Organize and Edit Your Photos
You just took great pictures, now what? You may have a bunch of pictures on your computer's hard drive with the default file names, such as "22343.jpg." How do you find that cute picture of the kids making their first snowman? How do you remove that annoying red-eye? How do you turn these photos into Christmas cards?
You can download a free program from Google called Picasa. Picasa lets you visually organize your photos, so it doesn't matter if you changed the default file name. You can also edit, crop, remove red-eye, and apply basic filters to your photos. It even lets you view and organize home movie files and upload them to YouTube. Picasa is capable of viewing all the photos on your computer instead of just the photos in certain folders. That's a blessing for the disorganized photographer.
You can also sync these photos online using Picasa Web Albums.
Share Your Photos
Once your photos look fantastic, you can share them with your friends and family. You can print directly from Picasa to your home inkjet printer, or you can order prints online from professional photo finishers. That comes in handy for making holiday greeting cards or birth announcements. You can also burn custom slide-shows from your photos and give them out on CD.
Another way to keep your family and friends updated is by sharing pictures on the Internet. You can use Picasa's email button to send photos to your loved ones. This works well with Google's free email tool, Gmail. Gmail gives users a large amount of storage, which comes in handy for sending pictures.
Pictures in Picasa or even in iPhoto can be uploaded to a free Picasa Web Albums account. It's a little easier to do this from Picasa, because you can set it up for automatic syncing. Picasa Web Albums lets you post your photos either publicly or privately, and it lets you link to the Picasa Web Albums your friends or family create. It's an easy way to posts your photos without having to buy Web space or know HTML. Storage space is limited for high quality photos, but Web quality photos - for sharing online and not printing - are unlimited. You can pay extra for more storage space if you'd like to use Picasa Web Albums to store your print-quality photos.
Blog about Your Photos
Better than just talking, blog about it. A blog is a form of online journal. Google's free service, Blogger lets you easily create and maintain your own blog. You can post photos to your Blogger account directly from Picasa, or you can upload them from Blogger. Every Blogger account is associated with your Google Account's Picasa album, and the same storage rules apply.
Tell your friends and family what's going on in your life and show them the pictures to prove it. Your mother will forget to complain that you never call, because she'll always feel in touch. You can also use Blogger as part of a blogging community to get feedback and tips from other photographers.
- Sign up for a Blogger account at www.blogger.com.
Make and Share Movies
Many digital cameras these days also can take short video shots. You can also create your own photo slide-show movies from Picasa or iPhoto. Rather than pulling out the movies when family come to visit, you can upload them to the Web with YouTube. You can post your uploaded videos to your Blogger blog.
Google+ Your Photos
Google is increasingly focusing on Google+, a social networking, sharing, video conferencing, and pretty much everything Google tool. If you use an Android phone, you can set the phone to automatically share your photos to Google+. If you upload your photos to Picasa Web, the photos are also available in your Google+ account.
Not too long ago, Google added photo editing and retouching abilities to Google+. You can crop, rotate, add effects, and do basically the same sorts of editing that you'd do within Picasa through Google+. It's not using high resolution images, so you'll still need your desktop editing software for that, but Google+ is great for getting that quick photo share framed just right.