Friday, May 17, 2019

Adding and Removing Photos from Albums

Album View in Google Photos
I take lots of photos. If I'm in a beautiful area I may take 1-2,000 in a month. I love them all and I don't want to delete any, (that's work) but I do want to be able to find and show just my best (that's fun.)
That's what Albums are for.

Develop your own Album "system."

When I'm browsing my photos and I see one that is particularly good, I want to add it to an appropriate album. We are traveling and taking pictures all the time, so I've developed a system where I make an album for each month. I name it starting with 4 digits for the year, then a dash and 2 digits for the month. That makes them easy to search. I start an album at the beginning of the month and add photos as I go. If I want to see my best photos from July 2018, I just search for 2018-07. I also make albums for specific events.

To add a photo to an album

  1. Open the photo on my phone
  2. Tap the 3-dot menu in the upper right
  3. Choose Add to Album
  4. Scroll down the list and tap the appropriate album (note: once you have a lot of albums, you may need to scroll a ways. Albums are in date order by the most recent photo in the album. Once you've added one photo, that album will show up at the top as a Recent album the next time.)

To remove a photo from an album

If you're looking at an album and you decide that a given photo or video does not belong there:
  1. Select or open the photo and tap the 3-dot menu in upper right
  2. Choose Remove from Album
  3.  When prompted to confirm, tap "Remove"
If you change your mind, you can always find that photo in your Google Photos library and add it back. 

Albums are our one organizing tool

Once you have your best photos in named albums, you can use the albums to share with friends. You can also create printed books from the album photos. I make albums primarily for myself, just so I can easily find my best photos from any given month or occasion. Unfortunately there is no way to sort albums yet. There is also no way to categorize albums, for example by work or travel. Hopefully these are features that will be added sometime. 
I just click on the Album tab in my Google Photos app and I can scroll to an album I want, or if I don't see it right away, I can search. As soon as you start typing a search term, the top Autocomplete suggestions will be albums, if you have any matches. Get familiar with the icon that signifies album:

To learn more, see Chapter 7 in Mrs. Geek's Guide to Google Photos. Also try going to GeeksOnTour.com and use the search feature at the top right to search for albums. You will find a wealth of material there! Some is free, some is for members only.

If you've never used albums before - start now! 


Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She has been in computer training and support since 1983. She is now a Top Contributor for the Google Photos Forum, owner of the LearnGooglePhotos.com blog, and author of Mrs. Geek's Guide to Google Photos
She loves to teach! If you want to learn, you’ve come to the right place.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Photo Descriptions

Isn't it great when you're looking at old family photos and you find notes written on the back that describe what's in the photo? Did you know that you can do the same thing with Google Photos? 
When viewing photos on a computer, click the i to open the Info panel and you'll see a field called Description where you can write whatever you want. On a mobile device, just swipe up on the photo to reveal the info panel.

Watch this video to see how to view those descriptions. https://youtu.be/f1muGsJQ2Tc




Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She has been in computer training and support since 1983. She is now a Product Expert for the Google Photos Forum, owner of the LearnGooglePhotos.com blog, and author of Mrs. Geek's Guide to Google Photos
She loves to teach! If you want to learn, you’ve come to the right place.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Google Photos is not a social network, or is it?

I recently read an article by Mike Elgan about how he plans to use a Google Photos album to keep in touch with friends and family instead of Facebook. He calls it How I replaced Facebook with Nicebook. "Nicebook" is the name he gave to his Photo album that he invites anyone to look at and comment on.

Interesting, but I don't think it's going to work.

You know I love Google Photos, and I definitely use albums to organize my photos. I make an album for every month as a matter of course. This allows me to easily browse thru my photos from any given time and remember where I was and what I was doing. I put links to these albums on a public blog page so anyone can see them if they like, but I do it for me. Really, does anyone else care about my pictures like I do?
I make an album for every month. To learn how I do this, watch episode 159 of our YouTube show

Google Photos is GREAT for sharing albums of trips and events

48 people followed our Italy album as it grew 
I share albums of special trips or events. In 2017, when we spent a month in Italy and Croatia, I invited anyone who reads my Facebook posts, or our Geeks on Tour newsletter, to "join" our photo album. For anyone who did that, two things happened: 
  1. They got notified any time we added new photos to the album, which was daily. This way they were following along, in almost real time.
  2. They could comment on any photo, or the album as a whole, and we could comment back. This provided a conversation with our followers.
Anyone can view the album and all the photos and videos contained in the album. Only if you have a Google account and are signed in can you "join" the album. Then it will show up in your Google Photos app in the Sharing section.
This month, Jim and I are headed off to Australia and then New Zealand and, once again, we will share the album in advance so anyone can follow along. It worked great in 2017 and I expect it to work great in 2019. We will be connected, photo by photo, with anyone who is interested. They can comment to us and we can comment back without involving any other social network besides our own photo album.

