Desktop photo manager Picasa is a Google product, and photo-sharing web site Flickr's owned by Yahoo, and the two companies don't make it obvious how to get the apps to talk to one another. When I returned home from a vacation on the beaches of Thailand, I had a hard drive loaded with photos and I wanted a way to organise, caption, and publish them all at once without duplicating work. Here's how I did it with Picasa and Flickr.
The Problem: When you're jetlagged and you have hundreds of photos to edit, sort, organise, and caption, you don't want to do any more work than you must. While it's easy to simply export or email a few photos at a time out of Picasa to upload and title, caption, and tag in Flickr itself, I wanted to caption my photos once in Picasa and send that information to Flickr. I also wanted to organise my photos into sets—or "albums" as they're called in Picasa—and mirror those sets on the web and the desktop.
The Solution: While Picasa does have a handy "Email this" function which you can use in conjunction with Flickr's upload by email feature, it's not easy to make sets, set multiple privacy levels, add tags, and titles via email. For all that you want the newest version 3.0 of the Flickr Uploadr application, which works on both Windows and Mac. (But, if you're using Picasa, you're on Windows. Sorry, Mac peeps.) The Flickr Uploadr acts as the middleman between Picasa and Flickr.
Here's the step by step:
- First, import all your photos into Picasa, and add captions, like location, date, and any explanation of what's going on and where you are. (Especially useful for vacation photos.)
- Now, drag and drop the photos you want to publish on Flickr into a Picasa album. I called mine "Thailand to Flickr" and chose only the best shots I wanted to share with the world and my Flickr friends. Heres where you do your photo edit and show off your good stuff and leave the rest on your hard drive.
- Once your album is complete and you're ready to upload, select all the photos in the album to publish and press the "Export" button. If your camera produces enormous images but you don't have a Flickr Pro account, you want to optimise your bandwidth usage, so here's a good time to choose a maximum size for your exported photos. (I chose 800 wide, as shown.)
- Finally, fire up the Flickr Uploadr. Browse to the folder where you exported the photos, select them all, and drag and drop them to the Uploadr. The titles of the images will be the photo file names—annoyingly, things like
IMG_7611.jpg. Luckily in the Flickr Uploadr, you can select all the photos and set the title to blank, or something generic, like "Thailand Vacation." While you've got all the photos selected, you can also add a batch tag, like "thailand," or add all the photos to a new Flickr set, like "Thailand Highlights." If you select an individual photo that you set a caption on in Picasa? You'll notice the Uploadr loads it automatically.
- Then, hit the "Upload photos" button and watch it go! Your Picasa album will get zapped into Flickr with captions, tags, and all.
The one drawback is that Picasa doesn't have tags, so if you want them in Flickr you have to add them by hand. Your best bet is to break down large groups of photos into focused albums, that you export and tag in the Flickr Uploadr in batches. You can wash, rinse, and repeat the process above for as many albums as you want. For example, I created a Thailand Highlights album, just 10 photos, then broke down the rest of my shots into other sets, like Thailand Food and Drink, Thailand Beaches, Thailand for Westerners, etc. Flickr collections are a new (to me) feature that let you add several sets into a group. So here's my whole collection of Thailand photo sets.
Got any Flickr to Picasa shortcuts or tricks? Let us know in the comments.