Distribute Your Pictures
Traditionally picture collections have been mounted in photograph albums and then stored away, or perhaps brought out to display for company. Maybe extra copies of snapshots were ordered when they were developed, and the lucky recipients received them in an envelope. Or, the albums were passed along when the owner was deceased. In the age of digital photos, several options are available for people to share their pictures.
This is a popular way for people to share their pictures, if the collection to be shared is small. These days, the camera is in the cell phone and the picture is small enough to be transmitted by e-mail. Those taken with a dedicated digital camera are often too large for the e-mail to easily transport or display. We'll cover ways to handle this later when we discuss processing the pictures. A disadvantage of this method is that the pictures are very small — about ⅓ the size when printed that they appear on screen. Your recipient has to save your e-mail attached pictures to their own computer in order to share them.
CDs or DVDs
You can "burn" your pictures onto CD or DVD disc media. CDs hold approximately 700 megabytes of data and DVDs can store 4.7 gigabytes. These are good storage media for back ups of your precious pictures and they travel through the mail well. Certain printers can print labels directly on the discs. This method requires an optical drive that writes to these media. If your computer lacks the necessary drive, external USB connected optical drives are available on the WWW for as little as $30.
With the availability of large capacity media such as Secure Digital (SD)cards and USB flash drives large collections are easily stored and distributed. Prices of these media have come down to the point that a lot of storage is available for a little $money.
I prefer the latter two options (discs or flash media) because you can easily preserve print-quality pictures along side of those that are reduced in size to work well on a computer screen, regardless of the display method. Even though the print-quality pictures (minimum of 300 dpi) can be quite large and fill your storage media quickly, I can't over emphasize the need to preserve these big ones. More on this topic later. I'll explain the differences and the reasons for preserving the large ones along with those for the computer screen.