The digitisation of photography is a double edged sword. On one hand, the fact that almost all of us are carrying a camera around at all times now (in our phones) means that we never miss a moment. We can share these pictures within seconds, uploading them to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram as quickly as we took them. We can bring our messages to life by Whatsapping photos to friends, showing them exactly what we are talking about.
Yet, the flip side of this digital sharing culture means that, for the most part, photographs never get printed or treasured. We rarely put together photo albums anymore and, as such, the joy of flicking through old pictures is slowly being lost. We are taking more pictures than ever before but, in some ways, this is causing them to lose value.
Google has seen this and is taking action in the form of smarter photo albums. Google Photos will automatically suggest a new photo album for you when you upload your pictures. It will curate all of your best shots and store them in one album, readily available to share and enjoy.
Then it will go one step further. As well as compiling an album of all your best photos, Google Photos will also add maps to show how far you travelled and location pins to remember where you went. It’s all too easy to pass somewhere incredible and exclaim how you will go back one day, only to instantly forget exactly where that amazing place was.
You also have the option to add text captions to photos yourself, describing exactly what was on your mind while you were seeing that amazing view. Plus, you turn on the collaboration option, your friends will be able to add their own photos to contribute to albums of trips you went on together.
Photographs, fundamentally, are a way to capture a moment and give it a sense of permanence. Digital photos and mass sharing are great but, in some ways, they make these images feel temporary again. We think that Google’s efforts to create more special albums is a great step in the right direction, ensuring you won’t lose your memories.