SUMMER IS WRAPPING up (boo!), and now it’s
time to figure out what to do with all those photos
and videos you captured—on your smartphone,
camera or POV (point of view) adventure cam.
After all, you don’t want those memories to remain
stored on your device, where they can’t be easily
viewed, shared and appreciated.
As you might expect, you’ve got a lot of
options. Here are the answers to some of your
questions on the topic.
Q I have too many videos on my smartphone,
so much so that I have run out of storage space
at the worst of times. I have moved these videos
to my computer, but do you know of any free
software I could use to create a DVD to show
A You’ve successfully accomplished the first
step, which is to transfer the videos to a computer. That’s great. The next step is to create
a slideshow you can upload to social media or
burn to a disc and play on your TV or computer.
While it’s not part of Windows any longer, you
can still download Windows Movie Maker (Google
“Windows Essentials” to find and download it).
With Movie Maker, it’s easy to drag and drop the
photos and videos into the desired order and then
add transition sequences, special effects, music,
captions and, perhaps, narration. There are other
highly rated moviemaking programs, too, including Freemake Video Converter, Smilebox and
Animoto, that are free or free to try. If you are a
Mac user, Apple’s own iMovie may already be
preinstalled on your computer.
Make sure you have a DVD burner to create
the disc. An option is to copy the video to a USB
thumb drive and plug it into a TV (if it has a
USB port), or upload it to You Tube or Facebook.
Be sure to back up your photos and home videos
by uploading them to a free cloud provider (like
OneDrive, Dropbox, iCloud or Google Drive) and/
or by copying them over to an external hard drive
or USB thumb drive.
Q I’d like to organize my photos from this
summer’s vacation. Can you explain “tagging”
photos and how I do that?
A Most photo programs let you “tag” photos and
videos, which means adding helpful information
to them. These are the electronic equivalents of
the old “write all the details on the back of the
photo” approach taken by our parents and grand-
parents. These identifiers, or tags, make the
photos and videos easy to organize—and easier
to find in your files later when you want to show
them to family and friends. All you do is search
for them with keywords like “kids” or “beach.”
Many photo programs will pull the “metadata”
information, such as date and location, from the
photo file itself; in fact, many modern cameras
automatically add this information to the file
when you take the shot, and they can organize
your photos and videos accordingly. Some pro-
grams go a step further with options to label
photos. With these, you can manually type names,
locations and other keywords for your photos—
one by one, or in a group of photos (called a
“batch” job)—such as “John Smith,” “Miami
Beach,” “;;;;,” “Summer” and “Grampa.”
How you add tags to photos depends on which
program you’re using. In Photo Gallery, for exam-
ple, which ships with Windows ;;, you can click or
tap on the “Descriptive” tab at the top of the screen
to add or manage keywords. Beside that tab is the
“People tag,” which lets you add the name of some-
one in a photo (“Mary Jones” or “Mom”). Finally,
with the “Batch people tag” option in Photo Gallery,
the program can scan all your other photos to look
for the same face and tag it for you (this can really
save time). If it’s unsure of someone, the program
might ask you to confirm who it is with little
thumbnails of the person.
Descriptive and photo tags are just as easy to
add using Apple’s Photos, which is included in
the latest macOS platform. Of course, face detection is nothing new when it comes to digital photography—even sites like Facebook use it—but
it’s getting much more accurate. C
Organizing tips for your summer photos
Marc Saltzman, a leading
high-tech reporter, contributes to more than three dozen
appears on radio and TV,
and is the author of more
than ;; books. He’s on
Saltzman will answer selected
questions in this column.
He regrets that unpublished
questions cannot be
Please include “Marc Saltzman
Q&A” in the subject line.
Q&A with Marc Saltzman
The Costco Connection
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MORE IN ARCHIVES
search “Tech Connection.”
Costco offers a variety of storage devices for your photos,
from external hard drives to
thumb drives, in the warehouses and on Costco.com.
Also, visit the Photo Center in
your local warehouse and on
Costco.com to see creative
possibilities with your photos,
including canvas prints, photo
mugs and plaques.