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Ray Davis

De-clutter Your ‘pictures’ Folder.

As part of a Christmas present I recently found myself spending a sizable chunk of my evening searching through seemingly endless folders on my laptop trying to find photographs of a friend’s son. In the end I just downloaded the photos from my Flickr account. My computer filing system is a mess, to say the least!

For those of you out there who may be similarly organisationally-challenged here is a brief guide to a simple work flow to help prevent the image chaos I’ve ended up with. It’s going to be my New Year’s resolution to try and stop just dumping DCIM folders onto my desktop and actually implement something like this!

1. Edit as you download.This requires a little bit of brutal honesty towards your photographs. The idea is to get rid of the shots you are never going to look at again before they even begin to take up space on your desktop. Keep photos of family and friends (even the technically bad shots might prove useful for blackmail in the future!) but be selective about other shots. Ask yourself if you aready have a better shot of the same view/landmark/object. If you’ve taken fifty pictures of the same thing narrow it down to your best five or ten.

2. Don’t erase yet. Back up your images before you erase them from your memory card. You could burn them to CD or DVD, put them on an external hard drive, or upload them to a website.

3. Organize! If you’re like me simpler is probably better. Organizing by date, location, or people is simplest. I also keep a folder marked “favourites” where I put anything I especially like and one called “work in progress” where I put things I like but haven’t edited to my satisfaction yet. If you are the hyper-organized type you could use a more complicated filing system but I find I never keep anything more complex up for more than a few weeks!

4. Re-edit. Go back through your old images and try re-editing a few. I find that my ability to edit photographs is constantly improving and re-editing old stuff often gives me a new, much improved photo.

5. Show off your stuff! Share your photos with family and friends. Print them and put them in a pretty album, make a slideshow and play it on your TV for visiting relatives, or upload them to a photo sharing website and let your fans worldwide see them. Just remember to show your best shots and not all 5,300 photos you took at little Madison’s stage debut as a snowflake.

Last minute photo book buying guide

Last year I worked for a family with two wonderful children and when I left I wanted to make a photo book for them with some of the hundreds of photos I’d taken during the year. Well, things got chaotic as I packed up my life to move 3, 429 miles across the country, and in the end I simply didn’t have time to chose the photos, upload them to a suitable website, order the book, and wait for it to be delivered.

The idea came back into my head recently as I was thinking about Christmas gifts and this time I was just about organised enough to pull it off. But, man are there a lot of website offering photo books out there! So for those of you who might be looking for a quick comparison of prices here’s the little table I made while I was searching for the best deal.

Company

Book Size

Cost

Shipping

Other Info

Shutterfly

12×12

$54.99
for 20 pages

$1.50/extra page

$9.99

25% off
extra books if you

order more than one.

8×8 or 8.5×11

$29.99
for 20 pages

$1/extra page

$6.99

Apple iPhoto

8.5×11 (single sided)

$29.99
for 20 pages

$0.99/extra page

Not quoted

Requires iPhoto software

8.5×11 (double sided)

$29.99
for 20 pages

$1.49/extra page

Not quoted

Blurb

7×7

$22.95 for 20-40 pages

Not quoted

8×10

$29.95 for 20-40 pages

Not quoted

11×13

$54.95 for 20-40 pages

Not quoted

Lulu

9×7

$24.95
for 20 pages

$0.50/extra page or $10 for 20
extra

Not quoted

8.5×11

$25.95
for 20 pages

$0.50/extra page or $10 for 20
extra

Not quoted

Picaboo

11×8.5

$29.99
for 20 pages

$1.99/extra page

$8.99

8×6

$19.99
for 20 pages

$0.99/extra page

$7.99

Qoop

8.5×11

$29.99 for 20 pages

$.99/extra page

Not quoted

These are the sizes and prices for hard cover books, most of these sites also offer soft cover books at a cheaper price. The deadline for Christmas ordering is coming up so if you want to put Santa’s name on a photo book you better get a move on!

And if you’ve used any of these services, please share your impressions in the comments.

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