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About Brian

  • Birthday 01/30/1973

Member Information

  • Main editing computer
    Mac desktop
  • Editing software
    Lightroom with Photoshop
  • Monitor Calibrator
  • Cameras, lenses and other photographic equipment
    Nikon D4s, Nikon D850, Nikon Trinity, plus a bunch of other expensive crap that I don't need which doesn't make me a better photographer. LOL!! Follow me on Instagram! @jennie.brian.seetheworld

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  1. Ah Gotcha!! Yes, $500-ish is totally do-able for both a display and calibration device. Here is one of Dell's newer 27" IPS Displays. If you don't want to go as big as 27", they have a 24" version. Here is last year's model and is still worth buying. It's IPS, which is what you want, and has a anti-glare coating on it. For $330 and 27"...it's a good buy. So $330 thus far. Now time for the Calibrator. There are a couple of choices. IF you are going to calibrate both your laptop's Display AND External Display, and want to obtain the best chance of them matching, it's better to get something like the SpyderX Elite or the X-Rite i1Display Pro. Of course, these are the two top-of-the-line calibrators, and their prices reflect that. You can go the next level down and pay about $170-ish.
  2. OH HELL YES YOU NEED MORE RAM. LOL!! Your poor computer, it must be struggling so much, begging for more resources. It's good that you have a 2015 27" iMac, you can upgrade the RAM yourself. Takes about 5-10 min to do. What you are going to do, is remove the existing RAM and install Four 8GB Sticks. To answer your question, you have to install the same RAM chips in matching pairs. So while you can leave the two existing 4GB sticks installed, just max it out to 32GB and be done with it. Seriously. Here is the RAM I want you to purchase. It's $183.98 to max out your RAM to 32GB. Yes, it's worth it. Yes, it's a bit more expensive than just installing two extra sticks, but we do have the Chip Shortage going. So don't sit on this. Even though prices are a little higher currently, this RAM Kit isn't too bad. (It's about $30 more than it was a year ago.) Here is a quick YouTube Video demonstrating the process. The only thing I'd like to add is you want to touch something metal to discharge any Static Electricity before handling the RAM Sticks. RAM doesn't like to be zapped by Static Electricity. When you get up to 32GB, you will wonder why you didn't do it sooner.
  3. That's a mistake right there that trips up A LOT of people. Always remember... YOUR CAMERA'S LCD IS A LYING AND CHEATING WHORE WHO WILL SELL YOU DOWN THE RIVER IF GIVEN THE CHANCE!!! The image you see on your camera's LCD is the JPEG PREVIEW embedded within the Raw File and NOT, I REPEAT...NOT the Raw File itself. So don't EVER think that just because you see the image on the Camera's LCD you are safe. Quite the opposite, if the Raw Image is corrupted, you might only get the JPEG Preview out of the file recovered. That's why your image goes from #Amazeballz to #Blah in either ACR or LR. The "Blah" image IS the Raw file. (Well, Adobe's interpretation of said file.) You could have a faulty Card Reader. The one I linked to above does both CF and SD Cards and for $20.50, it's not going to break the bank. Now, I want you to get your EHDs and Cards displaying on the Mac Desktop. Follow my instructions in Part 2 of this Article. It is a possibility. That said, SD Cards are not very robust. They go bad all the time. Hell, if you look at them weird they will corrupt. But I really want you to get a new Card Reader, preferrable one that is both CF / SD and try using the CF Card that you have.
  4. No. $500? Not happening! Not in 2021. Seriously, now is THE ABSOLUTE WORST TIME TO BE IN THE MARKET FOR A NEW COMPUTER!!! There is COVID-19 happening, which is causing factories to be shut down, which then creates a limited supply of little pieces that make up the bigger pieces that makes up a computer. $500 just isn't going to cut it. Not for a laptop that is "Good for Photo Editing." Sorry Dear... you are looking at spending around $3000. Yes, I'm dead serious. Even if you opted to go for a desktop computer, you are looking at spending between $2500-$3000...and that's for a stinkin' Dell Computer!!! Prices have tripled over the past year, and that's when they are "On Sale." Video Cards alone that would have cost about $600 in 2019, and I'm talking about the fancy ones that Gamers use, are selling for $1500+, all by themselves. I wrote this article for folks that are in your situation... Buying a Computer in 2021 My recommendation: Keep saving. At the very least, you need to have $2000 saved up. I have a feeling prices won't go back to "Normal" (whatever that is) until 2023. Basically, the components that make up a laptop that's "Good for Photo Editing" were hard to find BEFORE COVID19 hit. Now it's like they are almost damn near-impossible to find, and certainty not at a $500, or even a $1000 price-point. Yes. It sucks.
