Best way to share pictures privately

best way to share photos with a large group and best way to share photos and videos with family
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Published Date:04-08-2017
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CHAPTER 5 Sharing Photos and Videos HOW EASY IS IT TO SHARE PHOTOS WITH friends and family through Google+? Depending on what you shoot your photos with and where you keep them, the answers range from “easy” to “very easy.” Seriously— Google+ makes it super simple to share photos with people, whether or not they use Google+. You get unlimited space to post photos and videos, handy tools to make them look better, and a very slick page for showing them off. If you have an Android phone or use Google’s Picasa Web Albums, the photo and video features of Google+ will feel like second nature. If you’re an iPhone owner or Flickr fan instead—or even if you’ve never posted photos before—this chapter will still have you uploading photos in no time. Just as with posts, you have a lot of control over who gets to see the photos and videos you post on Google+. So you can share snapshots and movies with friends to remind them of all the fun you had at the cabin last weekend—while making sure your boss and mother don’t see the details of said cabin adventure. This chapter explains how to share your photos with others, view and download the shots other people have shared with you, show off your videos, and organize your photos into albums that are easy for people to see and download.Viewing Photos WHEN SOMEONE IN YOUR circles posts a picture and shares it with you, it appears in your stream. But what if you just want to focus on snapshots with- out all those other, non-photo posts distracting you? As with circles, Google+ includes a page dedicated exclusively to photos. It’s your command center for everything photo related. To hop to your Photos page, click the Photos button near the top of any Google+ page When you arrive at the Photos page, you’ll see photos that people in your circles have uploaded. Each photo has a little label on the bottom that indicates who uploaded it (“by Joe Smith”), and if people have commented on a particular photo, it has a small speech-bubble icon in its upper-right corner that indicates the number of comments. You can change which photos you see in the middle of the page by clicking one of the categories on the left side of the screen, below your profile picture: • Photos from your circles. When you first go to your Photos page, Google+ automatically selects this category (you can tell it’s selected here because its name is displayed in red text). When it’s selected, your Photos page dis- plays images labeled with the name of the person who shared that photo, and, if anyone has commented on it, a speech-bubble icon. • Photos from your phone. Click the name of this category to see pho- tos you’ve uploaded from your phone using the Instant Upload feature described on page 107. (As of this writing, Instant Upload is only available on Android phones.) 94 CHAPTER 5• Photos of you. Here you’ll see photos that you’ve been tagged in, either by yourself, by people in your circles, or by people outside your circles whose tags you’ve approved. (As page 113 explains, tagging is a way to indicate who’s in a photo.) If you’ve been tagged in a photo with another person, those photos also show up in a subcategory labeled “Photos of you with…” • Photos from your posts. These are the photos you’ve specifically shared with certain people or circles by attaching them to posts or choosing them from among your uploaded albums. • Your albums. This category includes all your photos, even ones you haven’t shared with anyone yet. (In Google+, an album is a batch of photos you upload in one batch.) You’ll also see automatically compiled albums here, like “Photos from posts,” “Photos from Messenger” (see page 183), and “Profile photos.”  NOTE  If you’ve used Google’s Picasa Web Albums service before Google+ to upload and organize photos, you’ll see those albums listed on your Google+ Photos page as well. If you see a photo you’re interested in, click it. If it’s one of your photos, you’ll be taken to a page showing that photo and the other images in the album it came from. Click the photo again and your screen changes drastically: A larger version of the photo appears on a mostly black (or all-black, depending on your browser) background. This distraction-free view is similar to one photographers often use to examine and display their work; Google calls this lightbox view. Near the upper-right corner of the lightbox view screen is an X you can click to get back to the Photos page. The two translucent arrows on either side of the image let you move through the photos. On the right side of the page is a panel where you see, from top to bottom, the person who posted the photo, any com- ments that have been made about that photo, and a box where you can add your own comment, if you’d like. Underneath the photo itself are four buttons (or links, depending on your browser): +1 (which indicates how many others have +1’d this photo, if any), Share, “Tag people,” and Options. If you’re viewing one of your own photos, you’ll also see a fifth button or link: Edit Photo; page 119 explains how to use the items in that menu. And at the bottom is a strip of all the photos from this category—in this case, photos shared with you from people in your circles—that you can use as a guide when you’re navigating through the images using the translucent arrows. SHARING PHOTOS AND VIDEOS 95 NOTE  Google+ switches to lightbox view when you click a picture anywhere on the site: in your stream, on a profile page, and so on. To return to wherever you were before you hopped to lightbox view, click the X near the upper right of the lightbox page. Here’s the lowdown on each part of this screen: • The photo itself. Clicking it advances you to the next slide, just like click- ing the right-facing arrow next to it. Right-clicking it (or tapping with two fingers on a MacBook trackpad) displays a shortcut menu of all the options your web browser gives you for images. Among them will likely be choices similar to “Save image as,” which lets you save the image to your computer, and “Open image in new tab” (or “View image”), which opens the image in another browser tab so you can then drag it onto your computer for easier saving. • The “John Doe (photos)/Photos from posts” box. In the upper rightmost corner of the lightbox view screen, you’ll see a small profile picture of the person who shared this photo. Clicking on their picture or their name brings you to their profile page. Clicking the “(photos)” link brings you to that person’s albums page, which, like your own “Your albums” page, shows all their photos that you’re allowed to see. Clicking “Photos from posts” brings you to that section of their photos page, where you see all the photos they’ve specifically shared, usually with a comment. • The comments list. Commenting on a photo here is the same as comment- ing on someone’s post (page 62). When you add a comment here, it shows up in people’s streams just like any other comment. 96 CHAPTER 5• The Share button. This works just like the Share link in your stream (page 64). Click it to see a pop-up box where you can add a comment and choose which circles or people you want to share it with. Keep reading for a fuller description, just ahead. • The “Tag people” button. This button lets you add tags to photos as explained on page 113. • The Options button. This button displays a few options that differ depend- ing on whether you’re viewing one of your contact’s photo (and on what restrictions the photo’s owner has placed on it, if any) or one of your own photos. If it’s someone else’s photo, you’ll see a “Photo details” option, which displays nitty-gritty info about the shot (aperture, focal length, exposure, and so on). The “Download photo” option does just what it says (you won’t see this option if the person who posted the photo specifically turned off photo downloading in their Google+ setting, as explained on page 124). Choose “Report abuse” if the photo is inappropriate, malicious, or otherwise bad for the Google+ community. If you’re viewing one of your photos, the Actions menu also includes options for rotating, editing, and deleting the image. • The filmstrip at the bottom of the page. This strip of images (which may not show up if you’re viewing one of your own photos that isn’t in an album) shows you which photos are included in the particular group you’re viewing. For example, the group might include more photos from the person who took the photo you clicked to get to lightbox view. Or if you’d clicked one of the other categories on the Photos page (page 94), the other photos in the filmstrip might be from other people in your circles, from your phone, pictures that you’re in, or photos from your albums. Clicking the arrows to the left or right of the picture you’re looking at moves back or forward through the pictures in the timeline of photos you’re viewing. You can also click any of the little thumbnails at the bottom of the page to bring them up for viewing.  TIP  Want to flip through pictures more quickly? You can use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move left and right through a series of pictures in lightbox view. You can also use the J and K keys: J to move forward, K to move backward. (The N and P keys work, too.) Getting familiar with using these keys isn’t a bad idea—they move you forward and backward in lots of places in Google+, and in Gmail, Google Calendar, and many other Google services. SHARING PHOTOS AND VIDEOS 97Sharing Photos SHARING PHOTOS IN GOOGLE+ is remarkably easy. The process is slightly different depending on whether you want to share a single photo or a whole album, but either way, it takes just a few seconds. Head to the Photos page and find the photo or album you want to share. You can share anything you can see on the Photos page, from any section listed on the left: images from your