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Come in! There are a few adventures I’ve written about, but most of the content offers classes in photography and mentoring for photographers, including photo theory, which, although a vital part in our profession, is largely an overlooked subject in all published media that profits from and feeds our gadget minded mindset today.

How to safely process digital photo files – A21

September 19 2009 - Photo Technical


This shot of a computer screen shows the generation of a new folder on a PC

Welcome aboard photo enthusiast.  The first option I explored in developing a work flow for all the photographs you and I take was by visiting the digital kiosk at a local CVS (or Walgreens, etc.).  It’s not an expensive or complicated approach, but as mentioned at the close of the last article, I and the employees were unable to get the kiosk to work for me.

Let me add, my photography means a lot to me, and it makes me nervous to put my work in strange equipment, and handing it over to anything less then a professional lab is not an option.  Unfortunately, digital has been hard on labs.  They are few and not especially convenient considering other options.

To avoid risk, save time and the trip to the drugstore, let’s have fun and move on to a better way of processing out photo files.  This is also my favorite way in that it gives us complete control over the images we have taken.

The first step is to remove the photographs taken and stored on your camera’s memory card and put them on your computer.  You can do this either by connecting your camera directly to your computer via a cable generally provided with the product, or you pull the memory card from your camera and put it into a card reader that attaches to your computer.  Again, if removing the card from your camera, make sure the power is off.

With the exception of the Leica, which still offers the option of capturing in RAW, all compact camera today capture images taken in a jpg format?  This is not as good as RAW, because jpg’s are files heavily filtered by camera software.  They are however universal, meaning recognized by all computers regardless of what model camera has taken them.

So when you attach the camera or place it’s memory card in a reader, both commonly connected via a USB cable to your computer, it will show up on your computer as a drive letter and from there you can process your image files from your memory disk into a folder on your hard drive.

At this point a picture is worth a thousand words and multiple pictures I have taken of a PC computer screen are much easier to follow (note most of you are PC users, but the procedure is similar on a MAC).  With your computer on:

PHOTO 1:  The first step is to create a folder to transfer put your camera memory card photo files into.  Use your computer or hand mouse and right click on your screen.  A drop down menu appears with a “New” option.  Move your cursor over this word and a larger drop down menu appears topped off with a yellow “Folder,” and click on it.

PHOTO 2:  A yellow folder appears (here in upper right area of screen) with “New Folder” below in blue followed by a flashing cursor.  Backspace to delete the name “New Folder,” and the cursor moves left to allow you to type in a name of your choice.  I have named mine “Article 21” for these photos for this article.

PHOTO 3:  Now click the “START” button at the lower left of your screen.  A menu pops up and on the upper right side click on “My Computer.

PHOTO 4:   Another menu pops out showing all the main folders and drives, which should include your memory card if it was attached via a card reader.  Note your main hard drive is usually designated as Drive C:  You can now click and hold on the folder (Article 21) and drag it right over Drive C and drop it there to transfer your photo files from your memory card.

PHOTO 5:  But in my case I will make the folder “Article 21” a sub-folder to an existing folder on my hard Drive C:  I would click on the hard drive and get to another menu with lots of folders, one of which is “photoprojects.”

PHOTO 6:  Clicking on “photoprojects” would bring down more folders of which one is named “The Triton” and this is where I will drag and drop the “Article 21” folder for transferring photos for this article on the memory card.  I will show this process in the next session….., until then, permission to come ashore.