Sharing Your Photos Via Email & Internet

NOTE: These are the show notes & resources presented in episode #7 of Your Technology Tutor. This program is available in the iTunes Store and can also be heard via the player at the bottom of this page.

Your Technology Tutor Program
Show Notes – Episode #7
Topic: Sharing Photos via Email and Internet

Today I seek to provide you with an overview of the best method to share your photos using internet tools

Links presented in the program:

 Here are the segments I will talk about today:

* Sharing via Email
* Sharing via Social Media
* Cloud Services
* Online Photo websites

First let’s acknowledge that todays cameras are capable of producing images with very high resolution.  This results in a file that can be very large… filled with great detail is more information to transfer over the internet.

For example – even on an iPhone 4s or 5 with an 8Mega pixel sensor- this will result in an image  that is 3264×2448 pixels in size.  That yields a file that can be between 2.5 and a little more than 3 Mega-Pixles in size.

Most all free email programs folks use (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo) have a limitation on attachments up to 10MB per message.  Most also have a size limit that your inbox/message folder can reach.  Once that is exceeded it can stop allowing new messages (mailbox is full).

The thing to be aware of is this – what is your goal or desired outcome in sharing this photo.  For your friend to view and appreciate… or are they going to print the photo?

If it is for viewing on their computer – you can go with a lower quality setting when sending (or reduce the photo quality/size prior to sending using one of several software choices). Or use one of the non-email alternatives I will share today.


Most every email application or email client allows you to attach files, which can be documents as well as photos. You simply click on the ‘add attachment’ button and choose the photo or photos which are added to the message before sending.

The trick here is not to attempt to send too large an image thru email.  Your email host or provider ma y prevent it from being sent and many who might receive your message with attached photo will have the message blocked by their ISP or internet service provider or their email application.

If you have only one image to share, you can probably use email to share it.  But be aware of the image size – for example an photo from my iPhone 4s that measures 3264 x 2448 has an actual (original) size of 3.1 MB.

If you are attempting to transmit an image from a higher resolution digital camera like the Canon 5D Mark2 – shooting in the highest modes you may end up with a photo that is 21 Mega Pixels in size! If you are dealing with that high size you will need to lower the images size before sending.

To find out image size, in a Mac ind the photo in your Finder – depending on your view options it may display the size right there in the Finder menu.  If not click ‘Command’ and letter ‘I’ to open the Info menu which shows the file size (and other information about that file or folder).

If it is large you can lower the quality in your email program or before sending.  On a Mac computer you can use the freeware program called ‘Preview’ to lower the size of the file… but if you are using Mac Mail there is an easier method.  You can adjust the size easily using when using Mac Mail with the image size option.  This is found in the bottom right corner of an email message when composing the message. You choose from the file’s original size or change it to one of three lower resolutions which provides lower or smaller sizes.

For the photo I used as a test image, here are the modified sizes (actual size was 3.1MB)
Small = 55 KB
Medium – 153KB
Large = 452 KB

Now I should point out that if you are using a photo application program like iPhoto there are ‘built-in’ functions for sharing both individual photos as well as photo collages.

And if you are capturing photos on your iPhone or your iPad you can send via the iOS mail app. It’s quite easy by clicking the Share button in the Camera Roll and clicking Mail – it will attach your selected photo or photos to an email message for sending.

Cloud Services

If you’re using latter versions of the Apple OS, specifically OS X on your desktop and iOS 6 on your mobile devices like iPhone and iPad you can use the Photo Stream function to share wireless-ly between your devices and even invite friends and family to automatically receive  photos on their computer or apple device. I will post a link to a video where I teach how to use this function in the show notes for today’s program.

Apart from the iCloud ability to stream photos between and to Apple Mobile devices used the Shared Stream option… there are a number of document and file sharing options that you can upload your photos to and share them that way.

Among these choices are DropBox, Google Drive, and Microsoft Sky Drive. There are dozens of other choices – some free some paid that offer this service. Here’s basically what happens — after you register for an account at one of these cloud storage services, you will have access to a control panel that will either be an App or gateway you download and use from from your computer or a web page that becomes that access point to upload your photos (and/or files) to the services file server.  This computer holds your data (in this case your photos) in the cloud… that is, not on your hard drive but in the cloud – accessible via internet.

