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April 2016

Photos To Digital Format

Last May when my Mother passed away suddenly, we wanted to have something different to celebrate the good times we had together. I thought a slide show comprised of old photos of her and other family members on DVD would be a good idea. We checked with the funeral director, they did offer a service but I thought I could do better. They only offered to copy 15 photos along with one song. Who wants to hear the same song over and over all day at the viewing? I didn’t. Besides we wanted to have her favorite songs and gospel groups. A lot of the family members like the same music as Mom. I figured that I might as well make copies of the DVD for anyone who may want one.

How we “copied” our photos:

First we had to find them all. HINT: Start now by organizing all of your photos in groups. Photo boxes are relatively inexpensive at craft stores, or make your own out of old shoe boxes (keep those little white anti damp packs to protect your photos).

What you need:

  • Digital Camera (any that you have will work, does not need to be fancy)
  • Tripod of some sort
  • Some sort of background material (black poster board is best)
  • Good lighting
  • Old photos
  • Photo Editor (Picasa is free from Google)
  • Remote release

Find a place with good lighting and a room to work, a dining table by a window is a good place to start. You can do this anywhere, although window light is best, other light sources can be used just as well. A side lamp with the shade removed, or a clamp light that you can easily move. It’s best to use daylight balanced bulbs, you can find them at just about any hardware store. If buying fluorescent bulbs (greener, and you can use them in the family room afterword), look for something in the 5000K range, that is closest to sunlight. Set up your work area. Take the black poster board, or whatever you are using for the background, and fold it in half like a greeting card. You want it to stand up in the back and lie flat on the table in the front. You will probably want to prop it up with a book or something in the back. Position it or your light source at about a 45 degree angle so the light is coming from the side and a little from above.Place your photos you want to copy to one side of the background. This will help keep them separate from the ones you have taken already.

As you copy the photos, you will set the “copied” ones to the other side. That would be a good time to organize them into groups too. Set up your camera on the tripod. This can be any type of support you may have. A beanbag will work good for this too. Angle the camera so it points to the back of the background just above the crease. place your camera in a position so the camera is pointing directly towards the photo, remember the photo will be at a slight angle as it rests against the background. You will want to set the camera on the Best Quality setting it has. Set the white balance to the type of lighting you are using, either read your manual or set it to Auto.

Place your first photo so it is standing up against the background. Get down to the level of the camera and look for glare on the photo. This is probably the most crucial part for good results. If you can see glare, it will show up on the copy. Adjust any lighting as needed. Zoom in on the photo as desired, remember you can crop in the photo editor. Using the remote release or a steady hand, take a picture of the photo. Review the image to make sure it is good, check for focus, if it is crooked and glare. Set that photo aside and continue through your stack. You can sort them into groups if you want here to help organize them.

After copying them, download them into your computer. Use the photo editor program to adjust, crop and save them. Use a slide show program to create a slide show with music, e-mail them to friends and family. You should also archive them to CD or DVD at this time. Picasa can do all of this, and did I mention it is free?

This method can be used to copy just about anything, cook books, recipes or important documents. I have all my important documents, credit cards, Social Security Card and birth certificates on my computer. I recently copied my mother-in-law’s address book.

I hope you have found this article to be helpful.

Organizing Photos to Keep Your Memories Alive

Do you have boxes and bags of old photos that never found their way into albums? Photographs are definitely one of the best ways to preserve memories, but they can also become another pile of clutter if there is no organizational plan.

Electronic organization of digital photos:

Today, most of us have moved to digital photos, but this has not necessarily ended the chaos. Disorganization on the computer can be just as frustrating as disorganization in our physical space, because at the end of the day, you want to be able to find your photos when you need them. However, it’s a little easier to organize digital photos. Begin by creating folders by year, person or occasion and move individual photos to the appropriate folders.

Digital photographs will take up a lot of hard drive space, so you may wish to use a portable hard drive just for your photos. Whether you do or not, be sure to keep a back-up copy somewhere. There are many online storage options too, if you prefer not to keep any on your hard drive.

Hard copy photo organization tips:

1. When you’re ready to begin sorting through the backlog of old photographs, you’ll want to have a few tools handy, including, but not limited to:

  • Containers, bins or large envelopes for sorting and categorizing
  • A trash can to discard duplicate copies
  • Photo albums, photo boxes or scrapbooks with acid-free pages and/or inserts
  • Scrapbooking supplies, if applicable.

2. Schedule some time to do a quick sort. If you have years’ worth of photos, you might want to start by sorting and organizing by year. If it’s only a year or two, you will quickly be able to remember each photo and can sort by occasion or person, e.g. birthday parties by child, vacations, events, etc.

3. Keep only the best of the best. It’s OK not to keep every single photo. If you have several shots of one person at the same event, pick the very best and get rid of the rest. It may feel a bit weird to throw away “good” photos, but it can be boring to look through a bunch of similar poses of the same person, so just pick the best.

