Jeff Sexton

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Photos and Google

I have been asked about how I do various things here on Google+ with regard to photos. So, here is the current workflow. It's as simple as I can make it, and doesn't require moving things by sneaker-net. Keep in mind that this is what works today, Google has been regularly pulling the rug out without warning, and will not (ever) tell us how things work. So these steps may not last long... This only works with the "classic" interface. The new Google+ interface can't do most of this.

1) Use the Google Photos mobile app with auto-upload turned on.
2) Take photos while work is in progress.
3) In Google+, classic interface, select post photos. A photos screen appears.
4) Select more than one photo from the recently uploaded. It has to be more than one. This doesn't work if you pick just one. Seriously.
5) This goes to an "organize" screen. Don't do anything on this screen. This doesn't work if you touch anything here. Seriously. Just hit "add" or "done" or whatever it is.
6) Next appears the post dialog. Type in "Did some work today today", and select who to share with, whatever... I select my Watch Projexts Collection, and + select the email address of the watch owner (the new Google+ interface can't do this). There is also an "organize" button. Click that.
7) The same organize screen appears again. It looks the same, but it is not. NOW you can arrange and rotate photos, select a cover photo, etc. Also, drop down the album button at the top left and enter the name of a NEW album to create. I create an album with the watch serial number as the name.
8) Hit done, and the dialog post appears again. Again, here you can enter text, Community, a Collection, people and Circles to share with.
9) Post.

This creates a post with images and a link to the new album. If you don't do it exactly like the above, it turns out differently.
Now to add more photos...

1) Take more photos and wait for them to upload
2) Hit the post photos button.
3) Select one, or more photos. It's OK to select just one this time.
4) The "organize" screen appears. This time you can do whatever you want now, at this point.
5) Hit the album drop down and select the album just created (or any album). This is an un-orderable, unsearchable infinite list so there is no way to do this with older albums. You just can't find them. The list appears to be in order of the latest exif date of images in each album.
6) Done, and post.


I take good photos with a Nikon D70 and upload these full size to +Google Drive. I name the folder with the date and owners name. I send these images home with the watch on a CD.

Later still..........

I go through old Drive folders and each day:

1) Rename one to include the watch serial number (I rename it so I know which ones have been through this part).
2) I search Google+ for the job number, and find a post with the link to the album (as created above).
3) I get into the album. This is the last remaining way to get to the old Google+ Photos interface where there is still some functionality. I select "add photos" (the new interface can't do this).
4) I select to add "from Drive" (Google Photos can't do this).
5) I search for the name of my Drive folder created above and add the photos of that watch to the album.
6) This shares the new photos, so a Google+ post dialog is created. I go ahead and share it to the Vintage Watches Google+ Community, with a link to my online database information for that grade (for Elgins anyway).
7) I then go to Google Blogger. Blogger can search what it calls "Picasa Web Albums" for photos to add to a blog post. I search for the name of the Album I just added to and create a blog post with all the photos, included the formal ones copied over from Drive (note: it can take a couple of minutes for the for ones to be visible to Blogger)
8) Blog post...
9) I add, if I want, the better photos as "extra photos" for that grade (for Elgins) to my serial number database. I add URLs for Drive images. There is an important trick to this.
9a) Make sure the Drive folder permissions are either public or public with link. An easy way to do this is to set that permission on a higher level folder. Every sub-folder you create will have the same permission.
9b) Click the share icon for an image.
9c) Click "advanced"
9d) A URL appears in the next dialog. Copy it.
9e) Paste it where you what the image, for example in an img html tag or in some app (like blogger) that can take a URL to an image. BUT the URL is a link to a Drive viewer. To get to the content itself you have to edit the URL like the following example. Change this:

To this:

The result is a reference to an image itself.

And there it is. I don't know how much longer this will work. Google is taking away functionality at a remarkable pace. Any post could be the last...

Links (where you can see the results of this process):
Example serial number database page:
Sample serial number page with images stored in Drive:
Projects Collection:
Vintage Watches Community:

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