Everyone has that big box of photos in the back of the closet that’s worth a million and at the same time next to nothing. If you can’t share your photos easily then what good are they? You’ll be surprised to find out that it’s simple and inexpensive to turn your deteriorating images into an enjoyable work of art. There are photo scanning services that can digitize your photos for as little as a nickel apiece. And don’t try this yourself! Photo scanning at home is heart stoppingly boring!
Get Artistic. Turn your scans into slideshows that you can view on a TV. You can purchase software like Pro Show Gold by Photodex and have a ball creating that masterpiece. It’s easy, you basically just drag your images into a time line in the order you want, add text to the images if you desire to clarify what the photo is about, and then add your own music. Pretty simple! My favorite feature is the “Ken Burns” effect that allows you to zoom in or to different parts of the photo to bring life to your images. The built-in photo editor allows you to color correct, crop, or rotate your images right in the program. Your 3×5 snapshots will look good even on a widescreen TV.
If you need slideshow freeware you’ll find it on the web. Different free services and software are suitable for different purposes. Some make it easy to create and upload your slideshow to social networking sites. Some are simply slideshow creation software. Spend some time exploring the features that are offered, and always download from a familiar site. Sites like Goggle Picassa, Extra Photo Slideshow Free, and Wildbit software can include music and photo editing capabilities. They may not allow you to show your slideshow on a TV.
You may want to think about placing your slideshow in a digital picture frame. Prices have come down on digital picture frames with some 14″ frames selling for as little as $99. Some of the smaller frames now go for under $25. We expect this trend to continue. With memory card prices also hitting new lows you can afford to put your entire digital photo library on them. Lots of digital frames come with slideshow software installed, and some will play audio. So when your friends come over you can crawl into the back of that closet to dig out the box of gradually fading photos, or you can flip on that beautiful digital picture frame.
Look at some of the online slideshow hosting services. These can help keep friends and family from needing to download and store your slideshows. Sites like Picturetrail and Iwebphoto can make viewing your slideshow easier, especially if you have a lot of images, and allow you to edit, remove, and replace your items at will. Remember to add text to your images to help everyone understand what they are. And then go crazy with special effects. Have fun!
Make sure you choose a photo scanning service that scans at 300 dpi, and don’t pay for more. See if you can find a service that includes automatic photo enhancement at a reasonable price. This can do wonders for some if not all of your images. And be sure to insist on a complete copy of the original scans that have not been rotated, enhanced, or manipulated in any way. Then always make a copy of your master scans to use for anything. Shop around, scanning costs can vary greatly.
Scanning photographs permanently protects them from destruction and loss. Once your images are stored on a DVD and sent to two or three different places you are assured of always being able to retrieve at least one copy. You can generate copies on your computer for the price of a blank DVD to share with your friends and family. Day to day loss of quality is no longer an issue. Your treasured memories are safe and sound.