Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Get your pictures out of JPEG Jail and share a great gift!


By Rick Thompson

As every photographer knows, a good picture makes a great gift! With over 68 million digital cameras projected to be sold this year, digital photography is exploding! And, with "free film", digital camera owners are snapping pictures at an unprecedented rate. Unfortunately, most digital pictures remain locked up on hard drives all across the country, in a "JPEG Jail", never to be printed or shared at all.

This holiday season is the time to set your pictures free! So, unlock those digital treasures. Share your pictures over the Internet. Create beautiful hardcover photo books. Make a masterpiece by turning your picture into a photo canvas. Digital photography offers more exciting choices than ever before. What I offer here are a few ideas for getting your pictures out of "JPEG Jail" so you can share them and give great photo gifts.

Get the pictures out of your camera!

If you don't get the pictures off of your camera, you can't enjoy them. The biggest barrier to transferring pictures is that most people still use the clumsy and slow USB cable. If you don't already have a Flash Card reader, get one.

For about $15 this snappy device will make life a lot easier. If you watch the sales and rebates, you can actually get one for free. Some cameras also come with docking stations that transfer the pictures to your PC and recharge the battery, too.

Share your pictures online!

Once pictures get onto the PC, they're likely to be locked up in "JPEG Jail". Those candid shots and magical moments become trapped inside a file folder, collecting virtual dust. Don't these pictures deserve a better fate than to be locked in solitary confinement on a remote sector of your hard drive?

Release them!

Share your pictures as online photo albums so friends and family can view them over the Internet. Don't bother with cumbersome email attachments. Even when bulky emails don't clog up mailboxes, they aren't any fun to look at. Photo Web sites and photo sharing software offer great ways to share your pictures as online slideshows and, even better, many of them are FREE!

Try online photo sites.

Just upload your photos to one of the many online photo-sharing sites available today. Once your pictures are on their Web site, you can put them in albums, edit them, and send email invitations so your friends and family can visit your online photo albums.

Try innovative photo sharing software.

If you don't want to take the time to upload photos to a Web site, try one of the new photo sharing software products like our Qurio Home Photo Center. Qurio can be downloaded free from our Web site.