Worried about the status of my own photo storage, I did some research (mostly reading other blogs that have also come across this problem) and found out that I should have a 1GB photo storage limit for my photos, in a Picasa web album. And to top it all off, this is shared with other Google applications that I use. I found a post with a link that I could click to find out how much of my limit I was using.
I was astonished to find out that I was currently using over 48% of my limit, and, more interesting still, my limit was, not 1 GB, but 5GB! That means I've used more than 2.4GB. Where had all that space gone? Do I need to resize all the photos that are currently on my blog (in 20 posts, I wouldn't have thought that they would take up too much space, even when I made no effort at all to compress them!) Or maybe find another photo host and change the way I insert images into my blog?
After some looking in my Picasa account, I discovered that the majority of my photos are actually backups from my phone. I didn't realise that when I turned on the instant upload option on my new phone last year that it was going to back up every photo I have ever taken on my phone since I first bought a smart phone (2 and a half years ago now!) Or that they would be stored in Picasa. Or anything really. (Do you see a theme forming here - I don't do enough research on technologically related things). Photos up to 2048 x 2048 pixels (when using Google+) apparently do not count toward this limit. Although I have read that instant upload photos are automatically resized to be under this size limit, I did not seem to have happened with my photos.
I did find out why my limit is 5GB though. Apparently at some stage I signed up for Google Drive, (not that I even know what this is), and that gives you 5GB of storage space. How fortunate! Otherwise I would have run out of space a long time ago, definitely before I even started this blog.
Just before I hit the "Publish" button though, I thought I might try and get to the bottom of the instant upload issue. It turns out that you have to go into the setting of Google+ on your phone, and check the option to resize your uploads to 2048 pixels. I was looking for this so I could turn instant uploads off, but now that I have found the culprit, I might as well leave it there, and just upload the smaller photos. At least that way if something happened to my phone I would have a record of the photos that I have taken.
Problem solved. At least I no longer have to find an alternate method of storing blog photos. Now to just find a way (and time and the inclination) to tackle that enormous amount of full size photos stored in Picasa.