If you’re a Mac user, you have a great image-editing program in Apple’s iPhoto (see wp contentio review). It gives you all the basic tools for cropping, straightening, adjusting color and brightness, and resizing. Plus, you can dabble with fun effcts, and increase or decrease highlights and shadows in your photos. iPhoto also comes with excellent organizing tools: You can categorize, tag, caption, and title your photos quickly and easily, and the simple search interface helps you fid old photos. You can use iPhoto for more than publishing your photos on your own blog. Share your photos via email directly from iPhoto, or post your pictures via Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Messages, or using the iCloud Photo Sharing system. You can also use iPhoto to print a real photo album, calendar, cards, and individual prints. iPhoto frequently comes packaged on new Macintosh computers, but if you don’t have it, head to the Apple Store (http://store.apple.com) and buy a copy of iLife. It includes iPhoto and other digital applications. Choosing a photo-sharing tool When you’re ready to put your photos online, regardless of whether you ultimately want to include images on your blog, you have plenty of options. Photo-sharing websites have become full-fldged members of the Web 2.0 move-ment, offring friends lists, tagging, and other sophisticated tools. The media darling of photo-sharing sites is defiitely Flickr (www.flickr.com). For avid photographers, Flickr has nearly replaced the need to have a blog at all because many of the best blogging tools are integrated into the Flickr service. On Flickr, you can » Create a list of friends whose photos you want to follow. » Upload and organize photos by using tags (keywords), sets, and collections. » Start groups around a visual theme and add your wp contentio review to other groups. » Set privacy controls to dictate who can see your photos. » Use your photos to create books, prints, calendars, business cards, DVDs, and stamps. » Post photos in your account and receive comments (see Figure 12-3). » Create slideshows of your photos. » Upload, tag, and share video.
» Browse other members’ photos and leave comments
Basic Flickr accounts are free for 1 Terabyte worth of photos and two videos each month. You can display only your most recent 200 photos, though. Ad-free accounts cost $49.99 a year and receive unlimited uploading and image display. If you elect to use an online tool to organize and store your photographs, you are at the mercy of that website. Note that you are taking a risk that your images could disappear if the site is taken down. Additionally, if you upload images to your blog directly from such a tool and that service eventually ceases to exist, those images will likely disappear from past blog posts. In the section “Inserting Photos into Blog Posts with Flickr,” later in this chapter, I show you how to put Flickr to work for you when you want to add images to blog posts. Whatever service you choose, look for tools that can make your life easier when it comes to putting your photos on your blog. For example, look for services that » Integrate well with the camera you own, your mobile phone if you use it for photography, or both devices. » Let you post a photo to your blog or give you code to put the photo in your blog post. Other online photo-sharing tools to consider include » Photobucket (www.photobucket.com): This site includes the basic photoediting tools that you’ll need before uploading images to your site. It also includes some creative tools such as the ability to add fiters and text. One cool feature of the Photobucket app for both iPhone and Android is the ability to create animated GIFs. 2GB of storage is included in your free account with additional storage options beginning at $2.99 per month. » Shutterfl (www.shutterfly.com): Shutterfl is the undisputed king of the photo product with an unrivaled collection of photo gifts available to users. What many people don’t realize, however, is that Shutterfl is a great photo storage and sharing option. Users have access to free, unlimited photo storage, and friends don’t need to create an account in order to view photos. » ThisLife (www.thislife.com): ThisLife is a photo aggregating tool owned by Shutterfl. Its purpose is for users to import and organize photos from a variety of services including Flickr, Facebook, and Instagram. Once inside ThisLife, users can organize the photos by categories such as date and place as well as create slideshows and galleries for sharing. Storage is free and photos are unlimited.
» Amazon Prime Photo Storage (www.amazon.com): Amazon Prime members have access to free, unlimited photo storage, which allows you to add photos via a mobile app, upload pictures from your desktop through the Cloud Drive app, or upload images via your Amazon account online.
» Instagram (www.instagram.com): I would be remiss if I didn’t include the social media giant in a list of photo sharing options. Instagram is a fantastic option for photographers interested in sharing their images with the world. Users can edit photos for everything from brightness to contrast as well as add a large assortment of fiters. The platform is free and allows for unlimited photo storage. Choosing Visuals for Your Blog Far be it from me to tell you how to take photographs — I’m a rank amateur when it comes to photography. But I can give you tips on taking photos that you can use for a new blog post, which I do in the following sections. Taking photos Bloggers often add pictures to posts that all but require them, such as the recipe posts on Home Ec 101 (wp contentio review) shown in Figure 12-4. Blog posts about cooking and restaurants are seriously enlivened by the addition of beautiful food photos. Who doesn’t salivate at the sight of a beautifully prepared dessert? Details: