Want to preserve your old family photos and use your TV screen to view your photos, memories, and albums?  Read on!

Learn how to digitize your old photos, organize them, enhance and crop for best effects, and create logical albums for viewing on your TV or any other electronic device.

You already have the computer or laptop; the only software you will need is a photo editor/organizer such as Windows Photo Gallery (WPG) or Picasa.  You may be able to use your all-in-one printer/scanner or you might want to invest in a new flatbed scanner for around $200 that can also do slides.  The flatbed scanner can also do the basics like cropping and color correction.  And Google has just come out with PhotoScan, an exciting new app for your smartphone.  It does a good job at removing glare and yields a scan with very decent resolution on your phone and pairs perfectly with Google Photos.

The class will cover the basics of scanning including resolution, scale, and file types.  We will examine both HP and Epson flatbed scanners and also your basic all-in-one printer.  I will take you step by step through the scanning process. 

As you may know Google dropped support for Picasa.  All this means is there will be no more updates, you cannot download Picasa from Google, and you cannot use Picasa Web Albums for sharing.  But you can still use the program as a photo editor and I will provide CD installers for anyone wanting to use it.

We will look at Picasa's successor Google Photos as a means to edit, organize, and backup the masses of current photos we acquire in our everyday lives. And with the $35 chromecast you can display all these photos on your TV with just a single click on your phone.  However, this is not a great way to deal with the historical photos we are scanning, which is the focus of this class.

Using Picasa or WPG, we will preserve the metadata for each scan with the people tab using facial recognition to identify people in the photo, the places tab that puts the photo on a map, and the tags which allow us to enter any other information about each scan.  And let's not forget about organizing all these scans into a logical arrangement that makes them easy to find.

So now let's edit those photos if you haven't already done so in the scanning process.  You can straighten and crop them, adjust the color, shading, and fill light, and correct red eye.  Blemish touchup and sharpening are also available. There are many special effects such as borders- both sharp and soft, sepia, soft focus, and more. In Picasa you can add text to the body of the photo to identify people along with dates, places, or events.

Another great feature in Picasa is the collage.  This allows you to place one or more pictures onto a single image...as well as tilt the pictures, resize them, add text anywhere, and choose the background and text color. This is very useful for single vertically oriented photos.  Put one such image in a collage and now you can put text off to the side of the image.

As you edit your best pictures, add them to an album.  Once you are done and have previewed the album, "export" it for permanency.  This exported album can be dragged to a flash drive or burned to a DVD for your viewing pleasure.

After you have created these masterpieces, you will want to backup your work, both to an external hard drive and to the cloud.  Then it's time to share them. We will use Google Drive for backup and Shutterfly as a free sharing service for family and friends.

The variety of albums are endless:  Family history based on lineage, dates, and places; recent trips or special events like graduations and weddings; office parties or memorial services; a "family journey" album for each year with events, travels, kids, holidays, etc; even your household inventory becomes an easy chore.

So now what's your story to share and preserve?