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How This Book Came to Be

How 

"Digital Photography: Click, Then What?" 

Came to Be

 

Below are the words of Joyce Clifton, wife of the author. Subject material contained in the book is referenced in parentheses.

 

Digital Photography, Click, Then What? was written by Chuck Clifton, a Computer Scientist who was continually creating exact steps for me so I could find my latest email or open up a document written in Microsoft Word. As our family used computers more, my dependence on his help grew. It seemed like just when I got something down, we upgraded computers or software and it was back to square one. But, after he provided me new steps to follow, I was up and running again. 

 

Soon we found our family deeply involved in the digital photography revolution. Chuck bought a digital camera (Page 13) and wanted my support. But instead, this was a huge threat to me. Up until then, we had literally thousands of photos of our family that I had neatly tucked away in books, one set for each child. However, as Chuck’s excitement for the digital technology grew, I was skeptical. I was used to taking my exposed film to the store and bringing home photos all printed out on paper. Then I comfortably inserted them in their proper books and placed the books neatly on the shelf. Chuck tried buying printers and printing them for us (Page 53) but soon there were so many digital photos that we could not print them all. So he printed contact sheets (Page 54) for me so I would at least be able to have pages full of thumbnail photos and their filenames. This did not work. I wanted real photos on real paper, inserted into real books sitting on real bookshelves, even if nobody ever had time to sit down and look through the books.

 

To solve this problem, Chuck built a Screensaver Slideshow (Page 61) on our PC and this allowed all of our digital photos to be displayed all the time at 5 second intervals. This was the turning point in my digital conversion. From my kitchen, I could look up, day or night, and view photos of our family. Soon we had a scanner and I became eagerly involved in scanning (Page 22) in all of those film photos we had in books on shelves. Now I could look up and see photos I had not seen in decades, even our wedding photos, all without effort, day or night. Once, for Christmas, I got excited and created a CD (Page 57) for each of our older children that contained all of their photos. One simple, inexpensive piece of plastic called a CD brought the past to the present and to the future for those kids and their families. Similarly, we made many photos of our ancestors available to all who wanted them.  I was hooked.

 

By the way, yes, he did write steps for me to follow. Soon I was so confident, I visited my parents and by using Photo Journals (Page 64), helped them populate their dining room wall with photos of their children & grandchildren. Each film photo was scanned in. Others that were already digital, along with the scanned-in ones were properly named (Page 35), resized (Page 51) and organized (Page 34) for easy reference later.

 

Now, I did not become an overnight expert. There were still many things that Chuck had to do for me such as downloading the photos from the camera’s Memory Card to the PC (Page 20) and knowing all about pixels (Page 14) and resolution. But I again progressed enough that I called my father and had him send me several hundred slides of his family from 40 years earlier. I then scanned in the slides (Page 30) and thrilled my parents with a CD full of photos nobody had seen in decades. We taught them how to insert a CD with JPG photos into a DVD player so they could watch a Slideshow of their photos on the “Big Screen” using their own DVD player (Page 61). Since then my dad has made the photos available to all of his kids by uploading them to a photo-sharing site on the Internet (Page 58).

 

Each new idea was followed by another. When our son was married, we printed out personalized Photo Return Address Labels (Page 75) of the bride and groom to use with their ‘Thank You’ notes. These personalized address labels not only had their address printed on them, but their own picture of their wedding day.

 

Oh yes, even though our world today is filled with natural and man-made disasters, we sleep well at night, knowing that all of our photos are neatly organized (Page 34) and digitally stored away in our safe deposit box at the bank (Page 83). I had never felt that comfortable with our film photos.

 

The options are endless in how digital photography can be used in your home. Once you have your pictures organized, you will know where to go to retrieve them, and you will be prepared for that special time when you want to create something with them. It was writing down those exact steps that became so valuable. The collection of these steps became the inspiration and the foundation for this book. Now, with the publishing of Digital Photography, Click, Then What?, those steps can be handed to others so they can also become very comfortable and creative in Obtaining, Organizing, Modifying, Printing, Sharing, Using and Preserving digital photos.

 

Joyce Clifton

October 2006

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