“Take Control of Your Digital Photos,” Chapter 8
An old printed photo is precious often because it’s the only copy that exists. In the digital age, that type of scarcity isn’t a problem. You can easily make copies of a photo or have inexpensive prints made. And yet, digital photos suffer from a different type of scarcity: one hard drive failure can wipe out your photos — all of your photos — in an instant. The solution is to ensure you have a solid backup system in place. You also want to make sure you can view your photos in the distant future. Unfortunately, as I discuss at the end of this chapter, that isn’t an easy guarantee given how software and hardware will change over the years.
Are you going to address the Elephant in the room, namely, which photo sharing services/sites you like and why? It's daunting to try and navigate Flickr vs SmugMug vs FB vs PIcasa/Google+ vs Photostream...
Any advice would be appreciated!
Right now I view photo sharing sites as something parallel to the workflow I describe in the book. They have their specific uses. Some thoughts based on my experience:
- I have a Flickr account from several years ago that I update frequently. Great for sharing (esp now that Yahoo has regained interest in it). Also, MarsEdit (which I use for writing blog posts) can pull image info directly from Flickr, making it easy to embed images from my Photostream.
- SmugMug is very good, although I don't have an account. It's especially good if you want to set up a storefront and sell prints etc. They also just did a highly-acclaimed redesign.
- 500px is great for showing off your best work. Flickr's overall quality level is all over the map, but 500px aims to be the site for "the good stuff", as much by peer pressure as anything. I upload shots there when I think they're better than average. http://www.500px.com/jeffcarlson
- I don't use Picasa. Tried it when researching this book and it didn't fit my criteria for what I wanted in software. (See Chapter 3.) I have started posting photos to Google+, however, since that's really turning into a photographer-heavy service. I use a plug-in in Lightroom that exports to my Google Drive, and then I can post photos from there on G+.
- iCloud Photo Stream: I have a Shared Photo Stream of pictures of my daughter that I share with family, which is neat. While kayaking this weekend, for example, I shot a pic of her ahead of me in the boat and posted it to that shared stream. Before we'd returned to the dock, I had comments from family members who saw the shots on their iPhones.
- Facebook: I post pictures there occasionally, but I hate the amount of compression used and don't trust FB to use images honorably. Mostly casual family and friends stuff. For pictures I care more about, I'll link from Flickr/500px/my blog.
That probably doesn't help, but it's additional data. :-)
One other service: Shutterfly. They don't allow exporting full-resolution versions of your photos, so they are not an option as an archive service
One additional thing I would suggest on hard drives is units with multiple connection modes. They are more expensive but worth it. I doubt USB is going away soon, but I have run into situations where an old backup device's interface is not supported on my new machine.