Yesterday in class we experimented a little with photo sharing. We created accounts on Flickr, and poked around finding some images to upload.
We started out by talking a little bit about copyright, and the value of images released into the public domain. I wound up using 10 images of fish that I found on stockvault.net. After finding some content, we used the lab’s Photoshop Elements to optimize the images for the web. We’d started out with high-res imagery, which is really about the last thing you want to put up on Flickr: the file sizes are just huge. So in Photoshop Elements we adjusted the size of the images (a few inches high rather than the original size of thousands of pixels) as well as the pixel density (down to a web optimized setting of 72 or 96 pixels per inch, rather than 300ppi, which is itself really geared for print).
Anyway, I figured out how to make Photoshop Elements batch process the photos, and apply the same settings to each image rather than me having to resample and resize each image individually. It saved the results into a folder, and then I batch uploaded the pics to Flickr – which by the way works in Internet Explorer, but not in Firefox, at least when I tried it. Once they were there I still needed to rename them, because the batch process had just created filenames that were a meaningless number – so I went and named everything appropriately – goldfish, seashell, etc.
Oh, before I forget, I should probably put up a link to my little play gallery on Flickr.
I’d really only dabbled a little bit in photo sharing previously; I have a handful of pictures up on Facebook. My wife and I have a ton of pictures, though. Right now they’re all on a file server at home, but it would probably be a good idea to look into archiving them all off-site somewhere in case the hard drives fail (had that happen once, bye bye $1000 for data recovery… we use mirrored RAID on the home file server now, lesson learned).
The question then would be what’s the best way? Flickr, Picasa, Facebook, Myspace, something else? For that matter, it might make the most sense just to put the stuff up on our own domains, and just use some open source web gallery software. Reason being, we have far more than 100 megabytes of images (which if I remember right is the maximum Flickr will let you upload, and if the others are much like Flickr, they’re going to a little sparing in how much free server space they’re going to offer us. They’re not in the business to be our free storage, I suppose.
That 100MB limit by the way is yet another very good reason to doctor your photos with Photoshop or some other software (there are several good open source options, like the Gimp, short for the GNU Image Manipulation Program) before you upload. Space is generally at a premium when someone’s giving you some for nothing! Google excepted possibly… if they’re giving me 8 gigs of email space I’ll be curious to see how much space I get to play with on Picasa.