What are Some of the Best Ways to Store and or Preserve Photos?



Ever since I lost many treasured photos due to AOL photos going down about a decade ago, I've tried to store my photos in multiple places.  It was my fault that I lost those photos as I received multiple notifications from AOL that they would be deleting the photos.  Some of the photos I lost were of my cat Coco who was my "soul cat" for lack of a better way of putting it. 

My husband and I adopted Coco and Chanel from a rescue organization about twelve years ago when they were eight weeks old.  I took many photos of Coco and Chanel when they were between two and six months old, but I only have photos of them from six months on.  This situation would bother me regardless of the fact that Coco got cancer when she was just four years old and passed away just shy of her sixth birthday.  We did everything we could to save her and extend her time on this Earth.  Not a day goes by that I don't think about her: 

A collage of Coco and Chanel at about six months of age:

CocochanelbabyCoco and Chanel age 2-5
CocochanelbabySo...when I think about backing up my photos I remind myself of what I lost.

There are many methods for backing up photos and people need to choose which is best for them.  I see many people storing photos on Facebook, but Facebook doesn't store photos in full size.  My two choices for storing photos are Pixabay and Panoramio.  I also back my photos up on a one terabyte external hard drive:

Pixabay is very selective.  In order for your photo to be accepted it must be flawless in their eyes.  You are also releasing your photos under Creative Commons CC0 into the public domain which is irrevovable.   Here are some frequently asked questions about the use of photos on Pixabay:  https://pixabay.com/en/service/faq/

Here are my photos which you are free to use and there are photos from all seven continents.

Mariamichelle's photos

For those of you who don't want to give up the rights to your photos and want to store them in their original form Panoramio might be a better option.  You can choose to let the world use them or reserve all rights to your photos.  The amount of space you can use is not unlimited but you can buy more if you need it.  Since not all of my photos are accepted by Pixabay, I use Panoramio along with my external hard drive to save my photos.  One feature of Panoramio is some of your photos might be used in Google Earth which some people like.

Here is my Panoramio account and all are Creative Commons CC0 :

Mariamichelle's Panoramio photos


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 Do you have a system for backing up your photos?  If so, please tell me about it because sites go down and computers and hard drives crash.  I've been trying to make more hard copies of photos and create albums with the thousands of photos I take while I'm traveling.  Thank you for stopping by my blog.  I hope that 2016 is being good to you so far and will continue to be.  



Some of the Many Benefits of Using Google's Panoramio to Store Photos

One of my most popular photos, taken in Antarctica, on Panoramio with more than 9000 views:

There are many benefits to joining Panoramio for those who like to take photos for any reason.  First of all you get free storage space for your photos.  They are stored in full-size.  Facebook  does not store your photos full-size.  One can also get a page rank when you join Panoramio.  

I just joined in March 2013 and I have a PR of 2. Here is my site:  


You also can join groups in Panoramio similar to how you can join them in Facebook. Members can comment on your photos as well as like and favorite them. Each photo has its own statistics showing how many views it's received, likes, and favorites.  You also can see the lifetime views of each of your photos.  For me it is like social networking for photographers who are both professional and hobbyists.  When one joins panoramio, they can choose for no one to be able to use your photos at all without your permission, or you can choose to let anyone use your photos for any reason.

One of the best things about joining Panoramio is your Photos can be used in Google Earth and Google Maps if they are selected.  There are certain criteria your photos must meet in order to be used.  First of all there cannot be recognizable people in your photo or close-ups of flowers and animals.  I like it for my landscape photography which is probably my favorite thing to take photos of.

Panoramio was acquired by Google so in 2007 so it is probably a fairly safe place to store your photos.  I used AOL photo storage eight or nine years ago.  When they no longer offered photo storage, they did give their users plenty of warnings to move their photos.  Those who did not, unfortunately, lost all of their photos.

  Here is my most popular photo overall based on Panoramio's algorithm,  It was taken on my dolphin siting expedition in Lovina, Bali:

Pano11Here is my most popular photo in Google Earth with more than 26000 views.  It's a research station in Antarctica:
Pano11Here is my most popular photo taken in Antarctica in Google Maps with more than 31000 views:
Pano11Here is my most popular photo which is shown on an external widget of a sunrise in Lovina, Bali with over 5600 views:
External widget 5600Do you use Panoramio?  Are there any other photo storage sites that you would recommend and why?  Thanks so much for your visit and your comments!


“Knowing it and seeing it are two different things.” ― Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

If there is one quote that I have found to be true while traveling around the world over the past several years to be true, this is it!  

“Knowing it and seeing it are two different things.”

~Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

I have stayed in many 5 star resorts in countries with thriving economies and I have stayed in hostiles and guest houses in developing countries.  Much of what I have seen has been good and reinforced and or enhanced my knowledge of history as my trips to Paris.  I wanted to be an Anthropology major while in college, but my parents weren't thrilled with that idea so I majored in Biochemistry and graduated with a minor in Anthropology.

 I desperately wanted to see the world - and not just the beautiful touristy parts, but I really wanted to learn about the culture of the many countries I've visited and see what is "below the surface".  I'm very glad and know I'm very fortunate to have visited all seven continents and seen as much of the world as I have.  At this point, however, I still want to travel as much as possible, but will be staying in the first world during my immediate future travels.  The overpopulation and poverty I witnessed in Indonesia , Tanzania, and Vietnam have stymied my curiousity for the time being.

 How long will this last?  My lack of interest in seeing EVERYWHERE and not just the "pretty places" will probably not last long!  I have already been researching some very out of the way places that are NOT considered tourist destinations.  I guess my point is really very simple.  Traveling teaches you so much as well as opens your eyes!  

 I suspect this will not be one of my more popular posts given that these types of images are not popular on my Panoramio and Pixabay sites.

Visiting AIDS families in Tanzania:      

I used my small camera not my DSLR to take these photos.  The group I was traveling with had permission to take their photos.  I could have used my bigger camera, it was just a personal choice of mine to use my point and shoot...and to only take one quick photo.


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 Trying to help a stray very young pregnant cat in Bali, Indonesia.  I called a vet paid $40 and fed it sugar water all day.  I left her that night with my night gown and AirAisa blanket because I was scheduled to return to the US that day :(


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 Vietnam - looking out my hotel window


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 I'm sure it won't be long before I'm saying this again:

"I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center."

 Kurt Vonnegut

 Thank you so much for stopping by.  I promise my next post will be a happy one!  I love to read your comments or questions and and reading other people's blogs as well.  Your e-mail address will never be published.  Until next time, take care my friends!


Riding To the Top of the World On the Skyline Gondola in Queenstown, New Zealand

OK so riding the Skyline Gondola in Queenstown, New Zealand is not the top of the world - that would be Mount Everest, but I felt like I was on top of the world.  For me, this was such a beautiful and exhilarating experience!  People are always and I mean ALWAYS irritating  asking me why I like to travel so much and this quote explains my answer perfectly:
"Travel brings power and love back into your life.” 
~ Rumi
 The tree pictured above looks like a palm tree and a little out of place but it's actually called a cabbage tree and only grow in the very South Pacific
 The water in the lakes truly is as blue as my photos show!  I've been told by the people who live here that it's more blue or aqua than usual due to the glacial feed to the lakes.  I've also been told that it's usually OK to drink it too which I thought was pretty unusual and great for camping.  HOWEVER, I would not recommend anyone drink it unless they knew for certain.




 There is a very nice restaurant and some cool gift shops where you get off the gondola.  It was a hot day and I couldn't resist this three berry frozen fruit drink:Gondolaa-4

I loved this sign at the top.  I think they should have A LOT more of these around the world ;)Gondola-102

  I have a little bit of a fear of heights, but wasn't afraid on the gondola.  I thought the chair lift you can ride up even higher on the mountain was a little scarier...I didn't dare take my hands off the arm bar to take any photos.




Gondola-92 Gondola-99I love these touristy photos they take of you on these rides.  I thought the $15 they charge was a little steep, but who knows when I'll get back here!
GondolaaI let the kids enjoy the luge ride down the mountain since I'm not a great driver :)

The A frame building in the photo below is the restaurant

Thank you so much for stopping by.  I love to read your comments or questions and and reading other people's blogs as well.  Your e-mail address will never be published.  Until next time, take care my friends!






My Wild and Crazy Dolphin Sighting Trip in Bali

"The happiness of the bee and the dolphin is to exist. For man it is to know that and to wonder at it."
While in Bali, Indonesia in March 2013 I traveled from the southern part of the island to the northern section to a town named Lovina for a dolphin sighting tour.  I LOVE dolphins...so sounds great right?  Well, it was great and it was worth it AFTER I got up at 3:00 AM.  I'm NOT a morning person so that was literally painful for me!  I am also not the type of person who scares easily, BUT the 2 hour taxi ride in the dark through very curvy and hilly back roads had me sitting on the edge of my seat!  As you can see I did get to see dolphins - LOTS of them!  Getting photos of them was not easy though - even with a super fast shutter speed!  It was also dark and the boat you see in the photos is the one I rode in.  It was going very fast in the wavy water and was a very bumpy ride.  In the end it was worth it and I would do it again!  I also got to see an incredible sunrise which is highly unusual for me!  The photos on this post are some of my most popular on Panoramio.  Many web sites have displayed these photos which is fine and I actually am very flattered when my photos are shared as long as I'm given credit and they link back to me.  In case you want to view any of my other photos here is the link:





 "Humans think they are smarter than dolphins because we build cars and buildings and start wars etc…and all that dolphins do is swim in the water, eat fish and play around. Dolphins believe that they are smarter for exactly the same reasons."

Douglas Adams 


Thank you so much for stopping by.  I love to read your comments or questions and and reading other people's blogs as well.  Your e-mail address will never be published.  Until next time, take care my friends!