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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pixels, not paper

Since I got a digital camera a few years ago I have taken thousands of pictures. Even my mom has taken hundreds of pictures on hers. Unfortunately only a fraction of these have ever been printed. Why kill the trees and waste the chemicals when we have perfectly good ways of viewing the pictures? But my mom wants to be able to have them at her fingertips. I had to dissuade her from buying a photo printer from one of the home shopping channels this weekend. I explained to her that even if the printer itself was inexpensive, the cost of the ink and paper would be prohibitive.


I got some friends a digital photo frame for Christmas last year. It was a nice one, I thought, and pretty middling price-wise as far as these things go...though it tells you how much my financial situation has worsened since then that I cannot conceive of buying anyone a present this expensive this year. But it went unused most of the year, in the original box. In the meantime I saw a few other digital photoframes in action and they looked atrocious: garish colors, distorted images, ugly, ugly, ugly.


The last time I visited these friends a few weeks ago they had the photoframe up and running, loaded with photos of sea life from a diving trip they had taken over the summer. The colors were beautiful, the images sharp and clear. I decided then and there I would be getting my mom this same frame for Christmas.


I've got a spare 2GB SD card, so I'm going to use that to install her pictures into the frame. I have over a thousand photos ready to go already, pictures from my camera, from her camera, scans of old family photos and my nephews' artwork. I may even get pictures from my brother if I get a chance.


It's weird going through these images - seeing children who have since grown up, friends and family members and pets who have since died. I'm not sure how the order of images will be determined on the frame, but if it follows the order in the folder I'm working with then there will be some very strange juxtapositions. With something like, say, twelve hundred photos going into the frame, it may take some time for any given image to appear again in the slideshow. Or two images that were taken consecutively may be separated by hundreds of other images.


The biggest challenge I've faced so far is the need for all images to be oriented the same way. The majority of the pictures I'm looking at are in the "landscape" format - long axis running horizontally - so that will be the way the frame will be displayed. But that means that if I don't want any "portrait" style photos, with the long axis running vertically, to be displayed sideways, I need to segregate those images and then rotate them ninety degrees.


It's a tedious process, but I'm down to 160 or so that need to be rotated. Once I have them all ready, I'll drop them onto the SD card and have it ready to pop into the digital frame on Christmas Day! I hope she likes it!

5 comments:

...tom... said...

...

hey there D.B.

You need to post them here, or maybe a slide show somewhere, when you get them all 'put together'.

And then you should visit my other favorite online time-waster, Epinions, and review the picture frame thing. ...:minism:...


...tom...
.

D.B. Echo said...

Ugh, uploading all those photos would take forever, and would probably exceed the limits of the free accounts I have. Plus, a lot of the photos are unobscured pictures of kids and relatives - images I don't necessarily want to post here. But I will be posting what I can, and a lot of what I have posted on this site will be going onto the frame!

...tom... said...

...

...:minism:...

Well ... of course.

A mini-edit version, like you perhaps already have in this post, would be understandable.


Come to think of it, I do not remember you having an 'image gallery' anywhere. Perhaps it is noted on your blog and I simply do not remember...


...tom...

D.B. Echo said...

I have a Flickr account, but I find the interface pretty annoying. So far I've only used it for one motion gif and one image that needed to be referenced by an outside program (the monkey you see if you use Google Custom Search through my site.)

hedera said...

It's a tough question. I now have a digital camera myself, and what do you DO with all those photos?? I agree that Flickr is really annoying. A friend of mine uses Zenfolio which has a beautiful display and costs $40 a year - but that's for unlimited storage.

I'm thinking about it. I also have my own web site where I create albums with JAlbum but somehow they just don't look as classy as Zenfolio.