for a 10 x 15 cm. Count by 50 cents to Rs. 71 for an A4 (21 x 29.7 cm). It ranges, depending on the range of paper used (weight, matte, pearl or glossy, etc..), and especially the type of printer.

While the basic model has 4 cartridges, machines dedicated to printing photos have 5, 6 or 8 cartridges. This proliferation of cartridges is not a gimmick: it gets them more subtle and it properly handles printing in black and white. Reduce costs by using compatible inks is not necessarily a good idea. If it is feasible for office work, you will have bad surprises with the photo. Not to mention the risks to the printer (printhead nozzles and clogged because of poor quality inks), you may have problems of colorimetry and held in the time of your draws.

The Photobook: album revived the day

One of the best ways to present and share their pictures, it’s probably them together in a book. No more old albums of yesteryear, photo books offer a variety of layouts that combine images, text and captions. And you can order several copies as gifts to your loved ones.

The offer on the subject is vast, all laboratories in line or nearly often offer several models with Binding glued or spiral, pocket-sized or luxury, etc.. Rates vary, but for a medium format near the A4, count between Rs. 2130 and Rs. 2840. For this sum, you will have about 25 to 30 pages; additional pages are billed at the unit.

There are two types of printing for photo books. The most common use of conventional methods (offset); paper is thin enough and the maximum paging can be large (100 pages and over). Drawback, the screen printing is more or less visible in the images.

The others use of photo paper. A little more expensive, their pages are thick with photos returned without frame, more detailed and accurate.

Mini Printers: images at maximum price

In addition to inkjet ink conventional A4 or A3, there are also small photo printers (10 x 15 cm) dye-sublimation. These devices are easy to use compact. With this technology, the printing costs are well defined: refills include paper and ink ribbon for a given number of impressions. Depending on the model and capacity of refills, the cost of a 10 x 15 cm is between 30 and 40 cents approximately. Not really economical!

Labs online: increasing economic

If you want to print 300 photos of your holidays or to shoot large format or poster, the most simple and cheapest is to use a photo lab.

In recent years, these labs have proliferated; leading to fierce competition has lowered fares. We can ask the printing of 10 x 15 cm to less than Rs. 7.1 unit and some labs on the Internet even offer unbeatable rates to Rs. 0.71! Even taking into account shipping costs, difficult to get cheaper … The major formats are not necessarily more expensive, there is 20 x 30 cm to Rs. 355.

What about quality? It varies depending on the laboratories and the options that you take (the possibility of alterations automatic paper type, etc..). Before choosing your lab, do not hesitate to test with several pictures that you know well, and then opt for one that satisfies you most. At the cost of prints, you do not risk much. Especially as to attract new customers, labs are fighting at once, special offers and coupons.

Media unexpected: an infinite variety

The photo labs offer the opportunity to create personalized gifts that will always be appreciated by those around you! These ranges from simple posters through the calendar and the mug, to something more original such as jewelry, fake magazine covers, and stickers to dress up a phone or a laptop.

Among the possible variations, the prize for originality and variety back probably to the group Photoways. It offers a surprising amount of media: textiles, an aluminum plate, crystal and even engraved printing sheet of sugar-based food coloring … What decorate your birthday cakes!

Prints for a lifetime if they are protected!

From the chemistry point! They are considered to resist UV and moisture. Performance that warrant, the designers, a rate per liter surpassing by far the great vintages … The life prints announced by manufacturers often exceed the century, but it is relative. These estimates result from accelerated aging tests under special conditions (torque paper / ink, humidity, etc..). If you bug your pictures in full sun without protection, they will go yellow and turn green in a few months. Protect them from light into albums. Avoid handling them often (sebum finger is corrosive), and subjecting them to extreme weather.

Display your images on the Internet

To create a book, a gallery or a family album, submit their images to advance to critics, all this has become child’s play. Internet abounds with sites that host your images and allow you to circulate the globe in a click. But be careful not to jeopardize your privacy and that of others.

