Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Geoff Rasmussen's Digital Imaging Essentials

My friend, Geoff Rasmussen has published a very helpful book entitled Digital Imaging Essentials. The book is available in both PDF and paper editions. He kindly gave me a copy for review and I spent some time reading the book. As you may know from my past posts, this is a topic near and dear to my heart since I am in the process of digitizing thousands of negatives inherited from my Great-grandmother. I have taught some classes recently on scanning and I know how hard it is to make this subject understandable without getting into a lot of technical jargon. I believe Geoff has succeeded admirably in writing a book that is both entertaining and has just enough technical explanations to make it useful.

This book concentrates on the essentials. It is not a technical handbook for the advanced photographer or photo editor. It does cover the basics of two extremely good programs, Photoshop Elements and Google's Picasa. If you are not acquainted with these programs, this book is an invaluable introduction.

Preserving our photographic heritage is a subject of vital interest both to us as genealogists and to our larger society. There is certainly a lot more that could be said on the subject, but if you are new to scanning and digitizing, Geoff's book deserves a look. Geoff Rasmussen works for Millennia Corporation, the publishers of Legacy Family Tree software. I have used Legacy for years and it is one of the top software programs for keeping you genealogical data.

One of the great challenges of genealogical research in the past was the limited ability researchers had to share copies of valuable documents and photographs. My Great-grandmother used her photographic skills to take pictures of earlier photographs in an attempt to copy them for her book on her family's genealogy. The results are usually less than adequate. However, with the new technology such reproduction is relatively simple and accessible to anyone who has an interest in preserving their heritage.

Geoff's book is a good place to start on this pursuit. Take a look. Here is the information about the book from the catalog entry:

150 pages | To be published Nov 2012 | Perfect-bound Paperback | 8.5" x 11" | Black/white
This book is also available in electronic format.
Genealogists use digital imaging technology every day. But what they do not know about it can harm their digital treasures. They have needed a comprehensive, easy-to-read guide, full of illustrated step-by-step instructions to learn how to digitize, organize, preserve, share, and backup their digital collections.
Your wait is over. You now have Digital Imaging Essentials: Techniques and Tips for Genealogists and Family Historians at your fingertips. There are some books that are meant for the coffee table, but this book belongs with you at your computer.
From the very first page you will notice that this book is much more than a boring instructional manual - it is full of real-life examples that not only teach you the right buttons to push, but it thoroughly explains how to get the most of your digital imaging experience. AND this book is written specifically for genealogists!
  • The do-it-right-the-first-time techniques of scanning old documents, and snapping pictures with your digital camera.
  • How to finally get organized so that you can locate any digital image in under a minute.
  • Which file formats and file saving techniques to use to properly preserve your digital images.
  • How to use Adobe's Photoshop Elements and Google's Picasa with illustrated, step-by-step instructions and learn about other software choices.
  • How to privately or publicly share your images and videos via printing, emailing, Dropbox, CDs, DVDs, or online via cloud technology.
  • How to access your digital media from any Internet-connected device including your smart phone or tablet.
  • How to develop a backup strategy to protect your collections from digital disaster.
So if you are ready to take your digital pictures to the next level, go ahead, open the book, and have fun!


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  3. The Book sounds really good, can't wait.

  4. Thanks for sharing the photoshop tutorials here. Keep up the good work. All the best.

  5. Even my friend has recommended this book to me. Guess I really have to buy it now.