Wednesday, March 9, 2011

There are several aspects of my own photography that I want to work on and change so that they are more enjoyable to me. I will be discussing that change process here. Hopefully some of the questions that I will be asking and some of the research that I will be doing will help you get more enjoyment out of your photography as well.

The aspects of my photography that want to work on are:
1. Image capture
2. Organization and selection
3. Processing
4. Sharing

I will be exploring image sharing first, then bouncing back and forth through the other topics over the next few weeks.

Sharing Images

The vast majority of the images I make are only ever seen by myself and sometimes my wife. Even after weeding out the 90% of those images which I feel are not good enough to show to anyone else, that still leaves many hundreds more than I would ever want to subject even my best friends to, given that I have tens of thousands of images on my hard drive and who knows how many more on film in my files.

There are many different ways to share photos, but each of them has its pluses and minuses so I will be looking at several different ways of sharing photos which I want to use in combination to get the best of all worlds.

Facebook is one of the photo sharing sites that I already use and it is very useful for sharing photos that my friends and family might be interested in. But there probably aren't many other people who will see them there. Facebook is also very fleeting. Yes people can go back through my old albums and occasionally someone does, but for the most part, people see them when I first post them and many people may only ever see the first image in each album. Also, if any of them want to download or print any of my images. Facebook is not really set up to facilitate that and they will usually only get a very low resolution screen-shot quality image if they do know enough to be able to grab it.

Flickr does get more of my scenic and non-family photos out to a larger audience and they can get those printed or download them if I give them permission to. But again, for the most part, photos posted to Flickr are very fleeting. People look at them and comment on them when they are first posted, but then go on to the next million images that are posted to Flickr continuously.

So, as well as these momentary online sharing experiences, I am also looking for the best way to create books of my photos, prints, e-books and more permanent stores of images. Some to share with family, others to share with the whole world. And I am looking for better ways to share some of my images online. Ways that will facilitate a more in-depth and longer lasting discussion of the images as well as allowing other people to easily upload their photos to some of my albums.

I will be looking closely at Picasa, SmugMug, pBase, Blurb and as many other photo sharing and book and photo printing sites as I can find, to determine which of them will work best for me. I'll report back here with what I find. But in the meantime, what photo sharing and printing services do you use and why?

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