+Jaana Nystrom

Welcome to my Circleverse!

Google+ is my passion: I want to help others to get the most out of it.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Google+ and your photos

Hopefully many of your questions will be answered here:  The Photos on Google+ feature is under constant development, I try to keep up with the changes and edit this post accordingly.
These screenshots and advice are from a desktop computer running Chrome and a Nexus 5 running Android.

Update on the Community profile photo size:

It used to be 250x250 px but the new required size is 960x540 px minimum.  A logo style image cannot be used anymore.  The cropped area is really small...  At least on a square photo.  The bigger the original photo, the better.

Got a good tip from +Dustin W. Stout :

The dimensions I recommend are 1036 x 1036. Bigger is better because it's better to scale down than scale up. Keep all the important stuff in the middle 836px (so leave a padding of 100px on each side). 

Google+ Photos tutorial

⦊ About the Photo sizes on Google+

⦊ Need photo help with Picasa? Good desktop photo autobackup tips and instructions

⦊ Make your own GIF's on Android

⦊ Auto Backup

⦊ Be careful when deleting photos from your phone!

⦊ Search from your own Photos tab

⦊ Account photo limits on Google+ and Picasa Web

⦊ Google+ settings for photos

⦊ How to display the large image thumbnail on Google+ link posts

⦊ A tip for Blogger or Blogspot users: Blogger, Google+ and images

⦊ Make a meme on Google+, use it in your blog and other social media, too

⦊ Albums, moving photos and "Photos" tab in Profile view

⦊ Editing an already published image

⦊ See your Drive photos in Google+ (and a few other improvements)

⦊ Having trouble with your profile photo?

⦊ The cover photo on Google+

⦊ About the Lightbox view

⦊ Share a Google+ photo in Facebook

⦊ Instant upload / Auto backup images and privacy

⦊ 3 easy steps to search Auto Backup on the Google+ Photos App

⦊ Google+ Photobox

⦊ Worried about copyright?

⦊ Links

⦊ Tip about Photo search

About the Photo sizes on Google+

NOTE:  Photos posted from mobile to Hangouts chat are full size and take up storage!
There is no option to avoid that.  To downscale these photos you can use Picasa desktop client  https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/myphotos - each album has a size and quantity statistic when you drill down to the album level.
If you have the albums imported to Picasa you can activate the "Web to sync" and set it to standard size (2048 Px).  This will downscale your online photos. See https://support.google.com/picasa/answer/106176
If you use Hangouts in your browser and you have standard size in the G+ settings for uploads then also photos shared with Hangouts will resized.  But not so from the Android app.
For video shares: it depends on the length of the video. Up to 15 minutes videos don't count against the storage.

For the standard size photos (max 2048 pix wide) there is no limit or quota in storing them to Google+.
You can also share very large images but full size uploads will count against your Google Drive storage quota.  (15 GB free between Gmail, Drive and Google+, 100 GB costs 1.99 USD per month).

Check your total storage

Note:  If you share a large photo from Gmail to Drive but don't delete the email, that counts twice towards your storage!  If you share a large image to Google+ from Gmail and you haven't opted in for the "Upload my photos in full size" then that image is made smaller and will not count towards the storage.

Read more about the Google Storage Limit

Need photo help with Picasa? Good desktop photo autobackup tips and instructions

Top Contributors in the Picasa help forum have put together an excellent resource for information about Picasa, Google+ photo autobackup for desktop, Google+ Photos and Picasa Web Albums. If you use #autobackup or Picasa, add this to your bookmarks!
Picasa FAQ and resources

Fun with Google+ Photos app Motion creation! Make your own GIF's on Android:

Auto Backup

If you use Auto Backup on your desktop or mobile device, when in your "Photos" tab you can either search for backed up images or check your "Recently added" images and share them or copy them to new albums.  I use Auto Backup also from my desktop and Google has already backed up over 40 000 images from my external hard drive.  The funny thing is, when I look at Recently added I see different photos than what I get when searching for Auto Backup...  :-)

The Auto Backup is a Google created folder and moving images from there is not possible, only copying them. Google wants your photos to be safe, that's why the images have an existing copy in that folder. You can delete or download photos here, too.  You can also change how and when your photos are uploaded.

To my understanding All photos shows all of your photos, also those in the albums.  The backed up photos always leave a copy, that's the back-up.  If you could move them to albums and then deleted an album by accident, there would be no backed up image left, that's why only copying is possible.
Those photos don't take up any storage so it's best just to ignore them. If you delete anything from all photos, you may delete the original, so unless you want to do that, don't.

