One thing is certain with digital photography: You'll take a lot more photos than you did with film. With 1G cards, which cost less than ever, you can shoot 400 photos without running out of memory.
After you've downloaded the photos to your computer, looked at them a few times, maybe even e-mailed them to some friends and made a few prints, what do you do? Or better yet, in today's digital photo era, how can you make use of the photos filling shoeboxes under your bed?
There are endless possibilities. Here are a few.
MemoryMiner ( www.memoryminer.com) helps you build a photo database. The database is created from information you provide. Anything such as names, dates, addresses, times and other descriptive information can be included. The more information you include, the more interesting it will become. Photos are linked by the information you have supplied. Often you can find that people in different photos have crossed paths based on the information you have supplied.
Within MemoryMiner, you supply first-person accounts of the photos, and the program organizes the information for you. It also helps you find your digital photos quickly and effectively. You can also use the program to organize old photos after you scan them in.
MemoryMiner won the Macworld Expo 2006 Best of Show award in San Francisco in January. The current version is only available in Mac format, but a PC version is expected this summer.
Consider MemoryMiner a way to start a digital photography scrapbook.
Actual scrapbooking has made its way into the digital world, and several companies have software that makes great use of your digital photos.
IRemember lets you be creative, incorporating your photos into neat scrapbook pages. (I chose the 12-by-12 size; you can make it any size you want.)
The software comes with more than 500 templates and 3,000 clipart images, many different fonts and backgrounds. Drag and drop your photos onto the pages you create and you're done.
After completing a few pages in IRemember, getting a 12-by-12 print was a problem from the Mac side. Epson and Hewlett-Packard both make inkjet printers to print that size, but they are costly. But in IRemember's latest release, you can save your digital scrapbook page as a jpg.
I took the jpg to the Arlington Costco, where photo lab supervisor Ken McAlexander was able to create a 12-by-12 print profile to print my scrapbook pages for less than $3 each.
Much of the same went for Leeza Gibbons Scrapbooking Software, which also offers different fonts, layouts, patterns and backgrounds.
It gives you full control over your newly created scrapbook pages. You can print all or parts of your page, design and create stickers and other elements, and then bring over your digital photos to complete the process. Tools within the software allow you to rotate, crop, adjust and resize your images.