We do not allow collaboration on our shared albums

Realize that I am not talking about a group shared album. It's called "collaboration" when you set up an album where several people can contribute photos and videos to the album. This is great for weddings, or sports events, or group trips, where one person creates the album and invites the others in the group to add their photos as well. When you use this feature, you don't want just anyone to get hold of the link. If hundreds, or thousands of people have the link - they are all able to add their photos and videos. I've known people to test this, and it doesn't take long before you have some very undesirable content in the album. Then it becomes an unwelcome job to monitor the album and block the offending users.

Shared Albums vs Facebook


Shared Albums

Facebook
I see my shared album as a one-to-many communication tool, where the "one" is me and my photo album and the "many" is all the people who click the link to view it, and perhaps to join it.
Facebook is so much more than that. Facebook is many-to-many. I use Facebook because so many of my friends are there. In just a few minutes each day, I can catch up with my friends and see what is going on with them. I may not even post anything about myself. A shared album can't do that. Besides, how would I let people know about the shared album if it weren't for Facebook! That's where I post the link where all of my friends will see it. The shared album means I can post less on Facebook. An occasional photo will do, along with the link to the album for anyone who wants to see more.
I applaud Mike Elgan for thinking outside the box with Google Photos, and I joined his album so I can follow along. But I can't give up Facebook yet. What about you?



Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She has been in computer training and support since 1983. She is now a Product Expert for the Google Photos Forum, owner of the LearnGooglePhotos.com blog, and author of Mrs. Geek's Guide to Google Photos
She loves to teach! If you want to learn, you’ve come to the right place.

Friday, November 23, 2018

How to use Depth Editor and Color Pop in Google Photos

I used the Color Pop feature to make our
Geeks on Tour coffee mug stand out.
Have you ever wished you could make a photo of a flower, or a person, really stand out - with the main subject in color and the rest in black and white?
Now you can!
It's called Color Pop, and it is a new feature from our friends at Google Photos. It was announced along with Live Albums on Google's product blog on October 9, 2018. At the time it was only available on the Pixel phone, but it has arrived on the iPhone now as well. 

Take a "Portrait" photo

The key to using the Depth Editor and the Color Pop features is to have a photo that was taken with the Portrait option on the camera. Check out this past article about Portrait mode as well as Lens Blur mode on the Pixel.
In case you don't know how to take a portrait-style photo, here's a video:

Depth Editor and Color Pop

Once you have a Portrait style photo, when you use the Edit button in Google Photos, you will see some new options. Color Pop is one of the filters you will see right away. Depth Editor is accessible with the Adjustments button. Here's a video that shows you all about it.



Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She has been in computer training and support since 1983. She is now a Top Contributor for the Google Photos Forum, owner of the LearnGooglePhotos.com blog, and author of Mrs. Geek's Guide to Google Photos
She loves to teach! If you want to learn, you’ve come to the right place.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Are your cellphone photos backed up? Are you sure?

When you take some new photos, you will see them right away in the Google Photos app. That DOES NOT mean they’ve been backed up. Google Photos will show you photos in your camera roll on the device. At the top of your Google Photos library, you will see information about the progress of your backup.
It may say, “waiting for Wi-Fi to backup” – the default setting is to not allow Google Photos to backup using your cellular data. Your phone must be connected to Wi-Fi then. So, connect your phone to Wi-Fi, then open Google Photos again and look at the top to be sure that the backup is now in progress. Watch it and eventually you will see “Backup Complete”
I also recommend verifying that you know how to see the photos in your account by going to a computer and go to photos.google.com and log in with the same account – you will now see all the photos that are backed up.
Free Up Space: this is the command that – with one tap – will delete all the device copies of your photos after they are backed up to Google Photos. Mrs. Geek recommends not to use that command until after you have your photos copied to one more location. You want to make sure that you have at least 2 copies of your photos!