circles, from your phone, ones you’ve been tagged in (“Photos of you”), and so on. If you just want to share one photo, that’s pretty easy. Navigate to the photo you want to share, and then click it so that it comes up in lightbox view. You should see a Share button (or link) just below the photo. (If you don’t, it’s because the image is in the “Photos from your circles” collection, and the person who posted this photo “locked” it or specifically disabled further sharing page 116.) Click this button and you’ll get a pop-up box where you can add a comment and choose which people and/or circles can see the image. If you click the tiny arrow circled in the figure, you can disable comments on this post and lock the post to prevent people from sharing it with others. When everything looks good, click Share.  NOTE  If you have an Android Phone and you use Instant Upload (page 107), “Photos from your phone,” works a bit differently. Clicking a photo in this category just selects it, so you can keep clicking other images to select them, too. To display a photo in this category in lightbox view so you can share it, you have to double-click it. 98 CHAPTER 5If you want to share an entire album of photos, head to the “Your albums” cat- egory, click the album you want to share, and then click the “Share album” but- ton near the top of the page. So what if you have several different photos you’ve uploaded to Google+ and want to share, but they’re not in an arranged album? Actually, Google+ isn’t all that helpful in this case. There’s no way to rearrange your albums in Google+ and move photos from one album to another. However, if the photos you want to share are on your computer, you can create a new album by uploading those photos to Google+ in a single batch, either by clicking the Upload New Photos button on the Photos page (page 101), or by creating a new post, clicking the camera icon, and then choosing “Create an album” (page 103). So if you’re des- perate to get images that are stored only on Google+ into a single album, you could download the images to your computer, and then upload them back onto Google+ so they’re all in the same album; it’s tedious, but it works. And, remem- ber, you don’t need to worry about double-uploading photos, since Google+ gives you unlimited storage space for photos. SHARING PHOTOS AND VIDEOS 99Including Photos and Videos in Your Proile People who’ve added you to their circles will see your photos in their streams and in the “Photos from your circles” category of their own Photos pages. But you can also share photos and videos on your Profile page so that anyone who seeks you out or clicks your name can see them (assuming you set the images’ or clips’ visibility to Public, of course). As you learned in the box on page 15, your profile has a few different tabs, including two labeled Photos and Videos (respectively). Google+ automatically displays these tabs, so you don’t actually need to do anything to display them in your profile—they’re already there. But if you turned these tabs off while edit- ing your profile, it’s super easy to turn them back on. Just head to your Profile page, click the Edit Profile button, and then click the Photos tab and turn on the “Show this tab on your profile” checkbox. Do the same for the Videos tab. (The items underneath these checkboxes—concerning automatic tag approval and geolocation info—are the same as the ones in your Google+ settings, and we’ll cover them in just a bit page 123.) Getting Photos onto Google+ THERE ARE THREE MAIN ways to add your photos to Google+. You can upload them, either in batches or individually, to Google+ using a web browser. Or, you can upload them from a web-connected cellphone that’s running the Google+ mobile app. Finally, if you use Google’s photo-sharing service, Picasa Web Albums, you can easily move photos from Picasa over to Google+. The following sections explain all these options.  TIP  Flip to page 123 to read about settings that affect all the photos you upload to Google+. uploading via Your Browser It’s hard to miss the big, red Upload New Photos button in the upper-right cor- ner of your Photos page. 100 CHAPTER 5When you click it, you see an “Upload and share photos” box that should look familiar if you uploaded a profile picture when you signed up for Google+. What’s in the box varies slightly depending on which web browser you use. At the center of the box is a “Select photos from your computer” button. You may also see a message telling you to “Drag photos here” and a dotted line indicating where to drop images you’ve dragged over from elsewhere on your computer—your Pictures folder, your desktop, or even an attachment in an email program. SHARING PHOTOS AND VIDEOS 101Click “Select photos from your computer” to open a dialog box where you can choose files to upload. (Select multiple photos using the Control or c on a Mac and Shift keys.) Once you’ve selected the photos you want, click Open (or Choose, depending on your browser) in the dialog box. Back in the “Upload and share