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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 and a few other odds-and-ends. Follow me on Instagram! @jennie.brian.seetheworld

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  1. Since I just made my main forums viewable to all, you still need to be logged in to post, I want to clarify my thought process on why get a single 1TB HD instead of a combo configuration. After all, by having two hard drives, gives you more storage, right? Well yes and no.... The reason is, people are creatures of habit. The majority of us out there are used to dumping everything on a "C Drive." The whole clicking "next-next-next-ok-apply-next-next-finish" way of thinking in engraved in our heads. You don't have to think and unfortunately, Hard Drives usually become dumping grounds. Unless you mentally THINK each and every time to store stuff on the "D Drive," more than likely it will end up on C, usually the desktop in a folder somewhere. I've seen this very issue hundreds of times...people forget about the second hard drive, especially if it's internal. Why? The 'ol "Out of Sight-Out of Mind" thing. When people see an external hard drive, it forces them to think about it and they will easily store things on a EHD. When it comes to an internal drive, people will forget about having a second drive and then the main drive gets filled with crap, which results in a panicked post here or on FB Ask Damien with a computer that isn't working correctly. So that's why I like having a 1TB Main HD. It's big enough for the OS, Main Programs & Updates...along with the PS Scratch Disk, and gives you a little room to work with current projects. If you choose a 500GB model, you will have to put all sessions and files on the "D Drive / aka the Data Drive" to house your files. Make sense? It's just so easy to dump everything on the "C Drive."
  2. Yep! There are two differences I would make. One is to get a 1TB single drive instead of a dual configuration. You can always add another internal HD at a later time, for less money. Second, if you are just using Photoshop, you don't "need" the "Super" Version of the Video Card. Unless you are a heavy gamer as well. Here are my changes:
  3. This is where Damien and my opinion differs. Personally, I work off my external hard drive. That being said, I have a very fast and stable 12GB Thunderbolt 3 G-Drive. If all I had was a USB 2.0 Drive, I wouldn't be working off my external. In your case, with a stupidly small internal hard drive, I would be working off an external drive. You want your internal hard drive to be as clean as possible. For the best results, you need to be using a Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt 3 drive, depending on what TB port you have on your laptop. If you create an Alias from a folder that is on your external drive, put it on the Mac Desktop, if you save whatever files to your Alias folder, it automatically puts in in the folder that the Alias in linked to. In reality, when it comes to an Alias, it's almost like you are working with the original folder, with the exception for when it comes to moving the source folder somewhere else. When you save out of Photoshop, just like my example above, you click Desktop in the left column and choose the appropriate Alias. Just like you did when things were physically on your desktop. So it's just like working with your stuff on the desktop, except that it should be on your external HD. Make sense?
  4. No. Just as long as they are together in the same folder. If you ever were to move the Raw file to a different folder, just be sure to move both the Raw file and XMP file together. Right - Click and select "Sort By" Play around with the choices. You might want to select "Filename" at the top. How did it happen? You have a Laptop, with a stupid Trackpad. I'm sure something went screwy along the way and it changed how you view files. The problem is harmless, really. Just have to change things back.
  5. Quick question, has your Mac's performance increased at all since you moved all the crap off the desktop? It won't be "earth-shattering," but is should work a little "better."
  6. Here is the cool part with Aliases on the Desktop, you can move the folder and the Alias will update automatically!! Just as long as they are on the same Mac. (Duh!) As long as you move stuff via the Finder, the MacOS is smart enough to keep track where the folders that the Aliases point to reside. So if you do have to shuffle things around, just make sure your EHDs each have unique names. The can be as simple as EHD1, EHD2, etc. or G-Drive 12TB, G-Drive 4TB, etc.
  7. I figured as much. There is a reason that Costco's stuff is cheap. While they sell good stuff, you have to read the fine-print as often they carry the "Basic" models. Just keep an eye on it at B&H. I can not stress enough just how quickly Windows Laptop Models change. By the time July rolls around, this "Brand New Model" will be scheduled for replacement. That said, COVID19 might have changed things a bit. So who knows?
  8. Brian

    Lighting Fix

    Here is what I think you should have done for the “Backlight Look.” Only one light was needed, well two if you just have Speedlights, and two large reflectors. Here is one Reflector Panel, a 35" X 70".
  9. Brian

