OUR FIRST DATE
So, last year when Android one was newly released last year on the Infinix hot device, Google photos was the only gallery app on the smartphone. And just like someone new to a type of technology coupled with chronic ADD, I just couldn’t stand the app. Maybe it was the phone. Or both. I was not about to start learning new ways to save and access my photos. Yo. It’s just photos… why y’all gotta be so dramatic about it. Then my phone got stolen. All my pictures, gone! TBT and FBF were never the same again…
A SECOND FIRST IMPRESSION
…Until September 20th when I went on a complimentary road trip with Google and there was mention of Google photos
In my head I’m thinking, this relationship isn’t going to work. We tried once before. But there was a catch; a trip to Erin-ijesa waterfalls in Osun state and the Ikogosi warm spring in Ekiti state. So, like a friend in it for all the benefits, I followed. The catch was for me and every other blogger on board to ensure we accessed all the photos taken on the trip via the Google photos app; an app I really never went back to following the Android one experience. Before we left Lagos for Osun and then Ekiti, we got road travel essentials; breakfast -not the typical eba/black soup Mama would suggest we ate because our journey was long- but, a lighter apple, sandwich and yoghurt type breakfast. Digital kids don’t eat heavy these days. Heck, we don’t even pray over our light meals, we simply snap it! Clicks were heard across seats. Then I was handed a neatly sewn Ankara bag labeled “African things’. Inside the bag were munchies for days, a selfie stick with the Google photos logo, a power bank and a USB cord, hand sanitizer and like a billion other things… Google style. Everything you need plus more. Aboard our tourbus, the clicks rent the cold air again; second after second. From selfies to sneak shots of our little “Concentration game” and “2Truths and a Lie” which I totally flunked by the way (I won’t make a very good politician- I am terrible at lying) – we were getting in the groove of things and Google stayed winning. As always. I studied the app more patiently after updating it. After the update, things pretty much sorted themselves out. Of note is the option of backing up photos from your camera using Wifi only or mobile data. Cloud storage simplified! Relationship looking promising.
On the road, the tourist instinct in many of us kicked in and it wasn’t long before the click, click of camera phones against the window panes filled the air once again. Many moving trees, body-swiveling, pothole bumping and an un-photographed dam later, we touched down Erin Ijesha. More pictures and clicking sounds.
There is something ‘unlimited storage’ does to you or 30GB for just optics! Dude! It makes you live almost with reckless abandon because you know there are no inhibitions and no limitations. Well, in my case, I took pictures with absolutely no care in the world. I recorded videos, uploaded some when internet service smiled on us and saved a whole lot more.
We took at least a billion pictures here. We even met some local photographers there who kept pressuring us to take “wait and get”. I looked at one shot one of them took of me in my jumpsuit and it was pretty! For a second, I thought, if only this Osun boy knew the last thing about Google photos; perhaps he would have built a reel/portfolio for himself and taken his skill farther than the Olumirin waterfalls in Erin Ijesha, Osun.
We got to our second tourist destination, the Ikogosi resort late. Food was priority at this time. My followers on Twitter had sounded me a note of warning: that I absolutely had to eat Pounded yam and Efo, to which i obliged. Friends on my table said their snapchat and Instagram story prayers. The food wasn’t all that; it just looked the part. Thankfully, I had enough Google spoils to last me the night. As I retired for the day, I checked on my Google photos. Pictures were safely stored there and then the most! My old pictures from when my other other phone was stolen were right there. I know I should not be so excited, but I was. My Google plus was barely used these days anyway, but I loved how Google photos had me covered. I slept a happy person – after speaking to the important people in my life too and sharing pictures with them 🙂
I’ll spare you details of issues we had with the resort management; however, a few recommendations – buffet style for meals, more cups of tea at no extra cost, (free) wifi and a functional shuttle service. A golf course too, for panache and a more Ekiti-centric reception. Lol. There was a Japan and New York clock flanking the Lagos clock that was telling a fantastically wrong time.
TALK WALK TO IKOGOSI WARM SPRINGS
I take pictures when I travel because of my family. My dad in particular. He is my usual tour guide; he has been to the ends of Nigeria and back – or so he makes it seem with his eloquence and profound knowledge of a vast number of destinations. Chiamaka of Social Prefect tours had been our tourguide at different times during the journey but upon reaching the path that led to the Ikogosi warm springs, even she wanted to be one with nature and allow an actual tour guide do his job – only he had been at it for just 2 weeks. #PEPE POSE#
The story of how Ikogosi came to be was just long. To put it mildly. The tour guide was, maybe nervous or too new to put us millenial journalists and bloggers through the history of this wonder. Somehow we got it. The patience we didn’t have for internet and low batteries, we had to exercise for tour guide, Mr Taiwo. According to him, legend has it that the warm and cold springs were the two wives of Ogangan a great hunter, who always quarreled with each other. Awele was hot tempered while Awon was quiet. One day, the two wives fought and upon the arrival of their husband who was already tired of their bickering, had them changed to the warm spring and cold spring while he became the forest protecting them. 😍😍In all, both springs had a meeting point and I had the rare privilege of feeling both warm and cold springs with my bare hands!
SO… WHAT ARE WE?
Official; that’s what! Like a pair of lovers with no option left but to make their partnership work, I worked things out with the app. After the trip, I tried making a movie from some photos/videos from the trip with music from my phone but exporting it has been such a task. It is ready on the app but sharing to other apps, I think, is not going down well with GPhotos. I am still trying. I really want this to work, see? I had explored the app and seen that it could do everything other 3rd party video (especially) and picture editing apps did. There was a recycle bin for deleted pictures which would be completely gone after 2months! I was still able to access every picture folder from there – Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, etc. I could do picture collages; maybe not exactly as I wanted it, but hey, we were still discovering things about each other, no? A little more time. But you know who else I had begun getting fond of after some time together? My co-travelers! Nosa, Kunmi, Kolapo workaholic (CableNG), IK Nwosuuu (Bella Naija), ChiamakaSocialPrefect!, Michhhh (Google), Folarin Pulse, Olorisupergal, Lazy Writa, Lamide Akintobi, Demola Expozee and Chinwe Metezyyy (genius behind the lens)…
Our trip back to Lagos was a tad reflective. There were less discussions. No games. At all. A lot of snoozing. Alone moments. Widespread phone clutching. Picture swiping. Every picture taken and stored, friendships formed, laughs and arguments, please-share-your-power-bank requests, GPhotosNG hashtagging, mental caption post Google photos trip, all made it a most memorable outing. The love for and of Google Photos had come naturally. As my Uber pulled up at home, everyone was glad to see me and demanded; where are pictures!
It was time to spread the love.