Why online albums are the way to go

If you're taking pictures on your digital camera and just leaving them on your computer, you're missing out on a great new internet trends: picture sharing. Instead of keeping albums on your hard disk, you send them to a website where family, friends and even the world can see your shots.

There are a few excellent sites, and the big players are all in evidence. Hewlett Packard has its own site, Snapfish and last year Yahoo bought Flickr. This month, Etribes, a British weblog and personal website company, is launching a photo album website. "We have identified a potential market of 5 million users in the UK by 2008," says its founder, Simon Grice.

"Photosharing is the tip of the iceberg and we think in the next two to three years the majority of internet users will have a personal website. But for now it's all about simplifying that idea -we've spent more time stripping out unnecessary features rather than putting stuff in." You can sign up now for the service, which starts on 19 July.

There are a swathe of benefits from getting involved with photo sharing sites; for instance, security. Ten years ago, if your house was burgled, you could be sure that the thief wouldn't weigh himself down with the photo albums that were priceless to you, but worthless to him. Now, though, if digital snaps are saved on your laptop's hard drive, you can bet they're vulnerable. Sending your pictures to a website's servers solves this problem. Be warned, though: some sites eventually delete these pictures, or at least the accounts that access them, if you don't visit frequently enough, so it's worth keeping a backup on CDs as well.

As for convenience, if you're tired of having to drag pictures of your newborn into countless e-mails, clogging inboxes everywhere, how much simpler it is to set up a album online and just paste the address into one mass message. Relatives who prefer actual photos can often order prints directly from the site. Should you choose to let anyone see your pictures, you become part of an online community who can give you feedback, like an amateur photography club.

And if you think some of your pictures are worthy of publication, put it to the test by sending them to one of the sites that offer to sell them for you, and give you a share of the cash. Sites like www. scoopt.com, for instance, ask you to send in photos so they can be sold to print media. If they get a sale, you get half the cash. Other sites to help you make money from your David Bailey skills include www.foto libra.com and www.istockphoto.com, which claims to be "the world's largest collection of member-generated royalty-free images at the world's best prices".

Photo sharing sites have another function, too. A year ago, in the hours after the 7 July bombings, many people turned to such web pages to get their first images of the day. If you've taken an image of something topical, it's a way of getting it out there quickly.

Bear in mind though, that space is never infinite so if you the site you opt for has limits it may be worth resizing the images. The highest-resolution shots can take up 2MB of space or more, but if you're not planning to print from the images on site, you're safe reducing them using the site's software to a much smaller size - onscreen the difference won't be noticed.

If you need one final incentive, you could enter Flickr's Blink of an Eye competition - five winners will have their photographs exhibited in a New York gallery next month. But you'll have to hurry - the competition ends today.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
Voices
All the major parties are under pressure from sceptical voters to spell out their tax and spending plans
voices
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Kevin Spacey and artistic director Matthew Warchus at the Old Vic party to honour Spacey
theatreStar's successor at Old Vic theatre admits he's 'allergic to hype'
Life and Style
life + healthVirginia Ironside's dilemma, during Depression Awareness Week
Arts and Entertainment
The median income for professional writers is just £10,432, less than the minimum wage
booksSurvey reveals authors' earnings
News
i100
Life and Style
fashion
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Administrator is requ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - Commercial Vehicles - OTE £40,000

£12000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion and growth of ...

Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer - Sheffield - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer position with a...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Leader - Plasma Processing

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Operations Leader is required to join a lea...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders