I take pictures to keep memories fresh, but I know that I use them just as much to share the story of my travels. Online photosharing services make the second task an easy chore, so long as you know the right one to use. Here’s a rundown of one’s I’ve encountered and my thoughts on them.
I use and love Flickr to share my travel photos. A couple of days ago my love was re-affirmed and Flickr loved me back a little bit in the form of a note from vtravelled that they were using a picture I took in La Plange on their site. And to me, that’s really what I want most out of a photo hosting service, the ability to share even with people I may not know. The biggest fault with Flickr is that you can’t resize the images to any dimensions you would like for embedding, you’re stuck with their standard sizes.
SmugMug / Photoshelter:
Gary from Everything Everywhere, one of the most constant travel bloggers/photographers, has recently left Flickr to a powerful platform -SmugMug. SmugMug, and other similar services, cater to people pushing the limits of armature photography. They cost a bit more money, but you get all sorts of features like watermarks and resizing images to embed them. I don’t really want to invest in the fancy option, and I think I would miss the Flickr community.
I used Picasa when I first started this blog, and didn’t like it one bit. I found navigating among pictures to be a slow and cumbersome process, and the way the pictures load takes longer than Flickr and they look bad as they slowly load.
Photobucket / Snapfish / Shutterfly:
When I was first roaming around the world I tried all these different photo sharing sites. They all felt like MySpace to me – poorly designed and inexplicably popular. They all cater to people who want to make prints, which I rarely have interest in doing.
Facebook is the most popular way to share photos, and it’s also the most social. It’s so popular and natural that it almost feels like a no-brainer, I would assume that everyone uses it to share pictures.
While it isn’t useful as a photo hosting service, being able to tag the people with whom you’ve shared the journey. I upload fewer pictures to Facebook than I do Flickr, and normally they are ones with people in them or funny images from my phone uploaded right at the moment they were taken.