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Love the LifePoster  
Click. Click. Click.  Snapping digital photos has never been easier.  Sharing them is getting pretty boring these days, with all the websites allowing a hum-drum interface that is basically the same.  TechLife is always looking for new ways to spice up photo sharing, and today we have great entry, in the free Postcard Viewer!

People love their digital cameras.  They love them as low-end phones, high-end DSLRs, and handy point and click models.  Readers of TechLife also love our Picasa LifePoster article.   It still gets comments.  I think people enjoy finding unique ways to use their digital photos other than printing them out one at a time.  This article is considered “graduate level” and assumes the reader has read the previous LifePoster article and the first Picasa article from TechLife. 

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Starting in the Middle
I recently needed to display all the photos for the Jessica Shayne Magid Family Golf Tournament, a charity golf outing.  Postcard Viewer was a great choice to show off all the great shots from both a point and click and professional photographer Jack Hoyt.  Here are the tools I used:  Picasa with all my digital photos already imported, Postcard Viewer Template for Picasa, a website account where I planned to upload the files (FTP).

Zooming in has never been so easy. 

The first thing I did was install the Postcard Viewer Template. I copied the files to Picasa’s templates folder, often located: C:\Program Files\Picasa2\web\templates .

Picasa, making image management FREE and easy 
Next I opened Picasa and grouped my golf outing’s images together so they were ready for the Postcard Viewer. After selecting all the images I wanted, I clicked the menu Folder, Export as Web Page.  I chose the smallest image size (320 pixels) as I was using 140 photos and didn’t want huge file sizes.  I gave the Web Page a name and selected my download location.

I next selected the Web Page Template, Postcard Viewer and clicked finish.  With 140 photos it took a long time but eventually a browser window opened up with all my photos. 

Postcard Viewer Dialog Box. 

I didn’t love the initial layout so I decided to tweak it.  Edit the file you generated, “imageData.xml” using a text editor. 

  • cellDimension – adjust the height and width of the square with your images in pixels
  • columns – set the number columns
  • zoomOutPerc – adjustable value to show off all the images, set lower to fit more images
  • zoomInPerc – adjustable value when viewing a single image
  • frameWidth – adjustable border width for images in pixels

In the final step I FTP’d or transferred the whole directory to the web server and updated main page with a link to let visitors know they could view the photos.  The response was great.

Care to Comment?

Golfers, Volunteers and others commented how easy it was to browse the photos and how much fun they had with the viewer.  Are you inspired to create that Animated LifePoster masterpiece?  Visit TechLife comments and post a comment below with a link to your photo visions.   And remember what Ansel Adams said about photography being, “an austere and blazing poetry of the real.”  Go tell your story.

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