Sharing Photos - Web Galleries
One of the clear advantages to digital photographs over film is that as soon as you take the picture, it's in a format that is ready for you to share [electronically] with others. The two ways that most people share pictures are; a.) via email and b.) via the web. The most difficult of these two methods is via email. There are a number of limitations and problems with sending pictures through email:
- you either have to resize pictures to be smaller or your recipient may not be able to receive the picture. Many ISPs have limits on the size of file attachments (a 3MP picture is typically 1 to 1.5 MB in size)
- some ISPs do not allow multiple attachments (AOL only allows 1 file to be attached to an email), so if you have 6 pictures to send, it's 6 mail messages)
- the recipient may not be able to receive html based email so the way that you send the photo is not necessarily the way it will be received.
Because of these reasons, we feel that the best way to share pictures with others is to use the web. You can notify people via email when you have new pictures to show but using the web allows you to send out only a URL and a short message. In the last year or so, several web sites have launched dedicated web hosting services that allow users to create an online photo album or photo gallery with your pictures. With film based cameras most people would take a roll or 2 of pictures, get them processed, show 2 people, put the pictures in an album then let the album collect dust. With a digital camera most of this changes. Most people end up taking many more pictures than they did with film but now there's no way to even show the 2 people that used to see your pictures. Using an online photo gallery is a very easy way for you to create some nice photo albums and essentially leave them out on the 'digital coffee table' for your friends and relatives to browse through whenever they want to.
Let's get started. The first thing that you'll need to do [other than have pictures] is to determine if you want to build your own web site or if you want to use a photo hosting site to share your images. There are benefits and drawback to both. With your own web site you have the flexibility and freedom to do whatever it is that you need and want to do. The trouble with this is that there may be no consistency, and more importantly, you'll need to do all of the image related work yourself. We'll be covering building a gallery from scratch at a later time, right now, we're going to focus on gallery related web sites.
We've found a great place to create an online gallery at MyPhotoBuddy. We've made an arrangement with MyPhotoBuddy to allow us to create and host our own gallery for our users to upload pictures, change settings and essentially take a test drive. Our gallery is available at OnlineReviewGallery.com. Gallery.com provides a freeware software program called "gallery". MyPhotoBuddy.com provides web hosting for this software -- MPB has taken most of the headaches away from you by installing the software, provisioning storage space for you and customized the software to make it very easy for you to use. For those of you that don't know what 'Gallery' is, don't worry about it. All you'll need to know to organize and share your photos on line is there, below is enough to get you started.
We'll assume that you've created an account at MyPhotoBuddy and that you're ready to begin. To begin, we'd first like to explain a couple of terms that you'll need to understand when using online photo galleries.
Gallery - a collection of albumsAlbum - a collection of photos
Photos - you're kidding right???
The first thing that you'll need to do is create your Gallery. You'll do this by creating your account with whoever is hosting your photos. Once you've done this, you can log into your account to start. We like MyPhotoBuddy because you get a free 'subdomain' so that the web address will be really easy for you to pass on to your friends -- the format will be gallery.myphotoobuddy.com. Once you've created your account, you've also created your gallery, it's empty but it's created.
Now let's create our first Album. Creating an album is really simple -- there's a text link on the top right of the page that says 'New Album', click it. Once you've done this, the system has gone through the steps to create your album for you. The image below illustrates the message you will receive once the album has been created. Follow the instructions on the screen to upload images.
Adding photos, is almost as simple. Following the onscreen instructions (select "Add Photos" from the <> on the top right of the page), you will be presented with the window illustrated below. Click on the 'Browse' button to locate your image files. You are able to select up to 10 images at a time for upload, but we recommend you limit it to 5 due to an upload limit of 8 MB per upload session.
Following the instructions above, I've uploaded a photo of a daffodil -- if you don't see it on the OnlineReviewGallery, it means that someone probably deleted it. Now let's take a look at the main page of the Gallery, as you can see in the image below, it needs a little bit of work before it's presentable. From here, it's very simple for you to change the name of the Album, add in a description and change the URL. I've 'Renamed' the album 'FirstSample'.
As I've said previously, head over to the OnlineReviewGallery and upload, change text, add comments, do whatever you'd like to see what web galleries are all about.
User Name = guest, Password = guest Over on Page 3 we'll be going into much more detail about customizing, maintaining your gallery and letting your friends know how to see your images..