Up and running with Photo Stream

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Sharing photo streams

As much fun as it is to share photos with yourself, there’s something to be said for sharing your photos with others (and, in turn, viewing their shared photos). This is all possible with Photo Stream. It works like this.

iPhoto: In iPhoto select an album, event, face, place, or group of selected photos and choose Share > Photo Stream. In the window that appears at the bottom-right of the iPhoto window, click New Photo Stream. A New Shared Photo Stream sheet appears. In the sheet’s To field, enter the email addresses (separated by commas) of others you want to share the photo stream with. Enter a name for the stream in the Name field if you like. If a person you want to share the stream with doesn’t have an Apple device (and that includes a Mac), enable the Public Website option so that they can view your pictures via a Web browser.

iOS: On an iOS device launch the Photos app. Select an album to open it, and tap the Edit button. Tap the images you’d like to share, and then tap the Share button. In the window that appears, tap Photo Stream. An Add to a Photo Stream window will appear. You can choose to add the selected images to an existing Photo Stream album, or you can tap New Photo Stream. As on the Mac, just add names to the To field and, if you like, give your Photo Stream a name. If you’d like to make the images available on a public website, enable that option.

Tap the Next button, and the window flips around. Add a comment if you care to, and then tap Post. The images will be placed in a new Photo Stream album and an invitation will be sent to those you’ve asked to join the stream.

In either case your images will be uploaded to iCloud, and the people you invited will receive an email notification. Those who have an Apple device can click the message’s Join This Photo Stream link. This action sends a message to iPhoto (or to the Photos app on an iOS device) alerting it to the fact that so-and-so would like to share a collection of pictures with you. Invitees click Join to participate or Ignore to tell you (virtually) to go soak your head. When they click Join, the Photo Stream will appear under the Web heading in iPhoto. If they view this email message on an iOS device, they just tap to accept; the Photos app then launches, and they find the shared stream by tapping Photo Stream at the bottom of the screen.

Others can easily join your shared Photo Stream.

Stop sharing your Photo Stream

You can add and remove people from your Photo Streams. On the Mac, select Photo Stream, choose the stream you want to work with, and click the Info button at the bottom-right of the iPhoto screen. In the Shared With area, you'll see the names of those who subscribe to the stream. To add subscribers, click this area and enter additional names. To remove individuals, highlight those you wish to delete and then press the Mac’s Delete key to delete them from the list of subscribers.

On an iOS device, launch the Photos app, tap the Photo Stream item, and (on an iPhone or iPod touch) tap the blue right-pointing arrow icon. In the resulting Edit Photo Stream screen, you’ll see the stream’s subscribers as well as an Add People entry. To add other subscribers, tap this entry and enter other email addresses in the To field. Tap Add when you’re done. To rid your stream of a subscriber, tap the person's name and in the resulting screen tap Remove Subscriber.

On an iPad, launch the Photos app, tap the Photo Stream tab, tap the Edit button, and then tap the Photo Stream album you want to work with. In the Edit Photo Stream window that appears, tap Add People (to enlarge your audience), or select a name and, in the next window, tap Remove Subscriber (to shrink it).


A few fine points about Photo Stream.

  • Although you can share a Photo Stream with other people, they can’t add images to that shared photo stream.
  • You can add or remove images from a Photo Stream you’re sharing. Simply select a Photo Stream album in iPhoto and drag images into it to add the photo to the stream. To delete photos, just select them and press the Mac’s Delete key. On an iOS device, select a Photo Stream album in the Photos app and tap Add Photos. In the resulting screen, tap the photos you want to add (or tap Add All Photos) and then tap Done. To delete images, tap the Edit button, tap the images you want to remove, and tap the red Delete button.
  • Photos uploaded to My Photo Stream or Shared Photo Streams don’t count against your iCloud storage.
  • Images that appear in iPhoto’s Photo Stream are at their original resolution. Smaller images are used with iOS devices.

And that’s Photo Stream in a nutshell (a coconut is a nut, right?). It’s a slick way to make photos on one device available to other compatible devices.

Next week: Editing your pictures

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