Saturday, July 11, 2015

photo editing without a real computer

  I've written about my chromebook experiment, and moving away from using what you would call a "real computer" in a sense of having a powerful computer, with a dedicated OS and dedicated photo processing applications.  Instead I've been processing photo's on my Chromebook, and my Tablet.  My workflow has changed drastically a few times.  New services were introduced that I started using, such as the Amazon Cloud Drive storage for photo's, and Google Photo's with it's unlimited photo storage that I've written a few posts about.  The one thing that I couldn't find mentioned anywhere, is if you upload your photo's to these services, and edit them on a tablet or phone, it's size get reduced drastically.  This is all not a problem if you are using the images for sharing online, on computer screens.  But it does become a problem if you want to print them out.
  It get's kinda tricky when you upload a 12MPixel image, and you edit it on the tablet, and suddenly it becomes 2MPixel.  This can be a problem if you want to print the photo's.  There are tricks around it, but took me a few experimenting to figure out. First, you need to know that there are two apps for Amazon Photo's, and Amazon Cloud Drive.  So for auto-upload Amazon Photo's does a great job, but if you choose to edit directly from Amazon Photo's app the images are resized to smaller size. The trick is to download the image from the Amazon Cloud Drive in full size and edit it in an editor that can handle larger images.  Snapseed will reduce image size automatically, Pixlr can edit larger images and save them in larger resolution.  I also tried picmonkey subscription for about 2 months, but I decided to cancel it, because I didn't really use it that much to justify the $5/month cost, the free options perfectly cover my needs. Plus the fact that I can only use it in a browser that supports flash, which means on a Chromebook, but can't use it on a tablet.
  While snapseed, and Pixlr are great apps, it would be useful to have them properly document file size if editing on tablets or other devices. I can't complain about this, since I choose to move to "cloud computing" using a chromebook, and tablet only.  I say "cloud computing" just because almost all the files are stored in the cloud, except what you download to edit, temporarily it's saved locally, whether it's on the tablet or on my chromebook.
  I still need to see how those photo's edited on those apps look like in print format, I'll surely print some out, and I'll share my experience once I get them. I hope this post helps someone who ran into similar issues with their editing on their tablets, or phones.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Google Photo's new service

  Google decided to yet again give the world a new service called Google Photos not to confuse this with the Google+ Photos. This new service is separate from the old picasa web, and the google + photos.  The idea is great, all your images in one place, from all your devices. Now that I have a chromebook it makes sense.  But interestingly, I need to use the web version of google photos, maybe in a future update the OS will have a new app for it.
  This new service if you will does finally give a URL to share, which I will use to insert a picture here (for testing Purposes) NOTE: it doesn't work on blogger :S
  I usually like uploading my images to my SmugMug account, which does give a shareable link that works just fine on my wordpress photoblog, and here on blogger. I like the fact that so many services are offering free photo storages, but not all are created equal. Flickr, SmugMug (this is not free actually), Google+ Collections, iCloud, Dropbox, OneDrive.
   Be aware though even though they say it supports resolutions up to 16MPixel, I've yet to figure out how it's stored.  As I upload via my browser on the chromebook, edit on my tablet.  The resolutions are mixed, I believe that it downloads/edits photo's to the max of the system you use to edit it.  So if I edit using my tablet, I get a 1920x1080. If I edit on my chromebook, using online apps, such as picmonkey, I get yet a different resoltion.  If I use snapseed, or pixlr on my tab, I get mixed resolutions, I can't figure out how it decides/what size to edit/save as.  I know I can manually save the file at a given size, but snapseed doesn't ask, with pickmonkey, and pixlr I save at max size, but I still get small picture sizes.  Which is ok great for web sharing, I still want to have the full resolution incase I want to print.  So experiment, try before you go full Google Photos.  I'll probably stick to using my SmugMug storage for full size images, that stores it at real full resolution.
Just my two cents... happy to hear your experience.