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Dealing with Digital Photos

📄 Contents

  1. Getting Photos onto Your PC
  2. Viewing Photos
  3. Fixing Your Photos
Windows 8 comes with some tools that help you view and perform some basic and helpful photo-related tasks. This chapter provides you with the details.

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A digital photo is a photographic image that, instead of residing on film (which those of us of a certain age still remember) or as a print, resides on your PC’s hard drive or on a memory card. The “digital” part just means that the photo consists of the same electronic bits and pieces as anything else that’s stored on your PC—files, documents, apps, and so on. Having your photos in digital form makes it easy to organize and view your photos, run a slideshow, and manipulate your photos (for example, by removing bits of the photo you don’t want).

Windows 8 isn’t a digital photo powerhouse by any stretch of the imagination, but it does come with some tools that help you perform these and a few other photo-related tasks. This chapter provides you with the details.

Getting Photos onto Your PC

You can’t do much of anything with Windows 8’s photo tools until you get some honest-to-goodness photos on your PC. Fortunately, Windows 8 can help here by offering a wealth of ways to get digital photos from out there to in here. In all, there are four methods you can use, and the next four sections take you through the necessary steps.

Transferring Photos from a Digital Camera

The most common scenario these days is to take a bunch of photos using a digital camera, which might be either a dedicated camera or a smartphone that comes with a camera feature. Either way, your next chore is to transfer some or all of those photos from the camera to your PC.

Begin by connecting your digital camera to your PC. How you proceed from here depends on whether this is the first time you’re connecting your camera. Here are the various possibilities:

  • Connecting your digital camera for the first time—In this case, after a few seconds you see a notification similar to the one shown in Figure 7.1. Select the notification to see a list of actions you can perform with the camera and then select Import Photos and Videos. Windows displays a list of the photos on the digital camera.
    Figure 7.1

    Figure 7.1. You see a notification similar to the one shown here the first time you connect your digital camera.

  • Connecting your digital camera after the first time—Since you’ve already told Windows what action you want to take when you connect your digital camera, Windows just goes ahead and performs that action automatically. In this case, Windows displays a list of the photos on the digital camera.
  • Connecting your digital camera does nothing or you miss the notification—If nothing happens when you connect your digital camera, or if the notification disappears before you have a chance to select it, you’re not out of luck. On the Windows 8 Start screen, select the Photos tile to launch the Photos app. Right-click the screen (or swipe up from the bottom edge of a touchscreen) and then select Import. In the Choose a Device to Import From dialog box (see Figure 7.2), select your digital camera. Windows displays a list of the photos on the digital camera.
    Figure 7.2

    Figure 7.2. Open the Photos app, display the app bar, select Import, and then select your camera.

Whichever scenario you’re in, you end up seeing a list of the photos on the digital camera. Follow these steps to proceed from here:

  1. Select Clear Selection.
  2. Select each photo you want to import. The Photos app adds a check mark to the upper-right corner of each selected photo, as shown in Figure 7.3.
    Figure 7.3

    Figure 7.3. Photos selected for import have a check mark in the upper-right corner.

  3. Use the text box at the bottom of the screen to type a name for the folder that Windows 8 will use to store the photos.
  4. Select Import. Windows 8 imports the photos to your PC.

When the import is complete, you can either select Open Folder to display the photo files or press Windows Logo to return to the Start screen.

Transferring Photos from a Memory Card

If your photos are located on a memory card, the import process is similar:

  1. Insert the memory card.
  2. As with a digital camera, the next step you take depends on whether you’ve inserted a memory card previously:
    • If this is the first time you’ve inserted the memory card, you see a notification like the one shown in Figure 7.4. Select the notification that appears and then select Import Photos and Videos.
      Figure 7.4

      Figure 7.4. You see a notification similar to the one shown here the first time you insert a memory card.

    • If you’ve inserted the memory card before, Windows 8 should take you straight to the list of photos on the card, so you don’t need to do anything at this stage.
    • If Windows 8 does nothing when you insert the memory card, open the Photos app, right-click the screen (or swipe up from the bottom edge), select Import, and then select your memory card.
  3. When Windows displays a list of the photos on the memory card, select Clear Selection.
  4. Select each photo you want to import.
  5. Use the text box at the bottom of the screen to type a name for the folder that Windows 8 will use to store the photos.
  6. Select Import. Windows 8 imports the photos to your PC.

Scanning a Photo

If you have a document scanner or a multifunction printer that includes a scanning feature, you can use it to turn a hard-copy photo into a digital photo on your PC. Windows 8 comes with a Scanner and Camera Wizard to give you a step-by-step method for scanning photos. First, place the photo on the scanner glass. Then launch the Scanner and Camera Wizard using either of the following methods:

  • If your printer has some kind of scan button, press that button.
  • On the Start screen, press Windows Logo+W, type devices, select Devices and Printers, select your printer, and then select Start Scan.

Whichever method you choose, you see the New Scan dialog box. You can select the Preview button to see what your image will look like before fiddling with any of the options or committing yourself to the scan. A preview of your scan appears as shown in Figure 7.5.

Figure 7.5

Figure 7.5. You use the New Scan dialog box to scan a photo from a multifunction printer.

If the dotted rectangle in the preview area isn’t the same size as the image, click and drag the bottom-right corner of the rectangle to make it the same size (as I’ve done in Figure 7.5).

When you’re ready to scan, select Scan. After Windows 8 scans the image, the Importing Pictures and Videos dialog box appears. Select the Import All New Items Now option, type a name for the image in the text box, and then select Import.

Taking a Photo with the PC’s Camera

If your PC has either a built-in camera or an external camera connected to a USB port, you can use the Windows Camera app to take a picture. This feature is great for self-portraits, but you can also take shots of your surroundings, particularly if you’re using a tablet PC that has a rear camera.

Follow these steps to take a picture using the Camera app:

  1. On the Start screen, select the Camera tile to open the Camera app. The first time you do this, Windows 8 asks if the Camera app can use your camera (which Windows 8 called a webcam) and microphone.
  2. Select Allow. The Camera app loads and you see a live shot of yourself (or something near you, depending on where your PC’s camera is pointing).
  3. Aim your camera as needed.
  4. If you’d like the Camera app to delay slightly before taking the shot, select Timer. (Note: This button is “on” when it has a white background.)
  5. If you want to take a video instead of a photo, select the Video Mode button. (Again, this button is “on” when it has a white background.)
  6. Click or tap the screen. If you turned on Timer mode, there’s a three-second delay before you hear a shutter noise and the Camera app snaps a photo. If you’re recording a video, the app beeps and then begins the recording.
  7. If you’re recording a video, click or tap the screen when you’re done.

The Camera app saves your photo or video into a new album called Webcam that it adds to your Pictures library (see the next section to learn more about this library).

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