Chrome OS Online Workflows: Photos

By Kshitij Sobti Published Date
18 - Jan - 2010
| Last Updated
18 - Jan - 2010
Chrome OS Online Workflows: Photos

Most photography related workflows have already gone digital, and for most people, the internet is already the best medium for sharing their work.

If you take even a small number of photographs, you are sure to find sending them via email a rather unpleasant way of sharing. If you are into photography, odds are you already use a service such as Picasa Web Albums of Flickr for storing your images.

Online image storage service have been available for quite some time, and have been constantly evolving. Over time these services have gained better and easier to use features for organization and collaboration and sharing are keywords.What is new however, is the ability to edit images straight online.

The number of such services is growing rapidly, and so are the features supported by such services. However what we need to see is, how well do they compare to the workflow on a desktop. On a desktop computer you connect your camera to your computer, and either manually copy the file, or use the automated tools available in your operating system or image management application. This much is quite obvious, but is working with the cloud as obvious?

After importing them to your computer, you can use the image management application of your choice to organize, tag, and otherize manage your collection of photos. For Windows users popular examples are Picasa, and Windows Live Photo Gallery, for Mac users, there's iPhoto among other, and Linux user will find F-Spot and digiKam. All of these application integrate with online services. In most cases -- save the Linux applications -- they have their own services as well. Picasa integrated with Picasa Web Alums, Windows Live Photo Gallery integrates with Microsoft's own service among others, Apple's iPhoto integrates with thie MobileMe Gallery service. Any major image organizer will feature some form of integration or support for uploading to an online service, and most allow uploading to multiple services.

After this point, you'd want to make some minor correction to images, touch ups here and there. Note that we wouldn't be bringing Photoshop into the picture here, as we're still talking about an average use case, not that of a photographer, but of someone who just takes a photos and would like to have them organized, tagged shared and what not. All this is now not only possible but also quite easy while working with online services. Most will offer some limited space of bandwidth for free, with premium accounts available at yearly charge.

Event if you need to work only online, as Google would have you do with their Google Chrome Netbooks, the only thing that changes is how the images end up on the storage service, whether through an a desktop tool, or straight via the browser. Either process is now quite simple, and would be required in any case, so no new steps are being added to your workflow just because you are working online.

Since organizing and storing images are taken care of by the same service, what is left now is to edit them, and the workflow for that it quite important. Here too you will notice that the integration of service is quite good. Most online image editing service are capable of connecting to your storage provider and loading images straight, without needing them to be downloaded. Taking the popular examples of  Adobe and Aviary Phoenix, both services are capable of opening images directly from Picasa, Flickr and Facebook. even allows you to save edited image back at your storage provider, making it even more so like an online harddrive.

Even print services are now becoming common, allowing you to get professional prints easily, straight from your service. Picasa and Flickr, two popular websites, allow for taking prints straight from their web interface. Picasa in fact allows you to even pick a print provider, much like you'd pick a printer.

So finally, when it comes to images, there is little left that you can't do online. Online workflows for working with images are quite mature, and provide many paths, and multiple options which needn't be restricted by what Google provides.