PhotoShelter Webinar tomorrow on OYP with Lightroom

UPDATE: The Webinar is full.
I’m very happy to be bringing my Lightroom organizational philosophy of Store, Tag and Create to PhotoShelter’s popular webinar series tomorrow, Friday February 21st at 4:00pm. I’ll spend some time laying out the foundations of an organized photo library in Lightroom.

PhotoshelterPresentationPhotoShelter provides smart web services for professional photographers and others working with professional imagery. They’ve been focused on making a great service, creating tools to promote, deliver and sell imagery for a decade. For many photographers I know, PhotoShelter provides a turnkey storefront that just keeps getting better. You can see how I use PhotoShelter Beam for my portfolio here.

PhotoShelter has become one of the premier photo education entities in the world, and it’s not even their core business. They understand that professional development benefits the entire community, and they’ve been committed to creating informative white papers, webinars, live presentations and more. I’m very happy to be a part of that effort.

If you can’t make it Friday, you can check out the webinar on-demand.

This video shows how Beam works, and I think it’s a really well-done demonstration. I actually made my new portfolio site using the video below as the only guide. (I also used Lightroom’s Publish Services to upload and update the photos, and I show you how to do that in Organizing Your Photos.)

Backblaze saves College Student’s Data

Dateline Chicago – DePaul University Freshman Madeline Krogh suffered an unexpected computer mishap this week when a pitcher of water was accidentally poured into her new Macbook Pro computer. She was heard at the time to exclaim “Oh, $&!#!” The computer was significantly damaged and had to be sent off to Apple for a repair estimate, and possible replacement.

Maddy-2 All of the data on Ms. Krogh’s computer was recovered due to the forward thinking of her father, Peter Krogh, who had subscribed her computer to Backblaze. The cloud-based service does a continual backup of the entire hard drive to the Backblaze server through Ms. Krogh’s wireless internet connection.

 

Madeline Krogh shows off her new temporary semi-waterproof “computer.”

When asked about the installation of Backblaze, Mr. Krogh said,” I had given her a backup drive to use with Time Machine, but the odds of that happening on a regular basis are, um, slim. She’s a smart kid, but she does not do backups. You’d think the daughter of the guy who wrote the book on data preservation might be a little more tuned in to this possibility. But noooooo.”

Once the extent of the damage was apparent, Mr. Krogh was able to go online and check the status of the backup. To his relief, it was up-to-date, despite zero attention to the process by Ms. Krogh. He was even able to find a copy of the assignment due that afternoon. The document had not been saved properly, but Microsoft Word’s autosave had automatically created a version and BackBlaze stored the document. The assignment was recovered, emailed to Ms. Krogh, and turned in on time.

Ms. Krogh has offered to help pay the cost of repair or replacement of the computer, and has acknowledged that her dad is totally awesome. Mr. Krogh, in turn, has acknowledged that his daughter is kicking ass in her grades, and has earned the right to make a mistake or two.

 

Lightroom Missing FAQ Now on DAM Useful!

lr5-book1Those of you who have read my books know that I’m a huge fan of Victoria Bampton’s book, Adobe Lightroom 5 – The Missing FAQ. She has created the most comprehensive reference manual detailing the function of each menu item, button, pulldown and right-click in Lightroom. I keep it handy whenever I’m trying to learn some a new trick, teach a class or write a book. I know that even people on the Lightroom team at Adobe sometimes use the book as a reference.

In my recent DAM Book Guides, I have written comprehensive but targeted books which are focused on solving a particular problem. I’ll show you how to use the important tools in the way I suggest you use them, rather than telling you every option possible. That’s because the place you should go to learn about all options is the place I go: The Missing FAQ.

Victoria’s company, The Lightroom Queen, is an independent publisher, as is DAM Useful Publishing. And I’m really happy to announce that we have started a joint marketing venture. We’ve begun by placing our books in each other’s stores. So you can now buy The Missing FAQ here at theDAMBook.com. And we’re also offering her free Quick Start Guide

Until February 25th, we have a discounted bundle featuring Organizing Your Photos with Lightroom 5 along with The Missing FAQ.

It’s an exciting new world of independent publishing, and we’re really happy to be working with someone we admire.

 

February 19 Free Presentation In Gaithersburg, MD

I’ll be making a presentation at Mac Business Solutions in Gaithersburg MD on February 19th as part of a day-long free event called Mac Pro for the Creative Professional.

140210_MBSMBS has long been my favorite place to buy and service my Macs. They are very focused on the needs of photographers, cinematographers, designers and other creative professionals. And they have an excellent Apple-authorized service department that is first rate (and has saved my bacon more than once).

