How to Download Your Digital Images

Digital photographs are stored in the camera or on a removable card until you download them to your PC. Before you launch into the downloading process, make sure to take care of those dull prerequisites:

  • Make sure that you installed any software that came with your digital camera or card reader; this ensures that any drivers are installed before you connect. (It’s always a good idea to check the camera manufacturer’s website to see whether a new set of drivers has been released for Windows 8.)

  • Connect the cable that came with your camera (or your external card reader) to the corresponding port on your PC — which is very likely your PC’s USB port. If you’re using an internal card reader (a special slot built into the front of your PC) or an external card reader — eject the memory card from your camera and load it into the slot in the card reader (as shown in the card reader’s documentation).

  • If you’re connecting your digital camera directly to your PC and it has an AC adapter, make sure that you plug the camera into the AC adapter first; this can save you an hour of recharge time!

Although most digital cameras come with their own software, Windows 8 offers Windows Photo Gallery (part of the Windows Essentials application suite, which is free from Microsoft). If your camera comes with its own downloading software, it’s a better idea to use that program instead, but at least Photo Gallery can likely do the job alone in a pinch.

After you’ve downloaded and installed the Windows Essentials suite, type Photo at the Start screen and click the Photo Gallery button that appears, and then click the Import button at the far left of the Photo Gallery Ribbon to display the Import Photos and Videos dialog box.

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To complete the download process, just click your camera, card reader, or USB flash drive in the list, and click Import. To select only specific photos and videos, click the Review, Organize and Group Items to Import radio button and then click Next. Each photo or video is represented by a thumbnail, and you can select or deselect items to import with the check box next to each thumbnail.

Click the Import All New Items Now radio button and click Next to import everything in one fell swoop, without viewing thumbnails beforehand. Photo Gallery uses the name you enter to title the images and videos as they’re imported. For example, if you enter the tag Fun Photos, the filenames are Fun Photos 001.jpg, Fun Photos 002.jpg, and so on.

After the import is complete, you see the Windows Photo Gallery main window. Photo Gallery highlights the new folder you just imported in the source list at the left for you — click the heading, and the photos you just downloaded appear in the pane on the right side of the window. To view a larger version of a thumbnail, hover your mouse cursor over the photo.

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Follow these steps to manipulate images within Photo Gallery:

  • To rotate an image: Click to highlight a photograph and then click either of the rotate buttons within the Manage group on the Ribbon’s Home tab.

    Each click of the Rotate Left or Rotate Right button rotates the image 90 degrees in that direction.

  • To select a group of images: Hold down the Ctrl key while you click or drag a selection box around the desired photos. You can also select a thumbnail by clicking the Next and Previous buttons.

  • To delete an image from your imported photos: Click the thumbnail to select it and then click the Delete button on the Ribbon.

  • To display your imported photos in a full-screen slide show: Click the Slide Show button, and select the desired effect or transition from the menu that appears.

    To exit the slide show at any time, press the Esc key.

  • To view another collection of images: Click to select an entry in the source list, to the left of the Photo Gallery window.

    To assign a star rating, tag a photo, add a caption, or change the information for a photo, use the buttons in the Organize group on the Home tab.

After the images are transferred, you can unplug your camera’s USB cable. Now you can have all sorts of fun sharing, tweaking and creating with your photos and videos!

  • Click the Edit tab on the Ribbon to edit a selected image by fixing exposure and color levels or by cropping the stuff you don’t want.

  • Click the Home tab to send selected images as e-mail attachments, or share photos or videos on your SkyDrive, Facebook, YouTube, and other services.

  • Click the File tab and click Print to send your selections to your system printer.

  • Click the Create tab to automatically create a collage with selected photos, order prints, or create a blog post.

  • Click the Find tab to locate items taken on a specific date, by rating, or by people you’ve tagged.

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