Managing and storing photos, especially online, can be challenging if one has limited time to assess the many excellent possibilities. There is much to consider, including: privacy, flexibility, sharing, copyright, capacity, access, affordability, mobility and simplicity. Many use Facebook, the largest photo-sharing platform on the web and dabble with Instagram, especially if their phone is used for photography. Most would admit to having a hard drive cluttered with disorganised photos, often not backed-up securely.
My own system for photos suits both my ‘iPhoneography’ and photography using a Nikon D700 DSLR or FujiFilm X100s. I recommend the following tools as possible workflow solutions for managing the entire process of editing, organising, storing and publishing photos: Adobe Lightroom 5, Flickr, EyeEm, Snapseed, Just Cloud and Carbon Copy Cloner.
Adobe Lightroom 5 (free trial for 30 days) is a brilliant tool for organising, processing, sharing and publishing your DSLR’s RAW or JPEG files online or in hard copy. The software does not really store your photos but is an effective way for finding them on your hard drive. I start a new ‘catalogue’ each year but this is not really necessary until you reach about 10 000 pictures. The ‘collections’ are a great way of organising photos without having to move the actual files. It is much simpler to use than Adobe Photoshop and is designed for photographers rather than graphic designers. I particularly like that one can publish a photograph from Lightroom to Facebook or Flickr or other sites like Adobe Revel easily, effectively storing it online.
Flickr is an old favourite currently making a comeback with some good innovations in the way the new mobile app supports editing and sharing. Flickr is my main online tool for storing and sharing photos as it permits users great freedom with licensing their photos using creative commons. It is also very easy to download different files sizes for each photo depending on your need. For bloggers, teachers or those who want legally permissible image sources it is easy to store, find, share and attribute copyright.
Photos taken with a smartphone and uploaded online are increasingly edited in a very sophisticated manner with a huge, ever-widening range of apps. I use Snapseed as my main editing tool before uploading to Flickr, Facebook or EyeEm. Many of these apps allow you to upload to multiple sites, including Twitter, with one click after editing.
It is important to have your precious photographs backed up online and offline. The 100% automated Just Cloud is great for storing photos (and all computer files) in ‘the cloud’ as a complete back-up. I also recommend cloning your hard drive using Carbon Copy Cloner (for Mac) to ensure complete protection against disaster. It has saved me from a serious loss of data. Of course, one can always download the full files from Facebook or Flickr too. I find this a pretty comprehensive system for protecting and storing images.
Many professional photographers choose RAID but this will be a bridge too far for most amateurs.
How do you manage your photos?
Featured image: cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo by Darcy Moore: http://flickr.com/photos/darcymoore/8992249017/
This post was originally published in Australian Teacher Magazine.