A Tech Tuesday, on Wednesday…

Originally posted on FuelMyBlog’s Blog.

In my past Tech Tuesday posts I have been really long winded and, oh yeah, on Tuesday. However, I took Tuesday off from the Internet to spend Christmas with the family.

I hope that everyone who celebrated Christmas enjoyed their time with their families.

In my house my wife’s family lives in Florida while we live in Massachusetts. And we have a new baby. So being away from each other has been very difficult. Here are three tips to use technology to help bridge the distance during the holidays.

Tip #1 – Take a ton of pictures with a digital camera. Digital cameras and memory are Cheap, Cheap, Cheap. There are tons and tons of places online that you can use to host your photos. If you do not want to plaster your mug all over the net there are also ways to make your photos private and available only to friends and family. Maybe grandma and grandpa aren’t as tech savvy as Eva’s Mimi and Grandpa Dano are. That is okay, because you are or you can be.

Did you know that you can upload all the photos you want to Kodak, and then make a quick photobook. Then you can have it mailed to your family or sent to be picked up at a CVS or various other stores? It is true and it is very easy to do. I’ve been taking photos of Eva since she was born and each month I upload the past month’s photos to a folder on Kodak Gallery and then I share that gallery just with friends and family. That way if anyone wants a photo they can easily get their own. And if someday we make a photobook all photos are up on Kodak Gallery for us to use.

Tip #2 – YouTube, YouTube isn’t just for videos of idiots doing idiotic things, people are using it for honest to goodness creativity. Allison and I visited her brother and his wife this past weekend. I recorded a quick little Christmas wishes message for my in-laws and then added all the photos from the weekend set the whole thing to music using Windows Movie Maker and uploaded the 3 minute video to YouTube on Christmas morning. I set the video to private and invited my in-laws and brother-in-law to join YouTube so that they could see the video.

Tip #3 – Digital Frames, rather than printing out the photos that you take add them to a dedicated memory card and watch them all on a Digital Frame. There are so many varieties of frame out there so there are many choices. And to get the most photos on one single frame follow this advice: Check the size of the display image in pixels and edit your images to be that size. Sure you can shoot a photo on a 10MP camera and pop the memory card into the frame and view it. However, the size image that a 10MP or even 7MP camera takes is way bigger than what will be displayed on a digital frame.

We got our parent’s digital frames for Christmas. They were 7 inch frames. The display size worked out to be 480 pixels X 234 pixels. Photos that come off my 10MP camera are 3872 X 2592 pixels and are 3MB each. On a 2GB memory card I can hold a couple hundred photos, but I wanted to be able to hold many, many more.

I selected all the images that I wanted to use in the frame and then put them in a folder on my computer. I then used Adobe PhotoShop Elements to process multiple files and used that to make each image 480pixels X (And I left this blank so the proportions would be filled in automatically) and 96dpi. This made each image about 105K, which is very very small. The images that I got out of that process when compared to the full sized images straight from the camera were virtually the same. No one would be able to tell the difference on the frame except that the full sized image would take longer to load than the small image.

I selected 250 images for my parents and put them on a 2GB thumb drive, I used about 1/90 of the space on that card or less. So there is plenty of room for future images of Eva and any kids down the road for all the grandparents.

Happy Holidays and I hope everyone “Fuels in the New Year!”

Photo-A-Day #972 12/06/07 - Photo Hosted at BuzznetDrew writes five blogs, is an avid kayaker and a Transformers fan, he also takes at least one photo every single day and posts it to his BenSpark Blog. You can visit him at The BenSpark, BenSpark 2: Electric Boogaloo, Flatwater Tech or The Wired Kayaker and Read To Me, Dad

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