Gmail, Picasa and Flickr

by Tom Mullaly on March 12, 2005

I’m a big fan of the Flickr photo sharing and publication service. It is an amazing web application that lets you present your photographs on the web. It uses a tagging system to allow you to easily categorize your photographs. One of the neatest features, is that you can also view photos from other people who use the service, and because of the tagging features, you can easily look for photographs from other people that share the same interests or tags.

But, I’ve always found it a bit tedious to upload images to the service. You can use Flickr’s web based image upload tool or you can use their small Windows application to upload your images. Both methods are extremly inefficient especially if you have alot of photos. The other problem is that if you use their free accounts, you can only upload 10MB worth of images every month. With my Nikon Coolpix 5000 camera, each photo I take is about 2MB in size. This means that I can only upload 5 high quality images per month. But I’m not really interested in uploading high quality images, so I resize my images before I upload. This means going into Fireworks, resizing, saving and uploading. Quite a few steps.

The third way you can get photos to your Flickr account is by using email. Enter Picasa and Gmail. Picasa is a great free photo management tool that lets you organize and perform simple edits and manipulations to your photos.

With the recent release of Picasa 2.0, you can now email directly from this great image management software. When you email from Picasa, you can tell the application to automatically resize your photos before sending them. So uploading to Flickr has become much easier.

Here are the steps:

  • Login to your Flickr account. Near the bottom of the page click on the link that says Upload by Email
  • Copy the email address that is presented to you. This is a personalized email address that you can use to send photos to your Flickr account.
  • Now, open Picasa and click on the Tools>Options… menu.
  • On the Email tab, choose Use my GMail Account then set the picture size (using the slider) to whatever size you want. This is the size that Picasa will scale your image to before sending it.
  • Click the OK button and you’re ready to start sending images to Flickr.
  • Click on the image that you want to upload then click on the Email button near the bottom of the Picasa application window.
  • Picasa will ask you to enter your GMail login details
  • In the To field, enter the email address that Flickr gave you.
  • Enter the title of the picture in the subject line. This is the title that Picasa will use when it displays your picture.
  • Enter the description of the photo in the message area. This is the description that Picasa will use when it displays your picture.
  • Finally, click the Send button and the photo is uploaded to Flickr.

The only limitation with this method is that you cannot tag the image. You will need to login to Flickr to do that.

Happy uploading, and if you want to check out my photos, you can find my photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimrutherford/

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