Welcome back to all you QNAP-packing photographers! A few weeks ago, we went through the basics of getting photos into a QNAP NAS system, and organizing them into albums. But that really just gets us started. Now we’re back for the advanced class, which will focus on ways to share those photos, and even ways you can make them better, all while using the Photo Station software.
Before We Begin…
If you didn’t read the first post, you’ll want to go back and check that out. You’ll need to have Photo Station on your QNAP (it should be there by default, but it’s easy to load up if it isn’t), some photos loaded into your NAS, and sorted into albums. Have all that? Great, let’s move on to the fun of editing and sharing those photos with others!
Geotagging Your Photos
With geotagging you can add map coordinates to the metadata attached to your photos. Many cameras will do this now when you take the picture, but you may have a camera that doesn’t, or you may have had the feature disabled while taking these pictures, or they may be older images. There are a lot of reasons tags might not currently be on your images, but if you want them, Photo Station makes it easy to add them.
First select a photo by clicking on it in the center browser frame. You can select several to tag as the same location at once, by clicking the Select Multiple Items button on the toolbar above the photos (just to the left of Slideshow), then individually clicking all the images you want to group together. Then click Geotag This Photo in the map area of the frame to the right.
You’ll get a popup Google map with a search box at the top. Enter an address or a place name, hit Enter, and the map should take you to the correct location. After assuring that you’re in the right place, click the red push pin symbol that appears to the right of the search box (this button only appears after you perform the search). This will geotag your photo(s) and you can now exit the map popup with the X button in the upper right corner.
Editing Photos with Pixlr
Photo Station also gives you easy access to a free photo editing interface with Pixlr.com. Just right click on an image you want to edit and you’ll get a drop down list of options (you can also access the geotagging function from this list).
When you select “Edit (Pixlr Editor)”, you’ll be prompted to save you photo with a different name, so you aren’t editing your only copy (you can opt to not be reminded to do this in the future). You’ll then be taken to the Pixlr editing interface (in a browser tab), which contains a pretty good set of Photoshop-style tools such as crop, clone, blur, sharpen, etc.
Let’s take this image of John and Cali on Arctic Cats and turn it into an image for the “John P Off-Road Club”. First we crop it down to just be John, then we add a new layer, type in a title, and give it a glow effect to help the words stand out. Then save the new image back to the QNAP with a new name. Use of all the photo editing tools in Pixlr is far outside the scope of this tutorial, but if you’ve used things like Photoshop Elements, you should be right at home.
There are a number of ways you can share your albums once you’ve created them and gotten the photos in them just the way you want.
First you need to make sure albums are set to the sharing level you want. Sharing permissions are set when you create an album, but they can be changed or modified any time you want. Just go to the Album view, right click on the specific album you want to change sharing settings on, and select “Album Settings” from the drop down list. Albums can be set to only be visible to their creator, or to be available to other users logged into the NAS (with view only, or allowing others to edit the album as options), or they can be shared publicly. You can even select for them to be visible on the QTS login screen, so they can be accessed by anyone who has the URL of your NAS, with no need to log in. You can also set an expiration for the sharing permissions, if you only want the album available for a limited time.
You can also send a link to a specific album via email, or you can share it on a blog post or forum.
Social networks are well represented in the sharing scheme, as well. There are buttons to share your album to Facebook, Twitter, Weibo, Google+, Plurk, Renren, and Pinterest. Each of these will bring up a popup browser window allowing you to login to the social network (if you aren’t already) and write a message describing your album before you post it out to the world. You can even set up social network binding with Facebook, so friends there can log in to your QNAP and browse shared albums.
Much More Than Storage
You can see the Photo Station software on the QNAP NAS gives you a lot of ways to work with your photos and share them with friends and family. It’s a great place to keep a huge number of photos, but it’s a lot more than just storage. Stay tuned for more articles showing you how to get the most from your QNAP, and make sure to check out all the entries in the series!