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Transferring Digital Pictures To Your Computer
by Robert Moskowitz
Digital photography is a major improvement over film when you're interested in convenience, low-cost, and greater control over the final print.
The whole notion of saving images invisibly to a chemical coating on a piece of plastic has long been absurd. But it's even more so now that the digital alternative is cheap, easy, and readily available.
With digital, you can see exactly what you've captured after each shot, and you don't expend any cash for a picture until you're sure you want to keep it. What's more, the original shot you capture in your camera is just the starting point for a whole series of adjustments you can make to the image right in your own computer room -- everything from cropping to adjusting the brightness, contrast, and color. And as your expertise grows, your ability to manipulate your digital images becomes literally limitless.
But almost nothing can happen with digital photography until you get the photos out of your camera and into your computer. Fortunately, that's now extremely easy to do.
There are two basic ways to transfer the photos:
1) Take the memory card out of your computer - it's often stored in the same compartment as the battery - and insert it into a suitable "reader" that's connected to your computer.
2) Connect your camera directly to your computer.
Once you've made the connection, your computer will likely offer you a way to look at the files on your camera and copy them over to your computer, just as you would with any other type of file.
If not, simply right click on the "Start" button and select "Explore". Then scroll down along the list of folders on the left of the screen until you get to a lettered drive that represents the camera. If you're not sure which one is your camera, just select the one you think it might be and see what files are stored there.
When you've found the folder in your camera containing your digital photos, there are two ways to copy them to your computer.
1) Click on the folder in your camera containing the photos and drag it to the folder on your computer where you want them to be transferred. You should begin to see signs of computer copying activity and the whole process should be over in a one to ten minutes, depending on how many photos are stored on your camera.
2) Right click on the folder in your camera containing the photos and select "copy", then right click on the folder in your computer where you want them to be transferred and select "paste". Again, you should begin to see signs of computer copying activity and the whole process should be over in a one to ten minutes, depending on how many photos are stored on your camera.
Now browse among these copied files and make sure they are stored on your computer in good shape - that is, they open reliably and look complete on your screen. Once you're confident you have successfully transferred your newest photographs to your computer, do two more things:
1) Rename the folder containing these new photos to something more descriptive - including the date and maybe the location where you took the photos - so that the generic folder name is once again free, making it easy to find your photos, and also easy to copy that same folder name from your camera to your computer the next time you have photos to transfer.
2) Delete the files from your camera so you have a clean and fresh storage system to hold the new photos you'll take next. Each camera operates differently, so you should consult your camera's handbook to determine the best way to delete your old photos and make room for new ones.
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