Tech Talk: Get those photos online

Pic options for gadget column Oct 1.'Photo products like these can be ordered from the Kodak Gallery once you've uploaded your photos. But do shop around.

Pic options for gadget column Oct 1.'Photo products like these can be ordered from the Kodak Gallery once you've uploaded your photos. But do shop around.

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SOME people miss those old wallets of photos you could pass around in the pub, or show the family over Christmas dinner. Not me. Digital photography has opened up a new world of possibilities for sharing – and the best part is, you no longer have to pay through the nose for reprints and enlargements.

Almost everyone is on the web these days, and that’s where your photo albums should be, too. That doesn’t mean making them available to the world; just to the family and friends you invite as viewers.

There are lots of websites on which you can display your pictures and many are free to use. If you’re still using Facebook for photo sharing, here are three that will raise your game.

Flickr.com is my favourite photo sharing site. It lets you upload 300MB of photos every month (that’s about 200 snaps, depending on size) and you can view the 200 most recent as a slide show. If you want a bigger album, you can pay £16 a month for unlimited uploads and show off your high-definition videos, too.

With Flickr, you can choose who sees each of your pictures, but if you decide to make them private your friends and family will have to log in to gain access. This isn’t a problem for most people, but the process may put off elderly relatives.

Picasa Web Albums, run by Google, is another popular choice for photo sharing, and, like Flickr, it’s free for modest users. It has a companion application – also free – which runs on your desktop and lets you edit and catalogue your snaps. Using the two together it’s incredibly easy to get your pictures from your hard drive to the web and notify your friends.

Kodak Gallery has a different take on photo sharing. It’s free to use but the emphasis is on preserving what’s left of Kodak’s traditional print-based market. As a result, you can order your favourite photos on books, calendars, mugs, jewellery and even blankets. But you can also use the site simply to share online, and video slide shows with motion and music are among its offerings. It’s also easy to upload lots and lots of pictures at the same time.

If you are tempted by Kodak’s printed photo books, you should shop around before you buy. The competition is fierce and there are many bargains and free trials to be found.

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