Improve Photography Roundtable (EP-174)

Improve Photography Plus: Get every product Improve Photography makes in one place for just $19.95/month.  You’ll get dozens of hours of video training, but lots of websites offer that.  The unique selling point of Improve Photography Plus is the download center, with hundreds of Lightroom presets, photography contracts, sky replacements, and eBooks, and of course first crack at our free photography workshops all around the world.

Questions of the Week:

  • Andrew Zaragoza:  I’m going on a roadtrip and need something to edit photos on the go.  Nothing too serious, just something so I can post updates while I’m shooting.  Is there a better option than a laptop, like an iPad?  I need something that won’t kill the bank account.
    • Jeff: Dell XPS 9350-1340SLV 13.3 Inch Laptop (Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, Silver) Microsoft Signature Image $790
  • Kathy Nemec-Lucas: What is a good online sales method for prints and image file downloads? Looking to not spend a lot to do it since I don't sell that way very often, but want to offer a few print sizes and digital file download sales.
    • Jeff: Super easy through Zenfolio.  $60/yr for printing to work, have to go $240/yr for digital products
  • Nathan Whitworth: I just picked up a new 27 inch iMac (base model – 3.2 GHz i5, 8GB MHz ram) While its a huge upgrade over what I've been using I'm still noticing a little lag in lightroom when adjusting sliders and using brushes.
    • Jeff: Try disabling graphics acceleration.  Moving between pictures it is the SSD that is critical.  Too little RAM can make the sliders and adjustment brushes slow.  So can too little CPU.  The bigger CPU in the highest model of the 27” iMac would have been better, but I don’t think it would have been a massive difference.  It probably is just the way Lr is today, which is the reason we keep complaining and telling Adobe they have to fix it.  Should run like butter with a sparkling new computer and it just doesn’t.

Brian’s Segment: Shooting bald people?  Event photography w/ Indy500

Josh’s Segment: SBDC and business development tools

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Jeff’s Segment:  3 quick things I feel are my responsibility as the nerdiest nerd on the network:

  1. Windows 10 upgrade.  
    1. Been running it since August 2016 on my editing PC, have had NO issues.  Have upgraded 5 other machines in my house (they don’t run Lr or Ps) but also no issues.  
    2. Was a little noise in the forums about issues initially, but been relatively quiet for some time now.  
    3. Prepare to upgrade before July 29th, after which time it may not be free.
    4. Along the same lines, OS X El Capitan is also proven enough that everyone using a Mac should be upgraded if you haven’t taken that step yet.  Same story as Windows 10.
  2. Adjustment brush amount slider.  Am I the only one who missed that?  Talked about it on Photo Taco this week.
  3. On1 Photo RAW.  New product supposed to be available this fall.  Looks really exciting to me for a very specific reason – using the graphics processor to make editing HUGE RAW files super fast.  I hope this forces Adobe to make my 2016 prediction from last December come true where I said Adobe would make graphics processing actually work and it would make a huge difference in Lr.

Jim’s Segment:

  • A question for the group: Am I safer backing up my Drobo every 3 weeks and leaving the backup at my parents house, or putting the backup in another area of the house and turning on versioning so it’s backed up every night?

Doodads of the Week!

6 thoughts on “Improve Photography Roundtable (EP-174)”

  1. Jeff:
    Just a tip since you were mentioning upgrading to Windows 10 as well as freeing up disk space. When you upgrade to Windows 10, a folder called Windows.old will be created in case you want to go back. It’s huge. Eventually you can delete once you are satisfied with Windows 10. Note that Microsoft recommends you use the disk clean up tool as opposed to just deleting the folder http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/how-remove-windows-old-folder

    Thanks for all your hard work!

  2. Hi Jim,

    Regarding Andrew Zaragoza’s question, I would like to share two other cheap and light solutions to backup pictures while traveling:

    1) External hard drive with built-in SD card reader http://www.amazon.com/Passport-Wireless-Portable-External-Drive/dp/B00M9B3XZM/
    2) USB 3.0 card reader http://www.amazon.com/Transcend-Information-Card-Reader-TS-RDF5K/dp/B009D79VH4/ and a 256Gb USB 3.0 flash drive (http://www.amazon.com/Lexar-JumpDrive-256GB-Flash-Drive/dp/B00S5V5PTC/ or even a portable external hard drive if you have one). Most of the time you can transfer from your SD card reader to your hard drive using someone’s computer. I did that when spending night in back country hotels in Sri Lanka and I actually ended up sharing my pictures on the spot which was another nice way to bind with locals.

    In both cases your camera needs to work on SD cards and you cannot edit the pictures while traveling (since you don’t have your laptop…) however if you can wait until you are back home, these are two great/cheap/light solutions in my opinion.

    Best regards and keep up the good work!

  3. Regarding the adjustment brush amount slider, the opacity of the combined effect of the adjustment brush can similarly be changed by holding the Option key and sliding left or right on the adjustment brush pin. This also work for the Radial Filter and the Graduated Filter.

    As pointed out in the podcast, The Fader plugin provides similar functionality for Lightroom presets. I have been a regular user since early 2013 and it is well worth the $10 shareware fee.

  4. Hi, Guys,

    I wanted to clarify some incorrect information I heard about the iPad Pro series from Apple and integrating that into your photographic workflow, which I do. Apple introduced a 12 inch iPad late last year, with a glorious screen and powerful cpu that matched or is more powerful that the average desktop CPU. And early this year Apple introduced a 9.7 inch “iPad Pro” which also uses the Apple Pencil. And both versions are currently available with 256gb’s of memory –I have integrated both into my photo workflow.

    The workflow consists of downloading my raw files into LR (on my iMac) and creating a collection for the session I need to work on, so that those images (smart pre-views) will streamed to the cloud and I can work on them from either of my iPad Pro. I really dislike sitting at a desk for the culling process and prefer to do this from my easy chair while watching TV. I can cull, flag and rate my images through LR Mobile, and crop images, and do global edits (and sync those global edits) all from the comfort of my easy chair. I can do more complicated edits from my iMac later. But ultimately, this method has ended up saving me time, because “flicking” up or down, and performing global edits with my finger is far faster than with a mouse.

    Also, since you are working with LR Smart Previews you really don’t need loads of memory on the iPad Pro –although that is good to have anyways.

    That’s how I shaved hours off my workflow and spend less time in from of the computer.

    Best regards,


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