Storage space got really, uncomfortably, tight this past spring. I was on the road more than in the office to offload the old 1TB Buffalo Thunderbolts. So before starting off on this next long road trip, I upgraded to the 2TB Buffalo. I use the Thunderbolt because of their speed which makes a difference when at the end of the day and I have a Lexar 256GB card to upload fast. It’s a little thing but folks tend to ask so just thought I’d post the trivia.
Another very cool addition to ACR 9.0 is the quick and beautiful way of assembling HDR. You can see the screen shots below, it’s as simple as selecting the images you want to merge and then click on, Merge. What you get is a HDR Raw file that you then can process in ACR like any other Raw file except, it’s HDR. You can see below the three images I combined of Big Ben and then the final image which was finished all in ACR. Took less than a minute! Simply brilliant! Oh, images taken handheld Df, 24f1.4AFS.
I am always amazed at what pushes photographer’s buttons! My GearHead Wed post today, I stated I have no off site storage of my images, no cloud storage either and the emails are pouring in and there is even comments on the web. I’m truly touched and appreciate all the hundreds (literally) of suggestions of how (and why) I should be protecting my images, but understand I will do none of them (you’d be surprised, I’m actually a clever guy when it comes to this computer stuff). Some have said I have a pretty caviler attitude towards protecting my images, and I do but I realize they are just images (same attitude I have when creating them as well). I live in a forest, the whole town where we live is in a forest so fire is more than a real possibility. If we were home when a fire threatened our home, my last concern would be for my images. #1 would be for my family and neighbors and if time permitted, I’d go down the list to protect other “things” (yes, we are prepared and have plans for fire). But family is first, period!
Then there is the practicality, offsite storage only works if you constantly “refresh” the offsite bank of images (if you don’t have 5x 16TB NAS, you don’t have a clue of the time). With 3mil digital and 320k conventional images (literally 2 tons), there is no practical off site solution. For example, I’m just coming off a one month road trip with 1.3TB of new images that will be distributed to 4 of the 5 drives. Unless you’ve been there, it is real hard to understand the time that goes into managing this volume of files just for primary storage. I realize you mean well, but please don’t email me your ideas, we’ve had the industry best here looking at our options. Now if you have off site image storage, excellent, that’s what many experts say is a smart thing to do. That’s simply not for us. They are only photographs and in case of an emergency, we have much higher priorities on our list. I am truly touched by the outpouring of concern!
I’m often asked how I do product shoots. I thought I’d post a BTS for the Profoto B1 video. The lights and their placement is key. The top light is the main light, the light on the floor the fill. Top light is at full power and is mounted on the extended arm of a C-Stnad. The bottom light is half power and I used the sleeves for the softbox as barn doors on the bottom of the softbox to keep the light from shooting across the floor. The lighting is pretty simple especially when you are watching the LCD. You’ll notice the monitor off to the left so I could watch where to place my hands during the shooting. Post was simply dropping the video out of the D4 and into Premiere CC. And I always take shots of the set up, have hundreds of them in my files. Now a days, I use the Coolpix P7800 to make the snaps. The gear is listed below, hope it helps.
[swf]http://www.moosepeterson.com/swf_imgs/McNeil River 0333.swf, 585, 444 [/swf]
Another common mistake photographers tend to make is shorting themselves time once they get on site. I realize their are the practical issues of life, things like family and work. But seriously, adding a day or two once you’ve pulled the trigger isn’t much to add to the whole adventure. Yet that extra day or two might mean you’re being in place when the weather breaks or the critter makes an appearance. The one reason photographers tell me why they didn’t spend the extra day or two was the expense of lodging. Man, can I relate to that expense! I can only tell you what I’ve been doing for my entire career and still do, camp!
[swf]http://www.moosepeterson.com/swf_imgs/_bmp8982.swf, 585, 444 [/swf]
I know what you’re thinking, “Where do you plug your notebook in to charge it in a tent?” You find a dinner, restaurant, a lodge lounge where you can hang and plug in. Usually that’s where you find the internet as well. That’s a problem that’s easy to fix. When you’re only spending $20 a night for camping vs. $100 or more a night for lodging, you’ll be surprised what you can do. When you think about what you’re saving over five days camping, you can stay a lot longer or even buy that new piece of gear you need for the trip. When you’re sitting in your car as it pours rain and you ask who’s bright idea it was you camped, keep this one thought in mind. It’s temporary! You’re only camping for x amount of days then you go back to your home. It’s not permanent but the photographs you’ll come home with are and that’s the whole point.
Camping doesn’t mean you bring the kitchen sink and cook, it just means you sleep in a tent rather then a room. You still eat out just like you’re in a room so you don’t have the hassle food prep and cooking and you can use the time in the restaurant to charge batteries if you need to. You can of course cook your own food and save more money if you want, the point is this. Once you’ve decided to make the trip, put in all the days you possible can to make the image happen. That’s how photographic goals get realized (and if you photograph the whole adventure, you have an article to sell. That’s a real win/win!) These are the basics to taking the next step to making your goals come true, hope it helps you do just that!
[swf]http://www.moosepeterson.com/swf_imgs/Grizzly Bear 18276.swf, 585, 444 [/swf]
My New Year post was pretty popular and brought in a number of questions. A frequent one I differed to answer until today rather then repeat myself 30 times thinking it might help a few others in the process who didn’t ask the question.
The bottom line was, “Goals are great, but how to you find a goal and then plan for it?” Or you could rephrase that and ask, “How do you plan to shoot something you’ve never shot before?” That’s a damn good question, one I’ve faced many, many times in my career and one I’ve spent a whole issue of the BT Journal just to answer. That’s 28pgs trying to answer that one question! You gotta start with a target, something you wanna photograph. This most often starts with a photograph you saw and it struck you, you decided it was an image you’d like to take and have for yourself. A very common species folks wanna photograph are Grizzly Bears (can’t blame ’em). I tend to start by once seeing that photo that catches my imagination, finding out where that photo was taken. That knowledge and being there doesn’t mean you’ll get that photo but it does have the potential.
Probably the #1 mistake photographers make is thinking that just because you do your homework and put in the time it means you’ll comeback with the photographs. I wish it worked that way, I really do, but it don’t. I’ve been skunked a lot and often by “freak” things mostly weather related. No matter, you do your homework based on what you’ve learned and put your best foot forward.
[swf]http://www.moosepeterson.com/swf_imgs/TBM_DAPOSHK0685.swf, 585, 444 [/swf]
Once you have figured out what you want to photograph, what your goal is to accomplish, you’ve gotta think through the problems you might come up against. How can you think about problems about something you’ve not even photographed before? How about we stick with weather. Finding out weather history for a location for a particular time of year is pretty easy these days with the web. You’re heading to Alaska for Grizzlys, there are some months you are guaranteed to get rained on. If you don’t plan for that problem, you could have real problems! What does rain bring to Alaska, BUGS! What does rain bring to Oshkosh? Very limited parking for plane camping. Can you plan on that in advance? No way. But whether it’s bears, planes, birds or rocks, one thing your homework will help you plan on is the gear that’s needed to make the photograph. If your longest lens is 200mm and you’re heading to Brooks for bears, you’ll come back short. You’re heading to Oshkosh with only a long lens, you’ll miss a lot of images a simple 24-70 would capture.
This is a very important question every photographer should be asking about all their photography. It’s an answer I wish I could answer in one posting but I know I couldn’t with a month long series because there are so many variables. But this is a start. Hopefully the next posting will fill in a couple more holes.