Saturday, July 23, 2011

Techie: How NOT to lose all your Blogger Pics!

First, this is a salutary tale of how to avoid losing all your pics from your blog(s) when moving to Google +.  

Second, it highlights how to 
  • keep your images private in Picasa
  • avoid people downloading your images from Picasa web albums and making prints of your artwork. 
Finally, where to go to get the Picasa software so you can edit your pics.

Some of my UNLISTED Picasa web albms for three different blogs


How to lose all the images on your Blogger Blog

Bill Guffey has been kind enough to let me retell the tale of what happened to him when he joined Google+ - see below.  He's also done a blog post about it on his blog - see Google+, Blogspot and a WARNING!
I didn't know the pics uploaded to Blogspot were stored in Picasa. Didn't even know I had a Picasa account. So when I signed up with Google+ (which looks like it's going to be a good marketing tool) I saw all these pics in my public albums, which I hadn't created. I assume now that they were made by Picasa when uploading pics to my blogs.

There were a few albums with hundreds of pics and well over a thousand in another. I looked at them and they were a mixed lot of Virtual Paintout pics, my personal art pics, and even pics from old now defunct blogs from years ago.


I didn't want all those pics in the albums of my new Google+ account so I deleted them, not knowing they were the source pics for my blogs. ugh... Immediately, all my pics on the blogs were gone. Without a chance of recovery. I do have most pics on a couple of different computers and an external hard drive, but oh what a pain it's going to be to re-upload everything and get them in their correct spots.


You live and learn, and from what I understand this has happened to many people. Google hasn't issued a warning loud enough at this point. I've tried, by posting about this experience on my blog, FB pages and Google+.


Feel free to share this info with others so that it might save someone major headaches.

OK - so after the sharp intake of breath at what it must feel like to LOSE all your images from your blog - what do you need to know?

Here's what you need to know - Picasa Basics

First back up your images BEFORE you do anything with Picasa! 

Next this is what you need to know about Picasa.  I hasten to add that I'm upgrading my knowledge on the hoof - and what follows represents as far as I've got.  Please feel free to chip in with a comment about anything you've learned which is relevant for art bloggers. 

Red words are "proper names" in Googe. 
  1. All the images you upload from your computer to Blogger are stored in Picasa web albums - which are automatically created.  You may never have seen your Picasa web albums but you can be sure they exist. 
  2. Here's how to locate your Picasa web albums
    1. Log into Bloggger - which effectively means you've logged into your Google account
    2. Now create a new tab (in your browser) and use https://picasaweb.google.com/home as the URL for that tab.  This should bring up all your web albums
    3. By default it shows you all your most recent albums
    4. You may need to click the "show all albums" to see the ones that have been created over time
  3. A new album is automatically created for:
    1. each new blog (on a group blog it will only contain the images you've uploaded)
    2. when the album has got 500 pics in it
  4. In addition, all photos uploaded to Google Maps also have their own album - called Photos for Google Maps
  5. When you sign up for Google+, you'll see all of your Picasa Web albums on your Google+ photos homepage.  THERE IS NO EXPLANATION THAT THESE ARE YOUR BLOGGER IMAGES. This is where Bill got confused and accidentally deleted them.  Moral of the story - don't do anything at this stage but look!
  6. Joining Google+ means yet more new and automatic albums are created.  These are (I think - on the basis that I've never seen them before):
    1. Profile Photos - for photos you upload to your Google Profile (required for Google +)
    2. Scrapbook Photos - which I assume will be for photos uploaded to the Google + Stream (rather like photos in Facebook - uploaded to the streaming page)
  7. If you want to share albums:
    • this is how sharing Picasa Albums works
    • anyone an album is shared with can see who else it is shared with - which basically means everyone can see who else is in your circles.
    • Albums that you've shared can, in turn, be tagged and shared by others.
  8. Google+ provides free storage for your photos, which are automatically resized to 2048 pixels on the longest edge, maintaining the proportions of the image. 
  9. IMPORTANT Album privacy: You have the ability to set the visibility for your albums.  
    • You cannot differentiate between photos within albums for privacy purposes - it would appear.  At least I haven't found any way of doing so as yet.  Unlike Flickr there is no fine tuning available which enables differentiation as to different levels of privacy.  Which means ALL images in an album are either public or private. I keep all of mine unlisted.  Why?  Well, on the basis that I'm displaying other people's artwork on my blog which so far as I am concerned means it should always be shown with proper accreditation and links where feasible - and that's in the text of the blog post.
    • you can check which albums are public and which are unlisted by clicking the links on the top right handside of the Picasa screen ie View My: Public Gallery|Unlisted Gallery  (Note: The only gallery which I have set to public is my profile album)
    • If you share them then the people they're shared with can now reshare them with othersLearn more
    • To encourage the natural flow of conversation, once you sign up for Google+, all albums can be reshared by people that have access to the album -- those people on the album's 'Shared with' list in Picasa Web Albums.
  10. IMPORTANT Prevent Prints and Download of your Photos.  There's a discussion on Google + which highlights the following.  Make sure you set your privacy settings within Google Photos (ie. Picasa) to keep people from ordering prints of your images or downloading you images.
    • 1. Click on Photos at the very top in the black nav bar.
    • 2. Little Gear in the far right very top corner is your settings link for whichever aspect of G+ you are in.
    • 3. Go to Photo Settings > Go to Privacy and Permissions
    • 4. Make sure there is no tick in the box for
      Allow any visitor to:

    • 5. Save Changes.
Incidentally, one of the neat things about Picasa albums is you can check how many times one particular image has been viewed over time.

Take a look round and see if you can work out where this information is.  (I'll post an update if nobody finds the information - otherwise look in comments for the answer!)

How to manipulate your photos in Picasa

One of the things which is confusing is that Google uses the same word - Picasa - for both the photo storage function and the editing of photos webware which it also supplies.

You can download software to do some basic manipulation of your photos using Picasa webware.  There's a different version for Mac users.

So remember Picasa Web Albums is where the photos are stored!

Learn more about Picasa and Picasa Web Albums
Watch a video introduction
Use iPhoto? Download the free Picasa Web Albums uploader

18 comments:

Casey Klahn said...

I followed your advice and went to Picasa to un-check the download and order prints tools. I am steamed that Picas has gotten to make money this way at my expense.

Incidentally, the 72 dpi quality of these images would make lousy prints, I expect. Also, users will still be able to right click one's images and use their copy or download buttons, and we rely on the low quality of the dots per inch for a defense against this.

I appreciate your heads up on this, Katherine!

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Well I certainly give credit to the latter to Anita Murphy who highlighted it on Google +. I think somebody else started it (haven't quite figured out reposted posts yet on Google +)

Yup - somebody called Cora Reed wrote it first.

Carol said...

One other note: I have a sketch blog where I occasionally post nude figure drawings, and since G+ does not allow nudity, I have changed that blog's status to warn that it carries "adult" content, in addition to making those Blogger albums private. My G+ profile automatically included a link to that blog. I'm not sure whether Google considers artistic nudity to be acceptable or not, but I thought I better err on the safe side.

Carol said...

One other thing: in addition to making my Blogger albums private, I edited the settings in my sketch blog to display a screen warning of "adult" content because of the nude figurative drawings I post there. G+ does not allow nudity, but that blog automatically shows up in the links in my profile, and though technically I'm only providing the link in G+, I figured I better err on the safe side. I'm not sure how heavy-handed they're going to be with artists yet.

Karen Martin Sampson said...

I was able to find my Picasa albums but you said to "create a new tab" in Blogger and I don't know how to do this - is it in one of the gadget options? I checked the Pages gadget but hesitate to try something I don't understand:-)

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Karen - sorry to mislead you. I meant create a new tab in your browser - so you had blogger and Picasa running in the same browser at the same time. I've now changed the text to make this a lot clearer (I hope)

Do get back to me if anything else is confusing.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Just spotted another person who inadvertently deleted all her pics on her blogspot blog while setting up in Google +

see http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/blogger/thread?tid=34386c88683cf891&hl=en

The important thing to note is that there is no way back! No "undo". Nothing.

jake gumbleton said...