How to find you Auto Backup photos on you phone:

On the phone you need to go to the Google+ Photos App then use the "magnifying glass" to search for #autobackup :
This will show you all the auto backup images.

Check your settings for Auto backup!

What does the cloud icon mean on my photos?

That means it is waiting to upload to Google+ via Auto-Backup - it should have an arrow in it when it is uploading, and no cloud when it has uploaded.
How fast the upload works would depend on your connection, I would suggest you use WiFi for Auto backup.

Great tips for Auto Backup from +Google+ Top Contributors

Troubleshooting: Auto backup does not work (by +Kamal Tailor )

The first thing to do is to update the Photos and Google+ app: Remove it and re-install it.  If this doesn't help:

Do all the steps described you don't have to do the optional one, but please ensure that you do the steps in that order. 

Ensure sync is on for the whole device
Go to your device Settings
Go to Data Usage
Tap the menu button
Check Auto-sync data
(depending on your device you may have a quick switch in your notifications drop down panel)

Something that seems to have worked for a few people is this.
Go to your device settings
go to Applications
Go to All
Find the Google+ App
uninstall all updates for the google+ app
clear app data

Go to the play store
go to my apps
update your apps from the play store

go to your device settings
scroll to account
tap into google
tap into your email address
ensure all boxes are checked, so that sync is on for that item
especially the Google+, Google+ Photos, and Google+ Uploads
(Google Photos can be left off as it syncs your Picasa images to your gallery app)

Ensure sync is on for the whole device
Go to your device Settings
Go to Data Usage
Tap the menu button
Check Auto-sync data
(depending on your device you may have a quick switch in your notifications drop down panel)

it should work as per normal now.
go to google+ app
log into app
ensure settings are to your requirements

go to the Photos app
go to the left side menu
go to On Device
if the Autobackup Cloud icon is highlighted blue tap it to switch it off for a particular folder that you don't want to be backed up.

This is optional:
go back to the Google+ app
From the settings go to the autobackup settings
select the option to backup all photos now
do not dismiss the notification for it.


Be careful when deleting photos from your phone!

- Delete them from the On Device menu
- ALWAYS check if they have backed up first via a computer

If you have problems with the Auto backup:
- Delete the Auto backup app. Clear app data. Update. Check sync is on and do full backup.
Instructions on how to delete photos and videos

Deleting a photo from the All/Highlights views via the Photo's application on your mobile device will delete it from everywhere - meaning the device and auto-backup cloud.
If you only want to delete your device photos then select the On Device menu and then delete.  Ensure it uploaded to Google+ first.
If you only want to delete from the cloud without affecting your local copies then search for #AutoBackup  from your devices Photos application.
In all cases, ensure you have a backup of your media via other methods and carry out tests with some sample images.

How to download Auto Backup photos

The Auto Backup photos are only visible to you until you decide to share them.

Did you know that the search from your own Photos tab works in surprising ways:
Try searching with how the image looks like. For instance I searched for "yellow flower":

Account photo limits on Google+ and Picasa Web: 

As you upload more photos and videos in Picasa Web Albums, please keep in mind the following account limits:

Maximum photo size: Each image can be no larger than 100 MB.
Maximum video size: Each video uploaded can be no larger than 1 GB in size.
Maximum number of web albums: 20,000
Maximum number of photos and videos per web album: 2,000
Total storage space: Picasa Web provides 1 GB for photos and videos. Files under certain sizes (Google+ normal uploads) don't count towards this limit.

Google+, Gmail and Google Drive share 15 GB storage together.

Google+ settings for photos:

The sharing and privacy control is easy: You can disable reshares of your albums, decide who gets to see what and control the visibility of any album.

How to display the large image thumbnail on Google+ link posts: The size matters

Update from Google:
We also support images as small as 400 px wide and scale them up when necessary.

Just make sure the ratio is correct.  The bigger the photo, the better end result - 1120 pixels or the regular Google+ upload size is really good.  On Blogger you can search all your photo albums for images you wish to use on your blog: They will be copied to the Blogger album which has your blog's name.  NEVER change any settings on that Google-created album! You'll lose the link between your blog and photos.
Read more from Google Developers: Article rendering

(Always make sure at least one photo in the article or on your blog is minimum 506 x 300 pixels in size. It can be resized by HTML in your presentation, but the natural size of that image needs to be at least 506 pixels.)

