Essential maintenance in Lightroom - read this and speed up your PC

The problem was this. Lightroom was slow. Everything was slow. Thankfully I decided to look at why.

And the problem was quite simple. 

I make a duplicate set of images when I import from a memory card into Lightroom. 

Once I have done my external back-ups I should remove these files from my Dell PC hard drive. As i said my computer was running a bit (ok very) slow this morning so I checked the hard drive capacity. 

Turns out I haven't been doing this for some time, so I deleted everything up to April 2017, and gained back nearly 300GB of hard drive space!!!

I emptied my recycle bin next and gained back another 15GB of hard drive space. 

And what a difference this has made!

I thought I was going to have to buy a new computer. But no. All is good. 

Maintenance is a necessary evil. With my construction experience I know that if you don't maintain buildings they fail. 

Cameras, computers, lenses - they all need maintaining. 

I wonder how many people who are complaining about the speed of Lightroom actually have their own houses in order? I didn't for sure.

I was about to join the masses on this subject, but now that i have freed up over 25% of the capacity of my PCs hard drive it is working just fine. 

I now have circa 400GB of space free, whereas before my maintenance job I had around 100GB of free hard drive space. And now that I think about it it was not just Lightroom that was slow - everything was. And everything is fine now. 

So the important thing that we all need to do is to remember to look after our computers and the data we keep.

Our PCs and the information on them are so important to us these days, so the time investment in maintaining this critical data and equipment should not be considered as an optional task. I am going to be taking the maintenance of my computer and the data held on it and my various external hard drives much more seriously in the future.

Rick McEvoy Photography

Commercial Photographer

Bournemouth, Poole, Sandbanks, London. Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset, West Sussex, Wiltshire

The new Canon 6D Mark 2 is on the way - not a bad time to get a Canon 6D Mark 1 if you are ready to go full frame?

So the new Canon 6D Mark 2 is on its way in a few months. You can read about the reported brand new sensor on the Peta Pixel website, along with other news about what is thought to be the specification of this new camera.

According to Canon Rumours the new camera will be announced in July, and will start shipping in August 2017.

If you have not made the leap into the full frame DSLR world yet, now might be a great time to think about doing just that with the Canon 6D Mark 1 - this is the camera I have been using since its release.

And I have to say I have been using it day in, day out. Faultlessly.

Check out the Canon 6D here on Amazon where the price, on 17th June 2017, was £1149. This is a great  price for a brand new, full frame DSLR.

And I recommend you keep checking the price of the Canon 6D and also bundles with lenses - there will be some great deals as Canon tries to sell the current version before the new one is released.

And don't worry that you are not getting the latest kit. If you can afford the new Canon 6D Mark 2 then great, but if you can't, or are not sure, then the current version will still be a great camera when the Mark 2 version is released.

Just because a camera has been replaced by a newer version doesn't make the previous version any less valid.

I use a Canon 6D. It is a great camera. And when the new version comes out it will still be a great camera.

I am looking forward to getting the new Canon 6D Mark 2, and my current 6D will be relegated to being my backup camera, and for use in less than favourable environments.

That will leave me with my Canon 5D Mark 1, which will be spare. EBay time perhaps. I don't want to sell my 5D as it was my first full frame DSLR, and it still takes great images. 

 

Rick McEvoy Photography

Canon Photographer

Bournemouth, Poole, Sandbanks, London. Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset, West Sussex, Wiltshire

Windows 10 Privacy Settings - don't select this if you are in a hurry

I am sat with a the "Choose privacy setting for your device" screen staring at me, doing nothing, stopping me from doing anything. I can neither accept the options offered, nor can I go back. 

And I can't access anything else. 

Finally it has sorted itself out. 

Don't choose to update these settings if you need to get on with stuff - I have just lost 15 minutes waiting for this to sort itself out. 

Thankfully I have an iPad Pro that I can use to get on with stuff. 

Monday mornings....... 

Thinking about it i think all companies should be banned from actioning updates and changes on a Monday morning,!

What size memory cards do you use? I am upgrading to 32GB cards from Lexar

Every year I buy some new SD memory cards for my Canon 6D, and discard the older ones. This year I have progressed to 32GB cards from Lexar, available from Amazon.

It is amazing how the cost of memory cards has plummeted in recent years, thes cards costing me less than £25 each.