The album online is quick, easy and free

Many sites will offer to host your images. One of the earliest and best known is Flickr.

In this non-exhaustive list of sites added photo labs that typically offer storage and sharing. Not to mention Picasa Web space reserved for pictures of Google, Facebook, Windows Live … All have one thing in common: they host your images for free by offering a multitude of ways to share publicly or privately.

However, on most of them free is not total, it has at least one limit. This may relate to the space allocated, the volume of photos you can upload each month, or a clamp of some functions. The goal is, of course, you choose to crack for the paid version. The main advantage of these solutions, in addition to their free relative is the simplicity in implementation. No need to know about web programming, everything is ready to host your images and you can customize the layout of your album.

Blogs and photo galleries personal

Community sites, online albums are good, but we may want a smaller space and really tailor.

The blog, called in this case photoblog or photo blog is another way to share images. The daily format is ideal for the travel book, for example. A photoblog is simply a blog in which predominates the picture. It accomplishes that with any conventional engine blog: Blogger, Overblog, Windows Live Spaces to name the best known. Some hosts are more oriented blogs in the image as a Photoblog or Tumblr. Alternatively, create from scratch the photo gallery. All you need is an internet corner, the one offered by your service provider (ISP) will do.

Then, with JAlbum or an equivalent, you build a site complete with images, using one of predefined styles and customizing it if you are brave and creative. You will then retrieve the address of your webspace (FTP address) from your ISP, enter them in FTP software, eg FileZilla, and drop the folder generated by Jalbum on your space.

Sharing Online: attention to your originals!

When you share photos on public sites, not ever publish your originals, otherwise you do loot. Simply submit sized versions for the Web. 800 or 1024 pixels for the size of the largest side are more than enough to appreciate a picture. And it is more suitable for medium resolution screens visitors. Some sites like Flickr are responsible for automatically reducing your images, but you decide whether you want to share only the smaller versions and originals.

Before sending them on the site, you can reduce your images with the utility VSO Image Resizer from VSO Software. Downloading becomes faster. Obviously, there is no need to reduce your images if you plan to print them; your online lab needs the originals!

Finally, you can add their signatures to protect them with software such as Watermark V2, but stay quiet; avoid the huge logo in the middle that spoils the whole image.

Sell your best shots

Know that you can sell your photos on the so-called "microstock". The banks are royalty free, like iStockphoto, Fotolia, Shutterstock and many others. The pictures they contain are intended to illustrate advertisements, websites or newspapers.

Be careful, you can not sell anything, your images will be validated by the site and you must ensure that they comply with the law, including whether people or buildings therein. To provide you the necessary permissions, if applicable (forms are available online). On the banks of images, the pictures are sold at low prices.

To make this profit, he must play on the quantity (more quality). Finally, note that the money you will make from these sales will be reported to tax authorities and be subject to tax on income.

The community photo: to expose and advance

Many sites hosting pictures have a community focus and are aimed at enthusiasts. You will expose your photos, submitting to the gaze of the Internet that gives you a note, an opinion or advice.

The outer eye is important for progress. But for critics, he must play the game and participate in the community respecting its rules and critique the photos of other participants. Even if you are a beginner, please, and without going into technical considerations, simply speak of your feelings before an image.

The photo community sites are organized according to topics, styles or types of subjects (black and white, color, portrait, marine …), please classify your work in the right category. In the case of groups on Flickr, read the title and condition of publication and follow these instructions. Some sites have original functions: Flickr and Picasa Web can geotag your images by placing them on a map. Darqroom can generate very professional portfolios, and slideshow with sound illustration. On Mynclub, it participates in photo challenges with prizes to the key.

Privacy, public life by the rules

If you share your pictures on a public site or via social networks, be careful. Keep in mind that the Internet, everything goes very quickly and do not post any shots too personal to an audience of strangers. An image display can quickly be duplicated and distributed. And in this case, you will not have any control over. Before you post a photo, ask yourself who can see and consider the risks, if relatives, clients or colleagues fell over. There are always options to set the privacy level and define what needs to be seen and what should not be disclosed, use them!