DropBox starts you out with 2GB of space for your files.  As you share your files with others, and complete other activites with the service you can earn more space (I presently have 4-1/2GB of space for free). By referring more friends to the service I could max out at 18GB – for free!

Google Drive provides up to 5GB of space free to store and share data, while SkyDrive provides you with the largest of the free services – 7 Gigabytes of space.

I use Google Drive for work and for community sharing of files, mostly documents.  I also have accounts with DropBox and SkyDrive.  In preparing for this program- I would say that I found SkyDrive to be the most friendly to sharing photos.  It was very easy to upload my pics and could easily share the photos with a link or an email with the link included.  And the recipient can see the photo in a gallery rather than in a file directory or folder.
Links for each of these free services can be found in the show notes for today’s program at

Social media

Let’s discuss for a moment the use of Social Medai services or sites to share your photos.  But before we do that let’s define a difference between broadcasting and targeted sharing.  If you want the world to see your photo then you may choose to use a service like Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook of one of the photo specific networks like Fotolog.

For most of these networks you are sharing with every potential person who has an account with that service… you CAN send a private or direct message with several of these services but its not as easy for most folks when compared with an email or using one of the cloud services.

Online Photo websites

This last category of internet photo sharing options not only provides the opportunity to share your photos, but also provide online storage or archival of your most previous photographs.

If you are a digital photographer who is serious about not only sharing your favorite photographs but also in preserving these memories for years to come, to have an archival plan… then you should consider using a paid photo sharing/archival service.

The reason is this – a free service might change their business model next week… they could be acquired or shut down that part of their business and you may lose access to your photos.  Also – with a paid service, you have access to a greater level of technical support and increased services.

There are more than a dozen pay to play photo hosting websites and at least that many free photo sharing websites.  I am going to focus today on one paid site called SmugMug and also mention Flickr and Picasa, two of the many Free photo sharing websites..

After a good deal or research – I decided to do my photo hosting with SmugMug.  They have several plans to choose from beginning with the ‘Basic’ level which is $5/month or $40/year.

This provides you wish unlimited photo uploads (maximum of 50MB per image) to three higher levels.  If you are an amateur or hobbyist, or simply sharing & preserving your family images, the Basic level should be sufficient for your needs.

Their privacy settings are robust as are the sharing options. I load my photos into separate galleries and can then send someone a link to that gallery or to a specific photo.  You can upload to your SmugMug gallery from any computer with internet connection or can even do so while on vacation — either from an Eye-Fi wireless SD card in your camera or by using the SmugMug app on your iPhone, iPad.

Another notable free option is Google’s Picasa.  That service allows you to also create online albums, restrict visibility and access to those photo galleries.  One reason to consider Picasa is if you do a lot with Google services –  you can share photos from Picasa with your connections on Google+ and you can be already logged in by using your universal Google ID.



Google Drive

Microsoft SkyDrive

This week’s Cool Find is a website and it’s also an APP
It’s IMDB – That’s an acronym for Internet Movie Data Base.

IMDB is regarded as the #1 movie website in the world with a combined web and mobile audience of more than 160 million unique monthly visitors.  It is a website with a good search tools with more than 2 millions movies, TV programs – and more than 4 million cast and crew members.

When I want to find out about a new movie, a movie that’s on DVD or streaming on Netflix or amazon instant… I go to IMDB.  If I want to find out who played a particular character in a movie, I go to IMDB.  If I want to find out what that early movie was that actor so and so starred as… I go to IMDB.

Now- here is another reason I like to use IMDB.  If you scroll down for any recent or current movie you will find Parents Guide: – click to view content advisory
and it provides clear details on any potentially offensive or inappropriate content in the movie.

What I appreciate about it is clearly factual information — without shading or from any particular viewpoint like I have found on some websites.  The info is laid out clearly for me to decide what I think of the movie and whether it’s too much for my children. In 5 areas: Sex & Nudity, Violence & Gore, Profanity, Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking, Frightening/Intense scenes.

If you care about it – you can also keep track of box office results (how much it’s making…) and read film critic reviews.  And while planning this program – I was surprised to learn that IMDB is an company!

You’ll find IMDB in your web browser at  and there is an IMDB app in the App Store for iPhone and iPad (there are also apps fro Android devices and the Kindle Fire)