    Lighting Fix

    At first glance, your light power is not correct for either light. Meaning the light from behind is too powerful, which is what is messing with the hair. What is supposed to be your "Key Light," aka "Main Light" isn't powerful enough. Your lighting ratios are off, the angle that your back-light is wrong and you should not have bounced your main light; a Modifier should have been used at the very least, i.e. Softbox, for the Main Light. Or if you did want a true "BackLight Photo," you would have needed Two Large Reflectors, one on each side at about a 40º-45º Angle, pointed at your subject. Before I start rambling, I need more info. First, were ALL the flashes set to Manual, or were you using TTL Metering? Second, what Speed Lights are we talking about, and do you own any Modifiers? (Softboxes, Umbrellas, etc.) Do you only own Speedlights or do you have lights like Alien Bees or something similar? How large is your studio space?
  10. OH! One more thing!! Uploading files is just as easy!! I just went to upload a Waterfalls Photo to my Instagram and I use Hootsuit to do this. When I went to upload the photo, the main box that appeared in my comment above was the same. I simply then went to the appropriate Alias Folder and selected my File and clicked Open. I forgot just how convenient working with Aliases are and it doesn't take a huge adjustment to your workflow. Here is an example of what I'm talking about:
  11. I'd like to also add the power of Alias Folders. Say you edit a photo in Photoshop. When you head to File >> Save As and then select Desktop, the Aliases on the Desktop will appear in the main column. Just simply select the appropriate folder and click OK. The actual file will be in one of those folders that are contained within your HD and not stored on the Desktop. So in a sense, the only change to your workflow will be clicking on the appropriate Alias and then creating a folder within that Alias Folder, rather than just plopping things on the Desktop, only to organize them later. So if you think about it, it's not THAT big of a deal, and will make your Mac run so much smoother.
  12. Going back to Windows is going to be a bit of a pain. The file system that Macs use and the one Windows uses are completely different. Apple makes it VERY easy to convert from Windows to a Mac...just not the other way around. If you do convert to a Windows Laptop, I can help. Just create a thread in either here or the Windows Forum. But first things first, let's get more space on that HD (clear stuff out, you do not need 75 Raw Files that are photos of your lunch from 5 years ago.)
  13. Just as I expected. OK, first things first... You only have 8GB of RAM. That is the BARE-MINIMUM with today's technology that you want to have. In reality, 16GB is the new "Minimum" and 32GB is what your target should be. Yesterday's 4GB/8GB is Today's 8GB/16GB. The problem with Mac Laptops is normally they are sealed units Upgrading the RAM is very difficult, if not impossible. Normally, you have to purchase the extra/upgraded RAM at the time-of-purchase and Apple is INSANELY OVERPRICED when it comes to upgrading RAM. For example, if I were to upgrade a fancy 27" iMac to 32GB, that will cost me around $600, give or take. If I install RAM from Crucial.com, using the same exact memory, I could increase that same iMac to 64GB for about $300. If I just went to 32GB, I'd probably spend around $150 or so with today's prices. So $150 vs $600...for the same damn RAM modules. Only difference is that Apple will cover the OEM RAM under warranty, and won't be quick to blame 3rd party components for causing hardware issues. I'm not being THAT silly when I say that Apple will blame the Crucial RAM (or other 3rd Party RAM) for when your Mouse's batteries die and it needs to be recharged. Apple will find a way to blame the non-Apple item for ANY problems you might have, even if it's nowhere near the cause of your issue. Lack of free Hard Drive Space. By default, you do not want to ever-ever-ever go above 75% full on ANY Mac HD, including externals. Well, the number is closer to 80%, but I lean towards the conservative side of things, and 75% is a good target number that allows a little wiggle-room. Just like the Mac Desktop filled with a bunch of crap, once you go above 80% full, your Mac's Performance takes a DIRECT HIT. If you go above 95% full, you are in very dangerous territory where things will come to a screetching halt and you are in danger of File Corruption / File Loss. At 95% full or above, you are seriously playing with fire. With you only having 94GB free, that isn't much area for the Photoshop Scratch Disk to work, especially if your camera is 24MP or greater. There is no where for things to go on your HD when using things like Photoshop. It's good that you run a Clean Up Program weekly, hopefully that's CleanMyMax X from MacPaw.com or an earlier version. That said, if you don't have one already, now is the time to invest in an external HD and free up about 100GB of space, at a minimum. That will help speed things up dramatically. Unfortunately, just clearing up your Mac Desktop and freeing up available HD storage space is just a treatment, and not a cure. The bottom line is, you need a new computer with more RAM and definitely a larger HD. When it comes to a Mac laptop, that's very expensive. Like around $3800 expensive. The low-end Mac Laptops that people can afford, are really just for general computing and are not meant to be a primary computer, especially if you are doing anything photo / video related. That's what the MacBook Pros are for; a regular MacBook with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB HD is meant for you to use a iPhone for Photos and to use Apple Software to do things. Once you add stuff like Photoshop, your situation changes. So start saving money, you are gonna need it.
