Thousands of Photographs…But what to do???

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: June 6, 2011

Category: General

Without question the ‘Digital Revolution‘ has opened up photography to the masses for a whole host of reasons…not least for the reduced cost of getting set up.

In fact my own professional life as a photographer has only known the world of the Digital SLR but I do remember as a kid having a little 35mm film camera and sending off to get the prints back; most of the time ending up with the 2 good shots at best out of a roll of 24.

With digital photography we get instant feedback and can see the photos we take straight away on our camera’s LCD screen and we can take thousands upon thousands of photographs without it costing us a penny; the question though is what do you do with all of those photographs? Do you, I suspect like most, end up with hard drives full of images that just disappear in the depths?

Of course it isn’t just photographs taken on your DSLR or ‘point and shoot’ nowadays as most people have mobile phones that take pretty decent, acceptable quality photographs too. Speaking for myself at last look I had just under 3000 images in my iPhone camera roll and obviously I’m not talking about client images here…I’m talking about ‘personal’ photos…photos of holidays, days out, family, pets and so on…

But what are we to do with them all?

Being in the ‘digital age’ there are many options available to us to display and look at our photographs; digital frames that hold memory cards can display continuous slideshows of images, with Apple TV [Link] we can view images on our television sets, the iPad with it’s fabulous screen, but no matter how great this is, I can’t help but keep one foot in the past and favour ‘hard copies’ of my images…not all images you understand, just my favourites.

At our home we have framed holiday, family and pet photographs, taken using my Nikon DSLR and some taken using my iPhone. The iPhone ones understandably aren’t as sharp as those taken with my D3, but that doesn’t matter…it’s the images and the memories they bring back that’s more important to me with these rather than sharpness and overall quality.

Since reading Scott Kelby’s account of his recent trip to London over on his blog [Link] I’ve been motivated to get some of Apple’s Photo books printed; especially as the process is so darned simple and inexpensive.

Getting Apple’s Photo Books made up is something I know Scott does after most trips away and something I’m going to be making a point of doing from now on too.

So what about you…what are you doing with all your photographs? Do you still like to have ‘hard copies’ and get prints framed, make photo books or are you happy to use all the digital alternatives?

There’s so many companies out there that offer these services nowadays…companies like Kaleidoscope [Link], Loxley Colour [Link], Photobox [Link], MPix [Link] to name but a few I’d be really interested to ‘hear’ what you tend do with your personal photos and how you choose to look at them.

As always please feel free to make use of the comments section below, but in the meantime,
Enjoy 🙂

>In case you missed it, for those of you who use Apple here’s a link to a video Scott Kelby put together showing how simple it is to design and order a photo book using your very own images [Link]

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  1. Jonathan Thompson

    Hi Glyn,
    I think this is a subject more and more of us are going to discuss. I’m a bit of an old soul dragging myself into the digital age, without too much fuss, but I hanker for some of the old ways of doing things. The more we connect digitally the more I feel a little more empty unless I use it to actually connect, meet up, chat over lunch, physically make new friends. So the thought of printing my images really appeals to me. I remember when I first got my Mac and ran through Apples tutorials on their site. I was amazed at what you could do, iPhoto & Keynote blew me away, especially when my last computer had Window 98 and crashed when I asked it to rotate an image. I’d forgotten about how good it was until I read Scotts blog, it has re-ignited my passion for a real printed book with pages, smells and everything. Sure it’s not a high end £150 book of art by some renown photographer, but then nor were the photo albums I used to put together and treasure today. I think they make great gifts for friends and family, even some clients. Lets not go charging ahead, so fast into the future, without bringing a few of the good old days with us.
    So that’s my 2 pence worth, thanks for the post Glyn, it made me stop and think.



    • Glyn

      @Jonathan…Thanks for a great comment mate and yeah I totally agree with you i.e. “Lets not go charging ahead, so fast into the future, without bringing a few of the good old days with us.”

  2. Scot Baston

    You pose a difficult question Glyn,

    it seems to me that the new version of a hard copy photobook is the iPhone/iPad and their equivalents. If I wish to show people my personal images it is often just on my phone as I can always have them with me.

    I agree that it lacks the magic of a real print and it is not a complete solution but I find having access to the images almost constantly means when conversations head in a particular direction I can pull up a photo from that day.

    on the other hand when I took a year out to go travelling, I had a book printed with all my favourite images. I often look back through that book and remember all the people, stories and places. Not sure they have the same effect on screen.

    Good post Glyn and I’ll have to think some more about how I find my own solution



    • Glyn

      @Scot…Yeah mate I love showing and looking at my images on my iPad but since seeing Scott’s post and knowing it’s something he always does it really got me thinking; sometimes I feel you just can’t beat a real album/book and believe me for me to say that as a self confessed Geek even surprised myself…lol 🙂

  3. DaveT

    Hi Glyn,

    I really like the first set of cat images, they have a lovely depth of field.

    I’m as guilty as the next of having images in the depth of my hard drives, but I also use a number of use a number of different approaches to bring them out into the open.

    Photo books – I use this method as a permanent reminder of a special trip or occasion. I have recently had one of the soft book cover versions from Apple as described by Scott and it worked out very well. At Focus on Imaging I saw some great examples of special photo paper books created with Bob Books so I intend to try one of them in the future.

    DVD slide show – I have been using Proshow Gold and Producer for many years to make slide show of my images, which I burn to DVD and then play through a DVD and large screen television. I sometimes also do sound recordings on location and add this to the mix to make the slide shows that much more different. However Pro show is PC based only and having recently swapped to an Imac I’m looking for something equally effective

    I-touch – I have some portfolios on my I-touch to show my work to interested parties. In time this will be replaced by an I-pad.

    Camera Club talks – I give talks to camera clubs on my travel photography.

    Computer –I use Lightroom for collections and slide shows, which I watch for my own enjoyment.

    • Glyn

      @DaveT…Glad to see you approve of ‘Morris’ 🙂
      Great to hear you’re pleased with the book you had made by Apple; I was going to go for the soft cover version too, so thanks for that.
      Looks like you are really embracing both the digital and hard copy way of displaying and looking at your images and that’s how I tend to think it should be; best of both worlds.

      Thanks again for dropping by and taking the time to comment mate; always appreciated.
      Cheers, Glyn

  4. Paul HOdgson

    Hey Glyn, timely post. Even for none MAC users like me we still have the option of Blurb or Kodak printing books that are both inexpensive but also reasonable quality> I think it may even be Kodak that makes the Apple books.

    Beyond work photographs, I still take a lot of personal photos which do nothing more than reside on one of many external HDD’s…I’m a legend on these drives 🙂 but print them I rarely do that. I suspect many of us don’t print our work either…odd!

    Catch up soon and have a great day.


    • Glyn

      @Paul…Ah yes Blurb…I’ve been meaning to get a book done by them for quite a while now after seeing examples…stunning stuff!!!

      Re printing your own images…geez, in all honesty I can’t remember the last time I did that as I always send them off to the lab. Crazy how sending off for prints actually works out cheaper than printing them yourself huh…such is the price of ink and paper I guess 🙂


  5. Steve Porter

    Hi Glyn, great post this, one that is close to my heart. I used to make slide shows of all the photos i have taken of my son growing up, birthdays, important times and fun times etc. Inlike my client files i only backed them them up to one portable hard drive and it got corrupted, i had backed up most of them on DVD also but not all of them and lost some precious memories. Now i print books of every year to pass on to him in the future.
    Cheers Steve



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