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Importing your camera’s digital photos to your computer

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May 24th, 2011

If you ve already somewhat mastered the digital camera, the next step is saving photos to your computer. You ll want to transfer images to your computer so that you have a backup to your camera; doing so will also allow you to share photos online or through email.

How to transfer photos

To get photos on your computer, you ll need to import them by hooking up your camera to a computer using the USB cable that came with your camera. If you have a program on your computer for importing photos, the software you re using should pop up immediately and ask you if you would like to import.

Find the right software

There are many more programs available now for importing and organizing your photos, and many of them are free. There are also online solutions such as Flickr that allow you to organize your photos and share them with friends and family. Many of these online tools, however, don t allow you to make adjustments to your images such as adjusting contrast and colors or removing red-eye, so you ll want a desktop application for this. Here are a few programs that will import your photos and help you stay organized:

Windows Live Photo Gallery (FREE)

This photo gallery displays the photos as thumbnails and allows you to create albums to keep your images organized. You can share photos with friends, and it will even recognize the faces in your photos and organize them by person. The newer versions of Windows Live Photo Gallery allow you to stitch together multiple photos to create panoramic images. You can even replace areas of photos with areas from another photo to create a picture that looks just right. This is especially helpful if you have the good photo, but one of your subjects has closed eyes or is looking away (windows.live.com).

iPhoto 11 ($15)

iPhoto provides all the same features as Windows Live, and it will also organize your photos by events and by the location of where the picture was taken. It also has the ability to create custom slideshows for presentations. One unique feature of iPhoto is that you can order books, cards, and calendars and customize them with the photos of your choice, right from within the application (apple.com/iphoto).

Google Picasa 3 (FREE)

Picasa is one of the easiest applications to use that works for both PC and Mac. Similar to both Windows Live and iPhoto, it has an easy-to-use interface to manage thumbnails and albums and will also allow you to create both slideshows and collages. You can also create custom tags for your photos with names that keep everything organized in a way that works for you. When you are ready for a hard copy of your photos, you can order prints online directly from Picasa (google.com/picasa).

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