  14. OK @JudyM, I've completed the Tutorial on "How to Make Aliases." Now for the second part of your issue: Speed. While it's true that having all sorts of crap on a Mac Desktop slows things down, it's not the only culprit. There are two Main Suspects: Lack of RAM and Lack of HD Storage Space. Before we begin, can you do this for me and post the results in this thread? Details About Your Computer's Health.
  15. If you take a look at my example desktop images, you will notice a folder called "Junk Drawer." Now I'm sure you are wondering, if I say that it's a bad idea to keep stuff on your desktop, then why do I have a folder called "Junk Drawer" in my example. Because, it's not a folder. It is what is called an "Alias." What is a Alias? It's Mac-Speak for Shortcut. Windows has Shortcuts, Macs have Aliases. Why? So Apple could Patent the term. The word "Shortcut" is a Public-Domain / Common Term to be Patented. That's why you only see it on Apple Computers. The cool part it, Aliases are meant to be on the Desktop. The MacOS knows that they are "Shortcuts" and not "Files," so it doesn't treat them as "Opened Windows" or things running in the background. They are just Aliases. Why use an Alias and how do you make them? Read on!! First, why use an Alias, since you can drag stuff to your Photos Folder or Documents Folder, or whatever? For the same blasted reason you put them on the Mac Desktop in the first place, convenience. Sure, you can move stuff to the Documents Folder and wherever you choose, it is really is that simple. The problem is iCloud. You see, at the default, Apple gives you 5GB of Free Storage Space Total, and that includes your Documents, Contacts, Photos, etc. etc. If you go blindly putting things in the default folders, and you don't adjust what gets backed up to iCloud, you are going to run out of room really quick without realizing it. Then I foresee a post here asking why is iCloud complaining about lack of room. I'm trying to save you some hassle. The second reason to use an alias, is once it's created and moved to the Desktop, it acts JUST LIKE A FOLDER. So what I would do is create various folders located somewhere within the Macintosh HD or an External HD, then create Aliases for each of those folders and move them to the Mac Desktop. Then at that point, you can still save stuff TEMPORARILY to the Desktop, and then move those files to the appropriate Alias. Since the Alias works like a folder, you just click and drag the file over to the correct alias and "Boom!" the file exists within that folder you created and is off the desktop. Here is how you create an Alias. Open the Finder Double-Click the Users Folder Then double-click on the Profile that you are currently logged in as. It should have a "Little House" as the Icon. Create a permanent Folder within your Hard Drive that is easily accessible. You can use the Root Directory if you want. In this example, we will create three folders, "Stuff 1," "Stuff 2," and "Stuff 3." Rename those folders according to your personal preferences. They could be "Vacation Photos" or "Quick Documents," "Contracts," it does not matter. Just name them something obvious. Now select the first folder, in this case it's "Stuff 1," then right-click it and select "Make Alias." Do this for all other folders in which we are creating Aliases. Now drag each of the Aliases to the "Desktop" in the left column of the Finder. Now head to the Desktop and select each Alias, one at a time. Then right-click and select "Get Info." Do not use "Rename." It doesn't work well on renaming Aliases, it's better to use "Get Info." Remove the word "Alias" from the end of the name box and click the Red Circle to close the "Get Info" Box and apply the changes. Do this for the other Aliases on the Desktop. Then Click-and-Drag each of your items that are on the Desktop to the appropriate Alias and you are done! When Finished, your Desktop should look like this. See the little arrows in the lower left corner of your Aliases? That's how you can tell they are an Alias and not a folder, even though they act like folders. The reason that I'm mentioning this, is if you ever need to copy or move your source folder to another HD, be sure to do it on the ACTUAL FOLDER and not the Alias so you can be sure that things transfer over properly.
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