Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Unlimited online photos

John Kratz photo
Your blog lives "in the cloud." Its contents are distributed.

Blogger's servers assemble the different page elements from various locations.

You can blog photos hosted online anywhere--at Flickr or Photobucket or even on your own web server.

However, if you upload a photo directly to your blog, Blogger stashes it in a linked Picasaweb account. (Update: Picasaweb has been replaced by the Album Archive, but for the purpose of this post the same principles apply.)

Google's Picasaweb is a free and handy online photo album, but (like other online photo services) comes with a size limit beyond which you must pay.

The first gigabite of storage is free—a lot until you realize that digital photos can run anywhere from 2 to 10 megabytes. Update: Now 15 GB shared across all Google services.

So, what about that "unlimited" part? Fortunately, Google gives us a loophole big enough to drive a blog through.

Photos no bigger than 800 pixels on any side do not count towards the 1-GB limit. (The side-size allowance is even more generous with a Google+ account: a whopping 2048 pixels.) You can have as many of them as you like.

Update: in 2018 Google extended the 2048-side allowance to all blogs.

But wait, what about image quality? If you try to print an 800-pixel image it will either be small or muddy and grainy.

Computer monitors, however, are low-resolution devices. They can't use those extra pixels. For blogging purposes, you lose nothing by stepping down the resolution of your photos to 800 pixels or even less.

Even if you post a huge megapixel photo to your blog, Google scales the resolution down to fit your blog pages (but puts the whole thing at Picasaweb).

Consequently, I always step my photos down before posting. That is, I make a low-res copy, and upload that to Blogger.

Update: As of December 2018, this is no longer necessary.

One of my blogs (not this one) shows hundreds of photos. Nonetheless, I've still got plenty of room in my free Picasaweb account (album archive).

Update: As you can see, subsequent changes to Blogger have made resizing photos unnecessary.

My more-recent report explains that in detail.

Nonetheless I am leaving this post up because it discusses some issues related to image size and compression. Also deleting it would leave a hole in the blog.


  1. Hi Adam,

    Great tip that most people don't know about. One correction: photos up to 2048x2048 pixels and video up to 15 minutes don't count towards your limit!



    1. Thank you, David.

      The limit, as I say above, is 2048 pixels if you convert to Google+.

      It's still 800 pixels (which is plenty for blogging) for the rest of us--as per the link that you and I both provide.

      It's probably worth repeating that.