Thursday, July 02, 2009

Digital Photos Management: A Presentation at Thomas Ford

With many of our residents about to take summer vacations and vacation photos, I presented a program Digital Photos Management to twenty-five library users in our downstairs meeting room last week. I knew from the first that I had a lot to cover, so I got us started right away. My plan was to just briefly mention buying and taking photos. The emphasis of the presentation was what to do with photos after taking them. My assumption, which proved a little naive right away, was that everyone moved their photos from their cameras to their computers. A handful of the participants did not want to have anything to do with computers! Instead, they regularly take their cameras to Walgreens, Fox Photo, WalMart, etc., and use the printing services there. Some have mastered the self-service machines, but others always get staff assistance. Even though my publicity specifically mentioned use of a computer, a few people had different expectations for the program. Unfortunately, they got little from my program, and some left early.

In an hour and a half, I demonstrated loading photos onto a computer, arranging files in Windows, simple photo editing with Picasa, uploading photos to Flickr and Kodak Easy Share Gallery, attaching photos to email, and posting a photo on a blog. We discussed how to store your photos on CDs, DVDs, and extra hard drives, backing up photos before you edit them, and the idea of sharing your photos via the Internet. It was an ambitious program, which might have been better presented as a series, I now conclude.

From discussions with several of the participants as they dropped by the library in the days following the program, I gather that they did learn something valuable. Some were exposed to ideas that they had not encountered. Each of them seems to have a certain goal, such as better editing or sharing their photos with family. I told them that I am available to help them further through our "Book a Librarian" service. I expect to see several amateur photographers this summer. I've appointments with three already.

I was also asked to take photos at a wedding, but I declined.

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