Finally, even if you think the image is beautiful, do not post photos of your friends or relatives without first obtaining their agreement. It’s a matter of courtesy, but also of law, respect for privacy is in the law.

Organize and save your library

With digital, we multiply easily shoot, but his mishap drives! How to shelter a computer crash and how to preserve them over time?

A simple organization and methodical

Back from vacation, amateur photos can easily be several hundreds of images in the memory card from his camera! But once discharged on the computer, it is essential that sorts and classifies them to return soon thereafter.

Start by renaming your images, by default, have a little evocative name, type: DSC0 01, DSC0 02, etc.. Tools like Picasa or XnView can rename whole batches with a name and a number that is incremented automatically. You get the headings such as bretagne2009-0001, bretagne2009-0002, etc.. Do not put spaces or accents in the names of your files; they could cause problems in some software or even for use on the Internet. Instead, use the hyphen or underscore as separator.

Amateur retouching: preserve your original

If you are a fan of photo editing, make sure to never alter your original. This is the negative that will form the basis of your various work refinishing. Work on copies that you assign suffixes to distinguish them.

Keywords to find everything!

Looking for an effective classification? Choose the method of old files and subfolders. In a folder called "Photo", create a subfolder and then by year for each year, sub-folders by date and title of the event. You’ll have a tree type photo98-2009_vacances Britain. However, this method does not find a photo on its content. For this, there is a quick solution: the keywords or tags. This metadata is stored in the image file. They can describe a picture with words describing its contents: landscape, Britain, boat, Nicolas …

Even if you can work on the lots, entering keywords is laborious, but saves time later. You can access images from their contents with the search engine of your operating system or other indexing software like Google Desktop Search. These data, related photos are also used by sites like Flickr to index them. Assign keywords from the Photo Gallery in Vista (Start menu, then Programs). With XP, get the Photo Gallery Windows Live.

Most software image management also offers this feature.

The Internet backup: a complementary solution

With the democratization of broadband and increased storage space online, it is now possible to save their data on the Net. Many sites and service providers offer a space, but with limited capacity and no guarantee for their safety. There are of course the sites hosting photos that often limit their ability to home in their free version.

To save your images, the safest solution is the pay type Carbonite or Neobe Photo Backup. These services theoretically guarantee the security of your files, the servers are located in secure sites and data are duplicated to mitigate risks. They also have the advantage of offering a software solution that lets you synchronize folders on your computer with your online backup.

Rest they can only be a complementary backup solution, no guarantee can be given on the continuity of service or company that provides it.

CDs and DVDs are not forever

CDs and DVDs have the advantage of being relatively cheap and facilitate the proliferation of copies. It is a good solution if you do not accumulate thousands of images. If you opt for these materials, keep in mind that they are not eternal. Nevertheless, kept under good conditions (away from sunlight, heat and moisture); they can last a few years. And experts agree that a life expectancy of about five years. For safety, make a copy of your annual backup sets on new media.

To facilitate the preservation of products such as CD and DVD Photo TX come with burning software integrated.

Hard drives: large capacity, high fragility

The external drive is a backup solution with an excellent capacity / price. Allow about Rs. 4970 for a 3.5-inch 500GB. The hard drive remains fragile and can be damaged by a fall. So keep a copy of your images on your PC or invest in another drive to double the backup. Free software like Cobian Backup can schedule backups.

For safety: Multiply backups

Once your images are sorted and tagged, remember to save. It is never safe from a hard drive failure or virus attack. Three solutions are possible: the backup on CD or DVD disk drive or on the Internet. The first rule for saving is to not to put all your data in one drive/media. Multiply the media and the number of copies. Ideally, it will even vary the scene, such as a copy at home and another at your desk. In case of disaster or burglary, and you’re sure to keep one of them.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here