Thursday, July 28, 2005

Digital Scrapbooks and Photo Storage

by Christina VanGinkel

Digital scrap booking is a term that I have heard a lot lately, along with digital storage of photos. I just assumed it meant to arrange scrapbook layouts in a digital format on my computer, and to store my photos on either my hard drive or a format such as a DVD or CD. That is correct to a point, but it also means much more than that.

With digital scrap booking and storage, it is possible to tag your photographs: To tag means to store information along with each photograph when it is saved digitally. Information such as who are the people in the photograph, where it was originally taken, when it was taken, and other notes you may want to attach to the photograph. Why someone would want to do all this work originally escaped me until my daughter asked me if I would find it convenient to pull up all the photographs that I have taken of her son, my grandson, in one convenient place, instead of pouring through all my folders. Yes, that would be convenient, I responded. She then went on to ask me if it would be even more convenient, say, to pull up all the photographs of him that were taken with grandpa, for example. I soon understood where she was going with this. Many photo storage and editing programs made for computers have had this feature available for some time, but not everyone is aware of it or uses it.

Unlike old-fashioned storage, where each picture would either have to be duplicated to be stored under more than one heading, or otherwise only categorized under one, I could store one photograph in as many categories as it actually fit. A picture of my grandson with his grandpa at the river fishing could be categorized under my grandson's name, under my husband's name, under those pictures that contained both my husband and grandson, and under a heading such as fishing pictures or vacation photos.

Better yet, once I tagged my photos and photo layouts in this manner, I could also share them with family and friends who had similar computer equipment and programs without losing the tags. I could in essence, send a layout I created in my Art Explosion Scrapbook Factory Deluxe program, a new program I recently purchased when I first heard the term digital scrap booking, to my sister-in-law, who has the same program. She could then open it into her program without having to do any additional cataloging, as all the tags I added would be intact with the digital version I sent her.

I still have a lot to learn about this new form of photo storage and scrap booking, such as if it is possible to add journaling to each page. Art Explosion Scrapbook Factory Deluxe seems to be a full featured program, but until I take the time to go over the program, I know I am not using it to its fullest capabilities. I can hardly wait to figure it all out, as it has opened more doors to the fun of working with photographs and scrapbooks!

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