10 bits of helpful photography gear which you won't get in a camera shop

Gaffers tape

Just over a tenner from Amazon for Pro Tapes Pro Gaff matte cloth tape - Black. Invaluable. It is just dead handy to stick anything anywhere. And when you take it off it leaves stuff behind.

Head torch

Really handy for anything when it is dark.  I have had a couple of Peztl head torches for so long I can't even remember where I got them from. They just work whenever I need them.


I have a couple of Carabiners which live in my Peak Design Everyday backpack. Like the head torch they have been with me for years. You can them at Go Outdoors.


One of the most important bits of kit for any kind of photo shoot. Especially early morning jobs and sunrise shoots. My current flask is a good old Thermos flask.


Cold feet = unhappy grumpy photographer. For everyday photography work any time of the year apart from those rare scorching hot days I use these understated bomb proof boots from Clarks.


My North Face hat goes with me everywhere. My hat of choice is red. And yes it will be appearing in photos I take soon. Big update. I have treated myself to another one.


Yes a groundsheet. My current groundsheet cost me a fiver from Blacks in Poole. I use it to lie down anywhere I need to get low down for a shot, which is quite often. 

Cable ties

Another cheap but invaluable piece of kit, used to attach things to other things, and sometimes to secure my camera in place. I have used cable ties to fix various accessories, including Speedlites and camera brackets to various things including trees.

Lots of different lengths for less than a tenner from Amazon.


My old faithful tool. This lives in my camera bag too. Just invaluable and always comes in when you don't expect it too. I have used my Leatherman to fix all sorts of slightly unfinished stuff on recently completed buildings.  Mine is the Wingman.


Yes I have a short length of rope in my camera bag. Para Cord to be precise. £7.49 from Amazon for 100 feet of the stuff.

These are all things that I carry along with my camera gear, lenses and tripods. I use these things whenever needed, and often these make a shot possible more than the expensive camera gear I own.

Many of these things cost less than a tenner! 

Rick McEvoy - Photography Tips

And now that all that is sorted back to my Santorini photos - that and some other stuff

Lots of things sorted. Some new gear to try out. Some new products to review. And some new stuff to work on.

And a new client.

Apart from that....

Finally I am going to be giving myself the time to finish my photos of Santorini.

I have edited 50 images, and now with everything working so well on my PC I am looking forward to completing this enjoyable task by the end of March (2018 that is).

And all this work has given me an idea that I am going to act on - on my next article for the Improve Photography website I am going to write about one of the Santorini photos - I already know which one it is going to be.

I am going to write about this one image and only this one image. I am going to take the time to explain how I got the shot I love so much.

I am going to write about

  • Location
  • Composition
  • Gear
  • Image Capture
  • Processing

I have to say that I am enjoying narrowing my writing down to single things - I will have no problem producing 2000 - 4000 words on one image, with screen shots, behind the scenes footage and all that.

And I am going to research a snappy title too - that was a note for myself there!

And this thought process has extended to the next logical thing I need to do - capture all this stuff when I am out and about in lovely places taking photos - on video and stills - this stuff makes articles about images come to life.

I have been getting better at this, and the trip to Santorini was the first time I have captured behind the scenes stuff  properly.

I hope to have news soon about an addition to my gear, provided by one of the major camera manufacturers, which is tremendously exciting for me in many ways.

I hope to be able to write about this at the end of this month.

Rick McEvoy Photography

What Antivirus software do I use?

I have just moved my antivirus patronage to Total AV.

I found it from the website The 10 Best Antivrus.com website.

And this goes to prove the enormous power of search engines and web content. All I typed into Google was antivirus software.

And this was the first thing I came across.

With lots of good reviews.

So not only do I have new antivrius software, I have just dealt myself a reminder of the importance of the search engines in the online world.

And the importance and power of customer reviews.

I will write about this new antivirus software as I get used to it - all I want is for my computer to be protected and for it to run in the background and not constantly scanning and flashing up irritating messages. 

Which I found my previous antivirus software did a little too much for my liking. 

Rick McEvoy Photography


Dodge and burn - my favourite tools in Lightroom

This short note has been in my draft folder for a year now! As part of my drive to be more efficient and organised ideas for blog posts are now added to a spreadsheet pending me actually getting round to using Evernote properly.

So all the draft blog posts in my Squarespace blog app are going to be deleted. 

Back to the point. 

I wrote about the use of this technique in a recent blog post, and decided although I knew what it was, being old enough to have had my own darkroom, I was going to look into this a bit more. 

And I will. At some point. 

Photography really is a never ending learning thing, and I have just found something new to write about!!

Rick McEvoy Photography

After all that fun and games with my computer it is back to my Santorini photos

I have Lightroom and Photoshop back and working nicely. My computer is running more quickly than it has in a long time. I am now confident that buying 16GB of RAM will be a good investment for my PC.

I would like to buy an SSD but this might not be necessary. That is subject to further enquiry - I dont want to break things now that they are much better!

And then, it is back to my photos of Santorini.

I am looking forward to completing the editing of my Santorini photos - this has overrun massively with problems and other things that have been happening. 

Once I have completed the first edits I am going to rethink the other things that I was considering doing. 

I still want to try out Luminar and Aurora HDR - perhaps I will give myself a couple of weeks to have a play around with a selection of images and see what happens. 

And I must decide which software package I am going to use to produce my black and white images. I really enjoy my black and white photography work. 

So this is the basic plan from here. 

March 2018

Complete the first edit of my Santorini photos. This will include going back through the stuff I didn't edit - I think I have left some good stuff behind. 

Once done I will have a new page on my website, under the Travel Photography section, titled Santorini. I have not decided how many photos are going on these travel photography pages - it depends what I want the pages to do for me.

