Windows Live Photo & Video Blog

Official blog for the Windows Live Digital Memories Experience team

January, 2009

  • Windows Live Photo & Video Blog

    mobile photo publishing

    These days, more and more mobile phones have built-in cameras and access to the internet. Did you know you could publish photos to photos.live.com right from your mobile phone today?

    A picture is worth a thousand words. When I had an enormous pile of dishes to tackle I could have written a quick message on my profile about it, but I instead opted to instantly let my friends and family know the gravity of the situation by posting this photo:

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    Braden Kelley has written an excellent, step-by-step set of instructions on how to setup your account to accept mobile uploads. Check out his post here:

    Publishing Photos from your Mobile Phone

    Once you’re setup, you can use your phone to keep your friends and family up-to-date with what you see and do while you’re on the go! Just be careful, after you start publishing photos while you’re on the go like this you’ll have a hard time stopping.

    -- Alex Schokking, Program Manager

  • Windows Live Photo & Video Blog

    Changing the way you share your photos

    • 6 Comments

    You've imported your photos into Windows Live Photo Gallery and worked to make them perfect by:

    · Straightening them.

    · Identifying the people in them.

    · Applying black and white treatments.

    · Fixing things like lighting and red eye.

    · Adding some captions, tags, and ratings.

    Leaving you with a great collection where you can easily find your favorite shots. Now what? How about sharing your photos!

    You can use Photo Gallery to send photos by e-mail, burn them to a CD, print them, or even order prints. Did you know there is a cooler way to share photos? By publishing them online, your family or friends on the other side of the world can enjoy them in a really easy way. It's faster than waiting for a CD or prints, and you don't have to worry about huge attachments filling up anyone's inbox.

    Publishing photos online was possible in the previous version of Photo Gallery, but we've been busy making it even better – so let's review the steps so you can see the improvements. 

    First, select the information you want to share with the photos. If you don't want to publish captions and tags, don't worry—we have a new option to control this. Remember that although the information may not be visible through a website, it will still be in the photos if someone downloads them, so make sure you remove it before you publish the photos. The information will only be removed from the photos you publish (the files on your computer won't be affected.)

    By default, all the information in your photos is shared. If you want to change this setting, just click the File menu, click Options, and then click the Tags tab. You'll see six different check boxes to control the information that will be shared. You can choose to share all information except a certain category (location information, for example) by clearing just that option. You can share just one type of information by clearing the all the options except the one you want to share. You can even clear the Include file details check box to remove all the information shown in the window and any other information in your photos (author, copyright, and rating for example).

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    Now you're ready to publish!

    Select the photos you want to publish, and then click Publish. You may notice the options have changed here; you can now share albums on Windows Live Groups and Windows Live Events! But let's start with the basics and select Online album. This will allow you to publish on the new Windows Live Photos. If you're not already signed in, you'll be asked to do so.

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    Next, select the album to which you want to add the photos, you now have the option to create a new album or select one of your existing ones in the same window so you don’t have to go back and forth between them if you change your mind.

    · For a new album: Just type a title and select a permission level. You can share with everyone on the Internet (public), with just the people in your Windows Live network, or keep it just for you. Later on, you can edit the permissions on the web if you want to share the album with only specific people or if you want to let others contribute to the album.

    · For an existing album: If you already created albums before (maybe in Windows Live Spaces some months ago), you'll see those listed, with the most recently updated at the top. Just select the album you want.

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    We also have a new option to let you select the size in which your photos will be uploaded. Large is selected by default because it's a good balance between photo size (1600 px) and file size. With this setting, your photos shouldn't take too much time to upload. But if you want to upload photos in their original size, you can. Or, if you want to publish the photos quickly and don't care too much about the photo size, you also have the Medium option. Photo Gallery will remember your choice so you don't have to change it every time.

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    When you're ready to publish, just click Publish, and you're done. Tip: In our new version you can double-click an album to publish into it instead of selecting it and clicking the Publish button.

    A window will appear to tell you how the upload is going. You can minimize the window and continue working. You could even start another upload and queue as many publish jobs as you want!

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    When the upload is complete, you'll get a confirmation that includes a View album button. Click this button to not only see the album online, but also view the slide show as visitors will see it, send a link to your friends and family, and more.

