You have beautiful roses, a well-designed garden, unique trellises. But who sees them besides yourself and your neighbors? How about sharing the pleasure with thousands more people through the use of photography?
There have been recent advances in digital imaging that will allow you to easily publish photos on the internet, add your photos to greeting cards, or have them printed on T-shirts or mugs.
This will be a 2 part article, with the first installment dealing with turning your photo into a digital image and the second with using photo-editing software to enhance your photos.
There are several basic ways to get a photograph into a format usable by a personal computer. The first and initially most expensive is to buy a digital camera. These use a memory card instead of film. Photos can be directly transferred to your computer with the software and connecter that come with the camera. If you do get one, be certain to buy one with adequate resolution (over a thousand dots per inch for length and width). The second way is to buy a flatbed scanner. These have become quite affordable and can scan photos that you have already had printed or even magazine photos. Again, resolution is important. Buy one that has at least 600X600 optical resolution, preferably 1200. A good scanner can now be bought for under $100. The scanner will come with software to set it up. Once it is set up it can often be accessed from within your own graphics/paint programs. You'll find it on the top menu of the program under "files" then "acquire image".
The final way is to have your photo lab develop your roll of film and simultaneously save the pictures digitally. If you don't intend to do large number of rolls of film, this can be your easiest option. There are a number of choices in this area. For about $6, your photos can be given to you on a floppy disc at about 640x480 resolution, adequate for the internet and viewing on your screen. For about the same price, Kodak or Konica will post your photos on-line (password protected) for you to view, download or e-mail. The resolution is 768X512. To download your photo at a much higher resolution, 1024X1536, costs an additional dollar per photo online. While your photos are on-line (about 20 days), you can also have the company make you enlargements, reprints, T-shirts etc. Kodak has an option box on their envelopes for AOL customers for AOL's "You've got photos" option. Finally for about $10, your developed roll can be put on a CD instead. This give you a permanent copy of the files with the highest resolution and the least money or work, but doesn't put them automatically on-line.
If you want to put your photo files on the internet from your scanner or from your photo CD, there are a number of ways. First of all, I'd be glad to place some of your photos on our RIRS web site if you e-mail them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Next there is a web site called clubphoto at www.clubphoto.com which lets you have space to keep photos on-line and gives you free photo album software to download and use. It also gives you the option of purchasing products with your photos on them. You could make a homepage on AOL or Compuserve, or at one of the free homepage sites such as www.homestead.com or www.tripod.com. Each of these places is designed to be used by non-programmers, so give them a try. Next installment, using graphics software to optimize your photos.
ARS Yankee District website: http://www.arsyankee.org