I’ll be speaking about the new book, Organizing Your Photos with Lightroom 5 from 11:45-12:45. (Lunch served right after!). The presentation is free, but you are encouraged to sign up in advance to reserve a place.

 

Hard Drive Reliability Study

Every hard drive is out to get you, (but some more than others).

I’ve used that as a laugh line in my lectures for a bunch of years. Whenever people ask me which drive to buy, I point out that even the best quality drive can experience a sudden failure. But you can lower your odds of a problem.

Backblaze is a company that buys drives by the truckload. And they buy the most cost-effective drives they can. They are nice enough to publish the failure statistics for specific brands and models. Last week, they released a round of these numbers, and provide some good context for them.


This graph is from an article on the Backblaze blog that outlines the failure rate of various drives they use.

The short answer is that Hitachi drives provided the best reliability for Backblaze, and Seagate was the worst. In the case of the Seagate 1.5TB drive, the numbers are really bad. I’ve been buying (and recommending) Hitachi drives for a couple years now. Good to get a little more empirical evidence.

BTW, I like Backblaze as a cloud-based backup service. I don’t use it for my own work, because I have things taken care of locally. But I’ve installed it on the computer my daughter has taken to college with her. It makes a cloud backup in the background as she adds or changes files.

NGS Seminar

35 years ago, as a high school senior, I was invited to the National Geographic photographers’ yearly seminar (thanks to Clark Mishler, who was working in the Photographic Department at the time, saw my photos in a contest, and took the trouble to call my school and invite me to attend).

Every year that I go, I find it to be one of the most interesting, inspiring and intellectually invigorating experiences I can imagine. In the last 15 years or so, I have also been going to the Image Sales (now National Geographic Creative) business meeting, since they represent some of my stock photography. That meeting has also become one of the most interesting days of the year.

The business meeting recaps the past year for NG Creative and rolls out the plans for the year ahead. Over the years, I’ve seen NG Creative come into form, starting as an old-school stock photo agency, and turning into a nimble, smart and forward-thinking agency offering photos, videos, fine art, assignments and stock. It’s been a great education to watch Maura Mulvihill and Bill Perry build this department. (There’s a nice article in the January 2014 PDN magazine about NGC.)

The seminar day is always a real photographic feast. This year, the headliner was Danny Lyon, a Magnum photographer who has used his camera as a tool for advocacy. He’s a classic insurgent – irreverent, passionate, fighting for what’s right, and not afraid to tell it to the man exactly as he sees it.

In addition to Danny, we saw great presentations by Hasan Elahi, Wayne Lawrence, Newsha Tavakorian, Tyler Hicks, Vince Musi and David Maisel. While it’s always a bit overwhelming and humbling, this event also provides wonderful inspiration for the new year.

Form and Content

I read a post on boingboing recently that got me thinking. In it, Cory Doctorow takes a swipe at business models where the term Content is part of the core plan. (“Content” has the stink of failure…)

While I don’t entirely agree that the term Content is a marker for a poor business plan, Cory raises some interesting points. The form of the presentation must drive the design of the material. New technologies and formats create new opportunities and limitations for the artist/writer/photographer/musician/publisher/whatever. (DJ Clark, for one, is working to create good disciplined thinking about the form, structure and usage of content as it relates to various media.)

Krogh_131102_0752Repurposing material has created a lot of wealth. Great books can be turned into movies or even video games. Movies have had multiple new commercial lives being repurposed for tv, DVD and streaming.

So it’s tempting to create a business plan that is medium-agnostic (as Cory says, to remove all “form-dependent elements.”)  The “content”, the theory goes, could be created in a non-native form, and simply poured from bucket to bucket, reducing the friction for each new instance of monetization.

I agree that this feels like MBA-think which does not respect the creator, audience or real value of the product.

However, there is an element of “Content” that is essential as part of a media business plan. But that content exists in the underlying ideas or story, not the exact expression in a particular medium. The story of To Kill a Mockingbird has a beautiful perfection in the manuscript form, but also a different beautiful perfect form in the 1962 Universal Pictures version. The content is the language in the original book, but on a more fundamental level, the content is the story and the characters.

When used in the proper context, “Content” is at the core of all media enterprise. It’s essential to understand exactly what your real content is. Is it the words or images, or is it the underlying ideas? There’s no universal shortcut for creating form-independent expressions of content, but there are huge opportunities in understanding the opportunities new forms present.

DIGITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS