At its most basic form, "the cloud" refers to software and services that run on the internet, not locally on your computer or device. And since so many of us learned how to use computers before the early 2000s this can be a very abstract and confusing idea. Let me see if I can help explain... Remember back in the day when you would create a word document on your desktop computer at home? If you needed to access that doc at work or school, you would save it on a floppy disc or flash drive and take it with you. At some point, you'd have to insert your little storage device into a different computer in order to access your file so you could edit, share or even print. And if you made even one minor change, like adding a period, you would have to save another version of the document in order to have the most recent copy. We had no idea how much work that was at the time because it was our ONLY option! Thankfully, technology has come a long way and we now have "the cloud!" In today's world, I could start a new Google Doc from my computer at home. As long as I remember my password (ha, ha) I could log into Google from my phone, iPad, the computer at my parents' house, work... literally anywhere and have access to the exact same document. I could even share the doc with my family, friends, co-workers, etc... and we would all have access to whatever anyone has added or changed... in real-time. Not only that but the document automatically saves changes as I'm working so no need to click File->Save As-> Ok every five minutes to make sure I don't lose any of my work! Since it lives on the internet and not on one device, it can do all of these amazing things! This is like George Jetson stuff right here! So, how does "the cloud" relate to pictures? Ok, you don't need a rundown on the history of pictures... we all remember having to get film developed at the store in order to have printed copies of our photos. Then we would add them to photo albums and the extra copies would live forever in boxes in our basement. You know the drill. Fast forward to the early 2000s. We all bought smartphones with fancy little cameras built-in, allowing us to take DIGITAL pictures like nobody's business! And we did... and we do! Not only that, today's smartphone cameras rival features that used to only be available to professional photographers with very expensive cameras! So, today... You take a picture on your phone. If you have an iPhone, your pictures are automatically uploaded to iPhoto, Apple's cloud service that comes standard with your phone. You can open your camera app or go to iPhoto and see all of your pictures. Whether you know how iPhoto works or not, you can sleep well at night knowing your pictures are protected in the cloud. If you don't have an iPhone, you have to do a little more work to set up a cloud service so that your pictures do the same. If you have never set that up you might want to think about it so that your pictures are safely stored in the event you ever lose or break your phone! You would hate for the ONLY copies of your pictures to be sitting on a single device... that's so 1990's (he, he)! And if you're not sure whether you want to use iPhoto or Google Photos, the top two cloud platforms for photo storage, you can click HERE for a side-by-side comparison. Of course, there are dozens of other options too if you feel like researching! I am by no means an expert on the cloud, but I do know that is the #1 question I have been asked since teaching photo classes for the last 6 months. And since we won't be going back to film or printed pictures anytime soon it's worth figuring out... even if it's just having a basic understanding of how the cloud works with your pictures!
If I can help you with any other questions related to your pictures and the cloud please feel free to email me! If I don't know the answer, I will find it!
All the best,