Author Topic: Storing your photographs on the net for FREE  (Read 575 times)

Andre Jute

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Storing your photographs on the net for FREE
« on: May 25, 2017, 10:01:45 PM »
...which site do you suggest for hosted pics, free of charge a must at the moment, at least until I sort my finances out a little. I'd like to be able to link to my pics for ease of sharing.

I don't store my photographs in any of the free photo publication sites like Instagram because that's just an invitation to theft of your intellectual property. One of my artist chums glows bright purple if anyone even mentions Pinterest, which is a huge image thievery. Instead I keep them on an umpteen-terabyte hard disk, backed up by others (it takes no time because my Mac does it automatically; and I've have anyway been in computers myself since they worked with glowing thermionic valves, so multiple-layer redundant backups is something I do in my sleep). When I want to put a photo on the net, say on the Thorn Forum or my blog, I put it first in a folder on my publisher of record's site on which I have unlimited space (I use it like a private cloud), then drag it into the forum or my blog, which automatically fills in the link. That way I get a safe URL (not linked to my desktop) and keep control of the photo; if it is stolen too often, I just pull it from the source under my control or change the name and poof! it is gone.

Here are a few of the ways you can store your photos securely without spending any money:

1. Lot of people offer you free cloud space. If you have any Apple equipment, for instance, photos you store in their Cloud don't count towards your free allowance, so you can store as many as you like, and Apple apps automate this process (I don't use it, so don't ask me, ask Anto!). Dropbox gives you 2GB of free cloud space; I use the Dropbox space to keep and sort photos I take of places I paint, so I have some reference if the light has changed when I return to finish the painting. Microsoft gives you free cloud space if you install their free Microsoft Word or Excel mobile software which is functional and superb even if you use only the free parts, and for installing other trials (I don't use their cloud space because I have plenty elsewhere but I do use their mobile Word app, which is very handy). Others also offer free storage space; google it.

2. Get a free Wordpress blog or a blog anywhere else, say Google, that is free; all you need to check first is that photos in your blog's media store are removable at your sole discretion and forever. Then you make one post and load one photo into it, just to keep the account open. Then you load all your photographs into the Wordpress (or other blog app) media store. You don't need to use them all. Once they're in there, each photo has a URL that you can copy and paste. This is useful because Wordpress has a smooth mechanism for pulling a photo into an article ("add media") and you might want a blog anyway. Nobody can get into your media store except you, so it is as secure as anything on the net, which means not absolutely secure but relatively good enough.

3. Post your best photos to the Thorn Forum by dragging them into the post from your desktop. They are then stored on the Thorn or domain server (I think the jargon Dan read out for this was "co-located" -- Jesus save me!) and you can download them back later. (The problem is, so can the image thieves cruising the net.) Of course, on the Forum it becomes especially important to crop and otherwise reduce the digital size of your photos, because if you don't eventually Robin Thorn will add the cost of the extra storage to everyone else's bike and you'll be very unpopular.

I'd strongly advise you to triplicate your photo store on different cloud servers, because there are sometimes glitches even at huge organizations, and in any event they change their mind about how much space they let you have from time to time. Certainly, within the last couple of years all the ones I use or know about have made changes to their cloud service freebies, and some, including Apple, have shut down a whole cloud service.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 11:02:48 PM by Andre Jute »

John Saxby

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Re: Storing your photographs on the net for FREE
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2017, 05:55:27 PM »
Mac, +1 for Andre's suggestions.

I use a couple of backup/storage options:

>   Umpteen terabyte external hard drive, kept atop my desk.  I use the "LaCie" brand, sold by Apple.  I back up everything on my hard drive weekly.

>   Since 2010, I have used Dropbox to store and (as needed) share documents.  (The site is www.dropbox.com)  Interestingly, on the Canadian side of the water, Dropbox gives you 5 GB of free storage space, not just 2.  I've found Dropbox to be 100% reliable, and so far as I know, I've never lost anything from it, nor has anything been pinched. (By comparison, I have had several problems with Google storage facilities (Google Drive) and also Google applications (notably the Calendar).  These were serious enough that I've stopped using Google storage and Google calendar.

pavel

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Re: Storing your photographs on the net for FREE
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2017, 05:56:50 PM »
I'm with you'r son, a very deep purple, about Pinterest Andre. Facebook has a horrible terms too, but most users never really read or understand them.

