Jim’s WebLetter for 3/31/17

Hi-ya Photo and Video shooters!

Here’s a “how-to” for you. No, I’m not going to give you a lighting or f-stop class on camera. Instead, how about having all the storage space you could ever need for your captures? A cloud storage area so massive and yet easily accessed. Sound good? Yea, I like it too. I have been using the service ever since Google released it out of beta about two years ago and I absolutely love it. I have saved hundreds of photos into ready made folders and use the search bar at the top to find what I have stored over that time. It’s easy to use and easy to share.

It’s called Google Photos. But it also takes videos with large file sizes. It’s as easy to use as setting up your computing device to manually or even automatically upload whatever you shoot. It works with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices. All you need is a Gmail address.

By saving and uploading your photos and videos to a personal cloud, you can share them and access them from whatever device you have. 

So here’s how to set up Google Photos and how you’ll enjoy having your precious memories, life’s work, your travels, or even what you own for insurance purposes – all at the touch of the internet.

First, if you don’t have a Gmail account, get one at https://www.Gmail.com.

Then, Open Google Photos at https://www.Google.com/photos

Sign in to your Google account using your email address and password, then choose the desired quality setting.  

Next, you can set up which device folder Photos will take from and upload to your Google server. Open Google Photos and tap the overflow icon that looks like 3 lines in the upper left corner of your screen. Then tap the gear icon to open Settings. Then tap the first option, Back up and sync. Tap Back up device folders then tap the toggle to choose which folders are backed up to Google Photos.

Note that when setting up your Google Photos account, you also have a choice in your image upload quality. There are two options open to you, high quality, or original quality. Choosing high quality will score you unlimited storage, with photos stored at 16MP and videos stored at 1080p. Choosing original quality will count against your Google account storage, but all photos and videos are stored at the quality you shot them, including RAW files. This is especially handy if you’re shooting in resolutions higher than 16MP, or in RAW.

And Google continues to add features to Photos with photo editing and filtering, and apps like PhotoScan which allows you to scan pictures and documents for safe keeping. The intuitive app creates glare-free reproductions of your scans as it automatically crops, straightens and right sizes your images, no matter what angle you shoot them with your phone or tablet.  

Notice, too at the bottom left side of Photos, there’s an icon for Assistant. As Google continues to roll out its new Google Assistant, you’ll find this to be super helpful with your photo collection. Here you can make a collage of your photos, or animate them in a slideshow, or even create a movie. Below is a history of your actions and even a place with tips and tricks for making your images even better.  

Having said all that, let me wind this up by saying I have used several online services for photo saving and sharing before. While they had the advantage of easy access from whatever device I was using, there is cost to consider. And none offered as many tools and features Google offers. Plus, there is the fact that Google Photos is a free service, and “free” is my favorite four letter word!

Download the Google Photos app from your Google Play Store or Apple Store, or just type Google.com/photos at the top of your browser and you’re in business.

That’s it this week. Have a great weekend taking photos and videos and saving them in the cloud called Photos, and may God bless you and keep you safe.


Jim’s WebLetter

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