Many photographers are uncomfortable sharing their work at higher resolutions online, preferring instead to share smaller (and perhaps watermarked) photographs. If that doesn’t describe you, then you might be happy to know that you can now share full-resolution photographs with your followers, friends, and family on Google+.
Photographer Trey Ratcliff writes that he welcomes this new ability since he shares his images with a Creative Commons Noncommercial license. Prior to this development, the largest size Google+ would share was 2048 pixels across — still quite large, but far from the full-res sizes of 7140×4768 he has been uploading.
Now, sharing full-res images through Google+ isn’t yet a straightforward process. It’s a bit of a hack that’s a result of different Google services becoming more integrated with one another. More specifically, you’ll need to have a Google Drive account.
Upload your photographs to Google Drive to have the full-res versions stored through that service.
Next, hop onto Google+ and click the little camera icon to share a photograph. You’ll see “From Google Drive” as one of the options.
Find your photo on Drive, share it, and voila! A full-res image on Google+!
Ratcliff writes that there’s another handy trick: check out this image URL for a photograph uploaded to Google:
Notice how there’s a “s1161″ in that URL? The ‘s’ likely stands for “size”. Click the link, and you’ll see a photo that’s 1161 pixels in width. Google’s image URLs actually dynamically serve photographs at any size you’d like. Thus, changing the ‘1161’ to ‘800’ results in a photograph that’s 800px wide:
To snag the full-resolution version of the photo, simply change it to ‘s0′:
This can be useful for hotlinking the photos elsewhere at a suitable resolution and using Google+/Google Drive as a photo hosting service.
Now let’s sit back and see whether or not other major services (e.g. Facebook) start offering full-resolution hosting for free as well.