Picture yourself on holiday, in some remote location, with the kind of picturesque beauty you normally only read of. Imagine being at a family get-together, the kind that only seems to happen once every ten years.
Perhaps you are thinking of an upcoming wedding or birth of a child. No matter what the occasion: you know that you are going to want to take plenty of photos to capture that moment, so that we can remember it for the rest of our lives.
Once upon a time we would pull out the handy camera, and take twenty-four carefully planned and posed photos. With great care, maybe days or even weeks later, we would remove the roll of film and take it to the local chemist to get developed, carefully making sure not to expose the roll of film to light.
Several more hours, or days later, we would then pick up our little bundle of photos, with the negatives carefully tucked inside the packet, ready to put into the photo album when we got home.
I don’t know about you but I have visited places where there are bookshelves lined with photo albums; filled with decades of dusty memories and the walls lined with photographic faces. Then there are others, such as myself, whose photos lie in a shoebox, waiting for the day when they will be put into the mythical photo album. A day which I assure you, will never happen.
To make matters worse, very few of us today, still use an old-style camera, the kind of camera requiring film. If we have a camera at all, it is probably digital. Indeed, most of us, will possess several small electronic devices, with their own built-in cameras, such as a smart phone or tablet.
Where once four to six rolls of film would have been sufficient for most special occasions, now everybody is grabbing their smart phone, or some other electronic device, and taking hundreds, if not thousands, of digital pictures. Special occasions are no longer limited to a roll of film, we have become inundated with thousands, upon thousands of digital memories.
With the thousands of digital memories that were being taken, there seemed to be only two obvious options available to us.
- Carefully select a few, quality pictures, to be printed and then framed any: with the remainder being forgotten
- Store the thousands of digital photos on a flash drive, so that they can be left at the back of some drawer, forgotten and then accidentally deleted
There is however a third option.
Imagine the best of both worlds. The best of the old, where photos could be held, passed around and easily displayed in your home; and also, the best of the new. The new being no limit, to how many photos can be displayed. No longer needing to spend hours carefully putting photos in an album. That third option is a photo frame for digital photos - a digital photo frame.
What Is A Digital Photo Frame?
A digital photo frame is a type of picture frame that is able to display digital photographs without having to use a computer, printer or any other device. Some digital photo frames are also able to show videos, as well as still images. This allows multiple photographs to be shown in the one picture frame.
Many digital photo frames, look like the traditional photo frames that we used to put film based photographs into and are generally designed to be used solely for the purpose of displaying photographs, unlike other electronic devices, which have multiple purposes.
Since a digital photo frame has the sole purpose of displaying photographs, many are designed to look just like traditional photo frames. Digital photo frames come in a variety of different sizes; some as small as a key chain, with others up to 1 ½ feet on their diagonal measurement.
Often the photos to be shown will come from one of several possible memory sources. Some examples of memory sources include built-in memory storage, flash drives, external hard drives and a camera’s memory card.
Some digital photo frames will also be able to access photos wirelessly from various Internet sites. Digital photo frames designed for playing video, commonly have built-in speakers, some even having headphone jacks.
As with all photo frames, they are available in different heights and widths. Although the ratio of the height to widths is likely to be one of the common ratios of 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. Should the photo image you are displaying not fit the height and width of the photo frame, then the image is likely to be cropped, shrunk or stretched.
Benefits Of Digital Photo Frames Over Regular Photo Frames?
For generations we have put photographs developed by the chemist, into a nice picture frame so that they can be displayed somewhere meaningful. There is a certain comfort that comes with the traditional picture frame. It is a physical, tangible way for a photograph to be displayed. Certainly, there is an appeal to the hard reality of photo frames.
Too easily we may forget the disadvantages, however, of a traditional photo frame.
Have you ever seen a traditional photograph in its frame, after it has been dropped and the cover glass broken? Imagine the heartache of damage to a photograph, that for whatever reason is now irreplaceable. Perhaps it was a gift from somebody, perhaps the negatives have been lost.
It doesn’t really matter, at the end of the day that photograph, that meant so much, has been damaged and cannot be replaced or repaired. This need not happen with a digital photo frame. Should some disaster cause the digital photo frame to be broken, it can be easily replaced, and the digital photos reinstalled from a memory device.
