Holiday photos thrown into a box or hastily arranged in a photo album just don’t cut it anymore. Technology is changing the way we record and share Christmas morning and New Year’s Eve with relatives and friends around the world. Digital cameras and camcorders are helping multi-generations preserve priceless family traditions and memories.
But are you safely storing those photos that were taken during the lighting of Hanukkah candles when your son was an infant? And what about the images of topping the Christmas tree with the star that belonged to your grandmother?
Keith Settle, an instructor with Ritz Camera Center in Lyndhurst, warns not to store images on computers, especially laptops. Viruses and crashes will destroy pictures faster than the Grinch stole Christmas.
“Quickly burn your images to CDs, which are the new negatives,” says Settle. “We can also scan old photographs and put them on a CD. That way if anything happens to the original, you still have the image.”
Doing that, he adds with a smile, also serves as protection from family picture stealers. “Every family has one,” Settle says. “[By transferring your images to CD], you can e-mail everyone an image.”
Jeff Miloro, assistant manager of Cord Camera in Macedonia, suggests keeping memory cards clean and learning to format.
“If you can’t do it yourself, take the card to a camera shop where they can do it for you,” he advises. “Most of the time when customers have a problem, it’s because of the memory card. I’ll ask, ‘When is the last time you formatted the card?’ and they’ll look at me as if I grew a third eye on my forehead.”
Miloro also suggests making a DVD of camcorder images for backup and convenience “because then you won’t have to hook up the camera to the computer every time you want to watch them.”
Digital has also made it easy to create photographic images on mugs, throws, mouse pads, T-shirts and calendars. These personal holiday gifts are appropriate for all ages and can be great conversation starters.