Photo In Cloud or on Device?

Discussion in 'iPad for Photographers' started by beasonfan, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. beasonfan

    beasonfan
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    Hi There,

    I've used the native Camera and Photos apps for a long time, but it bugs me that I can't tell whether a photo is in the cloud or on my device. Let me explain why this is an issue: I use my iPhone to take most of my pictures, but because it only has sixteen gigabytes of storage, I need to get them off of my phone and into the cloud as soon as possible because I quickly run out of room. So, I have my iPhone synced with iCloud. However, once I delete a photo from my device, it's not clear if it's still in the cloud or not, and I'm tired of being confused about this.

    Here's an example of my situation: yesterday I used my iPhone to take some nice photos of a waterfall (used Slow Shutter to get a blurred effect, and it worked pretty well). When I got home, I opened my Macbook to edit and rename the photos, and then I deleted them from my phone. Today, I tried to show some of those pictures to my family, but I couldn't pull them up on my iPhone. Just now, I opened Photos on my iPad, and the pictures were there, and they are on my computer.

    So, how do I know where they are? Are they in the cloud? They must be because I can see them on my iPad. If they're in the cloud, then why can't I view them on my iPhone? I wish there were an app called iCloud Photo Viewer to which I could send my photos from my iPhone and then delete them from my camera roll so I could free up space.

    Can anyone sort out not only this confusing post but also this process of moving, saving, and finding photos?
     
  2. J. A.

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    As long as your images are on your iPhone, iPad or iPod, they are synced by (not saved to) iCloud. This means: they'll also be available on other Apple devices. As soon as you remove them from one of your iDevices, they'll also be gone everywhere else.
    iCloud is not for storing images, just for syncing. If you wish to store your photos somewhere, save them to your computer, or an external hard drive, or use online storage to save them. There are quite a few which start with free online storage, which can be extended, if you're willing to pay.
     
  3. beasonfan

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    Thanks for your help!
     
  4. J. A.

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    You're welcome.
     
  5. Jupiter7

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    You can save your photos in iCloud Photo Library. Keep in mind that it will count towards your iCloud allowance.
     
  6. J. A.

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    iCloud Photo Library syncs photos. It doesn't store them. When you remove them on one of your devices connected to iCloud, they are also removed from the other devices.
     
  7. Jupiter7

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    ICloud Library does store photos. That is what it is for, as opposed to Photostream, which temporarily stores them for thirty days, so that you can synch them.
     
  8. J. A.

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    Every edit you make is automatically updated every where - that's more or less how Apple described it. This means:
    When you crop an image, it will be synced to your other devices. Same goes for removing pictures.
    Deleting an image from one of your devices removes it from everywhere else as well. So if you wish to keep your photos, you must not delete them from your iDevices, or save them somewhere else, but not in iCloud.

    The difference to PhotoStream is, that it syncs the images, as long as you have them in iCloud, so there's no 30 day limit, and no limit to the number of images synced by iCloud (except if there's not enough iCloud storage).

    I know what I'm talking about, I'm using iCloud Photo Library.
     
    #8 J. A., Mar 29, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
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  9. twerppoet

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    This has been pretty much covered, but let me expand a bit, just because I feel like it. And because all the replies have been right, just not complete in of themselves. I'll try to pull it together, for those that might care.

    Keep in mind that Johanna made the most important point. You can not use iCloud Photo Library to save/store photos that are not also on the iOS device. (Though you can limit the the space they take up, as I'll mention later).

    If that's all that matters, you can stop reading. I get real wordy after this.

    Yes iCloud Photo Library is permanent, and can be thought of as storage, but it is also tied to and synced to your iOS devices, which means you can't treat it like an external drive; something separate from the iPad. Chanegs made on the iPad will migrate to iCloud Photo Library, and from there to all of your synced iOS devices and computers using the same iCloud account.

    Perhaps the best way to think of this is that you have exactly the same photo library on all your iOS devices, computers, and in the cloud. Any change you make will (eventually) look like you made it on all those devices. It's as if your photo library is following you around where ever you go.

    The reason you can think of it as a 'kind of' backup/storage is because it can be restored to other iOS devices, or access through icloud.com. The older Photo Stream service doesn't do this. It was purely a syncing service with some temporary storage.

    Using the Optimize iPad Storage option in the Photos setting will help reduce the space used on the iPad by iCloud Photo Library. It optimizes your more recent pictures for local viewing, onlyh downloading full versions if needed. Older pictures may be represented by very low quality picgtures, or just thumbnails until you try to view or otherwise use them.

    This really keeps the storage size down.

    Righr now I have 6,758 which take up about 22 GB in iCloud. They only use up about 6.4 GB on the iPad.

    The down side of using the Optimize iPad Storage setting is increased bandwidth usage when browsing photos and the possibility of not haveing access to your full resolution photos when you don't have an internet connection. You may also find yourself waiting now and then for the full versions to download, if your internet speed is slow.

    If you need a soluiton that stores photos off the iPad and is not affected by what you do on the iPad, then iCloud Photo LIbrary is not the answer; htough there is nothing keeping you from using both iCloud Photo Library and a third party photo service.

    There are plenty of other option, many with free tiers. I used to use Flickr (and sometimes still do). There are numerous other options, but I have no experience or oppinion of them.
     
    #9 twerppoet, Mar 29, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
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  10. Jupiter7

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    Thanks, twerpoet, for that in depth description with the pros and cons of iCloud Photo Library. I too, use Flickr occasionally and also Google Photos.
     

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