4. For organizing projects that will take a while, consider storing them temporarily in envelopes and label each clearly with a marker, so that you know where you are when you have time to do a bit more sorting. Containers take up a lot more space, so it also depends on where you will be storing your photos when you’re not working on them.

5. Plan to set aside a few of your favorites for display purposes. You can display in a traditional photo frame for the wall or table top. Plus, there are many other unique ways to display photos. Decorating magazines can help you come up with some other ideas.

Finally, for photos that would be devastating to you if they were destroyed in a flood or fire, get extra copies made now and store the back-up copies either in a fireproof safe or safety deposit box, or both.

Jewelry Photography with Photo Studio Box

You are selling a product that is relatively expensive, and requires a high quality photograph to showcase your jewelry product. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. In your case, a picture might worth a thousand dollars! A good piece of jewelry could retail for $1,000’s or more.

As such, there should be no compromise on taking jewelry photography. The jewelry photo you take should be sharp, high detail and depicting the real color. In particular if you are selling diamond, gem stones, and other precious metals of which the color could easily distorted by light that is not suitable for jewelry photography.

By using a “photo studio box” product, a jeweler or jewelry seller can take high quality jewelry photos in a snap. No more running wires all over the place, and no more setting up different lighting tripods at different heights and at different angles.

Using this photo studio in a box system, you simply need to place your jewelry item inside the studio box, adjust the flexible LED lights to create the desired light intensity and reflection angles. Then take the photo with your camera. Viola, it’s done. It sure makes life much easier. Most important, it will save you lots of time. Time that you can spend to promote and advertise your business, instead of spending countless hours on setting up the “perfect” stage for your jewelry photography session.

To achieve an optimum jewelry photography result, you should adjust the color setting of your camera to compensate for the various lighting effect that might affect the photo quality.

For example, if you want a whiter background and a “whiter” jewelry exposure. You might want to lower the color setting, and vice versa. Also, for diamond in particular, a daylight colored LED light is best suit to do the job. Using these daylight colored natural lighting will be least likely to distort the color of the diamond on the final photo.

With most higher end photo studio box system, this daylight natural color LED lighting is usually a standard accessory.

In short, if you are serious about making high quality jewelry photos that will attract the attention of potential customers. Using a quality photo studio box is essential. You might save a small amount with those cheaper “tent-style” fabric version. But with this tent type photo box version, a high quality lighting effect jewelry photo session would be more difficult and time consuming to achieve.

Photo Booth Rentals Guidelines to Perfect Your Experience

Photo Booth Rentals Guidelines to Perfect Your ExperienceSo, you are already decided to jazz up your wedding reception or corporate party with a photo booth and want to make sure that your guests take the fullest advantage of it? Here are some insight tips on how to make your photo booth experience a complete hit.

1. Placement. The placement of your photobooth is extremely important. Try to set it up in a highly visible area near the action. The prefect spot is next to the bar and/or dance floor. Also, make sure that the location of your photobooth is somehow lit, so it’s not placed in the dark corner of the room. People exiting the photobooth should enjoy their prints and being able to see and sign your guest book/scrapbook. Being in the business of photo booth rentals for years we got to see the raw emotions of happiness people laughing out loud, waiting anxiously by the print/scrapbook station, gathering in groups to judge their latest adventure in the photobooth and then having fun decorating a scrapbook.

2. Size really matters. Instead of a small old fashion photo “box” that fits only 2-3 people, rent a professional photobooth designed for large groups. It really makes the difference. It’s so much fun to watch 20 of your guests squeal with excitement as they pile into a booth. The more the merrier!

3. Announcements/reminders. Make sure you let your guests know about a photobooth, its location and that it is available to them at no cost. Ask your DJ or MC to make announcements about your photo booth throughout the night. Place table cards featuring information about it; provide a note at the place setting.

4. Use of props. Want to really spice up your photo booth rental? Props are a must have for weddings, corporate parties, bar/bat mitzvahs, dance parties, quinceaneras, holiday parties, graduations, proms, family reunions, fundraisers and other events because of the fun they encourage. Many photobooth rental companies offer props for an additional cost or include them in their packages. You can also bring your own props. Here are some ideas: goofy glasses, pirate props, including a parrot, spyglass, eye patches, gold pieces, an earring, knight props, a sword, a shield, a helmet, king and queen crowns, smiles on a stick, mustaches on a stick, glasses with mustaches, noses, and eyebrows, an explorer’s hat, a business hat, a construction worker’s hat, clown noses, lots of different wigs, boas, air blown toys and musical instruments, frames, signs, chalkboard speech bubbles, feather fans, fancy hats, angel wings, devil pitchfork, animal ears, noses, tails and much more.

5. External monitor. Find a company that offers an external monitor playing a slide show of the pictures taken in the photobooth. It usually attracts a crowd and is a huge hit with the guests, creating hilarious moments and giving them ideas for posing.

Rent a photobooth from a professional photo booth rental company. The photo booth attendant(s) will make sure that everything goes smoothly at your event and guarantee the success.