I'm not too concerned with theft anymore but am with permanent loss of the full size editable originals.  In that way the "free" services are suspect except with the likes of Apple, Google, Amazon and maybe one or two other tech giants who are so large as to be permanently in the storage business and who make their money from other services, so where the server farm costs are vital to all aspect of their core business and where photo storage is a trivial extra bit.

I presume we are talking about both "how to" on the road, and also long term management so that we don't suffer massive loss of cherished memories, far down the road.  I'd like to add a few tips and best practices as I work by, just in case it adds any value for others.

I think you advice to store in triplicate is golden and should be frequently re-inforced.  I would go further and say that one should not just spread the risk among three locations, but also multiple types of storage.  Don't in other words have it on three hard drives only, or three cloud services. Differsify.  I have the bitter lesson left by technological progress and obsolescence.  From 1989 to 2003 I was an enthusiastic videographer. I went with the latest standard and invested heavily in gear. The latest and greatest back then was S-VHS mini tapes.  I had a Camera, two jog-shuttle head machines and what I thought was a smart back up strategy.  Now I have a box of priceless memories, all on a format that is dead and where the only playback machines are half dead obsolete grear and which require a DAC and firewire.  It's all to much and all to expensive now to try to get back, because I discovered in early 2001, that the old backups were full of snow from the degraded, de-magnitized substrates that they were stored in.  And the warranty.  Yeah that's a good joke now.

The same goes for all those CD's and DVD's that early digital photographers put their faith into. My first digicam was bought in 97 and of course backed up in duplicate to CD's - the expensive ones.  I have a filing cabinet full of those.  Four years ago I found that about 15 of about sixty that I transferred over to a Win 2012 server with multiple hard drives (for better retrieval) would not read.  And as time ticks that shall get worse and worse. Heck, then there is the fact that only my two servers have a DVD rom I can attach and only one old Mac mac still has a DVD reader/writer.  Obsolescence seems to sneak up and move quickly.  It's a very good strategy to always engage multiple-format storage media, never just one type, no matter what the glossy web review rave about todays super-duper new way.

At home I like to ingest my photos on whichever machine I'm working on. Mostly that is on my mac Mini, but perhaps the laptop, or windows.  It does not matter because I just ingest in to the local drive for grading in one of three ways. One star, two star or three.  That describes "delete" "keep but likely never look at again: and "move to edit drive and backup media:.  I key word them at that time and add basic metadata and just leave them there.  A week or two later I look at them again - I find a bit of time helps me see things better, and make my final choices and then move them simultaneously to a raid 1, two drive external array and also to my main storage PC onto it's secondary drive(It has five internal storage drives as well as removable System drives so I can switch OS's.  If for example Win 8 has a meltdown I can simlply slide out the Win 8 SSD and slide in a mirror copy, or my Win 7 or Win 10 SSD. That's how I deal with the uncertain parts of Windows, as well as the fact that the internet access to the Windows box only comes through another machines.  If one wants to be able to do all this stuff, the moving, copying directory structures across multiple drives, keywording etc, in an easy and quick way take a look at Photomechanic. I can for example I can for example, with this one of a kind software, use the control button and press the number key 1-9 as I quickly look at each shot. This color codes each picture.  Then with one keystroke the software moves the photos to different folders onto a second as well as at third drive simultaneously, changing the metadata of each and placing each shot according to it's category into their own folders, and duplicating exactly the folder structure, no matter how deep across multiple drives. Or for example, when we used to shoot Wera motorcycle races and other sports, this software allow you to type in the racers plate number, or an athletes jersey number - and presto "code replacement" changes that into the full name, address and contact number - for each person. It's a powerful time saver, and making things easy is the key to keeping up with good practice, I feel.