Perhaps you have many photographs that you would like to show, but are limited by the space available to display them. With traditional photos, you would need to choose one or two special photographs and have them framed in order to be displayed.
This need no longer be the case. With a digital photo frame, it is possible to have hundreds, if not thousands, of photos displayed. Automatically, and regularly, a photo can change to a new image from the memory storage, constantly providing fresh, new, images to be displayed.
No longer the need for albums to be gathering dust, or to have wall space inundated with picture frames. No longer needing to choose between different pictures, deciding which ones are worth printing and framing, and which to regrettably be forgotten. Now a lifetime of memories can be easily displayed, always available to be seen and never irreplaceable.
On What To Pay Attention On When Buying A Digital Photo Frame
Video Player – Some digital photo frames not only support static photographic images (as you would expect), but also are able to run video clips on them and other multimedia files. If you have taken a brief video clip on your smart phone, you will be able to play this video through your digital photo frame.
Digital photo frames may come with a built-in timer allowing them to be set to automatically turn on and off at whatever times you desire. This can be very useful in terms of saving energy and makes it ideal for places like the office.
While it may seem novel to have a music player built into a picture frame, many digital photo frames have just that.
Imagine seeing your photos from your wedding being shown in your picture frame, not just one photo, but all of them. Now imagine hearing your wedding music playing quietly, ever so faintly, in the background, as your photos are being shown.
Perhaps it’s an exotic holiday from a beach somewhere, the sound of the sea being heard quietly, a gentle reminder of just how good that holiday was. This is the power that a music player provides when it is part of your digital photo frame.
Sometimes with some new piece of technology, there may be questions we need to know the answers to. Some digital photo frame manufacturers, will provide support and help, answering your questions via email. This can be reassuring when buying an unfamiliar piece of technology or giving a gift to someone who may not be technologically savvy.
Many digital photo frames are able to be accessed remotely using Wi-Fi. While they will still have the normal plugs and sockets, such as USB ports, the ability to upload photos and videos to your digital photo frame, without being physically connected to it, is a feature that many users enjoy.
Indeed, it is possible with some digital photo frames to upload photos to them from a different location. While this might seem a less than useful feature, this actually allows people to provide new and fresh photos, to family and friends living far away.
Traditional photo frames, such as those that may adorn your walls, have the one static image, which soon blends into the background with familiarity. One of the advantages offered by many digital photo frames, is the ability to automatically have your photos changing to a new photo regularly.
No longer will a photo blend into the background after only a few weeks, now there will be several new photos every minute. This one feature helps bring will photographic memories to life.
Some optional features you may want to know about:
As with any piece of modern electronics, it is not uncommon for some digital photo frames to come with a remote-control device. This certainly is not a feature of all digital photo frames but it may be a worthwhile one to consider.
Some, though not all, digital photo frames even have a built-in motion sensor in order to determine when to power up the screen (when people are present in the room) and also when to power the screen down (when people leave).
I imagine this feature could be particularly useful if you wanted to have a digital photo frame in a room that was not frequently used. It could be a boardroom at the office, or the spare bedroom down the hall; either way this feature could be quite useful for the right space.
While this may sound strange, or futuristic, some digital photo frames will have their own email address. This allows you to email photos to your digital photo frame’s email address and they will be automatically uploaded to your digital photo frame, available to be shown.
While this feature may sound unnecessary to some, it does mean that you can send photos to friends and family in other places, without needing to post them on social media.
How Do Digital Photo Frames Work?
In essence, a digital photo frame is a small LCD screen that has been designed to look like the more traditional photo frames we are used to seeing. The digital photo frame typically contains an internal memory source, and an access port for connecting to external memory devices.
The most common access ports are typically a USB port and/or a memory card reader. The memory card reader allows a person to plug in a memory card, such as that found in a digital camera, and to upload photos from that.
Wi-Fi or Bluetooth can also sometimes be available for wireless connectivity, allowing photographs to be sourced from the Internet, including on some occasions social media websites.
The digital photo frame will then access the photographs stored externally, either your external memory device, memory card or the Internet. These photographs will then be shown on the LCD display of the digital photo frame.
There are three possible sources of power for your digital photo frame.
