Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Looking Back at a Year With Google Photos

For about a year now, I have been using Google Photos to backup all of the photos on my various devices. Because I have been taking a lot of photos with my iPhone 8 Plus, using Google Photos has extremely simplified storing, viewing, and using the photos. The process is simple, you take a photo and Google backs it up online and all of the backed up photos can be viewed using the Google Photos app or online at

The photo storage is free and unlimited. The photos are all organized automatically with a sliding timeline so you can instantly move back to any particular day or year. I have hundreds of thousands of photos on my computer and attached hard drives and all of these are now available to me anyplace and anytime I have an internet connection. However, I would suggest that having this many photos is not easily managed with a program like Google Photos. To really manage these photos, you need a high powered program such as Adobe Lightroom which is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud and has a monthly subscription charge.

For a genealogist, Google Photos simplifies the process of obtaining copies of documents and taking notes assuming the record repository allows photos. When we recently went to the Library of Congress, they suggested taking notes with a smartphone camera. Here is an example of images of a document taken with my iPhone camera and available almost instantly on Google Photos.

Google Photos has a simplified photo editing capability, but any serious editing would require another program. If you are a professional photographer and taking photos at a very high resolution, you need to know that Google reduces the photos to around 16 Megapixels for storage.

There are features for sharing your photos and creating albums. I further suggest reading all the instructions before starting. For more information, you may wish to browse the Official Google Photos blog.

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