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  • Looking for guidance to "publishing" my photos

    Hi all.

    I've recently embarked on collecting and categorizing our 10k+ family photos - what an adventure ! While I've only been using ACDSee Photo Studio for the past few weeks, it's been going quite well. I've been mostly using ACDSee's keyword capability as it allows me to "push" these keywords back into the photo files.

    Anyhow, I'm now looking for the best way to "publish" the photos to my family. Although I'm still fuzzy on what I want to accomplish, I was thinking of a Web photo gallery of sorts. Preferably, I'd like to surface some of the metadata effort I've put in by allowing a viewer to search/sort on this metadata (ie. keywords). I've tried ACDSee's builtin HTML generator and found it a bit too basic (plus it doesn't expose any of the metadata, that I'm aware of anyhow). Also, as I prefer keeping photos within my network, I'm probably looking at a self-hosted solution.

    I'm wondering what others have done in this regard (ie. "publishing)" - l'm open to suggestions and best practices.

    Thank you.

    Robert

  • #2
    I have went thru a few iterations in this same process... I've setup router, servers, VPNs, firewalls, security gateways and create self hosted sites, HOME compute nodes, shared daabase, etc. At the end, it just got to be too much, so I went external with all services as to keep my home network protected from the cloud.

    For pictures, this means a hosted site specifically for pictures (there are quite a few out there). Does more than I need, not the most cost efficient, but it is certainly simple and secure.

    If you are really set on doing something self-hosted, there are a number of NAS devices (Synology, netgear, Drobo, [your_favorite_name_here]) where you can store images/files and then use them to share both internal and externally. Many will run specialized photo sharing apps each with different capabilities. They seem simple enough and do a fairly good job at what they do. I just haven't applied my OCD-self to evaluating potential security vulnerabilities of these systems to allow them to be available from the internet.

    WARNING: These kind of tools can open holes in the security of your home network. Proper understanding and precautions are required to keep the home network devices and files protected.

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    • #3
      Thanks Gus - I'm probably already too far down the rabbit hole to stop ... but I hear you.

      I've already setup a home cloud solution (NextCloud) to automatically peel off photos from my (and wife's) phone. And our photo cloud folder is automatically sync-ed with ACDSee - all is working quite nicely. Coming from IT, I'm comfortable with all of this ... unless/until this stops working of course - my setup is new so time will tell. And I agree, security hardening is critical. As to NAS-based Photo Gallery solutions, I've quickly looked at them, but again, I've found them simplistic (ie. poor metadata filtering/sorting capability). I'm now looking into Piwigo (self-hosted). We'll see.

      I'm starting to think that ACDSee Photo Studio as spoiled me in terms of how my photo collection can be sliced and diced, a capability that I may just not find in a Web Photo Gallery solution.

      Again, much appreciated.

      Robert

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      • #4
        I've just been using OneDrive for this. I have set it up so that the files in the Documents folder (Where my Photos folder structure is located) themselves are stored on OneDrive. But the folder/file structure (without documents or photos) is maintained on the C drive. This is documented in the "Files on Demand" pages on the Windows website. (pretty easy to set up)

        For most applications, I point to the C drive Documents folder and do read/write functions against that. Windows intercepts those functions and redirects the request to OneDrive. Changes to OneDrive, are reflected in the document empty C Drive Document folder. But some of the more cloud-friendly applications, like ACDSee, allow me to point directly to OneDrive. Other, more conventional apps can point to the C Drive documents folder, and they remain blind to the fact that they are actually accessing OneDrive.

        It's been working great. Any changes to OneDrive affect the C drive file structure and vice-versa.

        Another alternative might be ACDSee's own 365 plan, which includes an integrated cloud storage service. I wasn't too impressed with it a 4-5 years ago, but the Gold subscription I signed up for last week comes with a 10 GB version, so I will likely start to play around with it a bit to see what's changed. The limited-time 2GB free sample isn't really big enough to "stress test" the service, but I should think 10GB will be big enough to actually be potentially useful. Illinois is still in lockdown, so I've plenty of time!
        Last edited by Glen Barrington; 05-09-2020, 07:55 AM.