I discarded my oldest memory cards including, would you believe it, a 1GB card. Not that long ago a 1GB card would have cost a small fortune!  But now it sounds ridiculous.

This leaves me with some older 8GB cards and quite a few Lexar 16GB cards, which were the ones I was using. 

I have used Lexar Pro cards for a few years now, and happily have not had a card failure so far. I do look after my memory cards very carefully, and hope that the faultless use continues with these new, larger SD cards. 

Rick McEvoy Photography

Bournemouth, Poole, Sandbanks and London

Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset, Wiltshire

 

RIP Nik Silver Efex Pro

This post from Scott Kelby confirmed what we have all been expecting for some time - the Nik Collection is to be no more.

At some point it will stop working. 

Time to move on unfortunately which is a great shame as I really liked this great free software from Google

So the search is on for something else for my black and white image processing. 

Can anyone recommend something else? Something that works in windows that is?

Rick McEvoy Photography

This is how I back up all my photographs – read this if you want to know how to simply, safely and securely back up your digital photographs.

As a photographer, the pictures I take are the single most important thing to me. Backing up my digital files is crucial to my photography business. My photographs are my business.

I have a rigorous process for managing my images, and how I back them up.

This is what I do. And when I say do, I really do! All the time.

1 – Image capture

I have a card holder with blank, formatted memory cards. I take memory cards from here for every shoot I do. Each memory card in this folder is empty, and has been formatted in my Canon 6D.

I have another card holder where I place a memory card after each and every shoot. For my ease these two cases are different colours!

I know which cards are blank, and which have those important images on them. And if I am travelling, the memory cards with my images on stay with me.

2 - Import to Lightroom.

When I am back in my office, I import the images into my Lightroom Catalogue. The images are added to my Western Digital external hard drive. A duplicate copy is created on my Dell PC hard drive. I do not delete the images from the card. Not yet anyway.

My Lightroom Catalogue is stored on my PC.

I also back up my Lightroom Catalogue very day to my PC.

3 – Off site cloud back up.

I use Backblaze for my cloud back up. This is an automated cloud backup, which runs in the background all the time.  It backs up everything on my PC hard drive and me external hard drive. This includes the images on my hard drive and my Lightroom Catalogue.

4 – Off site external hard drive storage.

I have a 4TB external hard drive, which I update at least every month. I save all my images and my Lightroom Catalogue to this external hard drive. This hard drive is stored off site.

5 – Deletion from memory cards

I have a separate wallet where memory cards are placed after I have imported the images into Lightroom. Only when I have done my monthly external hard drive back up do I delete the images from these cards. I then format them in my Canon 6D and place them in the card holder which lives in my camera bag.

6 - Deletion of import duplicates.

Having updated my external hard drive, and placed it back in its off site location, I delete the duplicates of my Lightroom imports from my hard drive.

This is how I manage my digital images. The images are always in three separate places.

  • My external hard drive.
  • My off site external hard drive.
  • My cloud back up.

I have both the images and the edits I have done saved in all three locations.

It took a while to set up this system, but now I have everything in place it is easy to manage, and is one thing I do not need to worry about.

I you have any questions about backing up your photographs, and looking after your valuable digital images get in touch with me.

And for all my clients, you can be reassured that your data is safe and secure should you ever need your images in the future.

Rick McEvoy MCIOB, LBIPP 

Photographer - Bournemouth, Poole, Sandbanks, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset, Wiltshire, London

IMG_9171.JPG

New thinking (by me) on the things that I need to do (next) to help my photography business grow - aka doing real work and putting the fun stuff last (for once)

The plans for my photography business work have had a rethink. Well I have had a rethink.

I did have a plan, but this ignored the priorities for my photography business.

I have to sort the business side out before I can get on to the fun stuff, even though this fun stuff will end up having a significant commercial value (hopefully). When I say fun stuff I mean producing a set of high quality (hopefully) images from a trip.

This is what I will be working on next after the completion of my construction product photography series of posts, interspersed with some pictures of the winter sunlight in the trees at The Vyne in both colour and black and white.

And the odd other image thrown in as and when.

I have had an amount of time with my iPad Pro where I have been able to edit images in Lightroom Mobile only which I have found quite enjoyable. That is where these other images came from.

