Gone are the days when we would stuff up our hard drives with thousands of images and copy them to USB flash drive if we had to show them to our family and friends. Now, people just upload the images to an online image uploading/ sharing website and give the recipients a link to the album. There are certainly numerous online photo sharing services available out there, which allow users to upload pictures, such as Flickr, Minus, Instagram, Imgur, Photobucket etc., but OpenPhoto is a unique, open-source photo sharing service that lets you use your Dropbox storage for not only sharing photo, but also uploading and organizing photo albums in an efficient manner. The uploaded images can be saved to OpenPhoto servers or synced with your Dropbox, Box.net or Amazon S3 accounts. It lets you easily toggle the privacy settings between Public and Private, change the License type of uploaded images, and share images with a particular group. That’s not all; the web service also has a simple-to-use iOS client for on-the-go gallery management, and an Android app in the pipeline.
Before you start uploading images to the service, you will have to register a Free Account. Just enter your email address and username. You can choose to store the images either in Dropbox account or Amazon S3 Storage account. If you, for instance, choose Dropbox, you need to let OpenPhoto access your Dropbox account. It will ask you to associate the OpenPhoto service followed by login information. Once Dropbox account credentials are verified, it will create an OpenPhoto folder inside Dropbox\Apps folder. If you uncheck both Dropbox and Amazon S3 Storage, the files will be uploaded to OpenPhoto’s servers.
Once the account is created, you can start uploading images. Just click Start Uploading button and drag the images over to the web interface. When images are copied, you will be able to see them along with their file names and file sizes. It’s worth mentioning here that it reads the image meta data to create tags. Using the Tags feature, you can easily search and browse through the uploaded image galleries.
The Settings panel at the right side allows you to add custom tags, switch permissions between Public and Private, and change the License type.
From Group tab, you can also create groups to show images to only selected people. The Image settings can be accessed by clicking icon on the image thumbnail, and it allows you to add a Title, Description, Tags, Latitude & Longitude, Permission, Groups etc.
Update: OpenPhoto is now available on Android. Read our OpenPhoto for Android review.