So, I finally started to use Dropbox

I use Evernote religiously to capture lists, ideas, documents, and write blog posts.

I use G+ as my primary online photo back-up tool (I also regularly download iPhone images to iPhoto which I back-up via Time Capsule. Did I mention utilizing Carbonite as well? I have more redundant systems than the US military during the Cold War).

I used iCloud in my iPhoneography workflow exclusively. Until now.

Recently Dropbox turned on a mobile image automatic upload functionality within its iPhone app. It has now has become an incredibly useful app for the iPhoneograper, especially for those who edit photos via laptop or desktop. I have just begun to use Camera Bag to edit from my desktop but was struggling to find an efficient way to get photos from my iPhone to Camera Bag. Dropbox has come through.

Here is how to set it up:

A few tips:

1. The automatic upload function is not all that automatic. The app must be launched and it does not run in the background. If you open Dropbox and navigate to another app you will shortly receive a notice that the Dropbox automatic upload has been “paused”. While certainly this will be a fix in future app updates, the iPhoneographer can work around this by opening the app and putting your phone down for a few minutes.

2. Dropbox will upload via cellular or wifi networks or both. I have an unlimited data plan and therefore turned on both. I do a lot of iPhoneography while walking about and when I am done I launch the Dropbox app while driving back and Dropbox automatically uploads the photos vs. having to use tip one above.

3. To make Dropbox effective in your iPhoneography workflow you need it on your iPhone, iPad, and laptop/desktop. All three are free.

4. The initial storage space for a Dropbox account is limited to 3.5 GB. Anyone who takes photos at the rate that I will run through this in a matter of a week or two. I recommend utilizing Dropbox to assist in moving images for editing and not for back-up. As I have posted previously, I believe G+ is the best route for this. You can expand this for free by performing tasks defined by Dropbox including referring Dropbox to friends (they must create an account).

5. Utilizing Dropbox for moving images for editing and not for long term storage, doing regular clean-out of the Dropbox of images is going to be necessary. But with the Gallery view in the MacBook Pro app will greatly assist in this effort.


10 thoughts on “So, I finally started to use Dropbox

  1. Great article to help people with uploading photos to the cloud.

    Unfortunately, Dropbox will never be able to automatically upload photos in the background. It’s a limitation of iOS as Apple does not want processes running too long in the background.

    Also, I think the initial storage space Dropbox provides is 2 GB, though there are many free ways to get more storage.

    1. David – Agreed, the fact that you have to have the app running is a downside.

      Dropbox has a pretty large menu of options to increase the initial space limitation. I have 6.5 GB without trying very hard.

  2. Dropbox made my life easier. Now I also use it for my photographyclients, sharing a specific folder for them to see. Your tip on easing up my phonerelated workflow is helpful, and new to me. Thanks!

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