photos” box, Google+ displays a thumbnail pre- view of each image you dragged over or selected. Move your cursor over or just below a thumbnail and you’ll see a few handy icons tools that let you rotate the photo clockwise or counterclockwise or remove the photo from this batch (click the trashcan), and a link you can click to add a caption to the photo—though you’ll have time, and much more space, to edit and comment on your photos later, too. If you decide, after seeing the pics you plan to upload, that you want to add a few more, click the “Upload more” link in the lower-left corner of the upload box to re-open the file-picker dialog box. Or, if you saw the “Drag photos here” message mentioned earlier, just drag more photos onto the “Upload and share photos” box. Once you’ve selected the photos you want to upload, you can either put them in a new album or add them to an existing one. (In Google+, an album is a batch of photos you upload at the same time, although you can add more pho- tos to albums after that, too.) If you’re new to Google+ and have never used Picasa Web Albums, you won’t have any existing albums to choose from, so use the “Album name” box to give this group of photos a descriptive name, like “Vermont Vacation 2011” or “Fried Turkey Leg Inside a Hamburger Experiment.” If you’re uploading a bunch of unrelated photos, you could create an album called “Random pictures,” or just leave today’s date, which Google+ automati- cally puts in the “Album name” box. To add these photos to an album you cre- ated previously, click “add to an existing album” and use the drop-down menu that appears to select the one you want. (You can also do this later, though.) 102 CHAPTER 5When everything looks good, click the button in the lower-right corner of the box (if you’re creating a new album, it’s labeled “Create album”; if you’re putting these photos in an existing album, it’s labeled “Add photos”). The next thing you see is the “Share album” box. Near the top is an “Add a com- ment” field where you can explain or comment on these pics (“Thanks, Adam, for putting me up in L.A. for a week Sorry about the avocado stuck to the ceil- ing fan”). Just like in a post, you can mention people by adding + or in front of their names (see page 50). Near the bottom of the box are sharing controls that let you choose who can see this album. The process is the same as when you’re writing a post, as explained on page 52. When you click Share, a notice about your album appears in the streams of everyone you shared it with. However, you don’t have to share your photos the moment you post them. If you just wanted to upload these photos to Google+ for safekeeping or you decide you’d rather share them later, simply hit Cancel in the “Share album” box. Your photos still get uploaded to Google+ so they’re available to you there, but no one is notified that you posted them. uploading as post attachments You don’t have to upload batches of photos to Google+ before you share them. You can simply upload individual photos, or even albums, on the fly as you write a post. Simply start a new post (page 46) and then click the camera icon to see options for uploading photos or albums: • Add photos lets you select a few photos for showing off. • Create album lets you quickly make and name a new album and upload photos for it by dragging-and-dropping or choosing image files. SHARING PHOTOS AND VIDEOS 103• From your phone (Android only) brings up a pop-up box that shows the most recent photos from your Android phone, if you have Instant Upload turned on (see page 107). If you have an Android phone with the Google+ app installed and the Instant Upload feature turned on, you’ll see tiny thumbnails of your most recently uploaded photo right there next to the camera icon, as shown here. Click a thumbnail to select it, and then click more images to select them as well. Once you’ve selected all the photos you want to attach, click the “Add photos to post” button in the lower-right corner of the pop-up box. You can’t get a larger look at these photos from this screen, unfortunately, but you can head to your Photos page, select photos in the “From your phone” gallery, and then click Share if you’d like to make sure you’re posting the right images. 104 CHAPTER 5uploading from Your Phone The best camera, the saying goes, is the one you have with you. These days, people carry cellphones with surprisingly decent (and in some cases really good) cameras everywhere they go, occasionally snapping pictures of sunsets, cute dogs, delicious meals, and the people they care about. If you have an Android phone, posting photos to Google+ is incredibly simple (even automatic), yet secure. If you have an iPhone, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry, or any other cell- phone that can go online, you can get your snapshots into Google+ with only a modicum more fuss.  