Working with Digitally Captured Images - dummies

Working with Digitally Captured Images

By Janine Warner

In the early days of digital cameras, downloading images was a complex process that involved connecting your camera to your computer with a special cable and then using a software program to download the images to your hard drive. You can still use that option with most digital cameras, but today there are simpler ways to get your images on your computer. The following options can be used with most digital cameras (consult the manual that came with your digital camera for details about your system).

Copying images from a memory card

If you have the right card reader in your computer or printer, you can simply remove the memory card from your camera, slide it into your computer, and copy the files to your hard drive as you’d copy images from a CD or floppy disk. Most digital cameras use CompactFlash cards, SmartMedia cards, or some other kind of removable storage device. Many computers now come with all these card readers built in. However, if your computer doesn’t have what you need, you can buy adapters that will let you use a PCMCIA slot or USB port. (Check with your local computer store to find the right adapters for your system.)

Importing images directly into an image program

If you’ve installed the software that came with your digital camera and you have an image program such as Photoshop Elements 3 you can import images directly into your image editor. This option may help you keep track of your images and save you the step of opening them in the editor or adding them into the Organizer after you’ve copied them from the camera. This option also works for retrieving images from a cell phone or other device.

To import images into Elements from a digital camera or other device, make sure Elements is in the Organizer view and follow these steps:

1. Insert your camera’s memory card into the appropriate slot on your computer or plug your camera into the computer with the cable that came with your camera.

Consult the camera’s manual for more detailed instructions, if necessary. Note: If Photoshop Elements is open when you connect your camera or insert a memory card, the Get Photos from Camera or Card Reader dialog box may open automatically. If so, skip the next step.

2. Choose File –> Get Photos –> From Camera or Card Reader.

The Get Photos from Camera or Card Reader dialog box appears.

3. Click to deselect any images you don’t want to import.

Elements automatically selects all the images on the camera or memory card, but you can click to uncheck any images you don’t want to import.

4. Specify where you want to save your images.

Elements saves your images in a new subfolder named with the date you are saving the images. If you prefer, click the New Name option; you can change the name of the subfolder to anything you like, or use the Browse button to specify a folder on your hard drive.

5. Select the Rename Files option and enter a name in the text field.

Elements will use the name you enter, followed by sequential numbers, beginning with 001. If you don’t select the Rename Box, Elements will save your files with their current names; if you’re copying files from a digital camera, those current names are probably a long number that has no meaning to you.

6. Click the Get Photos button.

Elements copies your images from the camera or card to your computer’s hard drive, saves them in the specified folder, and displays them in the New Photos window. When the download is complete, the Delete Files on Device dialog box opens.

7. In the Delete Files on Device dialog box, choose Yes to delete the files from your camera or card reader or No to leave them untouched.

To retrieve images from a cellphone, choose File –> Get Photos –> From Mobile Phone, and then follow Steps 3 through 7.

After your images are downloaded from a camera, a cellphone, or another device, you can work with them as you would any other image.