Are they just a gallery showcasing my best work or all the photos of Santorini available for online sale direct from my website? 

I need to think about this. 

April 2018

Luminar and Aurora HDR on selected Santorini photos.

May 2018


Nothing else - just stock

June 2018

Stock, and a review of my 2018 photography business targets half way through the year. I have a first quarter review scheduled for the end of March.

And that is where I am going to stop for now - that is enough to be going on with!

Rick McEvoy Photography


How to manage your data in Lightroom securely and efficiently

The latest article of mine to be published on the Improve Photography website is How to manage your data in Lightroom securely and efficiently

In this article I write about the problems I have been having with my PC and hard drives, and how I fixed things without losing any data.

Rick McEvoy Photography

Is Lightroom Classic faster? Yes. Now that I have done my bit it is!

Lightroom Classic was horrendously slow.

And now it isn’t.

And Photoshop is working fine.

I am currently writing about the problems I have been experiencing with Lightroom, which it turns out were nothing to do with Lightroom.

You can read all about this on my next article which will appear on Improve Photography tomorrow at 5PM Boise time.  Thats 10am UK time.

Deadlines, deadlines!

After that I am looking forward to getting back to those Santorini photos with a fully working Lightroom and Photoshop to enjoy. 

Rick McEvoy Photography

Three videos taken in the countryside near Witchampton in Dorset

Three videos taken the other day on the way home after a client meeting.

Driving home, I was drawn to a line of trees on the skyline, but could not find the view I wanted. You can see the line of trees on the horizon in the middle. These videos are taken from the other side of where I saw them initially.

These videos were captured using my iPhone 7 Plus and DJI Osmo Mobile.

I am still trialling this combo for video production - the walking down the road video shows the kind of effect and smoothness I am after.

If I can manage to produce commercial quality video walkthroughs using this gear combo I will be highly delighted. In the meantime I am enjoying practising when I am out and about. 

Rick McEvoy Photography

An update on me sorting out my computer

This is the record of what I have done to date. And unless time proves otherwise it appears to all be going rather well.

  1. Copied all the photos onto my new 4TB external hard drive
  2. Copied the Lightroom Catalogue i was using from my PC hard drive and placed on the new external hard drive with all the photos. Lightroom should work more quickly now as the catalogue and actual files Lightroom references are on the same drive. 
  3. Copies all the files in the Pictures folder onto another external hard drive. I should be able to work just fine without them and delete all this lot. 
  4. Removed my old 4TB external hard drive that I was using.
  5. Tested Lightroom and Photosho pay editing an image which was ok, and once sent to Photoshop when I saved the image it appeared right where it is supposed to in Lightroom. 
  6. Shut down my PC, and disconnect the other external hard drive. 

This leaves with my computer in the following status

All my documents/ music are on my PC hard drive. 

All my photos are on my new 4TB external hard drive. 

And that is it. 

There is more work to do, which is as follows (might as well capture it all now whilst it is fresh in my mind). 

  1. Update my Lightroom import presets
  2. Decide where I want my import backups to go. 
  3. Sort out the stuff in my documents folders and make sure these are up to date and synced with the cloud. 
  4. Sort out the files on my external hard drives. I now have less data, programs, unwanted stuff and general digital junk so this will be easier to organise. 
  5. Update my backup plan - things are now slightly different and I have one more external hard drive I can use.

Talking of which - when I am ready I need to wipe my dodgy external hard drive and see if it is OK or not.

I am thinking off wiping my PC and starting again as well - after all with all the hard drives I now have this will be an easier task than it would have been. 

Sorting and rationalsing all my files - I need to do that as I have done for my emails. 

One final point for now - all of these things are still being automatically backed up to the cloud using Backblaze.

Things are looking up - all I want is to be able to get on with my Santorini photos, which hopefully I can do happily and speedily next week. 

Rick McEvoy Photography

How am I getting on with my computer woes?

I am getting there. This morning I managed to use my new external hard drive with all my pictures and my Lightroom Catalogue only on it.

The old external hard drive that I had been using is disconnected.

All I had to do was connect the folders in the catalogue to the actual folders containing the images.

Next I started Lightroom, and quickly managed to import the images that would not roundtrip back from Photoshop into Lightroom before. Thankfully I saved them to my PC hard drive.

And now where am I? Moving all the files from the Pictures folder on my computer hard drive to my back-up hard drive.

There is over 100GB of data in that folder, and I cannot work out why.

If I have done everything else correctly those files can all be deleted. For now they are being moved onto an external hard drive. I am not too good at deleting stuff!

3 1/2 hours to go on that, then I will see where I am up to.

Rick McEvoy Photography

How long does it take to transfer over 1TB of photos from one hard drive to another?

I am copying all my photos from one external hard drive to another. I think there is a problem with the 4TB hard drive I am using. That or the data is in a bit of a mess.

This is the plan. 

  • Copy all the photos to a new 4TB external hard drive. 
  • Copy the Lightroom catalogue from my PC hard drive to the new 4TB external hard drive.  I have a backup copy on another hard drive.
  • Disconnect the old hard drive.
  • Use Lightroom using the new hard drive and catalogue.

And to prove this I am going to try to use Lightroom on my old Dell laptop. 

Lets see how this goes. 

I will report back tomorrow with progress, but to answer the first question

Over 1 day! 

Then the message improved to 4 1/2 hours. Having written this I am off out  - this is where things are up to 


That is pretty good progress I have to say. Shout out to Dell and Western Digital!

If Lightroom works ok using the new external hard drive on my old laptop I might bite the bullet and send my PC off for some investigative works. 

See you all tomorrow for an update. 

Rick McEvoy Photography