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The Digital Darkroom - Don't Leave Those Memories in Your PC!

Photos...we all have them; we all take them and so did our Mothers and our Grandmothers and so on and so on and so on. But what do we do with them?

Some are in boxes and some are in bags...some film on the roll and some files marked with tags. Some are in Albums, which is where they should be and some are in frames on the wall, all to see and some are even trapped inside our PC!

All prose aside, the age of digital photography and archival storage technology has turned the home computer into the largest shoebox in the universe. We take photographs to preserve and share our memories with family and friends, but often they are left in the abyss that is the Digital Darkroom. During the holidays, it is a family tradition to get out the old photo albums and scrapbooks and reminisce about good times and admittedly the photos are not looking very current; but for some reason gathering everyone around the ol' PC to stare blindly at a slideshow for hours doesn't seem very festive.

If this sounds familiar, there are ways to get those memories off of the hard drive and into the light; and surprisingly not all of the ideas presented involve printing physical photos.

Check out some of the ways we can ensure our memories are revisited again and again:

1) The most obvious...fire up that printer! Our older photos and photos that have been digitally restored belong in photo albums for all to see whenever the mood strikes them. It is equally important to write in your albums who the photographs are of, where they were taken etc...This is a wonderful family bonding activity. Hint: If the PC is used to hyper organize photos by date or family member, etc. prior to printing, getting them into a photo album is very simple and easy. In addition, if you find that you have a very large # of photographs to print, consider purchasing remanufactured ink cartridges. They will yield the same quality and quantity of photos as the name brands for about 1/3 the price.

2) Not every photo you print should end up in an album! Consider choosing a wall in your home to make a visually artistic life statement. You can blow up photos to put in individual frames, place smaller pics together in multiple frames or a personal favorite; Purchase large poster frames and use many photos to create art collages with your photos. These are so fun and rewarding to make and the whole family loves to join in. You can even get a little crazy by cutting people out of backgrounds, hiding unique memories in the midst of photos (like an I Spy) and even placing dimensional adhesive under cutouts to make the images pop out of your art!

3) Consider purchasing several digital photo frames and loading photos onto the internal memory or inserting a memory card to display photos. Placing them around the house gives anyone in the area a walk down memory lane. You can group photos by person or theme and even have special memory cards that you can insert to display only holiday memories. Digital frames are technology's photo albums and they make great gifts!

Make it a resolution to get your photos out of the Digital Darkroom and let your memories light up your life!