NOTE  To learn how to install the Google+ app on your phone, flip to page 170. This section focuses exclusively on how to use the app to upload photos, but Chapter 8 explains more about using Google+ on a web-connected phone. uploading from an Android phone If you have an Android cellphone and you’ve installed the official Google+ app on it, you’re always just one snap and two clicks away from shooting and sharing a photo—and sometimes just one click. After you’ve installed the Google+ app, agreed to the app’s terms of service, and confirmed the Google account you’re using with Google+ (see Chapter 8 for details on all these steps), your phone considers Google+ a source for items you want to share, including photos. Go into your phone’s Gallery app (sometimes called Photos) and open a photo or select a whole bunch of them. Tap the Share button at the bottom of the screen. (If you don’t see a Share option, you might have to tap the More button first, press the Menu button on the phone itself, or tap and hold the photo to bring up the Share option.) The list of sharing options that appears should include Google+. SHARING PHOTOS AND VIDEOS 105Tap the Google+ menu item to display the screen shown here. Just like when you share anything else on the Google+ web- site, you get to choose who to share it with, include a location, and add a com- ment to the photo before you send it out. The layout of this screen is different than the Google+ website, but all the options are there. The circles you’re sharing with are shown at the top, in blue, and you can add or modify them by tapping the arrow to their right. Your comment goes in the box below that, and the Post button in the upper right sends the photo to the right peoples’ streams.  TIP  Other Android apps that deal in images or photos can Share images with Google+ in this same fashion: Tap the app’s Share button, choose Google+, and the photo shows up primed for posting. There’s more on sharing photos (and text and links and more) on page 189. 106 CHAPTER 5uploading photos automatically from an Android phone or tablet The single best feature of the Google+ Android app is its ability to automati- cally upload photos from your phone to a private Google+ album. Why is that the best feature? Typically, getting all your photos off any cellphone and onto the Web involves hunting down a special USB cable, connecting the phone to your computer, launching a program to sync your photos to your computer, then uploading them through a web browser to a photo-sharing service. And all that is to just get your photos ready to share. The Instant Upload feature on Android phones and tablets makes the upload process much simpler. Once you turn this feature on, it watches your device for new photos and videos. When it finds any, the Google+ app automatically uploads them to a special spot in your Google+ account (and in Picasa Web Albums, as explained in a bit). You might have already seen the “Photos from your phone” category on the left side of your Photos page, and that’s exactly where your Instant Upload photos end up. Nobody can see them except you—at least until you choose to share them. How do you turn on Instant Upload? The most recent version of the Google+ Android app asks you about Instant Upload when you first install the app. If you tell the app to turn this feature on, you then have to decide when you want to upload photos: whenever your phone has a data connection (either WiFi a.k.a. wireless or mobile network often referred to as 3G or 4G), or only when you’re connected to a WiFi router (usually at home or work). “Over Wi-Fi only” is the safest bet because it can save you from incurring fees for going over your monthly allowance of mobile-network data and prevent battery drain caused by uploading lots of images over a mobile network, which can take forever. SHARING PHOTOS AND VIDEOS 107If you disabled Instant Upload when setting up the Google+ app or you want to tweak your WiFi/mobile network preference, you can do that in the app’s settings. Head to the app’s home page by tapping the gray Google+ logo in the upper-left corner the screen, and then press your phone or tablet’s Menu but- ton. (On a phone, this is usually the button just below the screen itself; on an Android tablet, this is the onscreen button in the lower-left corner that looks like a small 3-by-2 grid.) Next, in the row of black buttons that appears at the bot- tom of your screen, tap Settings. Scroll with your finger toward the bottom of the list of options till you see the Instant Upload section. You can simply check the Instant Upload box to turn it on, but you’ll want to tap “Instant Upload set- tings” to control how your phone sends images over to Google+. More on these settings in Chapter 8. uploading from an iPhone Uploading photos to Google+ from an iPhone is nearly the same as on an Android phone. Assuming you have the Google+ app installed (page 171) and you’re signed into your account, open the app and head to the Photos section (page 181). At the top-right corner of the Photos screen, you’ll see two icons: a camera and a small stack of what look like Polaroid pictures. Tap the Polaroid icon. 108 CHAPTER 5When you