So once I've got this sorted I delete the originals from the local drive to free up space. Without going into more details I wind up with a set of original photos I deem worthy of editing, located on two portable external drive made slightly more robust via raid 1 and onto a second machine with multiple drives where the originals sit alone on one medium size (four terabyte) drive.  This servers drive is backup up by a second machine (just this 4 TB) drive and saved on a (hardware controler) raid 1+0 four drive hot swap Proliant server.  Or at least it used to be. A few years ago I decided to re-purpose this server for my virtualization lab, and decided that if I were to loose about 80 percent of my old "artsy" photos - I don't care.  So I live recklessly and only have the photos spread across two systems.  But the above appealed to my idea of "best practice"  I do however keep this raw originals drive on a second drive, made identical bi-montly or so, which I keep in a drawer. I used to keep it at work for extra safety .. and should put it in a safety deposit box ... but I've gotten sloppy.

I could go into a rant here about file systems .. but will spare you all. ;)

So then, these selects which I plan to edit get copied onto yet other drive, (my 2tb edit drive) and worked on.  The final JPGs then get stored not a jpg's in folders, but on one more drive yet but rather inside a Capture One Pro database.  This then gets periodically imported to horrid but easy to use piece of Apple software "photos" on a second internal Mac Mini SSD and shared out to friends and more importantly and finally - the cloud.  The cloud I love, but don't fully yet trust, for all the reasons Andre has mentioned.

Now this is all easier in the doing instead of the telling, and it may come across as a bit overly paranoid. But oddly, just like tuning a bike to the best possible standards (or doing research and reviews of products as only Dan can do - it becomes more fun, for the care put in. In prectice it just hums along.  And my photos used to be precious to me. Now not so much except those that have my family captured through all those phases of life, and they get taken care of in a more special way.  One of the dark linings in the silver cloud of digial, are the huge volumes of photos we capture. It's easy to get overwhelmed if one does not stay ontop of it all before it becomes an unmanageable mountain.  I of course, when working, losing just one folder of photos would possibly have cost me my job, so I got file management religion very quickly.  :)

I have some more thoughts .. but I hope that this is a bit of a springboard to others sharing how they approach this important to us all topic.  I'd love to hear other strategies. Now time to attend to the needs of the day. 

A drawer full of (partial) "special moments" security.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2017, 12:59:07 AM by pavel »

macspud

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Re: Storing your photographs on the net for FREE
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2017, 07:28:45 PM »
Thank you Andre, John, Pavel,
It's all gobbledegook to me, or a least always used to be, Funilly enough, although I don't exactly know what you're talking about, I understand and it makes sense. This is invalueable stuff, pray do continue.... I will try to be as a sponge.  ;-)
Thank you all, Kindred spirits I feels.... lol.
Anyway, back out for Vit D. :-)
All the best,
Spud.

Andre Jute

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Re: Storing your photographs on the net for FREE
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2017, 11:20:16 PM »
Trolling Pavel: Bernoulli! At one time I had thousands in Bernoulli tapes and recorders. Instantly obsolete...

pavel

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Re: Storing your photographs on the net for FREE
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2017, 12:27:35 AM »
Yes ... I think I vaguely remember those.  Didn't one used a chisel and hammer with those? Or am I thinking fifty years earlier to the ancient Egyptians?

Todays teens have no appreciation how our generation spent and spent and spent ridiculous sums in sacrifice to the cold hearted and hungry technology monster - so now they can lead  soft, cushy digital lives.

We deserve a plaque! :D
« Last Edit: May 27, 2017, 12:53:57 AM by pavel »

Andre Jute

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Re: Storing your photographs on the net for FREE
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2017, 12:38:14 AM »
Thanks for the giggle, Pavel. I needed it. Raining here, more rain forecast. At least not cold.

pavel

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Re: Storing your photographs on the net for FREE
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2017, 01:21:20 AM »
Here is the Bernoulli version.  Sometimes I think we lost more than we gained.  I used to call this "relaxation"




Andre Jute

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Re: Storing your photographs on the net for FREE
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2017, 07:51:24 AM »
I've never been much of a record-keeper. My fave bike is nine years old and it's history is small sheet of paper stuck on a plastic stiffener in a saddlebag, enough information to let me be certain the gearbox is serviced in a timely manner (I don't oil the chain -- it operates for its entire life on the factory lube).

JimK

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Re: Storing your photographs on the net for FREE
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2017, 05:45:09 AM »
Wow, photobucket stopped allowing users to post links to photos... without a $400/yr charge! Ha!

https://petapixel.com/2017/07/01/photobucket-just-broke-billions-photos-embedded-web/

sorry, that just broke almost all my photos! No such thing as a free lunch, after all!

