For many summer travelers, taking photos is an integral part of vacationing. A flood of smartphones, apps, online tools, and social networks are making it easier than ever before to take photos, edit them, and share them online with family and friends. However, users should be aware of best practices when editing and uploading vacation photos.
Michelle Fares, Associate
Taking vacation photos allows travelers to remember their trips and share the experiences with others who were not there. Not long ago, the only way to share photos was to take them with a film camera, wait until the roll of film was finished, and print the pictures out for a photo album. However, with the advent of digital cameras, smart phones, social networks, and online tools, amateur photographers have more options available to them than ever before.Photo Editing
Many people use their smartphones to take pictures, and several apps are available for the iPhone and Android that can spice up ordinary vacation photos. Instagram is a photo-sharing app for the iPhone that lets users apply color filters and change the lighting to give photos an old-timey, sepia-toned effect. The app also facilitates uploading to Facebook and Twitter. For Android phones, PicSay is an app with a simple interface that lets users add texts and sticker-like graphics to their photos, and FXCamera lets users apply effects such as ToyCam, Warhol, Poladroid or SymmetriCam to their photos. Users who prefer to take photos with their camera and edit them on their computer later can use the website Picnik (www.picnik.com
) to add color filters, text, graphics, and frames to their shots. Picnik is also integrated with the photo-sharing site Flickr, so users can upload pictures from their phones and then go back to edit them on the Web.Photo Sharing
Once photos are edited and polished, users want to share them with family or friends. For many, social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, or Flickr are the fastest and easiest way to share photos. Other users post their pictures to blogs such as Tumblr, Posterous, or Blogger. However, there are best practices that users should follow when sharing photos online:
Implications and Action Items
- Edit down. 20 photos of the same park bench or beach umbrella may be fascinating to you, but not necessarily to all your Facebook friends or followers. Post a collection of the best photos from your trip instead.
- Tag with caution. While most people assume that photos taken of them may turn up online, it doesn’t hurt to check with the subjects of your photos. Get permission before uploading pictures to a public site.
- Spruce up your pictures. Instead of uploading straight from your camera, take the time to rotate, crop and remove red eye. Add captions or notes to the photos so that friends and family know what they are looking at.
Using online tools and social networks can enhance your vacation photos, but travelers should keep the following considerations in mind:
Download Perspectives, July 2011
- Consider your audience. While many users of photo-editing apps and social networks are Millennials and Generation X-ers, the audience for these photos is often composed of older parents and grandparents. Travelers should consider which photo-sharing sites are easiest for their audience to use, and which special effects the latter will appreciate.
- Use privacy settings. Instead of sharing photos with all followers on all social networks, consider creating a private album or blog and only inviting close friends and family.
- Be safe. Many smartphones add a GPS location to photos, so uploading photos from your phone may be broadcasting too much information. For more information on safety and geo-location, check out the article on p. 4 of our December 2010 Perspectives issue: http://bit.ly/eLKtkP.
- Consider quality. Although smartphones are quick, easy, and instant, sometimes the quality can suffer. If you truly want to perfectly record a vacation moment or location, bring a digital camera along on your trip.
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