And now to make things worse the other day I got a sunrise shoot In at a fantastic location - more on this later.

So this is where I am going next.

Firstly, I am going to write about my interior photography page. I have already selected a set of 12 images for this particular page on my website, and started working on the text.

After that I am going to rewrite all my commercial photography pages, with a new set of 12 images on each page. You can find these web pages under the “Work” category on my website.

Architectural photographer

When I look at the images on this page I cringe. I need to decide on the range of images I am going to include on this page though.

Commercial photographer

Not much more to be done to this page, which is not too bad to be honest. Oh yes it needs some text.

Construction photographer

Another page needing some much better images and some more relevant and up to date text.

Freelance photographer

This is my anything I want page. I love this page, and am looking forward to coming up with a great mix of personal work. I have no idea what I am going to include on this page at all. I might go with a theme. Like trees. Sun on water. The colour orange.

That kind of thing.

Industrial photographer (industrial photographers will be consigned to the archive folder leaving me with a brand new page to produce).

Again I have some great new stuff to add to this page which will massively improve the content, appeal and my marketability.

Landscape photographer

This will be tricky. 12 landscape images. Hmmmmmm.

Property photographer

No problem with this page – it is all about the selection of images and the words to go with this.

So. Seven pages to go after the interior photographer page. Not too bad really. I just need to get on with this.

A couple of pages are going to go into the archive (so I don’t lose any links)

Aerial photographer

  • I never got into this but this is definitely one for the future.

Building photographers

  • This page has its origins in the days when I was trying to do my own website SEO by web pages. I now have a daily blog so have no real need for this web page any more. Off to the archive it goes. Meaning less work for me.

Corporate photographer

  • This is not an area I am targeting at the moment.

Google Maps Business View photographer

  • Again a venture I started to work in but decided was not for me.

Interior design photographer

  • As above

Panoramic photography

  • As above

Property photography – replaced by property photographer

What this consolidation of web pages does do is further help me with the focus of my photography business to the following

  • Architectural photography
  • Construction photography
  • Construction product photography
  • Freelance photography – basically doing whatever I want!!
  • Interior photography
  • Industrial photography

And not forgetting of course these three which all fit nicely together

  • Landscape photography
  • Stock photography
  • Travel photography

(See later in this post for more about these three)

And having just secured a new commission I really need to start a product photography web page. 

The reason for this is basically that I need to focus on the images for these pages, some of which are much too old, and I need text on each page for SEO purposes. I just need to get this done, starting with the first page and just carrying on until I am done. Once this is done it takes time for the SEO value of the work to be realised, so I need to do this now before getting on with something much more interesting and enjoyable.

The next thing is to have a refresh of the images on my home page. It is just nice to do this, and the work done on the other pages will feed into this nicely.

That leaves another major piece of work which is my places web pages.

I have completed the following pages

So I still need to do

After that I want to add to my commissions page one image from each commercial shoot I have done.

But that is for later.

I am going to start with these seven commercial photography website pages, which will each have 12 new images and new text, all done properly and in an orderly fashion.

Then I am going to get on with the thing I have been looking forward to since I went to this place in April of this year. I am going to spend as long as I want on the images from this trip, which will naturally supply my picture stock submissions and a new page on my website, possible under places, possibly a new category called countries. I think counties will work well, and give me a good focus for the work I am planning this winter, leading into 2018.

Sorry it is far too early in the year to be talking about next year!

I am going to start using luminosity masks too, once I have sorted the images I am going to process. I am going to start by sorting the images, selecting some to edit, then edit each one three ways (Masterchef speak sorry) which will be

Single image edit in Lightroom/ Photoshop

HDR edit in Lightroom/ Photoshop

And then

Luminosity masking of the same image.

And then a black and white image – I need to source some black and white software for this before I start.

So I will have three differently edited colour images. I cant wait to see what the three will look like side by side – this is very exciting to me.

So this little lot will take me well into the summer I have no doubt, so I will see where I am up to

August 2017 and post an update. There will be daily posts of course along the way, along with the odd additional post here and there.

Thanks for reading this post, and please get in touch with any photography queries either by my contact page, phone or email.

Rick McEvoy MCIOB, LBIPP

Rick McEvoy Photography

Monday 12th June 2018