Andre Jute

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Re: Storing your photographs on the net for FREE
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2017, 06:07:56 PM »
Other cloud stores are likely to follow Photobucket in charging for storage simply because advertising revenues, which is what Photobucket was living on, are falling as a function of supply and demand. Somebody has to pay for those storage farms, and if it isn't advertisers, it will need to be users. If you use any free store, duplicate it now to make your data less vulnerable, and get a backup under your own control to avoid further unwelcome surprises.

But here's the thing: this isn't a new problem. It exists in the printed media as well. I was horrified to discover that a newspaper of record (a prestigious broadsheet) for which I used to tailor my classical music writings before syndicating them -- one day just upped and destroyed its own store of back issues to save money; that was the micro-history of the nation gone. And the number of libraries that I can name, including the richly endowed at several of my colleges (look for Andrew Carnegie's name over the door or on a plaque near the grand entrance to spot a library with virtually unlimited funds), which have trashed irreplaceable archives of obsolete and even still existing journals, is quite sickening.

Danneaux

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Re: Storing your photographs on the net for FREE
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2017, 06:21:24 PM »
Though I sometimes use Cloud services for temporary parking of encrypted data, I generally don't trust Cloud services for this ^^^ (JimK's) very reason and more. Not only do they have a habit of changing their terms of service (including taking ownership of your content if they change the terms to do so), they can go bust and take your content with them. This has even happened with Microsoft's OneDrive Cloud several years ago. They first downsized and so people lost content. I squawked along with a few others and got my storage reallocated.

Instead, it is pretty easy to self-host photos and content on your own Photobucket alternative -- and do so for free. One of the most proven means is Chevereto: https://chevereto.com/

A demo where you can play at uploading a photo to see how it works is here: https://demo.chevereto.com/

They have free and paid versions, but the free version will do all you could ask for and you own the content. It installs quickly with a PHP script. You have full control over access and security and -- if you wish to use them -- options for social media sharing are built in.

I have no interest in Chevereto but have found it works well for my needs. There are a number of similar options for self-hosting your photos and content securely and with full control, so if Chevereto doesn't fit your needs, there's plenty of other options -- I have used several. Server traffic and bandwidth usage aren't generally issues unless you have a high-traffic website. For simple sharing or html linking to a blog, these alternatives have a lot of appeal.

Best,

Dan.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2017, 06:36:12 PM by Danneaux »

John Saxby

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Re: Storing your photographs on the net for FREE
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2017, 06:59:22 PM »
"Away with all clouds!" (Who said that?--was it Norman Bethune?)

I've had too many problems with remotely-held docs which simply evaporated, never to be seen again; and some which just went walkabout, only to emerge from the e-woods unchanged, but six months after they were needed. Google and Microsoft jostle for my ranking as villain-of-the-piece.

So, I use the e-counterpart of the Thorn eccentric, a Lacie 3TB external hard drive. Encased in sturdy plastic, it sits looking for all the world like a large orange gumdrop on the desk behind my laptop.

Haven't once cursed it in the two years or so that I've had it.  I had to pay for it, mind, about CAD60, but that's a price worth paying for peace of mind, from that quarter at least.

(FWIW, I've never had any difficulties with Dropbox. Over about four years, that was my go-to storage system for shared work documents when I was working.  I use it more selectively now for my personal photos and docs. It might be just a matter of time before the free version of that in unavailable.)


JimK

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Re: Storing your photographs on the net for FREE
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2017, 04:25:26 AM »
can I host photos at box.net and have them appear here?

not so easy!
 



hey! I already have a paid account at box.net so this looks like a good path for me!

https://community.box.com/t5/How-To-Guides-for-Sharing/Direct-Linking-To-A-File/ta-p/148
« Last Edit: July 24, 2017, 04:34:32 AM by JimK »

bikerwaser

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Re: Storing your photographs on the net for FREE
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2017, 06:54:13 PM »
I use OneDrive.
It's awesome. They give 1TB for free and it uploads automatically.

Here's a link to some photos of my recent Tour round Brittany. All these photos and much more ( including videos ) just automatically get uploaded when I have my wifi on .

https://1drv.ms/f/s!AiJ8NWjLeHiQl10Di-qtnpibjtrM