  5. How are you transferring the images to your computer? Are you "Moving" or "Copying" the files? Does your SD Card Show up on the desktop? Also, are you ejecting the SD Card before removing it? Your friend's are correct, the slot on your Mac could be faulty, or if you have an extra-fancy fast card, may not be 100% compatible with your reader. Do you have any CF Cards? The reason I ask is SD Cards fail all the time. Out of all of my cards that have failed for me personally, the SD Cards I've had the most problems with. I've had a CF or 2 card go "iffy" on me, and I retired it and only one CF Card that did actually fail...and I have lots of cards. At this point, it could be a faulty controller chip in the camera, bad slots on the camera or you have something else going on. Unfortunately, I don't have a "Magic Bullet" for you, What I would recommend is to purchase a CF Card and a CF Reader and try that card/techology. I will warn you, CF media is on it's way out and the pickings are getting a bit slim. That said, I still feel we need to remove the SD media from the equation before I have you send your camera to Nikon for repairs. You could get a Sandisk 32GB CF Card, that's just under $40 and a CF Reader that also reads SD Cards for about $21. So call it $65-ish to test things. This will be cheaper than a diagnostic fee from Nikon.
  6. The only advice I can give in that dept., is to never-ever-ever show a Mom the slightly out-of-focus, underexposed photo that doesn't print well. She will pick that photo every damn time because "She likes her baby's smile in that one..." EVERY. BLOODY. TIME.
  7. Yep. Photographers are funny creatures. We are a weird bunch. Never assume anything, especially if they view you as a potential threat. People also drink the Kool-Aid and think Lightroom is all that you need to edit photos. It usually isn't. Honestly, it's better to make friends with someone a few States away, or at least a few hundred Miles/Kilometers in between the two of you, so you are in different markets. Even then take what they say with a grain-of-salt. Hell, I've known of Photographers who give workshops and tell their students to use a certain light, like an Alien Bee for a few hundred, and they themselves use a $2000+ Profoto Light! They purposely sabotage their students so they can make money off of them, and still retain an "edge" over said students. Honestly, the quickest way to make money at Photography is to sell to other Photographers, not getting true clients. This saying is very true: Amateurs worry about the Gear (Or blame it) Professionals worry about the Money Masters worry about the Light Start with the Bridge Class. It's $10. That's a Large Plain Pizza near my house or a Cup of over-priced Iced Coffee from Starbucks. If you don't like Damien's teaching style, it's only $10. But I think you will start to find errors in your workflow and will continue onto the Raw Class.
  8. This is the problem with LR. It's all marketing hype. Adobe really took a page from Apple's Marketing book. Seriously. Lightroom is great when you don't give a shit about color. When you need to deliver 3000+ images within 15 minutes to a client. It's for Bulk-Editing, Sports Photographers do this on a normal basis. Even Event Photographers. So many people out there apply a store-bought preset and think that it's "editing." It's not. Then they export and wonder why their images never seem to look the same as they did in LR. What's worse, is the client noticing that something is off, or they can't print a file that you sent them, due to poor quality. Guess who isn't going to hire you again? Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard editing program for Photography, and it will be for some time. So it's truly worth learning. I haven't seen many serious contenders out there that would end up replacing it. I'm not saying that's not possible, it's just very unlikely at this point. Hell, even Kodak is no longer around, so something like this happen is plausible, but not in the immediate future. Now, I get why people like Lightroom, it's very intuitive. Click a couple things here, apply this preset, move a slider or two...and BAM!! You have a #Hashtag #Amazeballz Image!! All the Hearts and Swoons from people on FB!! They just #LOVELOVELOVE your image. Then you go and do something silly, like actually print the photo, and it looks terrible. Then you start to think, actually the JPEG didn't look like anything that you saw in Lightroom. But it must be you, right? Or your lens is bad! That's gotta be it. Tabitha-Jane from Cutesy Name Photography has a bigger and fancier camera than you, AND HAS A 50MM F/1.2 LENS!!! THAT'S GOTTA BE IT!! Nope. Lightroom is the cause of your problems. Once you figure that out and get it out of your workflow, get your screen calibrated and matching a set of physical prints, will you then understand how far off your workflow truly is. You can't buy yourself out of this. I've spent thousands and thousands on this crap, and it turns out the person who knows how to edit will produce far better images with older gear than I would with my big and fancy camera. I've got all the gear...and all I do is produce crappy photos with really nice gear.