+David Kutcher tested:

If your image is at least 506 pixels wide, it also has a height requirement. This requirement does not seem to be an aspect ratio requirement, but instead a pixel requirement. While 300px tall was successful, 200px tall failed.

There are likely other factors that affect whether a large thumbnail or small thumbnail displays, and which image Google+ uses as the thumbnail when you share your blog post link.

A tip for Blogger or Blogspot users:

If you add black & white images or images with transparent background to Blogger, sometimes the colours appear to be wrong after saving. The culprit may be the Google+ Auto Enhance: The photos reside in Google+ created album for Blogger and if you have Auto Enhance turned on, the photos may change in the process, for instance B&W may look brownish and the transparent part greyish.

Go to your Photos tab, click on Albums view, find an album with the name of your blog (NEVER delete any images inside or this album!), go to the image and turn Auto Enhance off.

You can also control the Auto Enhance on album level:

If you store photos & videos in your Google Drive, you can also choose to view each folder as an album in Google+. Only you will be able to see them in your library until you choose to share them. If you have Auto Awesome or Auto Enhance turned on, then those features will be applied to your photos as normal, but your original drive files will remain intact.

By the way, using at least 507 pixels wide images you'll get the large thumbnail for your blog article on Google+.

Read more about the sharp edges of Blogger from a post by +Adam Auster. Good stuff.

Blogger, Google+ and images

If your blog is under the same Gmail as your profile, you can use any of your Google+ albums and pick up images for your Blogger blog from them: The "From this blog" shows all the images used in the blog inside a Google+ created photo album which is private only to you on Google+:
Never change the settings of that album!  Learn more: Blogger Help Center articles

- Upload = from your computer or external drive

- From this blog = photos are hosted in an album on Picasaweb AND Google+ if you have upgraded to it.  Deleting this album from Google+ also deletes the photos from your blog!

- From Picasa Web Albums = all your Google+ photos, also Photos from posts and Google Drive albums that are visible on Google+

- From your phone = If you have the Auto Backup on (requires Google+ account) you can see all those images here

- From your Webcam = take shots with the computer's camera

- From a URL = you can add a link to any photo and it's added to your blog post

There are many ways to add photos in a Blogger post

This is a great update: As usual, Google+ users get a few more features.  Using the Auto Backup photos from a tablet or a phone makes life a lot easier for a Blogger.

Adding from phone, you can rotate or delete the images

Make a meme on Google+, use it in your blog and other social media, too

You can save a created meme directly to the Blogger album or a designated album for memes.

Albums, moving photos and "Photos" tab in Profile view

I did some research as you can see from the post below:
When you check the profile of a person or a Page you can see the "Photos" tab there. The view is different from your own "Photos" in the left side bar (pop-up pillar) view.

Google seems to choose the single photos Highlights and does not show all the photos from posts.
I posted about this on my +Gplus Expertise page and also on my profile with even more details, hopefully clarifying the whole set up!

- It is important to name the album before publishing if you are sharing several photos
- Be careful when moving photos

Update for a better visibility of shared single images

Editing an already published image

There has been a slight change, again: When editing a photo from a post one can click the image open directly from the post, again. Thanks for hearing my feedback, Google!

See your Drive photos in Google+ (and a few other improvements)

Ever wish your Google Drive photos could get some of that Google+ goodness? Now’s your chance -- starting today you can see your Google Drive photos and videos in your Google+ library. Your photos stay in Drive, but they’ll also be visible to you in Google+ (and private until you choose to share them).

Once you choose to show Drive photos in Google+ they’ll be organized chronologically, easily searchable, and automatically enhanced to look better than ever. You might even see a few of them combined into animations and panoramas thanks to Auto Awesome. You’ll be able to see your Drive photos on the web as well as in the Google+ Android app.

Read more from Google+ Help Center  and watch this video from the Developers' +Ali Afshar.
Update in March 2015: Google+ photos added to Google Drive.  Help Center article.

While you’re browsing through old holiday and vacation pics on the desktop, you might notice a couple other changes we’ve made to Google+ Photos based on your feedback:

- More control over your Highlights view. You can choose whether or not individual photos are shown in your Highlights, as well as move highlighted photos to the album of your choice.

- Quicker adding to albums. Now you can pick a specific album for your photos right when you’re sharing them on Google+.

Go to your Photos and click the blue tab if you accept:

Having trouble with your profile photo?

