Best photography websites for storage, sharing, and editing

bestphotographywebsitesPhotography is a pastime that has absolutely exploded in popularity in recent years.  As smartphone lines consistently upgrade their integrated cameras (take the 41 megapixel Nokia Lumia 1020 for example) anyone can snap a pretty decent shot with the device they are already carrying. No need for a dedicated camera.

Additionally, browser-based software, cloud storage, and social networking continue to grow in popularity. And this means that low-cost options for editing, storing, and sharing photos proliferate online. You can even take to the internet to learn how to improve your photography skills with options like this course on how to spot great natural settings for photo compositions.

Whether you are a professional photographer or you’re just starting out, there are Web-based options you’ll want to know about. Read on for a rundown on some of the best. And if you would like a further exploration of how to make these sites work for you, they are covered in a course on social media for photographers.

Flickr

One of the most established photo sharing and storage sites available, Flickr offers some major perks to its users. But the major standout is the entire terabyte of storage capacity that comes with a free membership.

This popular photo site has been a centerpiece in the major turnaround campaign to propel Yahoo!, it’s owner, back to prominence as an online service provider. In line with this initiative, Flickr’s insanely generous storage offer is a strategy to direct attention and advertising dollars back to the company. So if you are looking for a place to house a very large photo collection without spending a dime, consider that a win-win.

Other strengths for Flickr include a gorgeous interface, high-quality slideshow features, an active community for sharing, and integrated editing tools (although these, frankly, need some work). Photographers trying to reach a large audience and store a lot of high-resolution shots may have their best option here.

Google+ Photos/Picasa

Google is increasingly becoming a one-stop-shop that aims to make your life easier online, and their photo storage/sharing capabilities are a prime example. With Google+ photos, formerly Picasa, you can take a shot with your smartphone camera, have it automatically uploaded to a private folder in Google+ and easily share it with just the groups you want. On top of that, features now include auto-enhancement, a decent set of photo-editing tools, and the ability to search photos by keyword.

This last feature, keyword search, is worthy of additional consideration. On the surface, it might seem par for the course, but Google can now support searching for photos that are not tagged with any text. In other words, you can type in dog, and it will return any images of dogs in your collection, based on identifying the image itself. This is no small feat, and something any competitor will be hard pressed to replicate.

So if ease of access is your number one priority, you might want to let Google handle your photo collection. Additionally, you can make Google+ photos part of a streamlined business operation if you are planning to sell your work online.  If you think this might be a good option for you, get started with a free online course to learn Google’s business tools.

500px

If you are an advanced, practicing photographer who needs a place for your photos to live online, 500px offers an exceptional product.

This provider from Ontario, Canada has remained dedicated to supporting serious, high-quality artists through the digital revolution, and in the past few years, they have really come to prominence. Incorporating features of social networking, crowdsourcing, cloud storage, and e-commerce, they offer photographers a low-cost service for getting their work in front of the masses and selling it in an easy-to-maintain storefront.

If you are hoping to get started selling your photos online, you could have a very simple solution by setting up on 500px and taking a course on how to effectively price your photographs

Imgur

If the quality of your art is in the richness of its details and composition, you are probably best aligned with a site like 500px, where you will find an audience for the artistry.  If however, your work makes the kind of statement that people will immediately connect with and share, you won’t want to overlook Imgur. As a dedicated photo-sharing platform connected to Reddit, Imgur offers the potential for your work to go viral. Just make sure you choose the photos with the most immediate impact to share on this channel.

Instagram

In professional photography circles, Instagram gets a bad rap. And really, that shouldn’t be a surprise. Essentially this mobile-centric photo-sharing platform makes any photo instantly more appealing, and in doing so, it actually reduces the resolution.

While some photographers may not warm up to it anytime soon, Instagram can certainly be a good option to keep in your toolkit. With a growing installed userbase and content sharing based on topics, photos can get in front of a lot of eyes quickly on this network.

Wrap-up

There is something for photographers of all stripes on the internet of today, and knowing where to look, you should have little trouble finding online tools that will make sharing, storage, and simple edits easier to handle. Get up and running with a service that fits your needs so you can get out there and focus on taking some great shots!