  9. I'm happy to jump in here at the end and say, the focus is fine. Nothing wrong with the lens. The real problem is how your Photoshop is setup, and your overall lack of knowledge of how to use Photoshop is what is messing you up. Plus, if you have given the client a JPEG with a Quality of 3...No wonder they can't print it!! You NEVER want to go that low!! For now, use the File >> "SAVE AS" feature, and stick with quality of "10," and if saving to Social Media, especially Facebook, set it to "11." Fortunately, your lack of knowledge is easily corrected, provided you are willing to learn. What I want you to do first, is make sure ACR and Photoshop are setup correctly. Here are some instructions, start from the top and work your way down: Setting Up Photoshop. The next thing you need to do, is take the Bridge Class, followed by the Raw Class. Then take the Layers and Masks Class. L&M is the one that really teaches you how to "Use" Photoshop. But before you are tempted into doing that one 1st, always remember that Photoshop comes AFTER your images are rock-solid and edited properly in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR)!!! Just like a foundation of a house, I don't care how expensive and pretty those Granite Countertops are in your Kitchen, if the Basement / Foundation can't support the weight of them, and is crumbling, it's not going to do you any good when the Kitchen collapses. Got it?
  10. "Smart Update" compares the files on the Images 1 Drive to the Images 2. If there is a change, usually with file-size and/or date & time, it will back up those files only, since Images 2 already has the other files after the first full backup. Basically, it's a "Incremental" backup and only backs up the files that have changed. Which saves a lot of time. "Erase Images" (the one you have selected in the screenshot above) is the brute force method. It erases the files on Images 2 and then copies over the files from Images 1. This could be a good thing or a bad thing... Good that you have a 100% clone each and every time. Bad if there is data corruption on Images #1 or you did something to one of your images (or screwed something up), with the Erase/Brute-Force Method, you won't be able to go back in time and get the original file before SuperDuper runs. Since that file will be erased by SuperDuper and the corrupted file would have been copied over. Make sense? If you choose the "Smart Update" and schedule the clone once every few days, you have a small window to copy the untouched file from the Images 2 drive. If that sounds like a feature you'd like to have as a fail-safe, use "Smart Update." If not, use the default choice. "Repairing Permissions" is one of those normal Mac-Maintenance things that should be done every once-and-awhile. Because the MacOS is based on an Operating System called Unix (Pronounced You-Knicks) it has things called "Permissions" on each of the files. Sometimes those Permissions get out of whack and need to be reset according to the "Master List" that the OS has records of. Basically, that setting is meant for how conservative do you want SuperDuper to be? Do you want it to repair permissions to the Images 1 EHD before it copies the files? Since you are primarily backing up Photos and such, I'd say no. That's not to say that you should never repair permissions once-and-awhile, it's just every time seems a bit much.
  11. Why are you saving at a quality of 3? I’d like you to use 10.
  12. Also, what lights where you using? Alien Bees? Flashes? Strobes? What power were they set to?
  13. OK, I need the details: Aperture | Shutter Speed | ISO Which focusing Mode and where was your focus point? Because the only reliable Focus Point with a 6D is the Center AF Point. (I mentioned this above.) Plus it doesn't help that you look to be in a small space, so I'm thinking f/8 or even f/11 might have been a better choice. f/5.6 may not give you enough Depth of Field. Which is what I'm really leaning towards in this photo. From what I can tell, it's about 4-5 feet between the front row of faces and back row. That's a lot content that you want in focus. Oh, I need a 700x700 crop of the original photo of where you put the AF point. Follow these instructions: https://www.damiensymonds.net/2013/09/grabbing-700x700px-100-crop.html
  14. OK, simply put, SuperDuper wants control of the situation. This is what happens when you use programs to do stuff for you. It needs to create a log of what's on Images 1 and then make sure that it successfully goes to Images 2. By now, all of your images should be on the Images #1 Drive, correct? If so, let it erase Images 2 and let it do its thing. Edit: There are primarily two kinds of backups. Incremental and Full. SuperDuper is going to make a Full Backup to Images #2 from #1 and then will probably do Incremental backups (the changes you make to images 1) going forward, after the Full Backup. For all intents and purposes, keep saving things to Images 1!! Images 2 is just for cloning, not usage. If you were looking for two hard drives to be a Mirror of each other at all times, that's a RAID1 Setup and a completely different thing. In fact, I would not even call that EHD "Images 2," I'd name it something else, like "Clone" or "Off-Site Backup."
  15. Oh, I didn’t answer one of your questions! Once we get your EHDs partitioned to a genuine Mac Format, software programs won’t have any trouble reading them. Unfortunately, I’m thinking any new EHD that you buy today has a good chance of being ExFAT. But I could be wrong. Basically, any new EHD that you buy, you just need to check it and see if it’s ExFAT or NTFS. If it is, just follow my directions above and change it to a Mac only drive. Easy Peasy.
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