Tutorial Video - watch the first 8 minutes

In episode 154 of our What Does This Button Do? show, we teach about cell boosters, but we begin the show with a Google Photos tip where we demonstrate everything in this article.


Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She has been in computer training and support since 1983. She is now a Product Expert for the Google Photos Forum, owner of the LearnGooglePhotos.com blog, and author of Mrs. Geek's Guide to Google Photos
She loves to teach! If you want to learn, you’ve come to the right place.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Google Photos: How to view your photos in order by date-uploaded rather than date-taken

On a computer, you can see the timeline of your
photos by moving your mouse to the right sidebar.
These dates represent the date the photo was taken.
When you use Google Photos to store your pictures, they are organized in one great big stream, by date the photo was taken. The most recent photo is on the top, as you scroll down you're going back in time. On a mobile device you can pinch the screen until you see your photos grouped by year and month.

Old Photos get lost

A friend of mine just uploaded a group of old photos from her computer to Google Photos.  When she opened Google Photos, she expected to see those photos at the top. When they weren't there, she assumed she had done something wrong and not uploaded them correctly. She tried it again - still no photos. 
What she didn't realize is that these old photos got organized into her "stream" according to the date they were taken. She had no idea what dates these photos were taken, so she had no way to find them!

How to change the order to "Date Uploaded"

Google Photos does not give us many tools to re-order photos. Albums are generally our only tool for customizing how photos are grouped. But, there is a way to just view your library in order of Date-Uploaded rather than Date-taken.
  1. On a computer/browser view your photos
  2. Click in the search bar at top, don't type anything to search for
  3. Scroll down to the section that includes Videos, Selfies, Screenshots - click "Show More"
  4. Now you should see an option for "Recently Added" - click that
  5. You should now be viewing your library of photos with the most recently added at the top, scroll down and you still go back in time, but by date added now rather than date taken

What about Mobile apps?

On mobile apps this option does not show up. I have no idea why. The search bar is there, when you click on it you see Videos, Selfies, Screenshots and "Show More," but when you click Show More you will not see Recently Added!?!?! 

Where there's a will, there's a way! On your mobile device, instead of using the Google Photos app, open a browser and go to Photos.Google.com - just like you would on a computer. Now you will be seeing the same thing you do on a computer - including the Show More with Recently Added.

A shortcut

On a browser, after you've clicked the Recently Added option, take a look at your address bar - you will see the specific URL that has been used. You can enter that URL yourself (or save a bookmark) 

Mrs. Geek's Guide to Google Photos

 If you have the book, this feature is covered in Chapter 5: Explore and Organize. The section is called "View by Date Uploaded."


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Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She has been in computer training and support since 1983. She is now a Top Contributor for the Google Photos Forum, owner of the LearnGooglePhotos.com blog, and author of Mrs. Geek's Guide to Google Photos
She loves to teach! If you want to learn, you’ve come to the right place.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Using Google Photos to Edit Video

If you know how easy it is to trim off the beginning and end of videos, you will take more videos and share them with friends! Google Photos has this trim capability built right in to the mobile app, on your iPhone, iPad or Android mobile device-not on the computer. So, go ahead and take that video on your phone - view it and trim the junk from the beginning and end. You're done.
Preparing to take a video often means some messiness in the beginning. It's easy to get rid of that!
This can be done right in Google Photos app. You don't need any of the movie maker tools
  1. View your video
  2. Tap edit button
  3. Drag white markers to desired beginning and end
  4. Save
This will save a copy with the same date as the original, we recommend you share to YouTube
And, there's more ... you can rotate and stabilize video too. You can crop out content in the middle of your video by using the simple movie maker tools in Google Photos. Using those Google Photos movie maker tools, you can also combine several video clips and still photos into one movie, complete with music. When you're done, just tap the share button and choose YouTube. We recommend sharing to YouTube because it provides the best viewing experience. You can choose to make the YouTube video public, or just share with friends.

We will be demonstrating these video editing features in Episode 150 of What Does This Button Do?

LIVE today, Sunday 8/12/18 2pm Mountain Time (4pm Eastern, 3 Central, 1 Pacific)




Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She has been in computer training and support since 1983. She is now a Top Contributor for the Google Photos Forum, owner of the LearnGooglePhotos.com blog, and author of Mrs. Geek's Guide to Google Photos
She loves to teach! If you want to learn, you’ve come to the right place.