A digital photo frame is commonly powered using the standard household electrical outlet (AC power) via a transformer, similar to that used to charge many other small electronic devices.
Some digital photo frames may also have a built-in rechargeable battery, allowing them to be charged when connected to the power, and then can be disconnected and moved about. This could be an ideal option for people wanting to pass a digital photo frame around at family gatherings.
Some digital photo frames are also able to be powered by disposable batteries, such as AAA batteries.
This truly allows for a range of different powering options for your digital photo frame and provides you with the means to power your digital photo frame, the best way for what you want.
Why Digital Photo Frames Make The Best Gifts For Your Loved Ones
Have you ever stopped and asked yourself why we take photographs? A photograph is a keepsake; a visual reminder to aid our memory when time has passed. A photograph is more than just an image, more than just some digital file, or piece of photographic paper, to be forgotten.
Photographs are meant to be seen. Photographs need to be seen. For an unseen photograph is pointless.
A digital photo frame is more than just a gift. It is a way of keeping memories alive, allowing special occasions to never be forgotten. One of the most important things in life, is the love we have for our friends and family.
It is when we look at a photograph and remember a special occasion, or the special people in our lives, that we remember the love, joy, excitement or any of a hundred other uplifting feelings that we felt at the time.
A digital photo frame gives another person the means to show the photographs that are important to them, allowing them the chance to re-experience the good times over and over again. A digital photo frame allows someone to vicariously enjoy the good times in life, over and over again.
Perhaps it was a wedding and you want your friends and family to remember the joy and love of your special day. It could be the holiday of a lifetime when we all had so much fun. Maybe it was the family gathering last Christmas, when out of the ordinary everyone managed to be there.
It is moments like these that truly make our lives what they are. What better gift could there be for a loved one, a friend, or a colleague, then a digital photo frame providing a window into the wonderful memories of the past.
Maintaining And Cleaning Your Digital Photo Frame
When it comes to cleaning your digital photo frame you will need to take the level of care that you would ordinarily take with other electronic devices. It should hopefully be obvious that your digital photo frame should not be washed in the sink with the dishes and then left to dry in the dish rack.
All joking aside, before you start cleaning your digital photo frame you should ensure that the power has been turned off, and unless you are using only a dry cloth, you may want to also unplug the power connector.
A dry cotton (or similar lint free) cloth can be used to remove any dust, and most spots, that might appear on your digital photo frame. If a spot is being particularly stubborn, you may use a slightly damp electrostatic cloth instead. Make sure that the cloth is merely damp, not wet, and never pour or spray water, or any other liquid, directly onto your digital photo frame.
Since a digital photo frame is much like a traditional photo frame in many ways, you will find that many people will want to hold the frame or pass it around to others. This means that fingerprints are common on the LCD screen and the edge of your digital photo frame.
Do NOT use an abrasive chemical cleaner, such as ammonia or an alcohol-based cleaner; as such chemical cleaners may damage the screen or the frame, and will not be covered by any manufacturer’s warranty.
There are as many different reasons for taking photographs as there are people. Some of us will take photographs to remember the past, allowing us to reminisce about the good times, almost as if we were living the experience again. Some of us will take photographs as we plan for the future.
Whatever the reasons for taking photographs they are there to be seen. A photograph is there to help us remember the past, and not to lie around in dusty albums or shoeboxes, as the photo and the memories contained within, are slowly forgotten.
A digital photo frame has the benefit of providing a tangible, physical, frame for photographs that can be displayed, handled and be passed around at gatherings of friends and family.
Since a digital photo frame is not limited by the number of photos that can be displayed, we no longer have to painstakingly choose which photographs will be shown, and which will not.
We now have the ability to so easily take hundreds, if not thousands, of photos, in our daily lives. It is a shame to limit how many of them we display.
Some people will post their many digital photographs on social media however social media has become the dumping ground for people’s digital memories. So many of those photos placed on social media will be ignored by many of the people they were intended for, and will also be inaccessible to others whom you may want being able to see them.
Imagine being able to display those millions of memories in our own homes, or those of our friends and family, in a meaningful way.
If you are looking for a wonderful gift for your friends, family or colleagues; you need look no further than a digital photo frame. The holder of millions of memories.