Virtually Free Photography
It doesn't take a new digital camera owner long to realize that snapping photos has become basically free, except for the cost of printing. With a high-capacity flash memory card and rechargeable batteries, you can fill your computer's My Pictures folder with thousands of snapshots in no time at all.
With default names like IMG_00001.JPG, seeing them listed under View>Name soon becomes virtually meaningless. Fortuneately, WinXP provides View>Thumbnails in all folders, which makes dragging the images into other folders you may create for them quick and painless.
Let's say you have a folder full of snapshots taken during the winter holidays, and would like to separate them into folders with names like Thanksgiving 2005, etc. Well, when copying photos to your computer, they normally go into the My Pictures folder inside your My Documents folder, which is listed in your Start Menu.
While in My Pictures, click on File>New>Folder. A yellow icon will appear at the very bottom of the list, named New Folder, which can be renamed by simply overtyping its default name. The next time you access My Pictures, all newly-created folders will appear alphabetically at the top of your file list. Now you can drag and drop your photos' thumbnails into these folders.
Multiple photos can be dragged collectively by pressing CTRL while clicking the thumbnails. If the target images are contiguous, hold down SHIFT while clicking the first and last ones. This will select them, along with all pictures in between.
If your new folders are out of view, the selection being dragged can be pushed upwards until they scroll into view. However, an easier method is to create some new folders on your Desktop, where they can be displayed alongside your open My Pictures folder. Right-click your Desktop, and choose New>Folder. These folders can later be dragged into the My Pictures folder. Create Your Own Folders
Better yet, create your own "My Pictures" folders on the Desktop and leave them there, with names like, say, Mom's Snapshots or Dad's Photos. Inside these folders, others can be created with names like, say, Christmas at Aunt Polly's, which can contain still other folders with names like Aunt Polly's New Puppy.
The options for creating and placing new folders are virtually unlimited.
Since storing all your snapshots is so cheap and easy, the temptation to save every single one is pretty strong. However, deleting all the blurry, out-of-focus, and otherwise bad shots right up front will make subsequent storage chores easier.
Naturally, you'll want to give all the best photos meaningful names, which is done by right-clicking an existing name and choosing Rename. Finding particular photos later will be much easier if you include dates in the names, such as, say, 12-2010 Aunt Polly's. (You can't use "12/2010" because certain keyboard symbols — such as the slash — are disallowed in file and folder names.)
The biggest expense with digital photos is printing them. Your ink
cartridges will go farther if you crop and resize photos.
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