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Chapter 11. Share Your Photos > Online Photo Services

Online Photo Services

Online photo services are in the business of photo sharing. If they don't make it easy for you to use them, they won't be around for very long. There's no reason to settle for a service that doesn't have all the options that you like—or to limit yourself to only one service if you can't find the best combination of options. By all means, try out more than one while you're still experimenting with image sharing. You might find that one service is particularly good for special gift ideas (like making T-shirts and greeting cards) but costs more than you'd like for prints.

Uploading and Your Internet Connection

If you're using a photo service for both prints and online images, make sure that its data transfer rates are as fast as possible. To test this, sign on to two or three services you're considering, and then upload a good-quality image to each of them at a day and time you'd be likely to transfer photos. Then time the uploads. Remember that an extra 30 seconds to send one picture could mean an extra 5 minutes for 10 pictures. Just to be thorough, try again later, or on a different day. By experimenting, you'll get a realistic sense of how long you can expect to wait while uploading.

When you upload to create Web pages or photo albums, transfer speed is less important if you have first prepared the images for online-only use. That means your pictures should be 72 dpi, medium-to-low quality JPEGs. You can transfer a dozen small files in the time it will take you to upload a single high-resolution photo. If the service also offers the option for people to order prints from your online albums, be sure to warn your friends about the low quality of the images. No one will thank you if they buy five of your wedding pictures and they arrive ugly and jagged!



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