Sharing your photos online

One of the best things about our digitally connected world is the opportunity to share the photographs we take.  One of the questions I get asked often is “What is the best place online to put my photos?”  Just like the answer to what camera should I buy, the response is “What do you want to do with them?”  There seem to be three major categories: the Family Snapshot services, the Social Media sites, and the “photography” sites.  There is also an important additional category for professional use as well.   Each provide valuable services and have their own sets of issues. The Family Snapshot Services

The days of dropping off a roll of film at the PhotoHut and picking up an envelope with the prints and negatives have gone the way of the 8-track.  In those days, once you took the picture you had little control over the output.  Now you can upload photos, perform some simple cropping and editing and get inexpensive prints.  Or more importantly, you can now share your photographs with people around the country and they can print them, themselves.  Perfect in the days of distributed families for keeping Grandma’s fridge covered with the latest pictures.

These sites allow you to control who sees the pictures and often require passwords to log in and see the albums.    They produce decent quality pictures and seem to be developing new products every day, such as mouse pads, blankets and coffee mugs with your photos on them.

http://www.snapfish.com/

http://www.shutterfly.com/nav/signedOutShare.sfly

http://www.costco.com/PhotoCenter/PhotoCenter.aspx?cat=2781&cm_re=1_en-_-Top_Right_Nav2-_-Top_photo&lang=en-US

The Social Media Sites

Everyone including us now has Facebook pages and they provide great opportunities to find and stay connected to friends, family and communities of interest.  Aside from the truly annoying things such as Farmville, these sites provide great tools to share pictures as well as commentary.  You can create albums as well as tag people in those photos.  The file sizes aren’t that big, but people need to understand that by posting their images there, they can come back to haunt you.    There have been lots of really false rumors that these sites “own” your pictures if you put them on line.  This is just flat out false.  Of course you have to properly mark and register your pictures if you want to have any chance of successful legal action, but according to the terms of use:

“We respect the intellectual property rights of others and we prohibit users from posting content that violates another party's intellectual property rights. When we receive a proper claim of IP infringement, we promptly remove or disable access to the allegedly infringing content. We also terminate the accounts of repeat infringers in appropriate circumstances.”

www.facebook.com  Ubiquitous social media app where of course you now can find efcubed!

http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=935#!/pages/EFCubed/292255329028?ref=ts

 How is that for self referential?

www.myspace.com  Usage seems to be fading, but the original site for artists to share new music and find new fans

www.classmates.com  Organized by college and HS class, designed to answer the question, “Whatever happened to …?”

The Photography Sites

These are the places where people who are getting more serious about their pictures tend to go.  The pictures here cover every topic including stuff that is not appropriate for work.  Some of it is breathtakingly beautiful, some are just bad.

www.flickr.com  Flickr is a free service with limited storage and if you buy a Pro account, you get more features.  It does not allow commerce.

The pictures here cover every topic including stuff that is not appropriate for work.  Some of it is breathtakingly beautiful, some are just bad.  You can search by keywords or just randomly.  I keep many of my photos here.

There are groups out there who comb the site looking for pictures they like and inviting you to join.  I’ve been fortunate and had a couple selected

www.pbase.com  PBase is a pay service that allows you to create and customize your galleries.  Roger’s photos http://www.pbase.com/radjr, as well as our Fauquier Viewfinder Camera Club sites are there.  http://www.pbase.com/viewfinders

www.photo.net

This is the most serious of the photo sites, the photographs are generally top notch and you can get quality critiques if you request them.  It does have a lot of nudes, but the search window is designed to exclude them if that bothers you. 

Here is a link to one of my favorite artists  Barry Walthall.  He shoots colored ribbons and marbles—and they are unique and breathtaking. 

http://photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=352882

So go explore, find the site that suits your needs best and let us see some pictures.