do, you’ll see a selection screen that you might recognize from other iPhone apps. You can choose from albums you’ve synced to your phone through iTunes, or select Camera Roll to pick photos taken with your iPhone’s camera. Once you’ve tapped on a few photos to select them, and then tapped the “Share” button, you’ll be given all the options you’re used to seeing in Google+ on your computer: a “Share your thoughts” field for adding a comment, a sec- tion for choosing the circles and people to share with, and location information you can choose to share (to delete this location info, tap the small X to its left). SHARING PHOTOS AND VIDEOS 109At the bottom of the screen are those familiar camera and stack-of-photos buttons. Tap the camera button if you decide to shoot a new photo with your phone, or tap the stack-of-photos icon to pick out a different photo from your gallery. You can also share both a live shot and others from your collection by tapping one icon and then the other before tapping “Post.” Sending photos straight to Google+ It’s more convenient to shoot photos with your phone’s standard camera app and capture everything you need, and then upload them to Google+ later on using the methods described in the preceding sections. But if you want to share a photo with your friends on Google+ right away, you can. Head to the Photos section of either the Android or iPhone Google+ app and, in the top-right corner of the screen, tap the camera icon. On an Android phone, tapping the camera button brings up a prompt for “Camera photo” or “Choose photo.” On an iPhone, the button is separated into a camera for taking live shots, and a mountain icon for choosing a photo from your Camera Roll. Tap “Camera photo” (Android) or the camera icon (iPhone) and you’ll see your phone’s famil- iar camera program. 110 CHAPTER 5Once you snap the photo by tapping the shutter button on an Android phone or the camera icon on an iPhone, you can review the shot and tap OK (or Use, on an iPhone) if it’s good enough to post to Google+. (Tap Retake to snap another shot, or Cancel on an Android if you decide not to share a photo after all; iPhone folks have to click Retake and then Cancel to back out.) After you tap OK (or Use), you see a screen similar to the one shown on page 110 where you can add a comment and choose which circles or people to share with, just as if you’d picked out a photo from your collection. Pulling Images from Picasa Web Albums Whether or not you used Google’s Picasa Web Albums service before signing up for Google+, by uploading photos to Google+ and sharing them, you’re using it now. That’s because the services are merged—the photos you upload and share through Google+ are available in Picasa Web Albums, and any photos you might have uploaded previously to Picasa are easily accessible from Google+. You can skip this section if you’ve never used Picasa Web Albums before signing into Google+, but if you have a stash of photos already in Picasa, this section explains how to share them with your circles. As noted back on page 8, when you sign up for Google+, Google lets you know that your existing Picasa account will undergo some changes. They’re mostly good changes, especially the unlimited storage space you’ll receive. Pictures can be uploaded up to 2048 pixels square, and videos, even 1080p HD videos, can run up to 15 minutes in length. And Google+ remembers the visibility set- tings you originally gave the images on Picasa, so none of your private albums will suddenly go public on you. Other than more storage space, the main thing that has changed about Picasa are your sharing options. The Picasa site looks the same (aside from a few notices about your new Google+ account), and the photos are laid out the same way. (To get to Picasa Web Albums, go to www. picasaweb.google.com.) But click any album and you’ll start seeing where Google+ comes in. The fact that the Share button now includes the Google+ icon is one hint. SHARING PHOTOS AND VIDEOS 111Now when you want to share an album from Picasa, Google assumes you’ll share it through Google+. You’ll see the familiar Google+ “Share this album” box, where you can add your comment at the top and choose exactly who to share with. What if you don’t want to share an album through Google+, but want to send it out by email invitation instead, the way you used to do with Picasa? You can still do that, but Google doesn’t advertise that fact. You’ll have to hunt for the small “Share via email only” link at the bottom of the box. Click it to bring up a familiar page for sharing photos by entering email addresses. If you’re viewing the contents of an album, you can also click the “Link to this album” link on the right side of the page, and then copy the resulting web address and paste it into an email, IM, or wherever you like. Individual photos on Picasa Web Albums are still shared through Picasa—either sharing via email or by linking to a photo in an album you’ve shared or made 112 CHAPTER 5

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