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    Voila! Your pictures are available for viewing online and all your captions and people tags will be there.

    If you want to publish your photos on Windows Live Events or Windows Live Groups instead of on your own personal photos.live.com page, all you have to do is select the corresponding option from the menu. You'll get a list with all the events or groups you're part of so you can select the appropriate one. Your events are listed chronologically and your groups are listed alphabetically. Tip: You can double-click an item in the list to select it instead of clicking Next.

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    After you choose an event or group, you get the list of albums for that event or group so you can select one or create a new one. Then just follow the steps earlier in this post for publishing an online album. Notice that the permissions options will only be available for owners or organizers and that some options (like publishing into certain albums or creating new ones) may not be available depending on the settings of the event or group.

    Lastly, the new version of Photo Gallery includes an option that lets you publish photos easier into the albums you use the most. As you start publishing, you may notice that the latest Windows Live albums you published into appear on the Publish menu. If the album is for an event or group, you'll see the group or event name in parentheses.

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    If you select some photos and click an album on this menu, the photos will start uploading right away.

    So go ahead and try it out if you haven't already. Enjoy sharing your photos and albums with the world or with the people you choose and let us know what you think.

    - Ana Lilia Otero, Program Manager

  • Windows Live Photo & Video Blog

    Quickly find your best (or worst) photos

    • 4 Comments

    Our family takes a lot of digital photos and videos.

    I imagine that someday my 2 children (Serena and Lucy) will want to see what sorts of things they did as they grew up, so my wife and I—and even the kids—snap shots of all the fun things we do as a family. 

    Sounds great, right? Well, it is, but the hard part comes when you want to  find, print, or create a scrapbook from some of those photos.   So to deal with that challenge I’ve put together my own system, which also works for my kids and wife—and you. And I’m confident that 20 years from now, people will still be able to quickly find their favorite photos and videos.

    Here’s what we do:

    We have a bunch of different cameras, and at any point in time there are photos on some cameras that have not been taken off.  I’ll get the camera, plug it into the computer, sit with whoever took the photos, and we’ll quickly rate them.  Five minutes tops.  Then, to the ones we have 3-, 4, or 5-star rated, we add tags based on people, places, activities and captions for specific things we may want to find later.  Again, this takes maybe 5 minutes max. You do not need to spend a lot of time doing this.  Just nail the basics. The most important thing here is to determine what is important to you personally. For my parents, for example, they do a lot of travelling in South America, so their tags are mainly about places. For me, I focus on people, so I have lots of tags about people. You should determine what works for you and make that your structure. 

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    At any rate, once you have developed a system for getting the photos on your computer tagged the way you want them, then the filtering part becomes a snap with Windows Live Photo Gallery. The way I think about it is that you can use the left tabs as your first cut at your photos.

    Imagine I just wanted to quickly print all 4- and 5- star photos of Lucy from 2008. Use this easy process to get that view on your photos:  (1) Select Date Taken and then 2008.  (2) Then type Lucy in the search box.  (3) Then you select 4-star and higher in the filter menu on the top, and all of the photos and videos of Lucy that are 4- and 5- star in 2008 will be in the view.  (4) Then you select Arrange by and select type.  (5) Next, right-click the background at the bottom and select Sort by -> Date Taken in the menu.  (6) Finally select Photos in the top bar, and that will select all of the 4- and 5-star photos of Lucy. 

    From there you can print them.  (7) I prefer to print online, so I click Print and Order Prints. Walgreens is on my way home from work, so I click Walgreens and Order Prints. Walk through the order process and you are done!

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    It’s a snap :)

    JP

  • Windows Live Photo & Video Blog

    Windows Live Essentials is ready to download

    • 4 Comments

    From the Windows Live team blog

    … today we’re releasing the final version of Windows Live Essentials, our suite of downloadable programs for your Windows PC. You can get Windows Live Essentials, including Messenger, Mail, Photo Gallery, Writer, Toolbar, and Family Safety, all for free from http://download.live.com. (Windows Live Movie Maker is also available, but remains in beta.)

    Check out the great Windows Live Essentials and let us know what you think as always!

    - Digital Memories Experience team

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