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January 3, 2012

New Year, New You – Managing and sharing your photos

I have over a decade’s worth of digital photos on my PC. I love taking photos. I love capturing the moment where ever that might be – with friends and family over the holidays or out in the middle of no-where in eastern Washington State. Most people have tons of digital photos on their PC scattered around – and Windows Live Photo Gallery makes it super easy to manage those photos, edit them, and then share them out to anyone you want. In a post earlier today, Kristina shared 3 super easy tips for shaping up your technology habits in 2012. She included a tip on the batch people tag feature in Photo Gallery. I thought I would share a few more tips specific to Photo Gallery that will help you better manage your photos in 2012!

Tip #1: Organizing

By default, whenever you import photos into Photo Gallery from your camera, it puts the photos in your “My Pictures” folder under your user profile in Windows. I like to keep ALL my photos in this folder. And Photo Gallery makes managing this folder of your photos super easy – allowing you to create sub-folders and to drag and drop your photos into any folder you like. You can organize your photos exactly the way you want them to be organized on your PC. By default, when you import photos from a camera in Photo Gallery, it creates a folder with whatever you name the photos you are importing. For example: if you name the photos you are importing “Beach”, a folder called “Beach” is created with those photos inside. For a lot of folks, this might work out fine. But for me, it doesn’t. For me – I like to have everything organized by date.


So I change the default behavior by clicking on “More options” on the “Import Photos and Videos” screen.


For “Folder name”, I change it to be “Date Taken + Name”. That means for any photos I import from my camera in Photo Gallery, Photo Gallery will detect the date taken from the camera and combine that date with whatever name I give the photos I am importing. For example: if you name the photos you are importing “Beach” and they were taken on 1/3/2012, a folder is created called “2011-01-03 Beach” with those photos inside. This allows me to automatically organize any photo I import from my cameras in Photo Gallery by date! In the left-hand navigation you’ll see something that looks like this:


Tip #2: Panoramic Stitch

I love creating panoramic stitches in Photo Gallery. Everywhere I go with my camera, I am always thinking about what series of shots will make the best panoramic photo when stitched together. Creating a panoramic stitch is easy:

1. Where ever you’re at with your camera, just stand in one spot and pan from left to right taking a series of photos one by one.

2. Then, import your photos into Photo Gallery from your camera.

3. Select the series of photos you took at that spot go to the “Create” tab in the ribbon at the top of Photo Gallery.

4. Click the “Panorama” button.

And Photo Gallery will stitch together your photos and create a panoramic shot. Now, after your panoramic stitch is created, it might look like this (notice the black areas around the borders?):

DSC02020 Stitch

The black areas can be easily removed by simply using the “Crop” feature in Photo Gallery under the “Edit” tab in the ribbon. You can crop your panoramic stitch however you like.


The end result should be something like this:

DSC02020 Stitch (2)

Creating panoramic stitches is something that can be done with almost any camera – from a little point-and-shoot to a DSLR. You can even use photos from your Windows Phone and stitch them together too!

Tip #3: Sharing

Organizing and editing your photos is just one element to Photo Gallery. It also makes it easy to share those photos with the people you want to share them with. You can share your photos to Facebook, Flickr, or of course SkyDrive simply by choosing any of these options under the “Share” section of the ribbon on the “Home” tab in Photo Gallery. Early this last summer, we introduced a major update to SkyDrive (and it was updated again this last fall) to make it the best place to access and share your content – including your photos.


SkyDrive displays your photos in a “mosaic” layout and displays the photos in their original aspect ratio. There also infinite scrolling – meaning for folders in SkyDrive with tons of photos, you won’t have to navigate from page to page!


When you click on a photo, it puts the photo front-and-center – displaying your caption (description of the photo), tags, comments and more!


SkyDrive is an absolutely awesome way to share photos with friends and family!

I hope these tips help you organize and share your photos with Windows Live Photo Gallery, your PC and SkyDrive in 2012. Download Windows Live Photo Gallery today!