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        • #5
          Here is a link to some (ugly) images using the ACDSee 365 plan
          https://www.365.acdsee.com/en/share-...aJsO61J3mdszJ/

          The pics at this link aren't very good and are from a while ago... the goal is to share what the end user might see from a ACD365 link...
          I never figured out a way to limit downloading of images from ACD365

          My alternate tool of choice is SmugMug (but it is extra cost)

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          • #6
            @Glen - Thanks.

            Looks like your OneDrive setup is similar to my (self-hosted) NextCloud solution. I assume you manually up-load your photos to OneDrive? And I gather that a OneDrive folder effectively becomes an album? And you send this album's link to others? Apologies if the questions are mundane but I'm trying to get a sense of the entire flow, ie. from photo taking, to offloading (from phone), to photo manager, and finally to publishing.

            And tons of "lockdown time" here too in Ontario ... although things are starting to open up. Stay healthy !


            Gus - the site looks pretty good !

            Oh, and if those are your "ugly" photos, I've got to wonder what your "good" ones look like !!! Disclaimer : I'm not a photographer - I'm just a guy trying to get a handle on 30 years worth of family pictures !

            BTW I like that the site has also picked up some of your metadata keywords, and that you can select images based on them. Not being able to control what gets downloaded doesn't sound good though. Anyhow, given that Glen mentions a free version of ACD365, I'll try it out. For what it's worth, I've got my Piwigo (photo gallery) solution working but, to your initial point, I'm starting to wonder if this is a bit too much of self hosting. I'll look into SmugMug too.

            Thanks to both. Cheers.

            Robert

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            • #7
              Here is an example of a Smugmug image gallery
              https://guspanella.smugmug.com/Chron...l/4112020yard/


              Click on an image. Look at the upper left corner for the three horizontal bars
              Click on the three horizontal bars > EXIF data is shown.

              You can turn on/off EXIF information, have password protected areas, allow quality of download or prevent downloading entirely, [100_other_things_go_here]

              It is easy to use ACD to drag/drop into the SmugMug helper app or SmugMug web app into a SmugMug gallery. SmugMug automatically parse/sort to IPTC keywords that are in the original file. Clicking on a keyword in the EXIF panel brings up images that were tagged with the same IPTC keyword in ACD.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by SubBob View Post
                @Glen - Thanks.

                Looks like your OneDrive setup is similar to my (self-hosted) NextCloud solution. I assume you manually up-load your photos to OneDrive? And I gather that a OneDrive folder effectively becomes an album? And you send this album's link to others? Apologies if the questions are mundane but I'm trying to get a sense of the entire flow, ie. from photo taking, to offloading (from phone), to photo manager, and finally to publishing.

                And tons of "lockdown time" here too in Ontario ... although things are starting to open up. Stay healthy !


                Robert
                No, actually, I moved my photos to OneDrive, initially, but before I set up "files on-demand". I suspect that would be required to use it the way I've done it. Otherwise, it would operate like any other sync folder function of any other 'cloud' service. I have over 14,000 photos on OneDrive, and I don't do anything special to the photos, I just import them into ACDSee, and they get saved to OneDrive as if they were aimed at the C drive. I have full management capability with ACDSee, AND I can use OneDrive from my phone, tablet, or another computer, as needed, via the usual online browser-based OneDrive User Interface.

                With a chrome browser, I can create linkages, folders, and access permission for others, just as I would for any other online storage service.

                If I recall, the ACDSee 365 trial is a free 30-day account for 2 GB of space. So it's not really 'FREE' free, just available for trial.

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                • #9
                  Gus / @Glen - Thanks for the follow-up.

                  Admittedly, SmugMug looks very slick and modern. I'm probably a prime candidate for their Basic plan so I'll look into that. They also have a free trial.

                  I'm struggling a bit with ACDSee 365. As I've already bought the standalone suite, subscribing to 365 doesn't really makes sense for me. However, I see that you subscribe to their SeeDrive cloud storage. I'm assuming that's all I would need to publish folders. Anyhow, more stuff to look into.

                  Much appreciated.

                  Robert

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                  • #10
                    Flickr has private photo albums. I haven't used them yet, but I'm also looking at something similar.
                    SmugMug now owns Flickr, and say they are committed to keeping it running, but I do worry about it's long term users. I miss that 1tb of free storage.
                    Also there is Amazon photos included in Prime membership.

                    https://www.flickr.com/help/forum/en...7644723933926/

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