Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Instagram; DIY edition...

Continuing on the Instagram subject from yesterday. One thing I was thinking about all last night was how I wished I could take instagram like photos and have them reside on my website, where I would have complete control over their use. It brought me back to my android app wish list, one of which being a photo upload app to my Photoshelter account. But I know Andrew and the guys have bigger things to work on right now (you guys still rock btw!).

Then late last night, it hit me....wait a sec...I can already do this! All I need are a few free apps and a work flow. So, here it is! all you really need to have yourself a do-it-yourself instagram.
You will need:

Account for a photo repository website. Personally I've used Photoselter from day one when I got back into photography professionally. I'll bet this may work for Smugmug and Zenfolio as well. Be forewarned you many have to buy into one of the upper level packages offered for this to work, depending on who you go with.

An FTPclient app. I originally picked up AndFTP, in the google PLAY store, as a last resort if I ever needed to transmit photos from the field since my laptop died. I realized this could work when I noticed it pop up as one of the share options when I hit the “share” button on a few apps last night.

Camera app with effects/filter package. As of right now I'm working with Pixlr-o-matic as my instagram replacement camera . At first I was a little apprehensive of this one, it's kind of childish with half the filters being named after Harry Potter Characters. But the interface is bang on, and the cropped photos it produces match up almost perfectly with ones taken by Instagram.

Now that you have's what you need to do.

Step 1; create an FTP upload account in your photo site.

In photoshelter this is pretty straightforward. If your just a standard member, you are only allowed one active FTP upload account. I would also suggest to make the username and password are different than your login passwords. Make sure you set up a gallery and point the account to upload to that gallery or who knows where it will get uploaded to.

Step 2; setup AndFTP to upload to your photo site.
If you have used an FTP client before this is a no brainer. If you haven't, just populate the info from your FTP upload account into the related fields. Hit the connect button to see you everything works. You may want to do a test upload right from the FTP Client, to see if the photo goes to the right gallery.

Step 3; take picture and edit.

Step 4; hit share button and share via the FTP app.
If you did everything right the FTP app will automatically upload the photo to your photo site.

Step 5 (optional); go back to you photo website and caption and keyword your images.
So far I have not found a camera app that will edit IPTC metadata fields, specifically the caption and keyword fields. I think they do this to keep the file sizes down on mobile networks. But if you want your images found by Google, or Chinese take out foodies, you kind of have to so this.

Also keeping with the “control over your images” theme...If your photo site has a sales option you can set up print sales or even license the photo to ad and print companies(Um...isn't that want Instagram wanted to do?)

So there you have it, let me know if this works for you, or if you've found a better way.



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