Beginner Tutorial 12
Taking photographs (and shooting video) is only half the fun! Enjoying the fruits of your labour afterwards – and showing others what you have achieved, too – is every bit as important. In this last tutorial in the Beginner module, we look at how to safely store and share your work.
Saving & sharing your photos
After a day out shooting, you will have a memory card (or several) filled with pictures and/or videos. No doubt there will be much to be proud of, but also duplicates and shots ‘not quite good enough’ to keep. So, you need to know how to manage and store your creations.
The best thing about capturing memories is sharing them afterwards. In this, the last tutorial in this series, we’ll be looking at several ways of doing this…
Uploading and viewing on a computer
Firstly, upload your images. This ensures they are safe and kept in a common, accessible place.
There are three methods for transferring files from your camera to a computer:
1. Remove the memory card and insert into a compatible card slot on the computer – this is the easiest method, provided your computer is so equipped.
2. Insert instead into a USB card reader connected to your computer – readers are available suitable for handling various memory card types, so be careful to purchase the correct one.
3. Use the USB cable supplied with your camera to connect it to your computer, transferring data via the software, usually supplied on disc. With this software installed and the card left in the camera (with its battery fully charged), plug in, turn on and switch the camera to USB/PC mode.
With any of these methods, the card should be recognised by the computer as a ‘Removable Disk/Disc’ storage drive.
When you click on it, you will see the card’s ‘root directory’ appear with a number of folder options, like this:
The ‘DCIM’ folder contains your still images (and ‘.MOV’ Motion JPEG files) while the ‘PRIVATE’ folder contains AVCHD and other video files. According to the brand of camera, the files will have their own specific numbering system. Double-click to open them in whichever preview software you have installed. You can either view each, deleting substandard ones directly from the card, or save all files to your ‘My Pictures’/‘My Videos’ folder to sort through afterwards. Saving sooner rather than later is a good habit to get into; memory cards can get lost or accidentally deleted!
Tip: when saving files, always ‘copy and paste’, don’t ‘cut and paste’ – this reduces the risk of something going wrong during the file transfer that could cause data to be lost.
When using the software method (3), some packages automatically launch and offer an import option when you connect and power the camera. You can set up a destination folder where the files will be saved, and the files are usually stored by date folder.
What to do with files once they are saved
- Naming and filing – firstly, you can categorise by sorting images into named folders. Give these descriptive names, making it easier to identify them later on; believe me, this saves lots of time once you have hundreds stored! Individual images can also be renamed, but do not change file or folder names if you want to view them again on the camera, as they will not be recognised for playback.
- Editing – there are many photo manipulation and video editing software packages available. Some simple ones are free, allowing you to sort, delete, straighten and crop images. Many allow lightening, adding colour or even special effects. Most can facilitate a slideshow or printing. Some packages are quite expensive, so consider friends’ recommendations and remember that you probably won’t need an ‘all-singing, all-dancing’ version to start with.
- Printing – if you intend to create lots of prints, purchasing a ‘Photo Quality’ printer can save on the cost of sending files away or going to a specialist where they print them for you. Home printing is not that difficult and, providing you invest in the hardware and quality paper, offers pleasing results. Alternatively, take your memory card to a store and use the self-service machines, or ask the staff.
- Upload to a photo sharing website – there are dozens of these, encouraging you to share your best shots with friends and family, or the world. Flickr, Photobucket and Picasa Web Albums offer storage and allow others to view and download – you can upload for private viewing, or make your work ‘public’. Once you are registered, uploading is easy and it is a good way to get your photography noticed. If you are a LUMIX G owner register for LUMIX G Experience, it’s a great place to host your gallery of photos, and enjoy others’.
- Upload to social networks or email – most manufacturer-supplied camera software supports the uploading of images to Facebook and videos to YouTube, plus sending by email. There will be limits on file size and/or resolution, but usually the software can compress files for you.
- Create slideshows – both Windows Photo Viewer and iPhoto for Mac have slideshow functions, so you can play a folder full of photos, full-screen in sequence. A slideshow is ideal if you take a little time to select your best shots and order them appropriately, you could even add some background music to make them a little more interesting.
- Watch slideshows – once created, your slideshow doesn’t have to be viewed only on the computer. Copy it to an SD card or USB stick and it can be played on a laptop, tablet, digital photo frame/viewer, Smart TV or projector. If you really like your creation, ‘burn it’ to a disc for playing on a DVD or Blu-ray player.
Be sure to ‘back up’
However you choose to enjoy your pictures/videos, make sure you back up all files – to a second hard drive or discs, or uploaded to a ‘cloud’ storage provider, some of which offer a limited amount of storage space for free or allow you to buy extra storage for a small annual fee.
Often, you only get one chance to capture precious moments in your lifetime, so make sure you keep them safe to enjoy for years to come!
And finally – format
Once you have saved your files and checked they are working and safely backed up, you can return the memory card to the camera for formatting. If you will use the same card in different cameras, it is highly recommended you format it before use – which removes all data, including extraneous information that merely deleting images will not erase.
Formatting ensures a card is ‘fresh’ and structured correctly to accept new files, so although it can be done on the computer, it is better done in the camera. But beware: although accidentally deleted files can sometimes be recovered (with the right software), the formatting process is irreversible!
The LUMIX Advantage
As a manufacturer of both imaging and AV products, Panasonic has the expertise to offer seamless compatibility between stills and video files created on LUMIX cameras and a host of AV products.
Many Panasonic DVD/Blu-ray players and VIERA TVs feature SD card slots, while the ‘VIERA Link’ function allows LUMIX cameras to be controlled via HDMI and a TV remote, making viewing and sharing still pictures or videos child’s play.
So, if you already own a Panasonic TV, DVD or Blu-ray player, a LUMIX camera is the natural choice for compatibility and convenience.
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