I recall reading somewhere [please do not ask me where!] that, every day, more photographs are taken than were shot on the previous day. And this has been true since the dawn of photography as a popular activity, when Kodak’s slogan was “You Press the Button, We Do the rest” in 1888. With cameras getting cheaper and phones and tablets with camera facilities becoming ubiquitous, I guess this trend is set to continue. This begs a question: what do you do with all those images? In the past, it was common to make photo albums, which often became much valued keepsakes. Indeed, I recently wrote about the return of a lost family photo album.
With digital photography, there are numerous other possibilities …
If you do not have a computer, or simply do not want to use one, you can treat a digital camera much the same as we used to with film. Just take the card into a store from time to time and get a load of [probably 6×4] prints of your snaps and stick them in an album. If that suits you, that is fine, but consider your other options:
- If you store all your pictures [or maybe just the best ones] on your phone or tablet, you will always have them to hand to share with friends. There are lots of apps that do a much better job of presenting the photos than the built-in options.
- Social networking, like Facebook, is an ideal way to share your snaps. If you really want people to look at your pictures, here is a tip: do not upload all 79 rather similar pictures that you took at that party last night, many of which were blurred for too dark/light; choose the best half dozen and post those.
- You can, of course, have your own website. This can be as complex as you want, or as easy. There are many services available where you can present your images very straightforwardly, like flickr.com. A blog is another approach; tumblr.com is a popular platform. Last month I started a project to post a picture every day [for at least a year, hopefully]: DrawingWithLight.com
- If you want your pictures in a book, there are many websites where you can upload the files, arrange the pictures across the pages and have the result printed and shipped to you. The results can be outstanding. I am endeavoring to get into the habit of making one album [with 32 images, one per page] for each year, in a good size with hard covers. I made them for 2011 and 2012 and I am just preparing the 2013 edition now.
- Getting larger prints of your images has never been cheaper or easier. If you have a picture that you are particularly proud of, then why not display it on the wall?
- Many companies offer services – typically online – to place photographic images onto numerous artifacts: mugs, coasters, calendars … the list goes on.
- If you enjoy photography, just like with almost any other hobby, it can be fun to rub shoulders with like-minded people. I have belonged to various camera clubs over the last 20 years and find it very rewarding.
- There are countless photography competitions, many of which have great prizes and are easy to enter. I won a prize once, so it cannot be that hard! There are also many exhibitions [or “salons”] where you can send pictures to be assessed for inclusion. I have had quite a few accepted over the years, but have yet to win an award. I will keep trying!
- As with many skills, it can be nice to have recognition – a qualification that affirms your abilities. Many of us will do this for professional purposes, but there are many qualifications that you can pursue that confirm that you know how to take good snaps. These qualifications are commonly specific to a given country, but there are international ones too. I currently have the letters CPAGB after my name, which was awarded by the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain. My current goal is to obtain an award from the Royal Photographic Society, which will be a challenge.