The purpose of this article is to give an introductory lesson on showing you how to post your pictures and photos on the internet for my favorite price – FREE. Google has created a great suite of freebies that really can’t be beat as introductions or even production quality services for home users.
Let’s get started…
If you do not currently have a GMail account, or would like to create another name/label to post your photos under, please visit the main GMail page and create an account:
1) Open an Internet Browser and navigate to: http://www.gmail.com
2) On the right-hand side, locate and click the “Create an account” link.
3) Go through the registration page and select an account name to use. You can choose anything you would like – there is a button to check and see if that name is already taken. (*GMail is completely free and safe to use, and is one of the most popular online suites of services available today.) Your GMail account will be used for any Google service you care to use – in this case, the Picasa photo tool. You can also set up your own website, subscribe to news services, write your own blog, and a host of other free tools and utilities. Some examples of names could be:
4) Once you have created a GMail account, you can click the “Photos” link at the top of your inbox, or navigate to: http://www.photos.google.com
5) This will take you to the main Picasa Web Photo page. You can do a lot here, however you’ll want to download the Picasa application and install it on your PC. This will give you much greater control of photo management and make publishing tasks much simpler.
6) Go to http://picasa.google.com/download/ to download the application. Follow Picasa’s instructions and installer to add the program to your PC.
7) Once you have Picasa installed on your PC, launch it. *If this is your first time launching the application, it will offer to search your entire system for pictures to automatically import into the tool. I personally do not do this as I like to manually add what I choose. If you would like to import all of your photos intot the tool, feel free to allow Picasa to search and add for you. (This could take a while if you have a lot of picture files.)
8 ) To add files to the tool (that you will subsequently post to the Internet), Click on the “Import” button:
9) Click, “Select Device” and choose a location (if you have the pictures stored on your hard drive, choose folder; if your camera is currently connected, it will show up in the list and you can import directly from it):
10) Browse through your photos and select the ones you would like to add to your album. CTRL-A will select all of your photos, or can can CTRL-click the photos you are interested in. Make sure to click “Import all” when you are ready to continue.
11) Your photos will import into a temporary album. From here, you may view the photos, rotate the angle, and choose which photos to exclude from further import. When you are happy with the photos you have selected, click the, “Import All” button at the bottom.
12) You should be asked to designate a name for the new album and can optionally enter date, place, and description information.
13) You will now be returned to the main Picasa screen and should see your newly imported photos. From here, you can perform some basic editing to the photos – red-eye removal, crop, contrast, effects, etc. Once you are happy with your pictures, select all that you want to include on your web album – CTRL-Click or SHIFT-Click to select – and press the, “Web Album” button at the bottom.
14) You may need to provide your GMail account login information to connect to the web service.
15) You will be presented with an information screen similar to what you saw in step 12. Fill this in as appropriate and click, “OK” to begin uploading.
16) You will see status indicators letting you know the progress of the upload. Larger albums take longer than smaller albums.
17) Once the upload completes, you can now view them on the web. You can click on the, “Web Albums” link at the top, or visit the website manually.
18) Choose the album you want to share and copy the URL from the browser navigation bar:
TIP – You may start a slideshow and copy the link from that window to send out your photos in slideshow mode.
There are a lot of options and other things you can do now that you have created an account and installed the application. The Help features from Google are great. You now have the basics down in order to start posting your pictures online for free. Google gives you plenty of storage space, so you will have room for tons of photos and albums. Have fun playing with this!