Camera to Computer - A lesson by Simon Click an image to view the Learning Gallery.
Type of card: CF or SD
Image format: (RAW/JPEG/TIFF)
Computer: Windows, Apple (or other device using Android/iOS systems)
Before you start:
Think about how and where you want to store/organize your images. A series of folders inside My Pictures folder is one option, but in My Documents is another.
Folder hierarchy can be by date, activity or any system of naming that works for you.
The issue is made complicated because the pictures that come off the camera have file names that are just a series of numbers and letters. You can rename each image but that’s not really practical – for example a wedding where you have 800 images of strangers…
The problems – and the solution
As your image library expands, finding the image you want becomes increasingly challenging.
After a shoot you may have a lot of pictures that need sorting into keepers and deleters – and you may want to rank them in some way – Genius to ‘I can’t decide’.
The solution is to use a tool that organizes your folders and files, allows you to sort the wheat from the chaff and lets you apply keywords that can be searched at a later date. These can be apps such as Apple’s Photos, Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Bridge, Capture one, On1 Photo RAW – and there’s more out there. As well as organizing the images they can do so much more including, image editing, email, upload to web sites, create albums, slide shows etc etc.
1. Connect and download
Either plug the camera into the computer using the supplied USB cable. Perfectly good but your camera is out of action while the download takes place.
Remove the card and use a card reader
Wireless. Again camera is restricted during download.
The pictures can now be copied across from the card to the computer and downloaded into the file structure you’ve decided to use.
2. Back up
Before you go further start thinking about a back-up strategy. When your computer hard drive fails (and it will at some point) you need to have your files backed up or you risk losing the lot.
Applications that help you stay organized
As previously mentioned there are many out there but I’ll look at Adobe Lightroom. The principles are similar even if the interface is very different.
Connect camera or card
The helper tool should recognise the card and start running. This may require a preference to be set. On Apple its found in the application Image Capture.
Select Import and tell the software where to store the images
Use the dialog – but you’re only doing what you would do anyway and telling the computer where to save the images.
At this stage you can import – but if you take a moment longer you can apply keywords and some preset functions as the pictures are imported.
Whizz through and see what you’ve got, maybe even deleting obvious no-hopers. You can rate each image too making it easier to find the best shots again.
From here the world of image editing opens up - something for another time.