Category: Tutoring

Backing up

Backing up

Most people these days have a computer and possibly more people own a phone.

We use our computers for a multiple of things, reading emails, browsing the web, Skype, FaceTime, Facebook, Twitter etc…

If you run a business, or are a student, you might write letters, create spreadsheets, or create pieces of art in a graphics package like photoshop.

If you are an iPhone or iPad user and you take photos, then these may also be transferred to your computer too or you might backup your iPhone to your computer. This goes for other phones too, like Samsung or Nokia which might be backed up to your computer.

Now this is all great, everything works, you turn your computer on and off you go… or does it.

I’ve used computers for around 30 years and over that time everything has worked pretty much as it should, however, I’ve also had problems with computers not starting and hard drives failing. 3 hard drives in total. It doesn’t sound much, but when your data is stored on them, it’s EVERYTHING! Some of these drives have been a few years old, but my one failure was on a new computer just a couple of months old.

As a photographer, I have to think about ways of storing my photos and data, so I can access them, even if the worst happens. These days cloud solutions are very popular, but a lot of people like to keep their data local or don’t know about or trust the cloud.

So, an easy solution for backing up is to create a copy of everything you do. If you take photos, create an extra copy. When you’ve updated a spreadsheet, create a backup copy. Now the important part here, is the copy must be stored in a separate location to the original. So if your data is on your computer, create these copies on an external drive. External drives are cheap enough to buy and easy to use.

You should create a process for yourself. At the end of the working day, copy your new and updated data to your external (backup) drive. Get into the habit of doing this regularly or even better daily.

It might sound like a drag (no pun intended!), but it is better then losing your files.

Another option to manually backing up, is to get some backup software that can do it for you. If you use a iMac, then even better, that has it on built in software and recognises when you have your back up drive plugged in and it does it for you.

If you are a photographer and you use lightroom, that gives you an option to create a second copy when you import. Simple!

So find a method for you that works and backup on a regular basis.

Your backup drive needs to be big enough to store all your data, so look at your disk sizes and buy bigger. Backup software sometimes does incremental backups, so creates more than one copy on the drive to protect against bad sectors or you saving a ‘wrong’ version of your file.

Once you’ve got your backup process and drive in place, remember that hard drive might also fail, so maybe backup the backup? Another problem with this in house method, is your data is still in one location, i.e. in house or your office.

Backing up is a simple thing to do to help protect your data, but you do still need to think a little further than just your local backup. It is however a good start, as a backup is better than no backup, but maybe not as good as 2 or 3 backups stored in different places

Learning Lightroom

Learning Lightroom

With my photography I use Lightroom software. I use it to manage and edit all my photos and for good reason. It is an excellent piece of software.

I shoot using the RAW setting on the camera and this gives me great editing power over my photos.

As I am a tutor by trade, I also offer tuition on Lightroom to help photographers, both pro and amateur get the most of their photography.

As you can see using the software can really help with tricky lighting when shooting landscapes. It is also great for just lighting up photos and getting details back.

As well as creating in interesting feel to a photo that might otherwise seem a little dull.

Its other major power is cataloging your photos with many features to help you sort, whittle down, compare and more importantly find your photos quickly!

I offer the training on a 1-2-1, please contact me for more details.

Photographing Bottles

Photographing Bottles

Sometimes when tutoring you get asked about a specific thing a bit more unusual than normal. This happened today.

Whilst doing a Lightroom session we were discussing past studio work that I had helped out with and the current products that were being photographed were bottles. To be precise, bottles of wine for a large supermarket chain!

I had photographed bottle products before but couldn’t quite remember my setup, so a quick bit of research and also adjusting for the fact that we weren’t in a studio, we set up the light and made some minor adjustments to how it could work and took some shots. They came out well and we wound up the session and I headed home.

I wanted to give it ago in my studio when I got home, so I setup 3 lights. 1 large octagon light as the back light and 2 rectangular soft boxes, one on each side.

I took 6 photos and selected the last couple to show. From starting to set up the lights to final photo was no longer than 20mins and this photos are straight out the camera with just a crop and minor highlight tweak in Lightroom. They are not cutout so the small block at the bottom is a toy brick and is what the bottle was perched on! If this was a ‘proper’ shoot, I would have edited out the wooden block!

The first photo is with both sidelight vertically positioned, creating 2 lines down the bottle.

The next image is with the right light rotated through 90 degrees, this makes a light instead of a strip.

My soft boxes also have a grid in them and this is shown in the highlight on the bottle.

I am not a great wine drinker, so the first bottle I found, was in fact one I had kept for photographing at some point. I was then going to find a wine bottle and try that and remove the grids, but my studio got taken over by Nat, photographing other bits so the other bottle shots will have to follow later.

I think there is some improvement to be made on this so will have another go and show the results too.

Tutoring Services

Tutoring Services

I have been tutoring people for over 20 years. I have taught individuals, small groups, large groups and taught for international companies.

Through all this time, I have taught many types of software, but all this is led to one thing. Being able to teach photography and photography related software.

When I started out on my own last year, I offered Lightroom and Photoshop tuition and now offer photography help to people who want to learn to use their camera in more than just the Auto mode.

I teach Lightroom to help people learn to organise there photos and be able to find ‘that photo’ instead of photos just buried on the disk in a folder and how to easily edit their photos in Lightroom too.

I teach Photoshop basics, how to use layers, edit, export and more, but at a simple level to help you learn.

All of my tuition is done at your pace in a non technical language that you understand at your home.

If any of this is of interest to you, please visit my Tutoring Pages to find out how I can help. Also take a look at my references to see what people say.

If you think you would like to learn more about photography, or related software, just drop me mail.

New Service – Tutoring

New Service – Tutoring

I am now putting my years of photography & software knowledge together with my Teaching expericence to offer training session for people who just want to learn more about photography basic and related software.
So, if you just bought a digital camera and not sure how to manage the photos, or do you have lots of photos on or PC and don’t know how to catalogue them.
We can help. We offer short training session on a 1 to 1 basis to help you with you photography woes.

Just contact us with your requirements and we’ll see if we can help.