Online photo albums

Photo albums are big, heavy and cumbersome — unless, of course, they are online like the easy-to-use Flickr site

Life before the digital age was so simple. You went on holiday, to a wedding or just a pleasant walk in the country, took some pictures and then dropped the film off at the chemist to be developed. Once you had picked them up, you had a pack of holiday snaps to show friends and family.

Digital photography is much better in many ways, except when it comes to showing off your snaps.

Flickr.com is the answer to this problem. It is effectively a giant online photograph album that allows you to share photographs with family or friends or even the wider world.

Opening a basic Flickr account is free. It gives you your own page to load your pictures to, where you can arrange them into sets and it even provides software that will help you sort the pictures as you load them. Then it’s just a matter of emailing people to tell them where to find them. You can set privacy options on every photograph to allow them to be seen by anyone or just friends or family. I leave landscapes and still life pictures public but make those featuring people private.

For keen photographers there are forums to discuss pictures, the opportunity to view other people’s work and themed groups where you can share pictures on a subject. Some of my images from a rainy October day are featured in the Share Kew group. It is also possible to have calendars and merchandise printed from your photos.

A basic membership only allows you to load a small amount every month. However, a ‘Pro’ account costs $50 for 2GB capacity per month for two years.

Bronagh Miskelly is editor of GP

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