What I learned in my Digital Photography Class, Part 12
It seems to me that "archiving" is just a fancy way of saying "saving." Until I took this class, I felt that saving my photos to the hard drive and to an online album like Picasa was good enough. However, I guess when you really take a lot of digital photos you might want to also put them on a CD. When doing this you can print an index to go along with the CD. And, of course, you can print your pictures as well, but you should know a few things about that.
Because I take photos mainly for my blog, I haven't had anything from my digital camera printed yet and didn't know anything about the process. I discovered that you transport the photos to the photo lab by first downloading them to your flash drive or to a CD.
I was interested, and a little dismayed, to find out that regular commercial printers will automatically crop your digital photos on all sides by 5%. You should certainly keep this in mind while shooting, or you can just decide to go to a custom printer, where you can get your photos printed exactly the way you want, and have them enlarged (all the way up to poster size) or printed on specialty papers and even on canvas.
Again, because I have thought of taking photos only to put online, I hadn't really thought about displaying them anywhere else. However, our instructor encouraged us to print and frame the best of our shots and to hang them at home. He suggested grouping framed photos by theme, or getting the best of the best enlarged to "painting"-size. It's a good way to look even more deeply into your photo results, and a guaranteed method for getting some feedback.
He also suggested using those digital photo frames that automatically run a slide show of photos that have been downloaded. This was another "aha" moment for me, as we got one of these for Christmas a couple of years ago and I didn't even realize that I could add photos to the collection that was already downloaded. (Another case of not reading the whole manual!)