Hi Katherine,
A bit off topic. I just wanted to say thanks ever so much for featuring me on your holiday painting article, thanks!!
I am really enjoying your blog. It is an absolute treasure trove. I am hoping to enter some of the national competitions next year and your blog has been very very helpful in exposing what's out there.
Keep up the amazing work!
Jake

teri said...

Very interesting - thanks so much for sharing this. I haven't looked into Google+ yet -- the best time to have read your blog entry.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

That's why I shared what I found out Teri - lots of people in the same place as you - and could lose their pics if they're confused by Google +

I just don't understand why they don't give clearer warnings.

Alex Colombo said...

Thanks Katherine for this very informative article. I wish I had known about this earlier, as I have unfortunately made the same exact mistake myself, not knowing how Google+/Picasa worked together :( In fact last week, when I joined Google+ I deleted all the photos from my 3 blogs...and I'm now in the process to complete the uploading to fill in the blanks for all my blog posts - many long hours of work. So I appreciate very much you posting this article as I was going to write one up myself as a warning to other bloggers. Other than that, Google+ is a fantastic tool and I plan to continue using it! Always very nice to read your blog and thanks again for the helpful info :)

David Teter said...

Hi Katherine,
Really valuable info.
I checked mine and made them private too, at least for now, although the wording of the 'buttons' was different, I had to click 'edit' button, maybe google blogger is slightly different from one country to another (does anyone know?).

One thing I found a bit disturbing is there are photos of mine in one album that I have NEVER uploaded to my blog, hence to picasa.
They are photos on my computer (iPhoto) but thats it.
How in the He#* did they end up in Picasa?
I may be wrong but this suggests that Picasa has 'its own access' to photos on my computer without MY PERMISSION via an upload to blogger/picasa.

I am afraid to delete them (the unuploaded photos) for now since that may lead to deletion from my computer... not likely but who knows since Picasa has 'a way in' without my knowledge apparently.
Creepy.
IF ANYONE OUT THERE KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT THIS PLEASE LET ME KNOW.
And pass that info around as Katherine does here.

Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw said...

Excellent article, Katherine... a ton of very useful information.

I have already gone in and changed the setting on some of my albums.

I posted a link to your article over on my blog as well... help get the word out to more people.

Thank you.

vivien said...

thanks for this Katherine - I've changed the settings to not allow prints now.

Your instructions were excellent :>) clear and easy to follow

Wild C said...

Thanks, Katherine, that's really useful information. I can't believe that Google default to allowing people to download and buy prints of our images without advising us first! I also don't like the setting that says anyone you've shared an album with can then share it with anyone else in their circles. That doesn't seem much of a privacy setting to me. I hope they decide to change it.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

I don't think Google + has any concept of the issues it raises for artists and photographers.

Either that or it's deliberate so they can say in the future that the norm is to share and hence all copyright laws are defunct!

IMO it's appalling behaviour on their part. Not least because most people don't realise all their images are in the Picasa albums

Stitchinscience said...

Thanks. I'm not a very sophisticated blogger, so this was very helpful and informative.

Rohit Kulkarni said...

This is a very useful and informative post..

I got an invite for google+ account and while signing in the first page that popped out said "your picasa account will now be linked to google+.., .. etc" and since I was in a hurry, I decided to skip signing up at that point of time.. Seems I was lucky else I would sure have deleted any images that I thought were irrelevant to be shared on google+..

Now with your elaborate post it is clear that images from blogger are already posted to picasa.. I have followed your advise and done updates to privacy settings.. will go through the post in depth later though for complete understanding..

To be honest, I still am not able to understand the entire scope of google+.. I mean what it stands for, its purpose, how would it help artists etc... wonder if you could make a post on this aspect as well..

cheers..

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