Turning your photos into a snow globe - that’s Awesome

Do you know what awesome means?

JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin

It describes something impressive that inspires awe. Well, that is an appropriate way to describe how Google are handling photos and specifically one of the features that Google have included in their social network Google+.

Auto Awesome does some fancy things automatically when you upload photos, by creating new ‘awesome’ images. For instance, stitching together two photos to create a panoramic image, creating an image with the best smiles from a range of similar images, removing objects (like when a random passer by walks into shot) by combining multiple images and the list goes on.

During the Christmas period, Google added Twinkles and Snow effects too. These created animated versions of pictures you uploaded. So pictures with glittery things and fairy lights actually sparkled, while snowy images had snow flakes falling down the picture.

Auto Awesome is done for you by Google’s algorithms, so you don’t actually have to lift a finger. There is one exception to this. Snow. Google added a feature to the Android Photos app (part of Google+), which allows you to add the snow effect yourself, just by shaking your phone! It reminded me and I am sure it will remind you too, of snow globes!

You can read more about Auto Awesome on my blog at http://www.alansitsolutions.com/blog/2013/11/18/auto-awesome/

Google’s attention to photography does not end with automatically generated ‘awesome’ moments. Unusually for a social network, they have also provided some powerful photo editing tools as well. Simple things like being able to crop an image or change the contrast, are quick and easy to achieve. The range of options available (all from within the browser) is staggering and I can honestly say they are all quick and easy to use, even the more advanced functions that you might associate with something like Photoshop.

Any changes you make to a photo you have uploaded to Google+ can be reverted back to the original version of the image at any time. So you can play around with the different settings to your heart’s content, safe in the knowledge that your original image is protected.

You can read more about photo editing in Google+ by visiting my blog at http://www.alansitsolutions.com/blog/2013/11/14/photo-editing-in-googleplus/

The Google+ app for Android and iOS can be set to automatically upload photos you take with your smart phone or tablet, which means you will always have a backup in the cloud. As well as making it a piece of cake to share photos with your loved ones, Google+ does not compress the images at all. So you are guaranteed the maximum in quality.

All of these things may help to explain why Google+ has become so popular with photographers around the world.