See the workaround for adding a new profile avatar image:

The cover photo on Google+

Take note that the whole image is visible on your hovercard:
- If you plan using text, make it large enough to show also there.
It's your 2-second pitch; Make it understandable and clear when people mouse over your name, to get them interested.

Use your imagination with the images! :-)
For the profile avatar: If the image is too large, it gets resized automatically and there is a possibility to crop it further.  Leave some room around your logo or face shot because it gets cropped further for the circular avatar.

Cover photo size: Minimum 480 x 270 pixels, maximum 2120 x 1192 pixels, with 16:9 ratio

About the Lightbox view

The lightbox is where photos are displayed when you click on any individual photo thumbnail. From the lightbox view, you can navigate through the album and take a variety of actions on the photo.

When you click Share in the lightbox view, you create a post for the photo you're looking at. Anyone you share the post with will be able to see and reshare that photo. If you own the album, and you'd like to prevent resharing of your photo, you can disable resharing. People you share the photo with will not be able to see the rest of the album containing that photo, unless the full album has also been shared with them.

The Google+ photo editor

In the lightbox you can also:
- tag people
- add comments
- +1 the photo
- view photo details
- edit the image
- change the photo date
- add location

If you're the owner of the photo, you'll find the following in the More dropdown in the top black bar:
- Add to album
- Set as cover photo
- Download
- Auto enhance
- Highlight

If you'd like to disable the ability for viewers to download photos you own from lightbox:

Place your cursor in the top left corner for the Google+ main menu.
Click Settings.
Scroll down to the Photos section.
Uncheck the box next to Allow viewers to download my photos.

The photos can still be copied by right-clicking or taking a screenshot, so don't post anything in Public that you absolutely don't want spreading anywhere in the Internet.

Share a Google+ photo in Facebook:

Add photos to an Event

When you add photos or videos to an event, they are added to a collection shared with all the guests of the event. If you add photos or videos to a public event or event on air, anyone can see these photos and videos. By default, all event guests can contribute to the photo collection of that event. For public events, anyone can contribute photos.

Add photos to an event collection any place you see the Add photos button, marked with a camera image: On an event page, from a notification, or on your phone. 

When you add photos to an existing album that is part of an event collection, those photos will also be added to the event page and shared with the event guests.

Adding a few photos before the Event helps attract more attention.

Event banner size is 1200 x 300 pixels if you wish to create your own.

Instant upload / Auto backup images and privacy:

I've been asked about the instant upload, will the photos from the phone be publicly viewable...
If the photos are deleted from the phone, what happens then?

- The Google+ photos stay unless you delete them too. If you use Picasa, the images will be visible there also.

- You can always control if something is public or not: If you don't 'share' the pics, they are visible only to you. If you share them to a limited circle or circles, then those people only can see them.

Tagging someone in a photo lets them see the whole album, mind! If you wish to tag someone but not let them see the whole album, just create a new album and copy the photos to be tagged there.

Use captures from Hangouts on posts or blogs! There's an app for it...

Worried about copyright?

Create your own stock photos for social media!

A little bit of imagination and there you have it.
Visit a market place, a beach, a harbour, a park, a supermarket... Place unlikely objects in strange places and shoot.

I took around 100 different pics with the help of this bouquet of roses which cost 4 Euros.
Snow gives a nice lively background. Cropping and editing on Google+ will multiply the amount of usable images two times or more.

Good post from +Peg Fitzpatrick about using photos in blogs and social media: It may cost you...

Any tips of your own to add?

How you can find a photo on a desktop:

A.  Go to the Photos tab from the left pop-up menu, search for a word in the Photos search

B.  By date: Place your mouse over the blue date button top right and choose the month

C.  Find a photo you have posted, in the Google+ search: Go to the normal G+ search on profile or stream tab. Type the word, sentence or hashtag you have used in the post and click on "Search Google+" or the blue magnifying glass.  Then when you get the result, click on "More" and choose "From you". Choose "Most recent" and you should see your own posts.


Latest article about Google+ Photo Albums

Latest Picasa update DEC 2013

Google+ Photos Updates

Great in-depth article on Google+ for photographers by +The Next Web

Video playlist about the new Chrome photo editor on Google+

Google+ Help pages: Photos  and Editing  and  Auto Backup

Google+ photography Communities

Go to your Photos tab and click on the search bar:
You can see all the different search filters you can use. Clicking on the Auto Backup shows all your backed up photos.

Is there something else you'd like to know about Google+ photos?

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