How To Use an Online Photo Printing Service
By Dave Taylor
The Question:I am a newbie when it comes to digital photography and while I’ve finally figured out how to get photos onto my Dell laptop from my Sony camera, I can’t figure out how to take the next step and get actual prints of my favorite pictures. I don’t want to actually buy a photo printer, I just want to send them to the local photo store to make some 4×6 prints. I’m running Windows 7 and my digital camera is a little WX150.
You’ve identified one of the more tricky parts of digital photography, actually: going from digital to analog. If you want to have a screen saver, email photos to your friends and family, share them from an iPad or other tablet or post them to Facebook or what-have-you, it’s easy. But once you cross the divide from what you’re seeing in digital form (even on your camera itself) and want to have a print that you can hold, it’s definitely more work and more prone to be confusing, neophyte or expert.
It’s so difficult that some camera manufacturers advertise that their camera can talk directly to a photo printer or can upload photos to a printing service. There are also self-serve photo printing systems at retailers like Target.com that let you plug in your camera’s SD Card or other memory card and print directly from that. Helpful, but it’s not “order from home” convenient.
Fortunately, Microsoft’s got you covered in this case with Windows Live Photo Gallery. Don’t have it yet? You can grab it as part of the must-download Windows Live Essentials. Click and download. It’s worth it.
Great. Now open up the photo you want to print with Photo Gallery and look on the top left of the window. It’ll look like this:
Lots of cool things you can do to tweak and modify your photo (try out the different color filters, for example), but to make a print, click on “Create” on the very top. Now you’ll see the Create options:
You can guess “Order prints” is your choice, and it is! Click on it if that’s what you want to do. If not, notice you can share to Facebook, copy it up to your SkyDrive account, and lots more, right from within Live Photo Gallery. Easy enough!
This post is excerpted with permission from Dave Taylor.
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