Google+ … And What It Means For Photographers Like Me

First of all, BIG thanks to my friend Rhamille for sending me a Google+ invite.

I started with Flickr, using a Canon A40 point and shoot and remained a paying customer for years to publish my photos when I realize I want more. At first I thought Flickr was all that I wanted. Hi-resolution, un-tampered photo quality, album management, peer feedback, specialized photo groups, and Explore!!. Then I realize my friends, the people that I also want my photos shown, were not there.

Then Facebook came. I am actually a late Facebook adopter as it has been quite sometime before people were able to convince me to take the social networking plunge. I resisted Facebook for some time but as soon as I experienced the power of the “Like”, I never looked back. I still have my Flickr account, which I don’t update anymore since August 2010 and it says, “Hey Toto Gamboa (Not Uploading Pics Here Anymore)! Your Flickr Pro account has expired. Don’t panic! You can only see 200 photos, but the others are safe & sound. You can see them if you renew.”. As if I care if I don’t renew! 😛

I have used Facebook’s photos for my photographs since last year but there is so much to be desired from Facebook’s Photos. And there are lots of negative things a photographer can say regarding Facebook’s photos. And you will always hear from everybody that Facebook is, first and foremost, a social networking site and not to be compared with against photography centric sites such as Flickr and the likes. And, did I say that the first note I wrote in Facebook was on how I was so disgusted with its photos? Lols! I had sworn that the moment there is another social networking site that will give photos some importance, I wont hesitate to quickly adapt to it.

And voila! G+! seem to be the answer to my prayers. Not to bore you with what Google+ is, but as a photographer, it’s like Facebook and Flickr rolled into one and then some and A LOT MORE! Here is my quick experience with Google+ Photos:

  • (UPDATE As of Aug 02 2011) Hi-resolution. Great implementation I must say. Documentation says one can upload as large as a 2048 x 2048 image. Though true, you can only view “as is” this size in your browser if your monitor is large enough to contain this big of an image. But since most monitors are way smaller, you cannot. G+ adjusts the size of the display of your image to the size of your browser. The rationale is that, you must be able to view a photo in its entirety without forcing you to scroll horizontally and vertically. However, you can still get the 2048 x 2048 photo by downloading this. There is one quirk with this design though, since most monitors are orientated to landscape, vertically cropped/framed photos are re-sized on display that the result makes them really small. This is done so you can still view the photo in its entirety. Wish G+ have an option to turn resizing off on vertically framed photos.
  • (UPDATE As of July 14 2011) No compression, No Re-sizing. I uploaded a 1280 x 720,  782KB photo, and Google+ retained all its gory and glory. It seems that when you upload photo that is within the limits of Google+ (as long as your browser size is capable of displaying your photo’s full resolution), no compression and resizing is done. Woooohooo!+1.
  • Image linking is HTTPS-based which assures me that my photo won’t be further degraded by any other means. You can check out my other blog on this very issue.
  • Linking with Picasaweb. This means that I can now reach another set of audience for my photos. The photography-centric ones, which I lost, when I stopped using Flickr.
  • EXIF. I don’t have any issues showing the shooting info of my photos to everybody so this can be a plus to me.
  • (UPDATE As of July 20 2011) Auto Language Translation. Ever wonder how to understand when someone post some comments in your photo in Italian or French? Google+ does the translation for you!
  • It’s FREE. No limits. You can upload as many photos as you like as long as you upload via the Google+ interface. If you upload via PicasaWeb, you are only limited to 1GB of space.
  • And my friends, other than those photography-centric folks I interact with, can see and appreciate like they are in Facebook.

Google+ is just 2 weeks old since invites were started. And a lot of things remain to be seen. However, despite being in beta, it looks very promising and most of the things I wanted from Facebook are there.

Of course, for things to get better. All my friends in Facebook need to join Google+ first! 🙂

Now it’s for you to find out what is in store with Google+ photos! … check out my Google+ albums! 🙂