As a fairly frequent early adopter, I’ve had an Instagram account for a while and, like most of my technology tinkering, it received light use and I never quite committed to it – I’ve always had plenty of other places to post pics. Recently, I’ve been posting a lot more to Instagram and this is entirely, perhaps non-obviously, due to my use of Google Photos and Google Drive.

I finally resolved my long-standing backup conundrum by getting 1TB of Google Drive space for all my photos. After an arduous period of backing up, I now have everything I have ever taken in my Google Drive space. I now have a decent workflow using Google Drive (which I’ll write up soon) and all new photos go to Drive and I feel comforted enough to have unopened external hard drives at home still in plastic. This was all very good with regard to peace of mind but what I didn’t expect was the new opportunities that it would create.

These new opportunities are almost entirely related to the appearance of the Google Photos app. Pointing the Google Photos app at my Google Drive space gives me remarkably easy access to all my photos on any device and, in particular, my phone. Crucially, the Google Photos app makes it remarkably easy to find pictures. The search for location or object is spookily good. It presents me with a list of places I’ve taken pictures without me ever having to geotag them. It’s very funky.

Google Photo locations on my phone

Google Photo locations on my phone (and me!)

Therefore, because I can get to all my pictures and it is easy to find pictures from various locations, it makes it ridiculously easy to find and post travel pics – so I decided to post them to Instagram (and using IFTTT to Twitter ).

I’m not a huge fan of Instagram filters so I usually tweak the image with Snapseed first ( bit of Ambiance and a sharpen ) and then post to Instagram from there.

Editing in Snapseed

Editing in Snapseed

As a result of all of this, long forgotten images are getting a new lease of life on Instagram as a feed of travel photography. The feed is integrated with this site Instagram and you can follow the pics on Instagram or Twitter with @scottmliddell.

One thing that seems much more difficult is gaining followers on Instagram. I think it needs a native repost in the app to allow better sharing. Weeks of posting lots of images and deranged hash-tagging and I’ve added a few followers, but not many – despite the fact that they are very targeted at travel and seem to be getting to the right kind of people. Maybe the Instagram network etiquette is different but the commenting and interaction is still very poor.