Nifty software makes sharing digital pictures easy

With summer well upon us it seems appropriate to continue to explore digital photography and its various aspects.

My wife and I both partook of separate events last weekend and each of us came home with cameras full of digital images. We wanted to do various things with these images including sharing them with friends as well as getting paper prints we could send to others.

The first thing I did was connect the cameras, one at a time, to our computer via their separate USB cords. Using Windows Explorer, I created two folders in which to store the images. I have Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 and it recognized the cameras and allowed me to transfer the images from the cameras to their respective folders. Windows XP also has a transfer wizard that can be used to transfer images if you don’t have Elements.

Once the images were transferred, I went to Elements and brought up each of the images to make the necessary corrections to compensate for bad lighting and other undesirable things. The people at Adobe really are very helpful to us amateur photographers. Clicking on Enhance, Adjust Lighting, Shadows/Highlights, like magic, Elements takes a poorly exposed image and brings out the correct details. People and things emerge from the shadows and the image looks great. Then I used Save As to transfer the corrected image to yet another folder. The images in this folder would be the ones we shared with others. There are a number of good image manipulating programs but Adobe Elements 3.0 seems to be the gold standard for us amateur photographers.

With all the corrected images in new folders, it now was time to share them with our friends. The easiest method is to burn a compact disc. My computer has a burning program from Sonic. I select Data Disc. I place a blank CD-R disc in the machine, Sonic recognizes it and asks me what I want to Add to the disc. I select the photos in the appropriate folders, click Add and then click Burn. In a minute or so, the CD is finished, I place it in a plastic holder and my wife addresses an envelope to one of our friends. This procedure really is simple and it is becoming the accepted method to share images. The recipient then can do with them as they see fit.

To get paper prints, we received a fortuitous email from Costco just the other day. They now have a service where we can upload images of which we want prints and pick them up in just a few hours at the local store. Kodak and others have similar services, however Costco lets us pick them up locally. We signed on to the Costco web site, went to Photo Center and followed the instructions. They accepted all 61 of our jpg images and an hour or so later we picked them up at the store in Tustin. Their charges are very reasonable and you can order various size prints. Now you no longer have to go to the store with your camera’s image card to order prints. Neat service.

Taking and sharing digital images is becoming routine. Simple and inexpensive programs and media readily are available to make this task easy to accomplish. Enjoy the summer.

If you would like to hear more about digital imaging, or other computer topics, visit “Coffee and Computers” at the Tustin Area Senior Center, 200 S. ‘C’ Street, any Friday morning starting at 9 a.m. Bring your questions or just come in and visit. If you can’t join us then visit my blog at “” and leave your questions and/or comments.

In the mean time, keep the neurons happy, synapses snapping and enjoy computing.


Dr. Art Holub is a long time resident of Tustin and teaches computer and Internet courses at the Tustin Area Senior Center and the Tustin Adult School. Visit his web site at: This column is written to address the computer adventures and concerns of older adults. If you have comments, questions or suggestions for future columns, Email HIM at:

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